I'd like to say I planned to eliminate all of the suck from life in fell swoop, but the reality is I had planned to let the daycare suck go for a bit. Mila has been in daycare since I returned to work nine months ago, and it has always been just a little off.
But ... off.
I couldn't really complain when they couldn't get her to every take milk. I mean, you can't force a baby to eat. Yet, it seemed off that she would only take 1-2 ounces at daycare, but then would take 6-8 from the husband. It hasn't really mattered for a few months since Mila is a most excellent eater of all things solid. Still. Weird.
There were other things, too, but the one that was more than just a little bit "off" was that daycare moved Mila to the one year-old room a month before her birthday. That alone wasn't a problem, but the fact that she isn't walking yet sort of is. They moved her into a room full of kids that are walking, which meant she was the only "baby" in a room full of toddlers. It was done for ratio issues, but nobody would just say that. Instead, I received lecture after lecture about how Miss Mila was ready to move.
That became really evident on the second day when Mila sobbed at drop-off. She has always been happy to arrive at daycare, so it was startling to see her suddenly not happy about being there.
But that wasn't what convinced me to make the move immediately. And I do mean "immediately." I fully intended to leave her at that daycare until school lets out in June, but instead she was there on a Thursday and then just never returned.
That happened because of Alexis. It turns out that having a big sister who goes to the same daycare after school is a lot like having a second set of eyes. Sometimes that second set of eyes doesn't know she's telling you something really important, but you're glad she is.
Alexis never stops talking on the way to and from gymnastics. On that particular Thursday, she was giving me a play-by-play of her hour at daycare. It was during that hour that she was playing outside and glanced over to the toddler area and saw that Mila was outside as well. Miss Mila was crawling around in the enclosed area, happily checking out things to and fro. The enclosed area happens to have a floor of sorts. It's a black mat made out of a rubbery material, which is perfectly for little ones who tend to bounce to the ground on occasion.
But black rubber gets hot.
Alexis reported that she saw Mila crawling around in the shade, but then suddenly she took a turn towards the hot sun. As she was headed to the Not So Safe Zone, a teacher called after her to stop. And kept calling. And kept calling.
The teacher didn't stand up and stop the 11 month-old from doing something dangerous.
Which means that Mila crawled over where it was hot, burned her knees (nothing serious, but still), and then sat in the corner crying.
And no grown-ups intervened.
Alexis told the story from the perspective of thinking it was a little weird. She reported that she knows that sometimes I tell Mila "no" but don't actually physically stop her, but it's when she's doing something messy like playing with her water. Alexis knew there was something off about her story, but she didn't fully catch that it was a safety issue.
Which is fine. Alexis has time to figure these things out. I do expect adults working at a daycare to know the difference, though.
Thus, I very suddenly managed to find a new daycare. So far, everything is better. There's nothing like changing all of the things all at once.