Dan & I have made the decision to search out in-home childcare for Leah.
On Friday, I received another call at work from the daycare stating that Leah had a low-grade fever of 100. I explained that it's related to her molars coming in, that even her doctor said so last week. I asked if she had any other symptoms. They said she hadn't eaten or drank much at breakfast. Ugh, of course not, because her mouth HURTS! Still, they said, "Well you just never know" (YES, we DO know!) and "Could you come pick her up?" Grrrrr.
I ended up asking them if she could stay there to nap since it was coming up on naptime. They said yes and asked if someone could get her afterwards. Because it was Friday and we were VERY busy, and Dan was by himself in his office, I didn't even get over there until 3:45. One of the teachers was like, "She's been so lethargic all day."
Well, I get Leah in the car and take her to Walmart to kill a little bit of time before we could pick up Dan from work. She was FINE! I touched her head and she didn't feel warm at all. She perked up when we walked through the toy aisles and she was babbling away. Overall, she was great all weekend. She had a few freak-outs, which were most likely teething related but it was clear to us that she was happy and in a pretty pleasant mood for the most part.
So, not only are Dan & I fed up with this daycare calling us for what seems like every little thing (and using up a bunch of sick time!) but we think the transition to the toddler room has really, really upset Leah more than we first realized. If she seems lethargic all day but perks up as soon as she's with us, could she be depressed? As I thought about it further, I took note of Leah's moods when we pick her up each day...
Drop-off has always been trying. We do notice a difference, which we thought was simply due to unfamiliarity with the new teachers. She used to whine or fuss just a bit in the infant room and would quiet down usually before Dan & I even left. Now, she full out WAILS at dropoff. Despite the fussing at dropoff in the infant room, Leah would be very happy and cheerful at pick-up. She'd babble, smile, wave bye to the teachers, etc. Now, in the toddler room, she will start crying as soon as she sees us at pickup. She points to the door and doesn't wave bye to anyone. She clearly just wants to get out of there.
Bottom line, we don't think she's happy. And sure, she may adjust over time as she gets to know these teachers. But then what? She'll move up to another room, and then another room, only to start this whole cycle all over again. We don't want that for her.
So, the next most logical option appears to be in-home childcare where Leah will have one caregiver over several years until she's ready for school. She can grow attached to one person, just like she did with Chandre, but won't have to keep swapping around.
I already found one woman who seems very promising. She has 5 kids of her own, has 28 years experience, and has had in-home daycare for years. When I emailed her, she responded very promptly with her own forms to fill out, background info, policies/procedures, etc. She only takes 4 children and has 2 right now. Dan & I are hoping to meet with her sometime this week. She also doesn't send kids home unless their fever hits 102 degrees, which usually indicates some type of infection!
I truly do think this would be the best option for Leah. It would be another transition but in the long run, it would be so beneficial. She'd be in a quiet home instead of a daycare and she'd get a LOT of individual attention. The only downside is if the caregiver gets sick or something, then there's really no backup. But we think it would be worth it for Leah's sake. Pretty much all of the moms I've talked to who use in-home childcare are VERY happy with their decisions for the reasons I've mentioned.
So, that's where we are right now. Dan & I are very gung-ho about this and are hoping that maybe we call pull Leah out of the center by the 4th of July. As always, I'll keep you posted.