So I was going to write a post about mirror play this week, but this is weighing on my mind more. We joined the YMCA last week. The first few times I took Van to Child Watch I went to the Harris YMCA. This Y is about 20-30 minutes away depending on traffic. Initially, the Y near my house didn’t have any Child Watch openings, then the next time I had to go to Costco, which is near the Harris Y. He did good! They told me he cried for 5 minutes, but then had a little snack, then played. And when I picked him up he didn’t even notice me come in at first! I was able to work out for an hour each day which was awesome!
The past few days I’ve taken him to the Dowd YMCA which we could literally walk to from our house. Y’all it is awful! They have called me every time within 30 minutes saying Van’s “exceeded his cry limit”.
Before I dropped him off this morning I told the woman in charge that he’d probably calm down quicker if she held him for a couple minutes, gave him a snack, then let him play. I also noted his lovie was in the diaper bag so she could give that to him if he got upset. She warned me that after 16 months they try to wean them off snacks but agreed.
Then of course 30 minutes later she called and I went to get him. He was still crying so I asked her if he ate his snack, and she said they didn’t try to give it to him. So much for “weaning”. His lovie was also still at the bottom of the diaper bag. She complained that he wanted “attention the entire time” and that they “just can’t give him that when they have 5 other kids” there. I get that, I really do. But that’s why I suggested giving him a snack after a couple of minutes and/or his lovie.
So I asked what she would recommend and she said to only leave him for 30 minutes (this is basically what we are already doing since they call me to come get him). I agreed, but I don’t see how that will help matters since that’s what we are already doing.
Tomorrow I plan to go a little more early-intervention style and ask her what kind of association she thinks he’s forming while he’s there and with the people there when he cries the whole 30 minutes. I’m hoping she’ll say a negative one (it certainly isn’t positive). Then I plan to ask what we might be able to do to make him more comfortable while he’s there so it doesn’t become such a negative routine for him. Maybe she’ll respond like an actual caregiver and suggest a snack, giving him a comfort object, or holding him his first 2-3 minutes.
I hope so, but sadly I’m getting vibes that she just doesn’t care and wants me to give up.
As an early intervention professional, I have done speech sessions in dozens of daycares. I’ve helped teachers implement strategies to use with children with special needs on a daily basis, and I’ve generally been met with positive, open-minded individuals that truly want to help their students/charges. It was heartbreaking to take on the role of a parent and see how unsupportive this caregiver was. I understand this is just 2 hours of supervision while I exercise, not a daycare, but this is what this person does every day! Can she really be this unwilling to problem-solve with children and their parents?
I’m just super frustrated with this! If we didn’t have baby #2 coming I would just drive out to the Harris Y everyday, but I know that drive plus exercising and driving home just isn’t going to work with a newborn.
If anyone has any tips or words of inspiration I would love to hear them!