Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The holy war

So apparently it's Jews vs. Christians when it comes to preschool. I have it narrowed down to the temple preschool I visited (no wait list, can start at 2, $310 a month) and a local Congregational preschool (emailed me today that the earliest B could start would be next summer, can only tour the school during the month of February, but only $225 a month). It's tough because technically I couldn't even go see the Congregational school until B would be ok'd to start at the Jewish temple school, so how would that work? Is it worth it to me to hold out to try to save $90 a month? 

And then I keep asking myself...is any of this really necessary? My whole goal with this is to make sure B is socialized and stimulated enough...but does it matter this little, or at two or even three? I feel like it does, but I'm no expert. Is it silly to have B in "school" this early? Or is it perfectly reasonable considering he only has me all day and god knows I'm no childhood development expert. My idea of stimulating a toddler is having him stand in his playpen while I feed him blueberries and The Sopranos plays on the TV. 

So I keep vacillating. Yes, I want the best for him and to make sure he isn't missing out. But boy, $300 a month is a big chunk, especially when it's for so short a time each week that it's not like I'll get any benefit from it, not really. So is it just a very expensive experiment? 

Yesterday at the park we encountered a boy that was born three days after B, and yet seemed miles ahead in development. He was walking like a pro - not crawling at all - and really communicating with his mother, naming objects and responding to her requests. B does none of these things - we don't communicate at all, and he makes zero attempts at naming things or doing something I ask. I'm not saying I think he's delayed or anything - I'm pretty convinced he's totally on point with his development. But it makes me wonder if I'm not doing enough to bring it out in him; I assume he can't understand me and won't do what I ask, so I don't try. Am I selling him short? The last few days I've really made an effort to name things, ask him to hand me things, etc. The moment he actually says "mama" with intent or calls something by its name will be a revelation to me. He's very verbal and makes all kinds of complex sounds all the time, but says no intentional words. Then I go on babycenter and everyone's 14 month olds can say five or six words. Or are these mothers just full of it? 

Anyway, in more positive news, the magical naptimes have continued. I guess much like the talking you just have to wait for them to be ready, sometimes -  he just seems to know when I take off his pants and pull down the window shade, it's quiet time. He plays nicely for a while and then sleeps, and never wakes until I go get him. It's puzzling. He used to wake up from naps just hysterical and be cranky for ages after. Now he's all smiley and ready to go. What was the secret? I may never know, but I'm certainly grateful!


  1. $300 a month is an amazing deal, actually that would even be an amazing deal where I live (and childcare tends to be cheaper here in general). I think it is very strange that the church won't even give you a tour....makes me wonder if you would be able to drop in to visit B unannounced if he were attending there.

  2. I knew E needed to be in preschool when she was lagging behind in language. Also my SIL (who runs a home daycare) had E a few days & commented how she was very observant & interested in the other kids playing but wouldn't interact. As you said, I knew my mom & I knew nothing about child development...so I found the Jewish temple program (E starts in September) & they have a group my mom takes her to on Fridays for her to get use to it...& the change I've seen in the last number of weeks is amazing! As well after putting into practice the advice from the Speech Pathologist. I'm seeing her personality & speech develop in leaps & bounds!!

  3. Felix had his first real word around 11 months and has 5 words now at almost 13 months. He also points to things, hands me things, and can follow simple requests (give that to me, come here).

    I'm sure B sn't delayed, but it sounds like he'd benefit from some time outside the house with experts who know what he's capable of doing. Felix is in daycare full time with an woman who has an associates degree in childhood development, so I have no idea where he'd be if it was just him and me all day.

  4. As a school psychologist and working with a speech pathologist doing pre-school assessments, what I've gathered is, .. Language, Language, Language. Talk to B, about everything. Name everything, read a book, give one-step directions, descriptive language,"Look at the big ball!" You'd be surprised how much children at that age are actually absorbing.

  5. I think partial daycare is a great idea. My mother will be my child's primary caregiver while I'm at work, but I'm definitely going to get my kids into a part day, 2 or 3 day a week program also. I'm just debating when to start that program (and I'm not even pregnant yet).

    I do think that early learning sets up success or struggles in elementary school - which in turn lead to a child's ideas about his or her ability to succeed later in life. (on this I'm way biased by my own experience). So, I don't think it's wasted money on an experiment. If your gut tells you its important for B to get more interaction with children and childhood development experts, I say trust it.

  6. The moms aren't full of it. My son was saying about a dozen words when he was 14 months old. He's 15 months old now. When we were at the library last month, for example, he walked up to a woman, handed her a book, and said "read." She understood his request immediately. Talking to toddlers works. My son has never been in a daycare, he's at home with me, so anybody can do it, not just child care experts.

  7. I think exposing kids to tons of language helps, but we adults don't get all the credit! There's a wide range of normal. Some kids talk later.

    Do your best to talk to him but don't drive yourself crazy.

    As for daycare... I think it sounds great if you can swing it. But not a do or die deal, either.