When I had Zekey, I stayed at home with him full-time. I knew that boy through and through. If he was in a bad-mood - I knew exactly why. If he broke out into a rash - I knew what he was exposed to to break him out. If he got sick - I know where he got it from. If he started saying something new - I knew where he learned it.
About a year ago, I started back working (part-time) and I put Zekey in daycare (part-time). As my hours increased, he started going full-time. At first, I loved it.
He got to play with kids all day and he was learning so much. That boy can count to twenty in SPANISH! (well, sometimes he skips 9 and 12). And he knows all his numbers, letters, days of the week, and months of the year. He doesn't *understand* what day it is - he IS only 2. But it is fun to hear him rattling off the months of the year (and it impresses friends and family). ;)
Also, I KNEW his daycare provider loved him. One time I was over there and while the other kids were sitting at the table eating lunch, she had Zekey in her lap and was FEEDING him (he was the youngest). Also, she told me one time that Zekey would only take a nap if she laid down with him. Now, what daycare provider is going to lay down with your child?
Unfortunately, when he started going there, I lost the intimate knowledge of him. He would say something - and I didn't know where he got it from. I didn't know what he was eating. She posted a menu - but I don't think it included snacks. And it wasn't like the menu was negotiable. Once I saw that she fed them DOUGHNUTS for breakfast. One time he threw up something bright red (maybe koolaid or Popsicle or something). Which I did NOT feed him.
Also, his daycare provider would go on random field trips. One time she told me she had to take her daughter to get her nails done so she was taking the kids with her. (Meanwhile I am walking around here looking like a monster because I can't get my eyebrows done because I do not want to expose my kids to nail salon fumes.)
She even sent a newsletter that said :
I felt like I was co-parenting! Also, even though I like to impress friends and family with Zekey's "knowledge", I know that rote memorization does not mean much. And that is what he was doing when he was 'learning' - just memorizing facts that he really didn't understand.
So, I took him out.
He now goes to an in-town Waldorf preschool part-time (if you are in Atlanta and want more info - send me a message). Their educational philosophy matches mine AND I pack his lunch. So, now I have more control over his life. And because he only goes 3 mornings a week, we are spending a lot more time together.
Unfortunately, when we are spending all this time together - he is not playing with his friends. He constantly asks for his friends at his previous daycare. He is so bored at home. And when he is bored, he starts acting up (throwing tantrums and his toys about).
Instead of fussing at him/putting him in timeout all day, I have to give him another playmate or allow him to Dora the Explorer. So unless I can find someone else for him to play with, he has to watch hours and HOURS of Dora. This sucks for two reasons. One, I feel like a horrible mother for letting him watch that much tv. And two, Dora makes me want to kill myself.
What should I do?