I know I said I was going to write about Halloween, but quite frankly, something else is on my mind and I want to write about it. I should make a disclaimer that I probably seem very angry throughout this post ... I am. This has been a long and exhausting battle, but fortunately, there is a very very happy ending.
In Lubbock, we loved our daycare. The most aggregious thing they did was give her juice instead of water for two days. Seriously ... not the end of the world. Otherwise, they were perfect. Quite honestly, Liliana learned more while there than at home. That's just the way it was. She loved being there, would run (well at that time, crawl) AWAY from me when I would go pick her up, and I was at peace when dropping her off.
Once we moved to Little Rock, things were immediately different. We put Liliana in a daycare that wasn't our top choice, but we thought it would suffice until we could get her in to other daycares with mile long waiting lists. When she started at this daycare, my first inclication was that I wasn't thrilled, but I thought it would be good enough. The ladies were ok. They weren't great ... weren't super involved ... but at least from what I could tell, it could be worse.
Then in August she changed to her big girl room and problems started. I haven't spoken about this on the blog because quite truthfully I have felt horrible since then about dropping my daughter off at daycare and if I typed it out that her new daycare wasn't even safe, it would be official that I would be nominated for worst the worst Mother of the year award.
Ok, well ... maybe I'm not THIS bad, but still ... not good.
In August, Liliana got a bite mark on her arm. When the daycare called, I was actually not upset about it. I realize that these things happen. I wasn't per-se happy about it, but I said ok and asked what their plans were to help the problem. They said they'd keep an eye on the biting baby more.
The next day (YES the NEXT day) I got another call. This time, her bite was on her back. I started getting a little bit upset at this point. They also told me the parents of the biting baby would not be contacted (something they refuse to admit that they said now).
THREE DAYS later, I get another injury report saying "a friend scratched Liliana on her back." Weird thing though ... the scratch looked remarkably a lot like teeth and in the shape of a mouth. Hmm.
Through all this, Evan and I stayed pretty mum about the whole thing. And, something I haven't mentioned ... some of these bites drew blood. Yeah, they weren't tiny bites. We weren't happy and we started calling other daycares asking where her wait list status was. I was basically pleading and begging other daycares to have openings.
Things calmed down for 6 weeks though and we started thinking perhaps we overreacted by not giving this daycare enough time.
Then last week I got a call (I'm starting to dread when I see the Caller ID at work show up with her daycare name). "a friend bit Liliana on her face." Here, I finally lost it. The arm is one thing. The face, close to the eye, is another. I was livid and furious. Fortunately for them, they left this as a voicemail because I would have been yelling too loud for the students to hear the bell at school. When I called them back (this time, Evan and I conferenced called them because we were too angry to not say anything) they said "well these things happen and it wouldn't be fair to quarantine the biting baby." What I basically hear with this is "it's not fair to the other baby, so your baby is going to be punished."
Let me get one thing straight here. I know that babies bite! Liliana isn't a biter, but our next child very well may be! HOWEVER, I think that you should do things to try and alter that behavior. And when you tell me "well we're doing the best we can," my answer was "your best IS NOT good enough."
When I saw THIS on her face, I was pretty mortified. After two conference calls, we decided Liliana should move rooms (see how accomodating we are? We were trying different things!). Liliana went to a room with older children (about 4 months older) because supposedly this would decrease chances of biting.
Friday ... guess what call I got? That's right.
She got bit a FIFTH time. That was ENOUGH.
I went to tour another daycare (a Montessori that I am a HUGE fan of). She has been on the waiting list for this Montessori and was supposed to start in January. I explained to them our dilemma and told them that for US, waiting until January could mean 5 more bite marks AT LEAST.
After the FIFTH bite mark call, the Montessori called with AMAZING news. The next person on the waiting list decided to stay home with a Nanny SOOOOO Liliana starts in a week!!!!!
I GLADLY put in Liliana's two week notice at the old place and we are paying double daycare for a week but frankly, I don't care. We tried to argue that we shouldn't have to pay the old daycare because they didn't fulfill their obligations to keep our daughter safe, but they were quite unaccomodating. I could fight it, but that's not what's important to me. To me, what's important is that Liliana is safe, that she's in an environment where she's LEARNING (which she does NONE of right now), and most importantly, that she is happy.
A happy baby makes a happy Mommy and Daddy. And, it took us a few months, but we'll finally be there!
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