Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Do You Really Know?

Do you REALLY know what your kids do at daycare?  When your provider says they went to the park, do you REALLY know what that means?
Meg and I sometimes go to our local park in the mornings.  There are usually several "day care ladies" there and today was no exception.  There were two.  "Old Lady" had three "walkers" (around age 2 1/2 to 3) and one stroller kid (looked like 18 months).  And a dog.  "Fat Lady" had one walker and one infant in a carseat-stroller and a dog.
Now, the Old Lady did pay attention to her three kids playing in the park, and a small bit of attention to the kid in the stroller.  But the kid in the stroller never became a kid in the park.  She didn't play with the children, but at least she was cognizant of them.

Fat Lady though.  She didn't notice when the dog wandered off (she had been stepping on the leash).  She never made any comments to the girl playing in the park.  She never interacted with the baby in the carseat.  Most of the time she appeared to be texting on a cell phone.  The "baby" in the carseat was at least 6 months old....looking a little too big for the infant carseat actually.  The baby WAS awake, and did make some noise, but was not actively engaged in any way.

Do you know how long your children are spending in their carseats and strollers (daycare kids or not)?  I see kids at swimming lessons and story time that have been in the carseat or stroller for at least an hour, continuously.  Think about that.  How do you feel when you've been sitting for an hour?  How would you feel if you had a diaper on?  You can see other adults and kids, but they don't seem interested in interacting with you.  You'd respond in one of two ways...withdrawal ("He's such a good baby, never makes a peep in the stroller") or with anger/frustration ("He's such a handful; won't sit in the stroller for long!").  Which of these is the "preferred" response?  Perhaps that depends on who you ask.  I don't want zombie kids, do you?

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