Thursday, October 30, 2008

An ELC first 1st

First, we have a talker! I'll post another video at the end, essentially the exact same Miles Monologue, but from a different night. (Apologies for showing the mobile twice...I was trying to get a good shot for a future post.)

I really don't have time tonight to compose something of merit for the blog, but needed to check one thing off of my blog topic "to do" list or I will go nutty.

I cannot say enough good things about Miles's ELC experience (Early Learning Center). I really struggled with the idea of childcare for such a young baby, and when I confront sentiments like this recent Newsweek article or this Mem Fox bit, I am still quite defensive, and then always feel pangs of guilt. To be fair, I love Mem Fox's books (10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes is a Miles favorite), and she has responded to the comment in an agreeable way. I do, in fairness, understand where she is coming from, and think she has some valid points. Yet, as someone who is not really in a position to stay at home at this point, I will always struggle with the thought that I could be doing the whole motherhood thing better. Enter Mommy guilt.

(Let me break here, and address a question someone had--when you see words underlined and in blue/purple, you can click on the word, and it will take you to a related link/story/picture, etc.)

I tried to find a Mommy group around the new area that we moved to, and all of them are for Stay At Home Moms (SAHMs). They meet during the week in the mornings, and that just doesn't work with my schedule. Now that I am trying to keep off of the Internet, there are days that I do feel lonely and like I am missing the connection of other moms. I do keep in regular contact with a handful of new moms via e-mail (and Facebook!) Additionally, I really struggle with not having family around-especially my 3 sisters-in-law and mother, mother-in-law, and also my California/WI "surrogate sisters" (Studs, Becs and Schlotty). Time to break, or I'll start tearing up.

Miles is at the ELC 5 days a week, and both Eric and I work more than 40 hours a week (plus, we are both full time parents!), and I'll be the first to say, it is not easy. But, we are fortunate enough to have had Eric's work decide that it was time to establish a childcare center for faculty families. Miles is in the inaugural class of the ELC with 3 other boys, and I just love the arrangement. What is nice is that the center is 1 mile from our home, and on days that I work from home, I can go see him at lunch, feed him, play with all of the boys, and just escape the working world. (Also, I usually coordinate my visits with Eric's schedule so I can see him as well.) Even on days when I am in the office, it feels so good to talk with Eric and know that he visited Miles for a few minutes a couple times a day. When I pick Miles up, he is usually being held by one of Ms J's sons, or like today, being passed around by the girls volleyball team. He is just so loved, and he has no idea what sort of celebrity status he has on that campus.

Earlier this week, there was the ELC's first 1st birthday party! It was for the oldest boy...let's call him The Mayor. He walks around the joint, talking gibberish, like he owns the place. He likes to pat all the other boys and I really think believes that he is in charge. Then, at just about 8 months old, there is The Baby. We call him this because he looks like a picture perfect baby. And then, at a little over 6 months is Bruiser. He just reminds me of a football player--like he could kick Miles's diaper any day. And then quirky Miles (they call him GQ because they think it is funny that we typically don't dress him in traditional baby boy clothes). So, the 4 of them together is like this stinky little fraternity (that will soon be disrupted when Princess joins in December!).

The Mayor's birthday was a hoot, and I laughed so hard as they dressed the boys up in hats and put them together in little chairs and Miles in the bumbo for pictures. I am not going to share pictures as I don't have the permission of the other families, but I will attach a link to a few of the pictures Ms J sent to me from earlier in the day. (Can you tell Miles is "posed" in the rocking chair? The kid looks so uncomfortable).

Hang tight for the last of the Green-itudes...I'll try to post them tomorrow with our Halloween update!


  1. As an early childhood educator and veteran mom, I have to say that I agree with both Mem Fox and the Newsweek article. Their arguments make good sense. That being said, they are dealing in generalities: in many instances the day care situations in which children are placed are not ideal. There is high staff turnover, low status and pay, minimally educated staff (in many states all that is required is a high school degree and an additional course or two),and at times young and inexperienced staff, as well. In larger centers, there is not the level of individual attention for infants needed to promote the optimum growth and development. No wonder they do not fare as well as children of high status parents who stay at home.
    However, when there are ideal circumstances with experienced, well educated staff, in ratios that allow individual attention, I am sure that there would not be the disparity noted in the studies and by Mem Fox. The ELC is a fantastic center with a loving, well-educated and experienced staff. The fact that Miles gets to see Mom and Dad during his days, that he is fawned over by enthusiastic high school students, and enjoys the company of just a few other infants/toddlers, makes his experience a healthy one. This is not the day care situation any article or editorial is addressing!

  2. Oh! I love the Charlie Harper (I assume) mobile!

  3. HE IS TOO adorable. OMG - Miles is giving me the fever.

  4. YAY!! too cute. your blog always inspires me on my blog. i played the video for sophia...she totally speaks his language hee hee

  5. Oh my god he is hilarious. That was just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. Keep the videos coming. I'm so glad that the childcare situation has been such a good experience thus far. You two are very blessed.

  6. My first reaction to this post was laughter--I have similar conversations with Ella all the time and I am glad to know this is totally normal. Miles really is a talker, and it's so cute!

    My second reaction was that it's really comforting to hear (read) another mom who's on the same page I am in a lot of ways. Being a mom can be lonely, working or at home. And, of course, the mommy wars will never end. Your mother is right, Miles is in a great daycare situation and is probably benefiting from it. He has a wonderful teacher and lots of great little friends. He is going to be a well-adjusted, social little boy soon. You know what's best for your family and we all know you and Eric will always do all you can to help Miles in his growth (intellectual, emotional, etc.). I say, guilt be gone--Miles is happy and healthy (and oh so cute).