Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Elena started daycare at 6 months of age. She was very small, very quiet, and her cross-eyedness was pretty obvious by then. The caretakers were very nice, very loving, and we were happy with the environment. When I would come to pick her up, I would see the caretakers on the floor with a fussy baby, trying to calm them by holding/bouncing them in one hand while tapping a bouncy seat to calm another fussy baby. The quiet/well behaved babies would be around them, in other bouncy chairs or on the floor. I realized that most likely, Elena was in a bouncy seat, probably largely being ignored, during times like those. It made me a little sad, but the reality is, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. I know they cared for my little girl, but the differences between she and the other babies grew on me each day. As winter approached, I learned about RSV season, and it scared me to death. I took Elena to daycare every morning, thinking, “am I risking my daughter’s life for my job?!”. I started thinking about home care. The nanny search started in earnest right before Elena’s first strabismus operation. I had my parents come to help care for her after Thanksgiving, and we decided to hire a nanny. It turned out to be the best decision ever—RSV ran through the daycare 2 weeks after I pulled Elena out. One of the babies, a term girl, was hospitalized and never came back.

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