About the Author

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Plainville, CT, United States
Having achieved my goal of becoming a published author, I contribute it to the fact that I have been writing since the age of 9. My boys were the inspiration for my children's stories and my life is the inspiration for my autobiography. I have a tendency to write about whatever I feel, relevant, interesting or not. I welcome any comments you may have, positive or constructive. Thank you so much for visiting and following my blog, My life.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stepping Stones

There comes a time in your life when you have to sit back and realize that you are an adult.  Whether you like it or not, you are the grownup and no matter how much you don't want to, you have to start acting like one.  It can be very frustrating when  you reach this point, because while you have taken the step to "act your age", not everyone else is going to unfortunately.

I put this all into perspective this weekend.  I had a wonderful visit with my father and stepmother, traveling to Delaware to make the visit happen.  I brought along my two sons, and of course my grandson.  Jumping ahead a little, let me just mention that my sons ex-wife, (and Axel's mother) also lives in Delaware.

The ride down was a little stressful, not really knowing how everything was going to turn out.  Michael had every right to come, as we were visiting his grandparents.  Jennifer had every right to be there, she wanted to see her son. Well, i was afraid that i was going to pack up and go home before the visit even started.  I had a gut feeling that Jennifer was going to bring her boyfriend along and was dreading the friction that was going to be there between he and my son Michael.  Tensions were high, i was having anxiety, and to tell you the truth, was beginning to regret going.

We arrived around 10:30 Friday evening.  I was stressed, and to add to it, couldn't find my wallet, fearing that i had left it in the service area we stopped at a couple hours prior to our arrival.  (I found my wallet in the truck thank goodness!)

Saturday am was going to be the test.  That's when Jennifer and Kyle were going to come over for a visit.  I was dreading it, as on the ride there, she said that they would be over around 9 or 10.  That was too early, i thought 11-12 would be better (so we could wake up, eat breakfast, shower, etc), and she wasn't really accepting that, stating that "well, i will just call them myself".  Oh boy, here we go.

Around 10, Jennifer called the house asking if it was OK if they came over now.  This was a tremendous relief to me.  I had expected a knock on the door at 9 while we were all fighting over the coffeepot still.  One gold star for Jennifer.  stress level just went down a notch.

She and Kyle arrived about a half hour later.  Everyone was nervous, anxious and not sure what to make of the situation.  Understandable considering the circumstances.

Fast forward a few hours.  Michael and Kyle getting along great (weird huh?), Jennifer and I had a "heart-to-heart" talk, and Axel found a new playmate (Mommy).  Stress level about gone now.  The day was turning out OK after all.  I was pleasantly surprised......

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I never thought i would be writing about a daycare experience, as both of my children are in their 20's.  Circumstances changed though, when my husband and I took on the responsibility of caring for our grandson.  At first, a relative watched him, but once he turned 1, he got to be a handful, so we started looking for daycare elsewhere.
I sent Axel to a home daycare.  I wanted him to have the experience with other children, but not in a "center" environment.  Being in a home daycare is supposed to be relaxing, fun, etc.....just as if he were home.  Well, at first?  It seemed to be that way......
He had been going there for about a year.  I THOUGHT everything was going well. No, we weren't on the same page on everything, but then i didn't agree with a lot of what his caretaker was doing, and i was not about to force him to do something that i did not agree with, nor that he was ready for.  Not in this lifetime.
Now you have to understand that my husband and I do not always see eye to eye on a lot of things with Axel.  Where as I may be the one that tries to adhere to the routine, he is the one that is more lenient, and gives in more easily - probably because Axel has his grandfather wrapped around his little finger......
I was constantly being told by his caregiver that "he is never going to listen to me until he listens to you at home". We didn't have a problem with him, other than the typical i'm 2 so deal with it, behaviors..... I certainly didn't expect him to act as though he was older than 2, but apparently she did.
Let me just give you an idea of how things went:
-Upon Arrival at daycare, the children were expected to sit in their high chairs and wait for breakfast to be made.
-the "daycare" room was aproximately 9x10.  This is the room that the children were confined to during the day.  they were not allowed to play in the house. They were allowed out in the dining room or kitchen at meal times only.  any other time (with the exception of going outside to play), they were to stay in the daycare room.  There was even a split door so that they couldn't "escape".
-Lunch was at a specific time and if the child was not hungry, oh well.  Thats when you are having lunch and you are not having anything else until snack time.  Same went for breakfast.
-Nap time - naps were taken at a specific time as well, whether you were tired or not.  If you did not sleep, don't try to fall asleep later, because you will not be able to.  When nap time is over, you lose.
-Crib/pack n play vs. mat - Naturally small children under the age of 3 are generally still in a crib, as is Axel.  Well, a pack and play is defenitely not a crib, and Axel knew it.  He is extremely smart for his age....he knew that he could get out of the pack and play, and he did. Several times.  He would strategically grab the side rail, brace his feet on the netting and "flip" himself out of the pack n play.  Pretty good for a less than two year old i might add......
Well, seeing as how he got himself out of the pack n play, apparently the provider felt that he was old enough to sleep on a mat.  Well, apparently he felt differently, as he should.  there was no way in hell he was sleeping on that mat. He wasn't even in a toddler bed yet, so how she expected him to sleep on the mat was beyond me.
The fight was on at that point. He wasn't sleeping on the mat, so when nap time was over, it was over.  After a while of this routine on a daily basis, he was literally exhausted. To a toddler, Exhausted = miserable. Period.  Every time i went to pick him up he was in time out for something.  I was being told that he was hitting the day care provider, spitting, kicking, etc. all after i walked out the door.  Now part of me feels that it was an exaggeration on her part, but the other part of me now, feels that he was rebelling because of the military conditions of the daycare.
I understand that when there are three or more children, it is hard to "rock" or "comfort" a child to sleep, but you know what?  You just do it. If you have one that won't go to sleep, you wait until the other are (that apparently have no problem going to sleep) and then you comfort and rock the child that is having trouble.  Isn't that what a home daycare is all about?  So the child feels like he is surrounded by the comforts of home?
I don't know.  Maybe its just me.......
I felt alot of times that my grandson was 2, yet because he was smart for his age, he was expected to act like he was older.  He was expected to sleep on a mat, He was expected to share as well as the older kids. he was expected to listen and act like her perfect children. He was two years old.  I don't care how smart he was at that age, he was still two years old.  He is going to have tantrums, he is going to tell you no, he is going to give you a hard time and no, he is not going to share.
Well, December comes around, a week before Christmas and upon dropping axel off for the day i am greeted with "Wednesday will be Axel's last day".  Talk about a slap in the face. There was no warning, there was no "if things dont change i will have to excuse axel from daycare" no nothing.  I guess when you run a "home" daycare, common courtesy is something that you don't have to have any more.  Part of me was relieved in a way.  Every time i dropped him off i felt bad because he went from a car seat to a high chair because they were not allowed to play while she made breakfast for them.  I'm sure that sooner or later i would have been the one to take him out of there, but she beat me to the punch.
Now the race was on to find another daycare provider.  I had a week.  I called a few, was very honest as to the fact that my two year old grandson got kicked out of daycare for being two, and proceed to ask them how they would handle these types of situations.  After two or three phone calls, i found my new day care provider.
This one came across as perky, stern, but fun too.  She was the one that responded with the "home day care" answers that one would expect.  When i asked her "how would you handle my grandson not wanting to take a nap, and giving you a hard time about it".  Her response?  "I would lay him on the floor in the living room, put in a movie and eventually he would fall asleep.  I win." Gold Star.....  When i asked her about the fact that he climbs out of the pack n play "I have a crib so thats not an issue."  When i explained to her about the "behaviors" he was showing at the other daycare:  "He is two. he is going to act up". I knew that she was going to be the best choice, and i was right.
Fast forward to today.  Axel loves going to his new daycare.  He is three now, and going on his second year with her.  He has made a special friend, no longer sleeps in the crib, sleeps on the mat with no problems at all, because she didn't make him.  Axel chose to sleep on the mat when he was ready to and has ever since.   There is no kicking, spitting, slapping. There are none of the previous behaviors present.  As a matter of fact, there were not from day one.  The only issue was the separation anxiety - new daycare, clingy child.  Now i have to ask him for a hug when i leave!  But isn't that the way it is supposed to be?