I Hate the Rate Increases

The only thing I hate more than paying so much for daycare, is a daycare that raises its rates twice a year. The cost of daycare is easily out pacing the rate of inflation. More unbelievably, it is out pacing the price increases of cable television, the previous leader in rate increases.

For infants the rates start high. This, they say, is because infants require more care and smaller classes. They assure you that as your child grows older and the class size go up you will be charged less.

Each time Hailey moves to the next classroom, we get about one month of reduced tuition and then **BAM** a tuition increase and we are back to paying the old rate again.

Last month daycare switched to a weekly tuition payment plan. We used to pay a constant rate for each month. Now, we pay an amount that depends on the number of Mondays in each month. I stated at the time of the change, that this change was made solely to facilitate a tuition increase. Now they can change tuition by 5 or 6 dollars a week and the parents won’t complain. Six dollars a week seems less than $24 or $30 a month.

We are into the second month of Hailey being in the new classroom and we see our first rate increase. We now pay six more dollars a week or $24-$30 more dollars a month depending on how many Mondays are in the month.

We are back to paying the same amount as the last classroom. This classroom has more kids and less supervision. I can’t say that I have been pleased with the level of attention provided to the students when I pick Hailey up in the afternoon, but that matter is for a different rant.

But wait, you get all this and more. This daycare also has additional fees. The registration fee of $75 is an annual recurring fee. Why? Your child only registers once right? Not here, only by paying and then repaying a registration fee is your child guaranteed a place. There is a summer activity fee of $40-50. This fee gets your child a daycare produced CD and a low quality daycare t-shirt that doesn’t fit. These items would be free “premiums” in any other business, given as a thank-you for being our customer.

The good times don’t stop there. We also get the privilege of finding alternative care for Hailey on President’s Day. You remember President’s Day don’t you? It’s the holiday that only government offices observe. We get to pay the Children’s Courtyard for the privilege of closing on that day. Splendid.

Hailey Loves You

Tonight as Brianna and I put Hailey to bed, we played word games with Hailey. Brianna would say mommy loves you, and I would say no daddy loves you. Hailey would giggle. Finally after two or three times she said, “Hailey loves you.” and then she repeated mommy loves you, daddy loves you.

Hailey has become very affectionate as of late. She enjoys hugging and kissing now.

In the morning when Brianna is driving Hailey to school I will take Hailey out to the car and give her a kiss goodbye. Then I give mommy a kiss goodbye. If I don’t give mommy a kiss goodbye, Hailey will raise a stink and I will have to make sure that I give mommy a kiss too. Sometimes Hailey will wait until I’m walking off and say, “more kiss.” Brianna makes me come back and do all the kisses over.

Brianna Draws Closer to the Hill

Brianna’s birthday was the 24th. She inches closer and closer to the magic 3-0. For her it was a good time. Her moms brought a delicious chocolate cake and diner. I will post a picture once I get back to writing my photo gallery software.

We gave Brianna a card that we made ourselves. We had some leftover card stock and it printed out nicely. Hailey impressed us all by remembering that the day was “mommy’s birthday.” She also sang Happy Birthday to her.

Two Accidents in Two Days

Little Hailey has received two accident reports from daycare in only two days. Yesterday, she managed to cut two fingers on her hand. The daycare said Hailey didn’t cry when it happened so they only noticed later when they saw the blood on her jacket, stuffed lamb, and pants. Today Hailey fell off the toy firetruck while playing outside and landed on her face. Her nose is bruised and her lip is puffy. Her nose looked a little strange and overall she was acting cranky and irritable so we took her to after-hours to make sure there was nothing else wrong. She now has a clean bill of health with no unseen damage.

You may not know this but HEB makes a spray cleaner called Bravo. Bravo is excellent at removing dried blood stains. I sprayed Hailey’s jacket, jeans, and stuffed lamb and threw all three in the washer. All the blood is gone. “If you need to get blood out, use Bravo!” Somehow I don’t think HEB will be adapting that tag line for their advertising, but hey, it’s true.

Move Guys

Every day the sponge that is Hailey’s brain absorbs more of the world around her. At daycare she has moved to the next class level, leaving the familiarity of Stacie, Bobbie, Alex, and ‘Bella behind, but not forgotten. We begin each day explaining to Hailey where the different people she knows have gone.

Hailey runs through her mental contact list querying for the present location of her acquaintances. Usually we begin with, “Stacie go?” because school is Hailey’s first stop. “Stacie go?” asks Hailey. “She’s at school” we respond. Satisfied, Hailey moves to the next item, “Bobbie go?”

Each day, we are asked, and we report, on the presence of at least: Stacie, Bobbie, Alex, Alex’s Daddy, Alex’s Mommy, ‘Bella, Gamma, Beta, Nanny, Papa, Grandpa, Lyndi, Lulu, Bevo, Baby, and Natasha. We have the most fun with Natasha. We turn the question onto Hailey and say, “I don’t know Hailey, where did Natasha go?” Without thinking she will say firmly, “Work!” Then we say, “Does Natasha go to work?” and Hailey will smugly reply, “No!” Though she knows Natasha doesn’t work she tells us everyday that Natasha is at work. I think she enjoys getting the last word in and saying No.

Hailey gives us misleading information regarding her colors as well. When she is playing by herself she will pick up the cats toys, small colored balls, and put them in the basket naming each color as she moves along. When it is time for Hailey to show off her knowledge everything is suddenly blue. Hailey will pick up the pink ball, say pink and then put it in the basket. If you say, while Hailey is holding the ball, Hailey what color is that ball? It is suddenly blue. She knows it pink, or red, or green, or yellow. But it is much more fun to taunt the parents and say it is blue.

Hailey has also learned the meaning of mine and the use of the possessive noun. Hailey will let mommy know that it is “her daddy.” She will let us all know that the snacks are Hailey’s snacks. The jacket is Hailey’s jacket. The juice is Hailey’s juice. This weekend Nene and Gabie came over. When it looked like Nene was walking to close to her daddy, Hailey came and grabbed my legs and said “my daddy.” Nene was unphased, so Hailey tried a new tactic, this time she said “Hailey’s daddy.”

The fantasies and imagination of being a child are starting to show through strongly in Hailey’s behavior. Hailey has three stuffed animals that she likes to sleep with: Lulu, Bevo, and Baby. Yes, the baby doll was named baby, Hailey wasn’t feeling very creative the day she handed out names. This morning, Hailey met me at the baby-gate to her door. All three companions stuffed under her arm. Of course, they also had to come with us for the morning-get-ready-ritual.

Tonight Hailey crawled into bed and arranged each of her three bedtime companions in her bed. Lulu, Bevo, and Baby were carefully placed with their heads on the pillow and the blanket was moved up around them. Hailey then climbed to the middle of their pillow and said, “Move guys.”