I've been looking into getting Jordan in a MDO program around us. I feel like part of our behavioral issues have to do with her being bored. There are not that many options close to our home but I did tour one yesterday. The director told me that they had space in their 2 year old room but then I found out after I took the tour that they were full and I would have to be put on a waiting list. That irritated me. I also witnessed the children coming in from the playground and it was a bit hectic so I asked what system they use for making sure all of the kids make it in. She skirted around the question and then said the teachers had the kids in their room memorized so they would know if a child was missing. That really didn't sit well with me. I"ve worked in childcare and that wouldn't have cut it. So, I only know of one other MDO program near us. They are more expensive and I have to provide her lunch but I'm still thinking I should check it out.
Have any of you done MDO? If not MDO, what sort of things have you done to keep your toddler entertained? I want to be flexible but I do have Nora to take care of. We looked into the Little Gym but it's one day a week for 45 minutes and parents have to participate. I feel like it could be difficult to manage if Nora was fussy or needed to eat. Swim lessons would only be an option if I can find someplace that can do the lessons without me in the water. There is a YMCA nearby that I could call.
Any other thoughts? Advice?
The teachers have the kids memorized?! No roll call? No count? Ummmm yeah that would have me raising more than an eyebrow. Doesn't cut it for me either.
I have no idea how I'm going to keep Aiden entertained once Baby Girl is here. None. I feel like I'm already struggling to entertain him some days since I'm already uncomfortable. Pretty sure the park today wore me out way more than it wore Aiden out. There are a couple of groups we participate in (CDing and LLL) where the toddlers all play together in a playroom for the 1-2 hours while moms talk. Definitely something I can keep up with a newborn! Is there baby signing classes near you? That's something that you can do with both in a few months. I know even my little city has classes for 4 months through preschool age and there is a class that's not separated by age for siblings. If we stay here I want to do it in the spring.
What a tough decision. I would not be comfortable with a MDO program that did not have a count or a system to make sure they have every child. I would say the extra expense might be worth it if that the other MDO program has a system in place.
As for other activities, I think it is hard to find balance with two kids. I am sure something like Gymboree requires your participation. I wonder how flexible they are if you must attend to another child? There have to be more moms with toddlers and babies that attend such programs. I think the thing that I have learned with the twins and balancing my son's activities is that sometimes you just do it because the older child needs it. It is really hard sometimes and I often find myself exhausted. For example, Isaiah was on swim team this summer at our pool, and I had to get us all out the door to his practice everyday with snacks, diapers, drinks, and sometimes lunch and swim gear for all three kids. I found it so overwhelming, but it is was important for Isaiah.
We do not have the twins in any activities because a) I work and most activities are during the day, and 2) most are "mommy and me" type programs, which really do not work when it is one parent and twins...I would need a leash! I have tried planning structured activities at home with limited success. Although, that is more due to my lack of creativity and not receiving any form of a craft gene, so I just stink at those things. Thankfully, we spent several days a week at the pool, which allowed my girls a place to run and be active. I did hire someone to help me (my situation is different though) because I need an extra set of hands, so that my girls can go in deeper water to practice swimming. I plan to enroll at least one of the girls in swimming lessons in the spring. Once they turn 3, it is no longer a parent-child swim, but it is independent.
That's tough, Kayla. I would call the YMCA. They may have some activities that you could sign Jordan up for in the gym area so that you don't have to worry about trying to take care of both of them with a pool. I know we have a couple options for swim lessons at night. If your dh is around he could keep Nora while you took Jordan to lessons and that way you'd also have one on one time with just her. If she new that night was her special swim night it might be easier to have her busy with an arts & crafts thing that day at home if she knew it was special night with mommy?!
Do you have a Barnes and Noble nearby? If so, see what they are up to. Mine has a weekly activity time for little kids (not the story hour but a separate activity time) that might be fun to check out. Sorry I don't have any great suggestions. It is hard when there are 2 and one is N's age.
Have you checked through your local school district? Ours has some programs for infants & toddlers. They come out in a catalog the same time the extra-curricular activities comes out for all of the grades. Maybe check out the school district webpage, there might be an Early Childhood area on there.
Those classes have been awesome for us! I go and stay with Miles. We break up into a different room (as he got a little older). There's childcare available for Vivi if I need it, or she can stay in the room too - they're very flexible when you need to tend to your baby. Or she goes to the childcare room for a little bit, and they would bring her back to me when she is needing to nurse or if she needs a diaper change. I could also do classes with Vivi at her age. There's lots of great things through them - Dad & Me Visit the Firestation, trips to the Science Museum, Super Saturday classes, etc.
Last edited by AshnBill; 08-16-2012 at 10:52 AM.
I agree, that MDO program doesn't sound like something I would be comfortable with. Jordan is at a tough age with a younger baby at home. She is old enough to need more interaction, but too young to do classes athat are not parent/tot classes (at least here). I agree getting her out of the house for some activities will be good for you all.
There is a Mom in Andew's parent/tot gymnastics that brings her 2 month old with her. She usually just sleeps in her carseat during class by the bench, which is about 20 ft away in the same room. Sometimes she lays her on a blanket and lets her look around. She has to do some back and forth between the class and her infant, but it works for her and gets them out of the house.
Do you have a gym that will take young babies? That was my solution when the kids were tiny. Although my gym's kids club requires them to be 6 months old.
You could also try classes that allow you to wear Nora in a carrier. My Rec center offers a lot of music and art classes. Those might work for you guys.
Check your local library for story times and toddler activities.
If you're brave enough to meet strangers (which I am not) you can check out meetup.com and see if there are playdates near by.
We have a lot of indoor children activities centers, one ours is called Monkey business that would be good with 2 kids. It has a lot of those little tike type play climbers. I did that a lot with Andrew in a carrier.
If nothing else, find a busy park and let her play.
I just learned yesterday that the tumble gym here has "classes" for walking toddlers that doesn't require parent participation. It's more of a free time with their employees set up around the room at each station, but for just $5 a class it's an hour that I can sit and Aiden can be active! I've actually taken Aiden to this tumble gym once (it's where the local Big Latch On was held), but I never saw mention of it in their front materials - another mom told me when I asked on a local FB page! So ask around - there's bound to be something if tiny Goldsboro has this.
I am so sorry for not responding sooner. I love the ideas and plan to check around here for activities mentioned. I did want to quickly update and say I found another MDO place that seems like a better fit. I think... I am supposed to pay the registration fee today and I'm already I tears. What am I getting myself into?? I'll try to post more later. Need to go tend to the girls.
I think you have some very normal fears right now!