MDO, what do you think?

18 posts / 0 new
Last post
Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529
MDO, what do you think?

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?

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

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. Blum 3 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.

Joined: 04/09/06
Posts: 1244

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! Smile 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.

Joined: 06/10/07
Posts: 1692

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.

AshnBill's picture
Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 5333

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.

Lavender444's picture
Joined: 03/27/03
Posts: 1944

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.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

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. Lol

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

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.

Joined: 06/10/07
Posts: 1692

"Kayla1981" wrote:

I am supposed to pay the registration fee today and I'm already I tears. What am I getting myself into?? .

:bighug: What is this program like? Twice a week?

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

I think you have some very normal fears right now! :grouphug:

Joined: 04/09/06
Posts: 1244

:bigarmhug: Separation is so hard, even when it is only for a few hours. I think your feelings are very normal.

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

"Readyforbaby1" wrote:

:bighug: What is this program like? Twice a week?

Well, yes, it was twice a week but they went 9-4. That felt like such a long day for a 2 year old. I'm speaking in past tense because I backed out. I was going to pay the registration fee on Monday and put it off all day. By 10pm I decided I was not going to enroll her and I felt relieved. Once I felt the relief, I realized it must be the right decision for now. I do want to put her in MDO our pre-K before she starts Kindergarten. I will either start her next year or the next. We will see. The last week has gone much better in terms of her behavior and that is part of the reason I am feeling more at ease with waiting. I'm really hoping things will continue to be more manageable. We did finally realize she is cutting some molars. That has been part of the issue. We are also more settled in our new home so maybe that has helped. I'm finding ways to help her cope with her jealousy of Nora as well. I haven't perfected it by any means, but I do think it's gotten better.

Now that I've decided not to put her in MDO for now, I am going to try to plan more activities for us. You all have given me some great ideas, so thank you.

Joined: 06/10/07
Posts: 1692

Wow, Kayla! 9-4 does seem so long for a two-year-old. Sounds like Jordan has had lots going on with moving and those teeth and you made a perfect decision. Can't wait to hear about some of the fun things you'll do this fall. Biggrin

Joined: 04/09/06
Posts: 1244

9-4 really does seem like a long time for MDO. My girls go to daycare everyday from 7:30-4:30/5:00. They are used to that though since they started in daycare at 5 months old. I do highly recommend preschool when she is old enough. Kindergarten really is like 1st or 2nd grade now. Kids are expected to be pre-reading before entering (and have all requisite phonics skills as well). The expectation is that kids will be reading by the middle of the year. Isaiah even had spelling tests, sight word tests, and math homework when he was in K. Kids are also expected to be behavior-ready for K as well. They need to understand how to follow classroom rules, sit at a desk, listen, socialize appropriately with their peers, etc... I do think that someone can do all of these things at home if they implement a preschool curriculum, essentially home schooling their preschooler before starting K. However, I think if you can afford it, the preschool experience is invaluable. The good thing is that you have time before you have to give that too much thought. Just make sure you know the preschool enrollment deadlines and requirements. In some areas, it is very competitive and can be hard to get into preschools (although, I think that crazy stuff is mostly East and West Coast).

I look forward to hearing what activities you plan. I need ideas.

joysiloo's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1054

One of my mom friends (met her through the attachment parenting group) did a MDO at her home with her two kids and four others. It was T/Th mornings from 9-12 and it cost us $150 a month. Daphne started at about 20 months and finished at the end of May. It was so wonderful. I got a break (or time with just Mac after he was born) and she had lots of fun. She also developed a lot socially. I preferred the small in-home setting and I liked that I was helping another mom be able to stay at home with her kids financially.

I bet your area has an education list serve. I would get on there and ask about in-home options.
You'll love having her in a program...it's stressful the first week or so, but it's really great when then come home happy and tired and you'll be able to parent better after getting a break.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

9-4?! That's long for a MDO from what little I know. Aren't they usually just in the morning like 1-2 times a week? I definitely would have passed with those hours.

AshnBill's picture
Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 5333

That does seem like a long day! I'm glad you're feeling relief now. You'll probably find it easier to get out and do things outside of the house the older Nora gets and as she gets more on a predictable schedule.

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

"joysiloo" wrote:

One of my mom friends (met her through the attachment parenting group) did a MDO at her home with her two kids and four others. It was T/Th mornings from 9-12 and it cost us $150 a month. Daphne started at about 20 months and finished at the end of May. It was so wonderful. I got a break (or time with just Mac after he was born) and she had lots of fun. She also developed a lot socially. I preferred the small in-home setting and I liked that I was helping another mom be able to stay at home with her kids financially.

I bet your area has an education list serve. I would get on there and ask about in-home options.
You'll love having her in a program...it's stressful the first week or so, but it's really great when then come home happy and tired and you'll be able to parent better after getting a break.

Something like that sounds perfect. I even said that if it had been a half day, I am pretty sure I would have followed through with it. I would still appreciate a couple of little breaks during the week. I know Jordan would enjoy playing with other kids too. All of the MDO programs that I contacted went from at least 9-2. I was like you all, I thought they were usually shorter days. Even half days. Maybe that has changed over the years?

What is an education list serve?