This is another installment of our life with our twins….
The boys go to day care on post. It works just like a civilian day care except that most of the children belong to soldiers. It is subsidized and the fee depends on your rank which in theory is a good thing. (It doesn’t make a bit of difference for us, unfortunately). They are open from 5 am to 6 pm. I believe there is one center on post that does 24 hour care for parents who work the night shift. In the military you can have three subsidized options; center based, home based and hourly. The only one that probably requires an explanation is the home based care. Those are private homes where a person provides care for a regulated number of children. The homes are regularly inspected by the military and have to pass rigorous standards. The providers and their household members must pass background checks. Some people prefer the home based care as they feel it is more intimate and sometimes their hours are more flexible. We use the center based care. I made that decision because I feel twins are challenging and I feel more comfortable with more eyes, but that’s just me.
We usually get to day care around 0715 in the morning and try really hard to pick them up NLT 5pm. I hate to be later than 1645 but sometimes MO2 is low leaving the office (that’s another story).
Our day usually goes like this…up at 5 :15 or so. We have to bring in bottles for each baby every day that have to be labeled with name/date which we do the night before. I get the babies up AFTER I’m showered and in my uniform.We try to leave the house by 6:20 but more than likely is it 6:30. MO2 drives and I sit in the back and feed the boys. We bring coffee in the car (it is a 40 minute drive) and I usually also pack breakfast to eat at work.
Our classroom has 8 babies and usually 3 providers. When we drop off there are normally 3-4 children there already. Everyone in their room is under a year and noone is walking. When they walk, they move to a walking infant/toddler room. I am grateful for day care for many reasons. It has been very reassuring to me. For example, I often follow their lead. I didn’t know how to structure my time with the babies and so I do what day care does at home. For example, I now know that the boys can play on their quilt for tummy time, then go to the swing, then to the crib, etc…Before I had day care as a model, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with them for activities, especially when they were very little. I appreciate their teachers’ feedback on things. The boys eat their food (rice cereal, carrots, peas, bananas and sweet potatoes currently) at school. I don’t have to bring in formula (it is provided) unless I want to bring my own or if I am bringing in breast milk. I don’t really have too many complaints about their care. Every day we get a little progress sheet regarding their day and what they did. We are welcome to drop by any time and I do, between meetings or if I am missing them. I had a tough time letting go at first but I’m more confident now. I have to admit I enjoy working because I miss the variety of interactions when I am home. I really look forward to seeing the boys at the end of the day so for now it is working for us.