First, for those loyal readers who read yesterday’s post, Hugh slept better last night. But we don’t think it was the Benadryl because he woke up at 10:20, 11:20, 12:20, then slept until 5:30. So the second half of the night after the Benadryl wore off, he slept better. We’re still desperate for a full night of sleep, though.

Now onto corndogs and caviar.

I initially chose Hugh’s humble church day care for three reasons: 1) it’s located less than a mile from the new house; 2) they allowed him to go part-time so we could keep him at home two days a week; and 3) the small class size plus lots of windows.

Turns out that the downsides, in addition to the constant illnesses he got, were: 1) they don’t WASH THEIR HANDS after diaper changes; 2) they may not be changing his diapers AT ALL until we show up; 3) they fed him CORN AND POTATOES which he’d never had before and was not sent with him to eat; 3) they gave him cold bottles which he wouldn’t finish; 4) they let him scream in his crib to his heart’s content, then asked us, “does he do that at home?”; and 5) when Amy picked him up today, the providers was NOT IN THE ROOM with the 7 babies (which exceeds the allowed ratio of 5 babies).

My heart is pounding I’m so mad.

I called the manager, Miss Tina, who never even gave me her last name, and said, “Today was Hugh’s last day, thank you for the care,” and challenged her in the ensuing silence to tell me I owed the two weeks cancellation fee of $180. She just said, “Thank you.”

I felt like an awful mom for about two minutes, especially when I saw his bloodshot eye where he burst a blood vessel while crying. Really.

But then I realized that he wasn’t there that many days, and we really did think it would be a sweet place with loving, simple care. And he’s in one piece, playing and smiling again. He’ll never remember it. (I say that a lot).

I spent the rest of the day calling, researching, following up on past leads, new leads, searching for the perfect day care. Once I decided that I could forsake convenience, I looked all over the county until I came across a place I’d never heard of called The Children’s Center at Carolina Park. It had me at the logo.

Tasha and I drove straight out there, a 25 minute drive (sigh), and arrived on a lovely 40 acre campus surrounded by trees, greeted by an architecturally pleasing wooden and steel building with bright murals. The lobby took our breath away. The director said all kinds of magic words like “NAEYC accreditation,” “full-time teachers with health care benefits and paid vacation,” “sprinkler system,” “outdoor time,” “music, art, degrees, quilts, Humpty Dumpty, opera, local produce.” And so on.

We visited every classroom and happy, reading, smiling, playing children. And yes, most of them were named Emma or Emerson or Emery. I wish I could say it was a struggle to sacrifice diversity – because there shouldn’t be a trade-off between diversity and quality – but Hugh will have lots of diversity in his life outside daycare, beginning with his neighborhood and his family. And the high quality care will give us such peace of mind.

There was only one spot left in the Caterpillar class. We had to make a quick decision. It was full-time and an inconvenient drive, but guess what, starting Monday, Hugh is a caterpillar!

Who says you can't tell a book by its cover