Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Logan's New Daycare

It's a sad day folks. I now have to wash my own dishes, clean my own floors, and do my own laundry. Man, do I miss having a nanny! Sadly, we said goodbye to Josie on Friday. It was a wonderful luxury having her with us to take care of Logan and do the housework for the past six months, but with Clark's recent string of bad luck in the job department we decided it best to explore other options.

Here's a picture of Logan with Josie on their last day together...sniff sniff...they were together since he was just 8 weeks old and formed a close bond.

But all good things must come to an end, or so they say. Lucky for us the Korean government provides a subsidy in the form of a 'debit card' called the Aisarang Card 아이사랑카드 or "Child Love Card". For multicultural families such as ourselves, childcare is 100% covered for the first 5 years.

There are a variety of different kinds of daycare facilities, called 어린이집 or "Children's House". We found a small, government certified, apartment-style children's house (so-called because it's located on the first floor of an apartment building) in our neighbourhood. It's a 5 minute drive or 25 minute walk from our place. We chose this particular one mainly because of its size. There are 11 children who currently attend (to a maximum allowable of 19).

Several weeks ago, we began taking Logan there for just a few hours at a time a few days a week in order to get him accustomed. He was supposed to start full-time yesterday, but he got a cold, so we waited until today to start him.


These are Logan's new caregivers. The woman on the right is also the owner. They're smiling because I brought them a couple of homemade banana-strawberry muffins :)


There are three children in Logan's age group. At this age, there is one adult to every three children. And when he turns 12 months, he'll be sent to a different room where the ratio is 1 adult to 5 children. Here he is in his Jellymom (Bumbo knockoff) getting ready for his lunch. They don't have highchairs and at first suggested they hold him on their lap to feed him, but we thought it best to bring along the Jellymom to keep him in the practice of sitting on his own to eat.

Though it hasn't been said outright, it's quite obvious that they find our child-rearing practices a bit peculiar. For one, I choose to pack Logan's food instead of having him eat the standard juk 죽 "rice porridge" they serve the kids. From what I understand, juk is served at every meal to the kids in Logan's age group. It's not that I think there's anything at all wrong with rice porridge, I just enjoy making food for Logan and want him to experience the wide variety of flavours and nutrients that exist. Like today, for instance, he feasted on a medley of beef, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots & peas followed later by yogurt and bananas. Also related to our 'unorthodox' feeding habits is the issue of the highchair, or, in this case, lack thereof. Whilst a great many Korean parents choose to spoonfeed their children 'til a ripe age, we would prefer to have Logan learn how to feed himself. I recently read that children gain a sense of independence and self-confidence by successfully feeding themselves. The other thing that seems to befuddle them is his sleeping habits. Their method is to rock him in their arms and when he's almost asleep lie him on a mat on the floor, but they have yet to have any success with this technique. We've explained that he is accustomed to sleeping alone in his own room in a crib, but they insist their method works. I suppose I should wish them good luck because I really don't think they're going to be able to undo 8 months of sleep training, though I hope for their sake they succeed.

Though we miss Josie, we're happy to have Logan in daycare. He's going to learn to socialize with other babies (he's already made one cry by pulling the poor guy's hair), learn to speak Korean, and no doubt learn some Korean mannerisms.  Have fun Bubba!

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