Summertime Struggles

Being that it is summertime, I’ve been on the search for toddler classes to keep Dylann occupied. I’m thankful to have summers off so that I can do this with her. I go back to work in August, and there are very few toddler programs that take place in the late afternoon/evening. (Why is that, by the way? I know there are working parents out there that want to enrich their children’s learning experiences, too.)

The Main Library in our area has a toddler story time that takes place once a week, and it’s FREE! We tried it out last week, and it went pretty well. There were lots of little ones around Dylann’s age group, which was great as she needs to be around people her age more. We sang songs with funny actions, read books, had play time, and even made a simple art project. I really only had 2 BIG issues with the program:

A part of the play area smelled like urine.

The toys looked like they hadn’t been cleaned. Like ever.

Maybe it was the carpet, or perhaps a little one was running around with soiled underpants, but the smell was very present and almost overwhelming. I tried very hard to keep Dylann away from the area, which was hard because it was near the play kitchen which is her favorite thing in the world.

I found some of the toys to be sticky, and the clothes on the dolls were stained. It just means that the toys are well-loved, right? Ew.

When I spoke to David about it later that evening, he said he was surprised I even stayed for the whole class. I’m not a neat freak or anything, nor am I OCD about germs, but I do have a tendency to get grossed out easily. And, of course I wouldn’t want my daughter to contract anything from playing with dirty toys. But the truth is I loved seeing her in a new environment – using her imagination somewhere other than in the comfort of our living room. She had so much fun watching the other kids and exploring. (Not to mention it was very refreshing for me to get out of the house.)

I don’t think we will be going back, sadly. I think what did it for me was when my husband said, “If it was you who had to work in a place that smelled like urine and that had dirty object that you had to handle, you wouldn’t do it. So why would you subject our daughter to it?” He has a point.

Am I being too OCD? Are my standards set too high? Should I just let it go and focus on the fact that she enjoys going to the class?

I guess for now I am continuing to search for other venues. Let’s hope she didn’t contract anything from being in that room for an hour. I’ve heard hand-foot-mouth is so not fun.



4 Responses to Summertime Struggles

  1. Reen says:

    I’ve learned through the years that it’s ok to expose the kids to germs because their bodies will become stronger with how to fight those same germs in the future. I say give the place another chance. If it still smells gross, and the toys still look dirty then find a better place na lang. Maybe you should say something to the teacher of the program, so they can fix what’s wrong and make it better.

  2. gian says:

    i conclude, through research, that noreen is correct. exposing little ones to such germs will only make them immune to that type of stuff when growing up. i’ve had cases where one set of kids get sick all the time because they were never exposed to anything dirty and another set of kids completely fine when playing with dirt and such. however, my case studies involved two sets of kids only. so my research is not really valid. and my research is pretty much old filipino folklore.

    • Dianne says:

      Noreen & Gian,

      I went back to the class! The pee smell wasn’t as strong (or maybe I was telling myself that it wasn’t) and I just tried not to be so neurotic. Dylann had a blast, and that’s what matters. Miss you guys!

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