While K had a referral to hearing and speech evaluation, the relationship with the head teacher at the daycare went sour. She was very irritated that K didn’t take a nap with everyone else. Of course for the staff, that’s the only time they could have a break, so irritation was understandable. I thought if the teacher hated K, it wouldn’t do any good to K, although the daycare center was so convenient for me. It was located in the same student family apartment complex and it was about 30 seconds from my apartment. Still, I started to get sick with the head teacher’s attitude, although in hindsight, it was probably full of concern. But at that time, I didn’t understand and thought the teacher and staff were simply lazy.
I started looking for a different daycare. It was a sort of first experience for me. I first went to City office to obtain a directory and started calling. I made appointment after appointment to visit the daycare, mostly home-based. They are pretty good. But when I told them that K didn’t take a nap, I could see everyone’s face stiffened. Then I realized that not taking a nap was THAT bad. I kept calling. One time, I called the daycare that refused K again! I was losing track! I had to extend the search to larger area.
Then I found it. This preschool/daycare (14 kid capacity) was run by a very sophisticated and educated lady from India. Her husband was from Nepal and taught agronomy at UC Davis. I knew a few professor at agronomy department though I didn’t know him in particular. But this made me relax a bit. When I told her about K’s napping problem, her response was that everyone was different and we as a society were pushing children too hard to perform. And that performance included a nap at the same time! Since this daycare has zero-to-five, there were kids who didn’t have a nap anyway, and she assured me that it was absolutely fine if K didn’t take a nap.
Although it wasn’t close (about 10-15 minute drive from my apartment), I really wanted him to be there, being cared by this caring lady. So we signed up. I wasn’t exactly nice when I left the previous daycare center for the last day.
Both my husband and I took turn to drop him off and pick up. K (and my husband and I) was much happier, but he didn’t talk and he didn’t play, either.
And the deadline for my dissertation was quickly approaching. I had shown the draft to all the thesis committee members and had a good feedback. But printing 250 page thesis for many copies and revise it and printing again occupies the lab printer. So to print freely, I started working at night. It also helped me focus.
While I wait for printing, I surfed the web and made reservation for Disneyland trip (and staying in Disney resort hotel) as a reward for finishing my Ph.D.. At the same time, I searched for speech delay and K’s symptom. “Mental retardation” and “Autism” were the things that was frequently found. And by this time, K’s behavior changed a lot.
To be continued.