February 23, 2010

MMO & Need Mommy Advice

This morning I did something I never thought I'd do as a stay-at-home mommy.

I took Austin to daycare.

Ok, so it's not so much daycare as a program at a local church called Mother's Morning Out and we've decided to take Austin once a week from 8:30-12:30 until his baby brother arrives and then we're thinking about going two mornings a week. It should be a wonderful time for me to catch up on grocery shopping and housework and Austin will get to have fun with other kids close to his age and get a change of scenery. I think it will be especially helpful once the baby arrives and I'm not able to get out as much with the both of them. Grocery shopping with Austin is tough enough and I can't even imagine going out with him AND a newborn!

Anyway, this morning was our trial run, and in the 2 year old class no less! Austin was the youngest one in this class by far as 5 of the 6 kids were already 2 and the other one was just about to turn 2, however, Austin was much more advanced and active than the kids in the infant class and we all thought he wouldn't have nearly as much fun in there as he would with the 2 year olds. He was actually bigger than the two girls in the class and very close to the same size as the boys. You'd never even know he was 8-12 months younger than most of them!

Our trial run went really great but I have to admit, my feelings were a little hurt. Austin had such a good time playing with all the kids and new toys that he would have never known if I wasn't there! As soon as we entered the room he noticed a ball on the floor and screamed "ball!" and pointed to it and then ran over and grabbed it. He then noticed another ball in a corner and ran to get that one (this kid loves a ball!), and for the next 15 minutes he had no clue I was even in the same room with him and didn't look to find me a single time!

So yeah, my feelings were a little hurt by the fact that he was having so much fun he didn't even notice me, but overall I was pretty pleased that he seemed to fit in so well and have such a good time. It will certainly put my mind at ease when I drop him off on those mornings!

So this brings me to my question and need for other mommy advice...

I am supposed to send a snack and lunch with Austin for the days he goes to MMO and they can't need to be heated, refrigerated or take lots of preparation. I think I can handle the snack part pretty easily...but besides a cup of fruit and a PB&J sandwich, I have to idea what to pack for his lunch!!! At the house we eat chicken nuggets, soup, grilled cheese, pasta, yogurt, oatmeal, hot dogs and a bunch of other stuff that needs to be heated or kept cold. I know I can put an ice pack in his lunch to keep certain things cold...but what about his protein and cooked veggies? He's not old enough to chew up raw veggies and cold meat products just don't sound appealing. I would truly LOVE any ideas any of you other mommies might have so that I'm not sending him in everyday with the same packed lunch.

And kudos to all you working moms out there! Whew! I never knew how much thought and preparation it took to take your child and put them in someone else's care for an extended period of time! Between getting them up and ready as well as yourself, eating breakfast, packing snacks and lunch, making sure you've got a change of clothes, diapers and other necessities and then getting out of the house on time...wow...total chaos and panic! How do you do it?? :)


Anonymous said...

Lunch is a little challenging. One thing I found that is a big hit are the jr. lunchables. They are small and bite size for little finger foods. They have turkey and cheese, ham and cheese, and chicken sticks with applesauce. My kids also love fresh fruit. So, I pack some kind of small berries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. They are easy to pick up themselves. You can still do some cooked pasta. That's still good to eat not warmed up. My daughter loves boiled eggs and little cherry tomatoes, so I send her that sometimes as well. I just try to think of as many bite size things that they can eat and mostly by themselves. Hope this helps.

Amanda said...

I'm no expert, but I'd send turkey and cheese (in a sandwich or by themselves), or hummus. John Dickson loves hummus and we give him hummus sandwiches a lot - and it covers vegetables! His daycare provides all of his food, so he eats a lot of starches and fruit, and is only offered one vegetable a day, so his dinner is usually all veggies/protein - we trick him with vegetarian chicken nuggets - full of soy. Then I dont have to stress so much about what he is eating during the day.

Mir said...

My oldest is an Austen (girl)! My 2yo and 4yo go to MMO and they take mostly sandwiches and finger foods. Have you ever heard of Bento? It is a cool concept, and you can prepare it in so many different ways. I get a lot of ideas from flickr streams.


Here is another great one.

One more, you can boil hot dogs and stick them in buns or cut them up and stick them in aluminum foil. It will keep warm until lunch!

I had a hard time with MMO at first but I loved having time alone with my newborn. It was also great to have time alone when they both went this year (I WAH). You will love it soon enough!!


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