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Owl’s Daycare Lady is on vacation and I’ve been patching together care for him piece by piece. Thursday and Friday of this week were courtesy of PH’s corporate daycare downtown. As part of his benefits he gets 2 free days a year.

I was reluctant to send him to one of these massive centres because studies have shown that kids in these environments have high cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. No matter how well trained and caring the staff, it’s just not the safety of home. That’s why I wanted a small home daycare instead.

But we’re low on options (next week The Farm Fairy is taking him one day and the other three days I have hired the newest helper at Owl’s Daycare, who I slightly distrust because she wears impractical shoes and spells “sure” “shore”). So on Thursday and Friday PH took Owl downtown and I biked to work.

I was worried that the change of routine, and being dumped all day at a big centre filled with complete strangers might stress Owl out.

PH was like “have you met our child?” and he was right – we know because they have a parents’ webcam.

PH sent me running commentaries on all of Owl’s doings:

Food time! They’re sitting at the tables and red smocks are being put on them all. It’s really cutely ridiculous. Owl’s seat is mostly out of shot so it’s hard to see how he’s doing. However we may safely assume the standard OMNOMNOM.

These children are good eaters. Not one of them has stood up yet. Owl is in tough competition.

And just as I say that, the first one falls. Tension mounts.

Another two fall, and the gustatory battle truly begins.

The last standing warriors have been grouped together at one table for the final eat off. 

Owl is down! He finishes outside of the medals in fourth place! What a stunning turn of events! 

So clearly Owl had a good time, and I was silly to worry.

But you never know what can happen when you leave your child with strangers. Look at this poor kid, who got his face scrubbed with a Magic Eraser or something.

But Owl did fine. His face is not burned by cleaning chemicals, and he does not appear to be in the least traumatized.

But he DID come home yesterday repeating something that sounded an awful lot like a swear word.

Tell me, what does it sound like he’s saying to YOU?