Spying on Sloan at Daycare

When a “Big Brother” season is airing, Sidney and I will supplement watching the actual episodes with viewing the live feeds of the Big Brother house that are active 24/7. Watching the unfiltered, raw content is pretty entertaining.

However, it is the month of April and “Big Brother” won’t return until June. But don’t worry about us, we have something even better to watch than the Big Brother live feeds; we have the Oxford Children’s Academy live feed!!

You can see everything that goes on within the walls of Oxford Children’s Academy, even if you are miles away!

When we changed Sloan’s daycare provider, we entered a technological renaissance. We now check her in electronically, view her daily logs online, and receive notifications the second she enters or leaves the center. But the best modern tool we have gained with the switch is the live streaming service.

Whether on a computer or from my phone, I can check on Sloan whenever I please, thanks to a camera that is set up in her classroom that pans the entire area. The Oxford Children’s Academy partners with Watch Me Grow, a streaming video system service built specifically for childcare centers. Watch Me Grow is the industry leader and for good reason. The product delivered is not a rinky-dink, convenient store black and white shaky picture. Rather it is a colorful and comprehensive clear look into our daughter’s classroom.

It didn’t take us long to start taking advantage of the resource. The first time I logged in and saw Sloan’s vibrant classroom with babies crawling all over was pretty cool. Up until that point, I had always wondered what Sloan did and how she interacted with others at daycare. I now had an idea.

I didn’t know it before, but watching babies play together and do silly things is so much more pleasurable to watch than adults cussing at each other and engaging in drunken behavior (i.e. Big Brother live feeds). Better yet, having your baby daughter as one of the stars of the production makes it that much more entertaining…

Perhaps too entertaining.

Like with all good things, moderation is key. It is easy to become preoccupied with the live feed in a way that you are constantly signing in to check on your baby. If you lack will power or are just completely obsessed with your child, the streaming option could be your own worst enemy. Nobody wins when you sacrifice all productivity to watch nap time.

Even when we can’t be with Sloan at home, we can still see her at daycare.

In my case, I try to use the daycare live feed as a reward. I will challenge myself to tackle several items on my checklist before briefly scoping out the action in the Little Clouds (name of Sloan’s age group) classroom. If I work hard enough, this incentive usually allows me to view Sloan 3-4 times per day, with the lunch hour included in that allotment. I try to look for just a minute or so but it is enough to give me a boost. When I am done I find myself more motivated to get back to work because of the peace of mind and happiness I received from viewing my daughter in a safe and nurturing environment.

The live stream at our daycare is great for spouses. Sidney and I update each other on how Sloan is doing during the day. Because we sign in at different times, we help paint a more comprehensive picture by “comparing our notes.” Usually our updates tilt toward the humorous side (Sloan is stealing someone’s snack again/How embarrassing, she is eating her socks). The live feed even allows us to monitor each other! Yesterday evening I went to pick up Sloan. I started looking in her cubbie and around the classroom for her shoes. All of a sudden I had an incoming call. It was Sidney. Before I could say anything, she told me she didn’t send Sloan with shoes today. Because she was watching the stream, she was able to put me out of my misery before I embarrassed myself too much looking for shoes that weren’t there.

Despite all the positives I listed above, the most redeeming quality of the live feed is this: Sloan’s daycare is confident and transparent enough to install cameras that allow picky and protective parents to watch every single moment that occurs in those classrooms. In my opinion, that is comforting.

The Oxford Children’s Academy show will go on! I know Sid and I will continue to get plenty more laughs and assurances out of it. Move over “Big Brother,” we are watching something much better. Don’t Blink.

Parental Thursday Rundown

Happy April and welcome to the Thursday Rundown! I have visitors so I must be quick with tonight’s edition. Let’s reveal the five topics.

Parents In Town – For the first time since last April, I have both my parents in town! They arrived yesterday and Sloan greeted them with a very warm welcome, calming the fears of my mom who thought her granddaughter might be scared after not seeing them for several months. Their trip is already off to a great start and I get to enjoy my mom and dad throughout the weekend.

My parents are loving every minute they have with Sloan.

Wild, Wild Country – I will devote a blog post to this Netflix documentary in the future but I thought it was worth mentioning in the Thursday Rundown. With one episode to go in the six part series, I am amazed and entertained at this incredible and bizarre tale. Long story short: A large group of people (the Rajneeshees) devoted to an Indian guru leave India and settle near an Oregon small town in the 1980s. An epic culture clash between the locals and Rajneeshees ensues. If you want to know what I am talking about when I write my future blog post on the documentary, I suggest you start watching it now.

It is worth your time to watch “Wild, Wild Country.”

Savannah’s Playground – This afternoon, our family plus grandma and papa went to the most popular playground in Myrtle Beach, Savannah’s Playground. An entertainment oasis for children of all ages who want to play outdoors, the playground was built for $3 million and is compatible for those with physical and mental disabilities. It is named after Savannah Thompson, a local hero who has Williams Syndrome, and someone who I actually know. We had a nice time visiting the playground on this gorgeous day as Sloan enjoyed the swings and slides.

A collage of our afternoon at Savannah’s Playground.

Change For Sloan – A big decision for any parent is where to send their child to day care. After much contemplating, we switched day care providers for Sloan. The previous one she attended had some fine teachers but an opportunity presented itself and we enrolled her in a center that makes more sense for our family. She now attends Oxford Children’s Academy, a place that is much closer to the workplaces of both Sidney and I. It also offers flexibility, modern amenities, and several parents/babies who we know. Sloan started this week and has made a nice transition.

Sloan started a new day care this week.

From the Archives – How about we look at the blog posts I have written on April 5? One year ago, I wrote about a surprise baby gift we received for Sloan. Let me tell you, it was a present that we were able to use a lot. On April 5, 2016, I wrote about how our family restaurant was finally set to re-open (by new owners) after sitting empty for several years. Then, three years ago on this date, I wrote a blog post about how creepy Easter Bunnies are. All three posts are pretty good reads so if you have time I suggest looking one or two of them up.

Sloan received customized onesies a year ago on this date,

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What am I doing pecking away on a keyboard?! My parents are here! Thanks for reading and I will catch back up with everyone on Monday. Don’t Blink.