It has taken me a little while to adjust to Swedish day care life, but don't get me wrong here, despite the things I might mention here, I love it. It is a good system where kids really get to explore, learn and be exposed to a lot of germs.
- Kids eat fruit straight from the tree (and the ground): There are a few fresh fruit trees growing in the outdoor play area. Lots of apples fall onto the ground, into puddles, wherever. I have seen countless kids just grab an apple from the ground and pop it into their mouths. This means the kids are exposed to all kinds of dirt AND they eat actual apple skins without choking.
- Popcorn Fridays: We found out one of Little Swedes favorite moments at daycare is popcorn Friday. This is when all the kids get a bag of popcorn to chomp on. The Swede and I wondered if he had ever had popcorn before and realized, no he hadn't. I did a quick internet search and found out that not only is popcorn considered a huge choking hazard, it isn't recommended for the under 3's because it can be easily inhaled. Little Swede is walking on the wild side.
- Petting Zoo Dangers: I went with Little Swede and his class to the petting zoo where we saw sheep, chicken, horses, etc. Then we all sat down and had a cookie. There was no Purell in sight. I admit, although not a clean freak, this kind of creeped me out a bit. But lesson learned, we were all healthy and fine afterwards. (Swedes are pretty diligent about Salmonella outbreaks).
- Outlets uncovered: I don't know if American daycares are really stringent about this, I just know that ever since Little Swede could move his fingers, he was trying to poke them in outlets. So seeing all of the uncovered outlets at day care made me a little nervous. But so far, so good.
- Diaper disposal: Again, don't know how the American daycares work, but here they have one giant bin for all of the towels from washing your hands and all of the dirty diapers. It is also the type of bin that is just the height that Little Swede can reach his hand in and grab things. Now, he isn't out looking for diapers, but does enjoy reaching up to see what is around. I didn't invest in one of those silly over the top diaper disposal systems for home use, because we just take our garbage out daily, but for day care use? Ah well, they will learn!
BUT, despite all of these horrors, the kids have a grand old time. And aside from the class biter, there have been no (knock-on wood) major accidents, and my kid has learned a lot. So YAY for Swedish day care and breaking out of the Super Safety Mode!