Lucas went to daycare the other day. He hated it. I hated it.
My family and I are at a point where I’m starting to look for a part time job. This and the issues that arise around it and finding a day care for my son if needed is a entire post in itself, which I’m sure I will eventually share with you. To sum it up briefly; day care is too expensive.
Anyways, I had a job interview the other day. The day care is in the same building as where I was being interviewed, so even though I was pretty nervous, I felt better about it knowing I was just down the hall from him. I knew I would be gone 30 minutes tops, and while I didn’t think he would bounce out of there wanting to go back the next day, I thought he would be fine.
So, we walked in and I introduced myself and Lucas. It was the afternoon and during slow hours, so he was the only kid in there. I figured this might be great, the “provider” could play with him one -on-one. I wanted to stay for a few minutes so he could feel semi comfortable with this new place. I played with him and showed him the new toys, trying to distract him a bit. We found a leap frog toy that looked fun and made noise so we went to play with it, and the thing was disgustingly dirty. As in I COULD SEE DIRT. Sometimes germs are hidden, you know? Things are dirty but you can’t tell they’re actually dirty. This toy? It was disgusting! You would think if you see dirt on a toy you would, gosh I don’t know, clean it?! Apparently they are out or rags or something.
Time passed and I had to go to my interview. He wasn’t too happy with me leaving but I was hopeful that as soon as I left the lady and him would have a jolly ‘ol time playing with dirty leapfrog toys.
I come back- I was only gone about 20 minutes- and the provider is sitting down at the desk looking through a folder. She is hunched over, looking painfully bored, and holding Lucas on the side of her leg/hip with one arm. She wasn’t giving him any attention. He was looking out with big red eyes and his pacifier in his mouth. I immediately pick him up and smothered him with kisses.
And I just look at her. What are you doing? You’re just sitting here, giving him NO attention while he is starring off into space and clearly miserable and scared? This day care is full of (dirty) toys and you’re just sitting here? Do you need me to show you how to WALK AROUND AND BOUNCE UP AND DOWN? Do you need me to show you how to turn on the music on that toy so it can make my kid happy? Are you getting paid? WHY ARE YOU JUST SITTING THERE?
It seriously irritated me. (If you couldn’t tell.)
Maybe my expectations are too high, but I felt like this lady should have been holding my son differently. He should not have been held by one arm, falling off her leg and crying. She should have been playing with him or holding him with two hands. Even if he was sad, she could have been doing something to try and make him happy. For goodness sake, put in Clifford the Big Red Dog to distract him or something. Just keep him happy for twenty minutes, please!
I have worked in many child care centers, and I’m not saying I’m the best babysitter but I have dealt with sad kids before. If this were me, I would have been rocking the baby, trying to distract him with a fun book or toy, walking around with him, trying to make him laugh, showing him the birds out the window, anything. You do not put a sad child on your knee and ignore him.
Lucas won’t be visiting that day care again.
I don’t know what we’re going to do with the job and day care situation yet. A lot of things still need to be decided and worked out. I’m trying to figure out where to work and what schedule to have so that it will work the best with Lucas, so that hopefully my husband can watch him most of the time while I’m gone. We’re now also in the slow process of looking for a babysitter to come to our house and watch Lucas for date nights or potential days if needed for my work and I am so so picky about who I pick!
I’ve also briefly toured a few day care centers just to see what’s out there and I am just amazed at some of them that are in business today. Dirty, too many movies, junk food, too many children with not enough teachers… I have very high expectations for all these things. There is a Montessori preschool near our house that I think he will go to when he is older, and it looks amazing! There has always been a part of me that has wanted to open a day care center. I never have really thought out doing it beyond dreaming because I always feel like there are already so many out there.
Maybe someday I will. If I ever get that calling….