I consider myself to be blessed in that I have access to affordable, good quality child care for my kids.
I would absolutely lose my freaking mind without it.
The Chop, emotionally handful that he always has been, went into day care earlier than I planned– he was just fourteen months old; but I was six months pregnant with the Bump and calling my husband at work in tears every second day, so frustrated with the constant tantrums, the cloying clinging…
Poor kid screamed as if his heart was broken– it may have been– every time we dropped him off. It didn’t really get any better until he turned two and could move into the the ’big kids’ room.
I didn’t blame him, not one bit, not when I left feeling distressed every time I deposited into that big, stuffy room where most of the kids where not yet walking and always seemed to be crying.
In the big kids room, he was with two of his closest buddies, who he’d known since birth. He spent a very happy thirteen months there before I dragged him away to Paradise.
Not that that daycare in Paradise wasn’t awesome– it was, the best I’ve seen. The staff were attentive, the garden had actual grass, and it warm and inviting. Which was a good thing, because it was the only daycare in town, and choosing any other meant an hour round trip each way, twice a week.
|I know, I know- they look like such angels!!|
The building itself was tiny and I never saw more than fifteen kids there at once. Unfortunately for me, they didn’t take children under two, so I was not only effectively isolated but without any decent kid–free downtime. It wasn’t until we moved to TinyTrainTown that the Bump began ’school’ with her brother– about a year too late for her liking.
There was never a tear shed by the Bump– she waved goodbye to me, and that was that. They both adore ’school’, so much so that I only felt the tiniest tinge of guilt upping them to three days a week instead of two a few months ago.
I need every minute, every second of those three days. If only daycares did overnight stays… the temptation would be unbearable.
Years ago, before producing offspring of my own, I worked with kids– to a certain degree. I played with them. I made them laugh. While it required an infinite patience I don’t seem to possess when it comes to my own children, it was easy. I didn’t do food, or nappies, or crying– I did the fun stuff. If the water got hot, there was always a parent or even a medical professional to step in and take care of the hard yards. In high school, when every second girl my age was preparing for a career in child are or teaching, the last thing I wanted to do was work with children in any depth fashion.
Kids are awesome. When they’re not screaming, vomiting, crying, or releasing any other bodily fluids. That doesn’t happen very often.
And there lies the reason why there are some days I nearly genuflect on the doorstop of my kid’s kindy. Not only am I eternally grateful for the three days a week where I don’t hear “Mum!! Watch this!!! Mum?! Are you watching!?” on a rapid fire repeat cycle; these women must be some kind of sainted angels to do this sh*t day in, day out.
I’m irrationally jealous of the daycare workers who tend to my children, simply because of their grace under fire, their eternal smiles and seemingly endless energy. I’m often quite literally ready to kick something by the time I drop my kids off at school, and they deal with it for the next seven or so hours. (And yes, by the way, I’m that mum– the last mum to pick her kids up, almost every day. And even though I know someone has to be last, someone’s kids have to be there till they are the only ones left and it may as well be my two, who are also dropped off latest every morning… it still feel alike the Walk Of Shame, and I pull into the tiny carpark cursing “Dammit, dammit!” every time it happens).
I think it’s that jealously– it must be, I can’t blame everything on the PTSD; that causes me to snap, rather ungracefully, at one of my kids sweet, unassuming daycarers the other day. She smiled sympathetically at me as my son launched into a full scale screaming tantrum– cause still undetermined– the second I open the door. “He’s been fine all day– he hasn’t played up at all…” I think that’s supposed to be a reassurance, but it just makes me like crap and I am tired and if he’s not screaming he’s chatting away and dear God there’s two more days until I get another break and I say “It’s OK for you, you must actually like children.”
Which, of course, she does– her own three–under–five attend this centre too, so she doesn’t get a break at all.
And all that just makes me feel even more like crap, if that were possible. Which it is. A profusive apology didn’t seem enough.
So– as a kind of sisterhood penance, if you will– I present to you, my coverage of the Early Educational ChildCare Awards that I didn’t get to attend because my kids were sick. Huzzah!
Winners in each category were…
A huge congratulations to all of you… and to all those parents who send their kids to these centres, it seems you’re even luckier than me. Heh.
In honor of these awards, Macleans is giving two lucky RRSAHM readers the chance to win a six month supply of Macleans products including…
6 x Macleans Extreme Clean toothpastes
4 x Macleans Flex toothbrushes (adults)
6 x Milk Teeth, Little teeth or Big Teeth toothpastes
4 x Milk Teeth, Little teeth or Big Teeth toothbrushes
And to top that off, Macleans will tailor each pack to your child’s needs, so you’ll get exactly the right product for their age- awesome sauce. Thanks Macleans.
To win, leave a comment on this post telling me either your best, warmest, fuzziest daycare story… or your worst ever tooth brushing story.
The answer that amuses or confuses me the most wins. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.
This one’s open to Australian residents only.
Entries open Friday 15th June and close midnight (AEST) on Friday the 22nd June.
The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email with their postal address, or the prize will be redrawn.
Comments must have a valid email address to be included in this competition- I cannot stress this point enough, people. The number of times I pick a winner and have no contact address for them… it makes me sad. If you’re on Blogger, make sure you’re logged in then click this link to set your email address to reply-able. Cheers.