I might be going back to work soon. I probably will. The when and where and how much and what I will be doing are all still up in the air. But I can say with some confidence that I will be going back. I would write about it more specifically, but I’m afraid that post would come out sounding too much like a game of telephone that is both confusing and boring. My mom says my return-to-work story is “like a soap.” She’s right. Next week I’ll either firm up some of the unknowns or get amnesia and learn Ruby was switched at birth. Both options are equally likely.
ANYWAY, that was the unnecessarily long introduction to what this post is actually about – daycare. We’ve been shopping.
First we went to one of those chainy places, and it was FINE. No red flags, but nothing making me want to put the pedal to the metal. It was basically like a big yellow light.
Then we visited a home daycare. It was not as fine. Jason thought the child-to-staff ratio was too high. I didn’t like to hear the children mocked for asking how to color a ladybug.
Yesterday we toured a second home daycare. OH. MY. GOD. Before we even left for the tour I was fuming over communications with the coordinator. But we still went because a good friend recommended her highly. We’re not friends anymore. (Just kidding E! I love you! I only wrote that for the laughs!)
I don’t even know where to start… Oh, I know! How about the beginning? We were told the tour would begin “promptly at 1:00.” What that actually meant was that she would not open her door until 1:00. Not even to tell us – at 12:45 – that we would have to wait outside in the rain with our babies and toddlers. She actually yelled THROUGH THE DOOR.
And then the tour went on for THREE HOURS. During which she lectured us on ALL THE THINGS. It’s a good thing we went though. Up until yesterday I was operating under the assumption that good childcare was somewhat subjective, that there were different ideas, theories, strategies, methods or what have you. I had even entertained the notion that what works best for one child might not work best for another. Now I know better. There is only the McBaby Daycare way. Everything else is WRONG. That’s right. “Don’t even ask her to give your baby… BABY FOOD!!!” Dun dun dunnnnn.
But I think what really smashed any shred of a possibility (into a creamy puree that we WILL NOT dare give to a baby!) was their foul language policy. Should a bad word accidentally slip through Ruby’s lips, I would be asked to publicly wash my mouth with soap and a toothbrush. Yes, seriously. And after three strikes, Ruby would be expelled.
Uhhhh, no thanks. I am not interested in daycare shopping again. Because let’s face it, the only thing preventing Ruby from swearing like a sailor is her speech delay. (In case you forgot, I try to focus all of my irrational, clinical anxiety on Ruby’s vocal development. Or rather, I try not to – unsuccessfully.)
She saved the section on how stress at home can negatively affect your children until just before the three hour mark. Right before Ruby realized it was an hour past nap time and had a full blown meltdown. “Ladies, wives,” she said, “Have you all read this book?” She held it up and slowly painted a 180 degree arc, as if we were three-year-olds at story time, eagerly awaiting a view of the pictures.
That’s when I punched her in the face.*
*Of course, I did not actually punch her in the face. Also, we found a home daycare we really like this afternoon. I’m hesitant to write about it though because:
a) It’s not as interesting, and
b) I don’t want you to go steal our spot.