And then one day I dropped off Norah and one of the gals stopped me. She told me that Norah had been having a rough few days. Um, what? Happy-Smiley-Busy, right? Nope. She had been upset in the mornings and would cry. Outside, she'd sit against the wall alone and cry.
Let me pause for a moment. I need to think of a way to articulate through prose how I felt about this news.
MY 22 MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER WAS SITTING AGAINST A WALL BY HERSELF CRYING AND NO ONE THOUGHT TO FUCKING CALL ME OR TELL ME ABOUT IT UNTIL DAYS LATER? THAT IS NOT HAPPY-SMILEY-BUSY.
I can't even bear to think about my little girl doing this. I cried the whole way home. A million questions flooded my brain. Should I just take her home? Will that set a bad precedent? Why won't they calm her down? Why can't she just play inside with the other group if she doesn't want to go out? Why the hell do they use report cards if they're bullshit? What else do they gloss over? That last question was from my friend, Amy. Thanks, Amy. Like my paranoia wasn't in the orange zone as it was.
Before leaving daycare, I told the woman-- for the I-don't-know-how-many-th time-- that I was to be called if my daughter was having a terrible day and was inconsolable. She called me an hour later and I had to decide. What should I do?
I talked to the gal for a while. She said the kids needed to go outside. I didn't push, but I regret that now. Then she talked about setting a precedent-- that Norah would learn quickly that Mom would come get her if she cried. That wouldn't be good either-- I need to work. She seemed to think Norah should tough it out.
But I didn't want her to tough it out. I couldn't work. I could only picture her crying all alone. I know they hold her and coddle her when I'm there, but there are a ton of kids there. I'm sure they leave her. They have to. I don't want her to have any tough days. Life will suck soon enough. It doesn't have to as long as I have the power to stop it.
Should I take her out of this daycare? Obviously they are lazy about the report cards. They have so many strict rules that are supposed to help the child grow, but it seems like they're just inflexible to me. They don't tell me crucial information in a timely manner. I was so pissed. I still am pissed.
Then it dawned on me. "Give her Baby Orajel." She had been chewing on her nuk like crazy and sticking her fingers in her mouth. She hadn't been sleeping well. Maybe she was getting her molars.
I called about a half hour later, and they said she was doing fine. Excellent. Although I was pissed that they didn't think of it first. I don't care if that's rational or not.
I though all was well again. Then I picked her up yesterday. Her report card actually said something different for a change. They must have gotten my not-so-subtle hint. "Needed lots of hugs." That's daycare for terrible day. I asked the afternoon crew, "Did you give her Baby Orajel again?" They responded that they did after nap and then she was fine.
WHY DIDN'T YOU GIVE IT TO HER WHEN SHE GOT UPSET? JESUS H. CHRIST, PEOPLE.
So the daycare people need to work a little on their communication, and I, too, need to work on mine. Perhaps I will invest on some custom printed shirts that have a bulleted list on them:
- If there's poop in my diaper, please change me.
- If I ask for a drink, I'm probably thirsty.
- Same with food.
- If I'm upset for seemingly no reason and you can't calm me down, give me Baby Orajel.
You may be thinking I'm overreacting. Maybe I am. I don't know-- I'm new at this. All I know is that I pay these people a boatload of money to watch my kid because they're supposedly professionals who supposedly care about children. And, yes, I realize that the individual caregivers probably don't earn that much. And they should! This society is jacked-- people who care for children, nurses, hospice workers, social workers-- they make squat. But athletes make millions and investment bankers have bonuses bigger than five years of my income. It's not fair.
But I don't care. It's my kid. I can't demand anything but excellence, perfection.