Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Domestic Enemies of the Daycare Mom

Many of us have dealt with the wonderous world of daycare. Our new friend Julie (who leaves the most hilarious comments in the history of ever) tells all about the domestic enemies of the mom whose kids are in day care.
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Hi, my name is Julie (Hi, Julie). I write ilikebeerandbabies.com about the effects of mixing alcohol and children. I have a 21-month-old daughter, The Quiet Contemplator. I am also pregnant and due at the end of December with a son who I refer to as My Sponsor. I'mmarried to ADD Daddy and work a day job writing for a non-profit (that's where the big bucks roll in). I have no relatives who are crazy enough to deal with my child(ren) for free for nine hours a day, so I send my kid(s) to daycare. Yes, germ-filled, push-your-kid-off-the-swingset, pay-them-half-your-salary, daycare. There are myriad Domestic Enemies of the Daycare Mom. These are just the tip of the iceberg.

The First Day
Whether you are dropping your infant off for their first day ever away from the wicked awesomeness that is Mommy, or dropping your toddler off for their first day at a new daycare, the first day blows. Big time. The first time I dropped The Quite Contemplator off at daycare following maternity leave, I rocked with her in a rocker and bawled like a fat girl whose cake was stolen for about an hour. Thankfully, it was only hard on me. Newborns don't seem to even notice you are gone. Toddlers, on the other hand, add a little more drama to the situation. Cue dropping your child off for the first day at a new daycare only to have them cling to your leg screaming, "Mommy! Don't leave me!" Thanks for that, kid. As if leaving you here so I can work on TPS reports all day wasn't hard enough.

Sadly, YOU can't RSVP no.
The Germy Kid
No, it is not just an urban myth that daycares are cesspools of germs. Hand, foot and mouth, roseola, croup, you name it, daycares are full of sexy-sounding illnesses that will invade your child. Somehow, all of these illnesses seem to be traceable back to one kid: The Germy Kid. What exactly does this kid do on the weekends that he comes back every Monday with a new plague to spread upon his peers? Roll around in the Infectious Diseases lab at the hospital? Eat contaminated meat and dairy? Lick toilet seats? Come on! Spray this kid down with some Lysol and put him in quarantine already. Mommy is out of sick days.

The Thermometer Mambo
Speaking of The Germy Kid, his outbreaks of mucus- and fever-inducing bacteria lead many mamas to do what I call the Thermometer Mambo. You know what I am talking about, daycare moms: the dance we do with our friend Tylenol to keep our kid in school just a little while longer so we can finally get some schmidt done at work. 100.1 is the most dreaded number for daycare moms. That is the number that means your kid is being sent home and has to stay there for at least 24 hours. This is fine, of course, if your kid is actually sick. But most of the time it is just teething/a cold/malaria/your child trying to sap your will to live. This is when we dose our kids up with Tylenol and pray that it will get us below the magic number long enough to get to work, pour ourselves a cup of coffee and check our emails before we get The Call.

The Call
The Call is what you get when you have lost the battle with Thermometer Mambo, or worse. Every mommy dreads seeing their daycare's number come up on their caller ID. It is never them calling to let you know that your kid is a ray of sunshine and puppy dogs and that they just wanted you to know how much they love having them. It is daycare calling to let you know that the projectile vomiting has commenced or that your kid is on the way to get stitches. The Call always seems to come when you are right in the middle of something really important, like giving a huge presentation, or reading posts from Rants from Mommyland. You immediately feel guilty for having the urge to hit "ignore" on your phone. I usually answer this call in some sort of, "What now?" fashion.

The Missed Milestone
It is inevitable that since your child is at daycare so often, they will hit some sort of milestone for them and not for you. Really? My baby took his first steps/said his first word/competed his doctoral thesis today? Thanks for letting me know. Now when we see him do it, it will be so much less special.

The Mean Kid
Every daycare has a mean kid. They are the one that you just look at and can see that their tiny beady eyes are filled with mirth. This is the kid that is always pushing, hitting, saying "mine!", stealing toys, etc. You know, the one you have to fight off the urge on a daily basis to tell they are going to grow up to be an ugly janitor with no friends. Often, this kid is also The Germy Kid.

The Incident Report
Sometimes these are the results of The Mean Kid attacking your child, sometimes these are reports of your child finally having enough from The Mean Kid and going all Cujo on them. Either way they are embarrassing. You end up feeling like either your kid needs to buck up and hit back, or your kid has been watching too much Ultimate Fighting and needs to back off. Awesomeness all around.

The It's-Almost-Cheaper-to-Stay-Home Sayer
Let me cut this one off right at the knees. No, it is not almost cheaper for me to stay home with my kid(s) than to work and send them to daycare. I am not sure if you are insinuating that I make less than a McDonald's worker, but daycare costs less than I make in a year. Also, staying at home doesn't pay for insurance, or provide for retirement, or the many other frivolous needs mama has. And, since my husband is in the ├╝ber high-paying profession of being a 4th grade teacher, mama has to work. So not only are you implying that I am not good with math, but also that I don't like my kid(s) enough to want to stay home with them, even though it is obviously the more finically sound decision. Thanks for that.

The Guilt
Like all Domestic Enemies, the Daycare Mom has to deal with The Guilt. Was my kid too sick to go into daycare today? Is The Mean Kid going to make them cry again? Is it really cheaper for me to stay at home with them? Am I a bad mom for working when we could make it on Spam and cheese if I just stayed home? The Guilt sucks. But, like all Domestic Enemies, some days it only sucks a little, and some days it sucks big time.

For more booze-filled rants from a Daycare Mommy, visit ilikebeerandbabies.com.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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