I apologize. I promised you Mini's scholarship update. That will be shared on Wed. I needed to share this ASAP, cuz this is a hot topic.
I had an opening in my home daycare. More on why in a later post, when I back up the bus to the beginning of the school year.
I met 'Nurse' on FB moms page. We spoke. I usually sit for teachers. Her 4 day a week schedule rotates, so I wouldn't necessarily have Thursdays off. Nurse was supposed to drop 3 month old Bubble-boy, or BB, off at a KinderCare but as the time approached she was panicked, wanted to be a little bigger before going there.
* A few days later: They were now thinking eventually they'd hire an au pair. Poor, poor au pair.
I said, I'd babysit for him until the end of the school year. I described our outings/ routine. Not rocket science, but families I work for are crazy about me. I offered their contact info. She called all of them.
Nurse wanted to bring BB before his 1st day for a few hours. Nurse asked me multiple times, HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED A 3 MONTH OLD BEOFRE? Like, what?
No (insert sarcastic voice here), in 7 years of my day care, BB would be the first 3 month old. And I birthed all my kids at 6 months of age, so no experience.
The two hour trial run: Nurse and Hover Fool (dad/ HF) arrived. They settled in on the couch. Huh? Drop and go, people. DROP AND GO.
HF instructed me where to put my hands when holding BB. HUH? They'd been surprised recently, BB cried when a friend held him, soon for stranger danger?
* Turns out, BB was fed bottles in his room almost always and rarely left the house. It wasn't stranger danger, it was FEAR OF LEAVING HIS BUBBLE.
Eating: They gave me a typed up schedule with a feeding position photo. "more comfortable for him." She gives him breast milk in a bottle. She warms a bottle of breastmilk at night EVEN THOUGH SHE'S GOT IN ON TAP.
Sleeping: "Here's his magic suit." Think snowsuit, since he is too big for swaddling. It eliminates reflexes that could wake him. When I said I'd be keeping him in the dining room in a bassinet, she charged in there.
Nurse: running her hands over the bottom of the bassinet WELL, I'M NOT SURE IF THIS IS WIDE ENOUGH FOR HIM TO STRETCH HIS ARMS OUT. HE USUALLY LIKES TO SLEEP IN DARK ROOMS.
|I guess he isn't bothered by |
his arms not laying flat.
Did I want to use their video monitor? No.
He likes the pacifier. They prefer he find his thumb. Um, he won't find his thumb if he can't bend his arm while in his puffy suit.
They left. The bottle feeding wasn't ultra smooth - fed inclined on a pillow, his head towards my knees while he's on his side. No eye contact. No cuddling.
Me afterward: Do you expect me to wake him according to this schedule?
Nurse: THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR ME. I NEEDED HIM ON THIS SCHEDULE. YOU CAN DO WHAT WORKS.
Me: (not about to lie) OK, CAUSE I DON'T WAKE SLEEPING BABIES. They do typically let you know what they need.
Not my first rodeo.
On Tues - DAY 1, HF arrived. Mini laughed at how he took everything out of the diaper bag. 'Splained to me what it was: snot suction thing. Thanks, totally unfamiliar.
BB cried or screamed every waking moment at my house. Fortunately the instant I laid him down in his DO-NOT-BEND suit with his pacifier, he slept. They brought a noise maker. HF demonstrated how to hit the button to get back to the preferred sound should I bump it. I was like, GOT IT.
BB napped over 2 hours in the morning and around 2 hours in the afternoon. Most parents would be thrilled if their baby slept that well at a sitter's house. This.Is.Not.Most.Parents.
When HF picked up, he was distressed that I hadn't followed the schedule. BB had slept through the night a few nights prior to starting at my house. I think they feared deviating from their schedule, which was in military time: 0700 WAKE BB EVERY 1.5 HOURS. FEED BOTTLE. HOLD UPRIGHT 10 MINUTES. CHANGE DAIPER.
Super grateful for this info, because how else would I know when to change a diaper?
DAY 2: HF informed me BB'd had a terrible night (each morning he debriefed me on the night routine, # ounces ingested, etc), he demanded that I feed BB at exactly 11, 1 and 4. I reminded him that when we met, I pointed out that I wouldn't be waking the baby up. He was like WELL, WE CAN'T HAVE ANOTHER BAD NIGHT.
Me: BB's adjusting to a new setting, not surprised he's a little thrown off.
I was shaking when he left. I've NEVER been spoken to like that by a parent. They'd confused me with a personal nanny. I had 4 or 5 other kids to care for. I do what I can to meet everyone's needs. Not just BB's.
I bent over backwards to follow their schedule. I called Delilah and I broke down, why so stressful? Why so rude?
On BB's first day, I'd noticed on FB someone looking for a sitter for a 2.5 year old, rest of school year, 2 days/week. I reached out. I could juggle people to Thursday to accommodate. I was also worried that BB wasn't going to work and was trying to cover my bases.
When HF scolded me, after they'd said DO WHAT WORKS, but they meant: OUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY. I reached out to FB lady. I was like IF YOU HAVEN'T FOUND ANYONE - I WILL PROBABLY NOT BE SITTING FOR THIS BABY, I'LL HAVE SPACE. She'd already made other arrangements. Damn.
They'd chill out, right? It was an adjustment. I wanted to quit, thought about collecting BB's fat suit, etc and having it ready at the door, but worried about leaving them in a bind. Nurse called to chat and have me fill her in on how it was going. She worried HF wasn't telling her everything. "You can combine our strict schedule and your way." The next day I allowed 15 minute leeway to the strict schedule.
Can we pause here and recognize that 3 MONTH OLDS DON'T HAVE SCHEUDLES. *sigh*
DAY 3: Nurse picked up that night. I gave her homework: Have someone other than you feed him. Take him somewhere, like the store. Try another position to feed him because how can I recreate that when we go to the zoo next week. She froze.
When do I decide about outings? Sometimes morning of. I'd reviewed this when we met. One of the moms I sit for later told me that she'd stressed how much they love that we go places. Not new info. Nurse said she'd likely just hire a backup sitter for the day. I told her, great but you're going to pay me anyway, because we agreed to 4 days. Not going to skip out on using me because you aren't comfortable with something that I made clear from the get-go.
I also told her general rule is not to wake a sleeping baby. She told me there's lots of ideas nowadays. She's following one online, her sister follows another one. Who is this 'one' - an influencer? Curly: SHE'S LEARNING HOW TO BE A MOM FROM THE INTERNET?
DAY 4, FRIDAY: HF showed up: SO WE THINK BB'S VOICE IS A LITTLE HORSE. I KNOW HE CRIED A LOT HERE. (me: not yesterday, he's settling in, he cried the first 2 days), WELL, WE WEREN'T SURE IF MAYBE HE'S GETTING SOMETHING, SO WE GAVE HIM A LITTLE TYLEONOL.
That evening at pickup, HF: "Nurse paid you, but we've decided to go in another direction." *as if they almost didn't pay me, and I should count my lucky stars that they did?
I thought: THIS IS A RELIEF. I BARELY SLEPT LAST NIGHT BECAUSE OF YOU PEOPLE.
HF: Just a difference of opinion. Plus we felt disrespected when you said, GENERAL RULE IS DON'T WAKE A SLEEPING BABY.
You felt what? Disrespected? Because I, an expert in my field, shared with you what most people already know? I pointed out: THIS IS THE WRONG SETTING FOR YOU. He agreed. Why then, did you waste my time and energy? I could've filled the spot with someone else.
HF: HEY WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR 3 MOS.
Me: OH, I'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR OVER 25 YEARS. * been babysitting since age 12, probably since before HF was born.
Me: As a courtesy you can send me two weeks pay.
HF: WELL, WE WON'T BE DOING THAT.
Why? I want to know why? Because you don't value what I do? Because me caring for infants and toddlers and keeping them safe AND happy while their parents work is not essential and important? Really, because it seemed important and valuable enough for you to leave BB here.
People, I'm hot. When I back up the bus and explain all that's gone on here - you will grasp why. I couldn't wait to tell it from the beginning, because I'm all kinds of fired up. The bottom line is: they were dishonest. Turns out they DID care that he be kept on a crazy AF schedule. They DIDN'T want him to leave the house, but they knew I treated my charges to fun adventures.
I've drafted a letter to them: HEY DISHONEST FOLKS, WHO HAPPEN TO LIVE TWO BLOCKS FROM ME, HERE'S WHY THIS DIDN'T WORK (insert me 'splaining it) . . . YOU WASTED MY TIME AND COST ME THE OPPORUTNITY TO WORK FOR SOMEONE WHO KNEW WHAT THEY NEEDED.
I want to tell them to get a hobby. These people are future presidents of the HPA, helicopter parents association. BB is looking at a lifetime of being controlled.
* If you were me, what's one line you'd include in a note to them?