If you've missed the last few posts, I'm bringing everyone up to speed on my daycare drama. Once I get this off my chest, I'll move onto other topics like Europe and Florida and a new favorite I've been working on called 'WHAT WE'RE SAYING.' Thanks for bearing with me.
When both Johnny and Lila started getting dropped off, Nelly texted me maybe 6 times a day. Mind blown. HOW ARE THEY? . . . . DOING OK? . . . DID THEY GO DOWN FOR NAPS. I responded the first few days, and then I ignored it. If there is an issue, you will know. I mean, seriously? I have my hands full here and if I texted every mom updates all day, who would feed and change the babies? THINK.
Lila cried unless she was held. I asked Nelly if she liked the bouncy seat, the play mat, the exersaucer, WHAT IS HER HAPPY PLACE?
Nelly: OH, SORRY. SHE'S JUST SPOILED. I REALLY DON'T PUT HER DOWN AT HOME. I JUST HOLD HER.
Hmm. She was over 5 months old. What on earth? And how exactly did you think that was gonna work out at my house where I can't literally carry her all day long?
Fast forward about a month: In February, Delilah and I took the kids to this cute little forest preserve like 12 minutes away. It has a great, new indoor learning center. Sometimes they take out a snake for us to pet, or we get to watch them feed the snapping turtle. We love it there. IT.IS.A.TREAT.
As usual, I posted pics and videos of our adventures on FB to our tiny parent group. The parents love seeing what their kids are up to. I asked the twins' mom once if she thought I posted too much. She was like, UM, I'M A BIG FAN. THEY'RE MY KIDS. SO NO. NOT TOO MUCH.
Nelly texted me afterwards: I LOVE THAT YOU TAKE THE KIDS TO FUN PLACES. IN THE FUTURE , CAN YOU PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN ADVANCE. ICE.
I called Becky. Begged her to talk me down. WHAT THE EF IS ICE? It was 50 degrees out, no ice. Becky did some research: IN CASE OF EMERGENCY. Who's emergency? Mine? I have my phone with me, if I get a flat tire or run out of diapers or lose my sense of humor, I will reach out to my support system. Like, what? FYI, I described my regular outings when we met. This wasn't new info. I even brought a friend along.
Johnny hadn't been on an outing with us in the fall, because he was only with me one day a week. I didn't bring them anywhere on 'his' day, because he was still transitioning. Also, while he was once a week, she started him on half days. She asked me if he could stay long enough to watch the other kids go down for naps, so he grasped the concept.
Well, we got busy having fun outside. When Nelly showed up, we hadn't done naps yet. Things were running late.
Nelly: OH THAT'S FINE. ICAN CARRY HIM UP WHEN YOU BRING THEM UP FOR NAPS SO HE CAN SEE WHAT NAP TIME LOOKS LIKE.
Me (eyes bugging out of my head): OH, NOPE. THAT WON'T WORK. I HAVE TEENAGERS.
**the version that staying sealed in my panicking brain: HELL TO THE NO, ARE YOU GOING UP INTO THOSE BEDROOMS** It's not like there were dead bodies that I feared she'd discover, but - well, there was THIS:
BTW Delilah noticed in 20 minutes that day that something was off with Johnny. For instance, he wouldn't touch the tanks that the turtles swim in. All the other kids had their face pressed up to the glass to watch the turtles.
Also, Johnny had been having horrible, awful diarrhea, sometimes requiring a change of clothes. When Nelly arrived to pick up, I took a deep breath then responded to her text, and other 'stuff'. Note: I'm remembering the bullet points here, but I wasn't as abrupt as this sounds, trust me. I'm not a monster.
Me: I TOLD YOU WE GO ON OUTINGS. NO I DON'T ALWAYS LET PARENTS KNOW IF WE'RE GOING SOMEWHERE. A LOT DEPENDS ON MORNING NAPS, WEATHER, ETC. I LIKE TO 'READ THE ROOM' TO SEE IF THE KIDS ARE UP FOR AN OUTING. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO TEXT EACH PARENT AND ASK THEIR PERMISSION.
ALSO, HOW DID JOHNNY'S ASSESSMENT GO?
Nelly : He didn't have one, he just needs socialization.
Me: HE NEEDS TO BE ASSESSED SO THAT I KNOW HOW TO CARE FOR HIM. YOU ARE LOSING GROUND. HE GETS SERVICES TILL AGE 3. HE'S NOW 2.5.
AND, JOHNNY CAN'T COME HERE WITH HORRIBLE DIARREHA. I DON'T CARE FOR KIDS WITH THE RUNS, SAME AS VOMIT. YOU CAN'T DROP HIM OFF WITH A 12 OUNCE CUP OF JUICE.
*my kids knew this. they were like why is he drinking juice?
Nelly: Well, that's what I give him to take his medicine - (*medicine that she's put him on, for allergies that she thinks he has, no diagnosis - exactly what she told me). What's he supposed to drink then? (for real? did she just ask me this?)
Me: ASK YOUR DOCTOR.
Nelly: My pediatrician says it's OK for him to have loose stools until he's ready to be potty trained.
At this point my head exploded. The end.
Kidding, sort of.
I want 5 minutes alone with this pediatrician. Please, universe - make this happen. Nelly admitted that she'd just changed docs when Lila was born. My suspicion is that her original pediatrician was suggesting that Johnny might have some things that needed to be addressed, and she switched because she didn't want to face it.
Honestly, this breaks my heart. Truly. I feel for her. I gathered that she was in denial. However, it wasn't fair to ask me to babysit for him if she wasn't willing to seek answers for legitimate concerns that I had. Getting him help might very well improve his situation. Not to mention the constant runs? Her doctor? The worst.
Prior to this, Nelly was so excited to see Johnny participate with the other kids in the videos that I took. We did Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear touch the ground. Ring around the Rosie. I hid teddy bears and had the kids find them after we read, Going On a Bear Hunt book, one of our favorites. I'd told her a million times that he'd do well with a routine and he was starting to get a feel for our day.
She texted the next day after I was frank with her. 'Johnny won't be coming today.' I knew then, she'd not be bringing her kids back. I was right. She texted me that weekend to say that her husband lost his job. Untrue. He's a union construction worker for the city. I know he isn't out of work. If it was true, she still would've brought Johnny here one day a week for the socialization factor that she was so adamant that he needed.
I reached back out to the family with the newborn and asked if they found someone. They had. Super annoying. A week later, I wrote Nelly a letter and mailed it. Mini read it. OH, THIS IS A NICE LETTER, I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE AN ANGRY LETTER.
Me: I'M TICKED OFF, BUT I FEEL LIKE SHE DOESN'T GET IT. I WANTED HER TO KNOW THAT KIDS HAVE ISSUES, MINE DID/DO. IT'S PART OF THE DEAL. IT DOESN'T DO THE KID ANY GOOD TO AVOID SEEKING HELP AND SERVICES.
It was a nice letter. What she did was crappy. After she left, I tried AGAIN to fill that spot. Along came Bubble Boy and his WAKE-UP-MY-BABY parents.
I told you. Ridiculous school year, overflowing with nutty people. Super frustrating.
Which was worse in your estimation? Bubble Boy, or Johnny with his 'diarrhea is fine, just ask my pediatrician' and here's my baby who I guarantee will cry ALL DAY except when she sleeps. Or Wilhelm with his parents whose need for control over the other families who use my daycare made them asshats. Hard to choose, isn't it?
Poor kid, I hope he gets the assessment and help he needs (also, diarrhea! No fun at all!)
Good Lawd. It's a crap-shoot who is the worst.
I'm trying to figure out what you did in your past life to deserve these people this past year. (kidding!)
She really is in denial and it hurts my heart for her kid. Your daycare sounds like the best and any child in your care is fortunate to have all your attention and expertise.
It really is so hard to pick between them! The poor kids, really, but of course that doesn't make working with them (and their parents) easy for you. Sheesh.
I believe you are right when you say she switched pediatricians because she is in denial. I feel awful for the mom, especially if this is her first. It's difficult to be a parent and know what's the best way to do things while working and looking for care for your child. However, sending a sick child to day care is a no-no and lacks common sense, whether you are a first-time mother or a seasoned professional, LOL.
"... she switched because she didn't want to face it."
That's what I was thinking as I was reading this. I feel sad for the mother-- and slightly worried about the child. She must be confused? Unwilling to deal with reality so live in the river of denial?
It's so sad. It's not like your child needing services means you're a bad parent. In fact, it's the opposite! You've recognized that your kid needs help, and want to get them that help. You have the patience of a saint.
I Feel bad for the kid. Hopefully his mom will figure things out soon!
I don't think I could ever run a daycare...you are amazing! I do remember passing off my fussy infant to his nanny and driving away fast, ready for a break!! She never complained about his fussiness, so she was also amazing!
Yeah, looking after kids that aren't yours would be hard enough, but the parents? Nope nope nope.
Poor Johnny. Hope his mom figures it out!
And loose stools ok until he's ready ho.potty train??? Umm at his age he could very well already be potty trained. And did the Dr think there'd be a magic switch in his bowels the day he started training? My brain hurts from the "logic"
Nicole - I do too. Who gives a kid with the runs juice? Yikes. He didn't sit and eat meals because she said he just sort of walked around at home and snacked. Goodness this was more than I'd bargained for.
Suz - A crap-shoot indeed, and with Johnny's runs, well the label fits. And, yes I must've been a pain in the ass in a former life.
Ricky's mom said that after I sent the letter, the Nelly reached out to the preschool for an assessment. So, maybe she took what I said to heart.
And thank you, (insert bow) I do tend to agree. My home is a place where kids figure some stuff out like sharing and routine and manners and potty. Some of them really push their parents around and they can't do that with me. It's implied in my last name. Hee hee. Whenever I get a challenging kid, Coach likes to say YOU ARE THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO THAT KID. Too bad I don't get to charge more for those guys though. ;)
ccr - It is tough to pick one, I agree. All so weird and for somewhat different reasons. Clueless, controlling, inconsiderate. The kids that are here whose folks are with the program have a blast here.
Kari - Yep, I feel sorry for her too. It must be easy, but it also might not be as bad as she thinks it is. Without getting him services, she isn't going to see a lot of progress. She has never 'needed' childcare because grandparents watch him. I think she decided to look into care because she wanted him to have some social encounters. Again, she was probably suspecting that her kid wasn't reaching his markers but didn't want to admit it. Really it wasn't fair to do what she did to me. Reserve a spot, hope the social piece gets him on track, but never tell me there were concerns? Add the diet issues in there and IT WAS A LOT.
Ally - Yes, I do think she was not willing to face the truth, but the truth might not be as bad as she thinks. He could make incredible strides with some therapies. No idea, but like I told her YOU ARE LOSING GROUND. No way was I going to tip toe around the obvious. That'd be a disservice.
Kara - You make a very good point. This wasn't a reflection of her parenting. Thank you. My patience was certainly tested this year.
Jenny - I do too. If nothing else, the preschool will figure it out for her in the fall. Clock is ticking.
Colleen - I don't know, the mom of 7 is similar to a daycare . . . you just don't have wacky parents to deal with in addition to the kids. Kids are generally easier. No idea how people go to work and function if they've had a fussy baby like that during the night. When my kids were babies, I could barely see straight let alone show up at a work environment and contribute.
Ali - Yep, kids are one thing. I usually can figure them out pretty quickly, but the parents - a whole other animal. Over the year, some have made me almost lose my mind.
joymarie - You make an excellent point. What on earth would make a kid suddenly have firm stool when it was time to potty train? I also would normally be trying to train a kid who was two years old. Johnny wasn't anywhere near ready for that, which just goes to show that he wasn't where he should've been for his age.
It's been quite the year for you! I hope poor little Johnny gets the help he needs.
Beth - It has been a year. Thankfully the kids and parents who have been here through all the nonsense are great and flexible and easy.
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