October 8, 2007

Show of hands, please

Anyone show up at their daycare provider today only to find it closed because of…

Columbus Day?


Or was it just me?

September 23, 2006

Daycare Dazed Again

The twins were six months old when we first put them in daycare. The first daycare provider lasted less than a month. She lasted such a short time because she had more children under the age of two than what she originally told us and, more importantly, what her license allowed.

We found another daycare provider and we have been, for the most part, happy with her. It was obvious how much she loved them and we were comforted knowing the bond our twins created with her and that they enjoyed being with her each day. We appreciated her so much we even invited her to the twins’ baptism and birthday parties.

Last week that all changed. Over the past several weeks Andrea and I were questioning how many kids she had as we seemed to see new faces all the time. This came to a head when we noticed two babies under the age of two in cribs in the back room last week. When I questioned our daycare provider she became very offended that we would question her loyalty to our children. “I thought we were family” she said as she told us that one of the kids we saw was just there for that day as a favor to a friend. I explained that while we did love her that it was our responsibility as parents to question these things since it affects our children. She seemed to accept this and, I thought, we had moved on.

Then, on Monday, she gave us our two-week notice. I was out of town on business when my wife told me the news. I sat in stunned silence as Andrea explained what had happened. She claimed her sister was coming to stay with her and that she had a young son so she wouldn’t have room for us anymore. I’m not buying this. I’m fairly certain that we got the boot because we questioned her.

So now we are busy interviewing possible replacements. I am still bitter and angry at this whole scenario. The part that hurts me the most is knowing how much TheMonk and Swee’Pea love our daycare provider. It kills me knowing that they will not understand why we don’t see her anymore and I fear they will be scared to go with someone else. It makes me want to tell off our daycare provider with a few choice words but that will have to wait until our last day. But believe me, she will hear from me. And she’ll hear from the state’s licensing department too.

March 17, 2006

Not easy being green

Proof #1231 that I’m a good father:

As we were leaving the house this morning, I realized that TheMonk was not wearing any green.

“I can’t let you get pinched, big guy!” I tell him.

He looks at me and smiles. He agrees.

We go back upstairs and find him some green socks.

“There!” I say after putting on the socks. “Whew! That was a close one!”

As we get to the twins’ daycare provider, I show her that TheMonk and Swee’Pea are wearing green and that it was a close call with TheMonk. “Well, it doesn’t matter” the daycare providers says with a smile. “He gets his cheeks pinched anyway.”

Well, dude, I tried. I really did.

January 9, 2006

Daycare Update – Day I, Part Deux

Not bad. In fact I would go so far as to say pretty good. Maybe even better than pretty good. Impressive? Maybe. You be the judge.

Apparently Swee’Pea felt warm to the new daycare lady (she’s getting over okay, has a cold) so she called me on my cell phone to ask if she could give her Children’s Tylenol. The only problem? I hadn’t yet programmed her phone into my cell and, since I’m not exactly used to getting calls from my daycare provider, I ignored her call (hey, I was in the middle of a very important meeting with 28 eight-year-olds). Oops.

She’s programmed now. It won’t happen again.

(Bri’s good too.)

January 8, 2006

Daycare Daze – Part Deux

On Monday we start daycare with our second daycare provider.

What happened to the first? Well, we were concerned when we found out she had five children under the age of one and two more pre-school aged kids and no consistent help. Her license only allows three kids under the age of 2 and six kids total. I feel bad because going with this lady was my idea. I had great recommendations from people who knew her personally and I trusted she was the right fit. I’m still not sure why she told me for months she had room for two infants when clearly she did not. It was a learning experience for this rookie father. I should have asked more questions. I should have looked at more providers. I should have…

Oh well. What’s done is done. Tomorrow we begin again and I can only hope this is the last time we have to switch providers. The kids handle it fine. It’s Daddy that has a little trouble coping with the change.

December 6, 2005

Daycare Daze

As part of our new morning routine, Andrea leaves for work before I do. It is my responsibility to get the kids together and deliver them to daycare. After Andrea left I gathered them on the floor and lightly tickled their feet. We giggled and laughed at each other. I gave them kisses as they smiled up at me. I couldn’t help but feel guilty. Little did they know that in less than 30 minutes I’d be leaving them with a total stranger.

As I gathered them up to put them in their infant carriers for the 10 minute ride to prison daycare I held each of them close and told them how much I loved being with them the past five weeks. TheMonk nibbled his fingers and then reached out with his slobbery hand and grabbed my nose. He smiled as I mockingly grimaced at the slimy fingers on my face. I gave him a big noisy kiss as he squealed in delight and set him into his carrier. Next, I picked up Swee’Pea and she clung to the back of my neck and nuzzled my cheek with hers. I held her a little more tightly than usual and inhaled her familiar scent of lavender lotion with a hint of breast milk. I kissed her as well and soon she was buckled into her carrier. I stood up and took stock of the room. All the bags filled with diapers, formula, changes of clothes and similar items were already in the car. I gave them their stuffed monkeys that they have grown to love – the same monkeys that Andrea and I had slept with the night before to make sure our scent lingered on the one toy they would bring with them. I glanced down to see two little faces looking up at me expectedly. I smiled and they smiled back. “We’re going bye-bye, babies.” I said. With that I picked up both carriers and took them out to the car.

Before I knew it we were on our way. The drive to the daycare seemed long and short at the same time. Thoughts of my past five weeks flittered through my mind. I tried not to think too much about all that I would be missing in the coming days, weeks and months. Milestones yet to be achieved that could easily happen in front of someone that we’re paying to watch our kids. Crawling, first steps, first words. Would we hear of these from the daycare provider? I hoped not.

As we arrived at the house I gathered them up along with all of the bags. I must have looked like quite a sight as I struggled to gracefully carry two bags and two infant carriers to the door. Once inside we were greeted warmly by the daycare provider. Two one-year olds were already there. I set the carriers down on her couch and we got them out one at a time. I held TheMonk first as I gave him kisses while he surveyed the room. Soon enough I handed him off to the daycare provider’s eldest daughter who helps her mom at the daycare. TheMonk didn’t seem to care who was holding him (Couldn’t you care a little TheMonk?). He smiled away as he took stock of his surroundings. Ever the curious one, he was in heaven at all the new stimulation. I now turned my attention to Swee’Pea. The daycare provider and I huddled around Swee’Pea in her infant carrier. As I reached down to unbuckle her she was eyeballing the daycare provider something fierce. “Wow, look at that look she’s giving me!” says the daycare provider. It is a look of uncertainty mixed with skepticism. She almost looks angry as she stares up. I take her out of her seat and give her kisses. She isn’t sure what’s going on and I don’t get my usual smile. I hand her off to daycare provider. Swee’Pea accepts this but her expression doesn’t change.

The next 10 – 15 minutes were spent going over their schedule and their likes and dislikes. I presented daycare provider with a printed schedule and tips on how to get them to sleep. I also gave her a small spiral notebook and asked her to write down when they nap, poop, and if anything neat happens that day. She says she will.

While we are doing this, TheMonk has forgotten all about his old man. He’s being entertained by the daughter and is checking out the two one-year olds in the room. I come back and kiss him goodbye. He smiles and I smile back – bravely. I don’t want to smile but I do it anyway. I turn to Swee’Pea as we get closer to the door. I take her in my arms, raise her above my head and she smiles at this. I feel better having seen her smile and I give her one last kiss. I hand her back to the daycare provider and say my final goodbye as I head out the door.

I get in my car. I sigh heavily and sit there in the silence of the chilled morning. After a few seconds I start the ignition and drive away. Two blocks later a single tear falls down my face. I take a deep breath and continue to work. I tell myself, “This will get easier.”


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