After being in a state of blissful sleeplessness during maternity leave, we had Kyler in day care full time just two days shy of his 3-month birthday. Our day care has a camera. I have an awkward relationship with said camera.
Start internal dialog: Is that baby… Kyler? Wait? It’s supposed to be nap time. Why isn’t he sleeping?
Why is he crying? Don’t you see that he is crying? His mouth is wide open. Why aren’t you picking him up? The child is screaming, someone do something! Ut oh.. a mitt came off. He is going to come home with bloody scars. GRAB A MITTEN, LADY.
Do I call? Ugh… I don’t want to be the helicopter mom. They’re supposed to stick to his schedule. It’s OK to call and remind them. If I call, they’ll be so annoyed that I’m telling them how to do their job that they’ll hate Kyler and take it out on him. It’s OK, don’t call. OK, maybe call and add in something casual to distract from the fact that I’m really calling cause I watch the camera all damn day and know they aren’t doing it the way I would. Cool moms don’t call the day care. No, this is me falling into the ‘be a laid back anti-bridezilla bride’ trap. It’s OK to want to have your child cared for in a specific way, that’s why you a shitload of money for them to watch him.
Breathe… call and speak to the director. Wait, is that undermining the teachers? Maybe I should just wait and see. Or wait until I’m there to pick him up to mention something. Screw it, I’m calling. No, don’t.
I have also realized that the relationship with everything having to do with day care can also just be… awkward.
The Day Care receives a happy, playful baby… for about a month. Then, he becomes a high needs baby due to eczema exacerbated by all kinds of other issues. He’s unhappy, miserable, and itchy. He requires a lot of attention. So finally, the day care set up a ‘meeting’ to discuss how to help Kyler with his eczema and among a myriad of medical things, we told them to stick to THE SCHEDULE. The boy is predictable and sticking to THE schedule allows the care providers to anticipate why he’s uncomfortable. If he’s tired or hungry, he doesn’t just cry like other babies, he gets eczema flare-ups that domino into all kinds of unhappiness and skin weeping. It’s not pretty. Their ‘on demand’ childrearing does not help him. If he cries… you’re already too late. Don’t undermine me as the first-time parent who’s overly obsessive. I may be that, but the kid is happier if you do what we do.
Fast-forward a couple weeks to now. They have been sticking to the schedule and coincidentally, he’s happier, catching up on development, and FINALLY gaining weight. He was diagnosed Failure to Thrive previously. That’s good… it’s great, in fact. But I still have this awkward internal dialogue when I see that something else isn’t quite right. Do I call? Do I pretend it didn’t happen? Did I just cross the line into psycho-mom? Does it even matter if I did? I’m just freaking out for no reason. Probably.
Every time I bring something up, there’s this awkward conversation accompanied by some eye contact avoidance and my own internal dialogue that thinks that the teachers are thinking, "we know, we know, we only spend more time with him during the day/week than you do." But. Clearly, you didn’t know. Otherwise you’d listen to me when I say I know what the hell I am talking about!
THEN. THEN, you come in and tell them that they ruined your diapers and should consider reimbursing you for new ones since they told you that they know how to use them, but ended up applying the wrong creams and thereby causing them to repel pee and poop. How is that for awkward? Way awkward. That’s a whole ‘nother story.