Just when you thought the daycare thing was resolved…

by DaniGirl on May 17, 2007 · 48 comments

in Working and mothering

Remember that new caregiver? The one that took me four months to find, the one I waited more than two months for the boys to start, the one who was ‘ideal’ and was going to help us send Simon to nursery school?

She wants to quit. Well, she has ‘serious reservations’ after spending two whole days with my boys. I could cry.

I knew Tuesday had been a rough day. Simon was upset (he cried for the best part of an hour after Beloved left) and he was a real handful after I brought him home. He simply didn’t handle the transition nearly as well as I had hoped and expected.

But this morning, Beloved and I were floored when the new caregiver said if she didn’t see some improvement by the end of the day today (only the second day she’s seen them), she might have to ‘reconsider.’ When I called her this morning, she had a laundry list of concerns, most of them boiling down to the boys being, well, boys. She felt they were not listening to her, were being too rambunctious, kept asking for TV and video games. She kept talking about how important it was to get a good ‘fit’.

I called again this afternoon, and while she had another laundry list of concerns, she’s given us a reprieve of sorts, saying she never makes a decision without thinking about it and that she would ‘see how it goes after the weekend.’ Not sure exactly what this means, except that I get to keep this gnawing lump of anxiety near to my heart for the duration of the long weekend now.

I’m trying not to be bitter, I really am. I get that she’s concerned because the boys aren’t listening to her as well as she’d like, but to me it’s her job to command that respect. They’re coming from a day care environment where they had too much freedom, in my opinion, which is why we changed in the first place. And while I’m the first to admit that my boys are not angels, I have a hard time swallowing the fact that they are the bad influence that she seems to be insinuating.

I could refute her criticisms and concerns on a point-by-point basis, but to me it basically boils down to the fact that they need to respect her authority and get used to her style – two things that it will take more than two days to resolve. I’m just flabbergasted that she’s being so quick to consider bailing out on me. While of course I would rather she be open with me from the start, I can’t help but think this is a huge overreaction on her part. I’m willing to listen to her concerns and to work on the behaviours that are most troubling to her (which seem to revolve around listening and helping to clean up), but it will still take me more than four days to get things turned around.

It’s hard not to take this whole thing personally. Aside from the nauseating idea of potentially losing the nursery school connection and having to start the whole day care search over again from scratch, I don’t take criticism well on the best of days – but I am especially thin-skinned when it comes to my boys, and my parenting skills.

I can’t help but compare this to when we got called in by Tristan’s teacher after only eight days last September. She too had concerns about Tristan’s behaviour that she wanted to bring to our attention – and we worked with her to improve the situation. The irony is that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear he’s now one of her favourite students; she’s always very favourable to him now and she hasn’t expressed a single concern since then.

Bad enough this is undermining my confidence in my choice of a caregiver, but now I’m beginning to wonder if I’m one of those parents who are oblivious to the hellions they are raising. I just want to crawl under my desk and cry…


{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miche May 17, 2007 at 9:53 pm

Oh Dani… *big hugs*
No advice to offer. Just an empathetic ear.
(and a bit of kvetching about technology .. you may see this comment twice… or not at all!)

2 Miche May 17, 2007 at 9:53 pm

Oh Dani… *big hugs*
No advice to offer. Just an empathetic ear.
(and a bit of kvetching about technology .. you may see this comment twice… or not at all!)

3 Phantom Scribbler May 17, 2007 at 10:13 pm

((((Dani))))

4 Phantom Scribbler May 17, 2007 at 10:13 pm

((((Dani))))

5 sleepycat May 17, 2007 at 10:32 pm

{{{Dani and Simon and Tristan}}}
I agree, that is an insanely short amount of time for kids who have been in a long-term single caregiver situation to adjust.
Good luck wishes and positive vibes headed north!

6 sleepycat May 17, 2007 at 10:32 pm

{{{Dani and Simon and Tristan}}}
I agree, that is an insanely short amount of time for kids who have been in a long-term single caregiver situation to adjust.
Good luck wishes and positive vibes headed north!

7 Tanya May 17, 2007 at 10:41 pm

What?? In my experience (with our own caregiver and friends who run home daycares), they allow at least two weeks for the kids to adjust before even considering giving them up. Is there anything in the contract about that? Ours makes sure the initial “trying out period” is clearly written in new contracts. Two DAYS seems a bit much, honestly…
I’m so sorry…how stressful.
(if this publishes three times, I apologize…our javascript blocker thingie is giving me a hard time…)

8 Tanya May 17, 2007 at 10:41 pm

What?? In my experience (with our own caregiver and friends who run home daycares), they allow at least two weeks for the kids to adjust before even considering giving them up. Is there anything in the contract about that? Ours makes sure the initial “trying out period” is clearly written in new contracts. Two DAYS seems a bit much, honestly…
I’m so sorry…how stressful.
(if this publishes three times, I apologize…our javascript blocker thingie is giving me a hard time…)

9 Sue May 18, 2007 at 1:46 am

I feel so sorry for you and totally understand why you would want to crawl under your desk and cry.
But don’t. Boys will be boys and you’ve already identified why they may or may not be like they are and that’s a good mom to understand that.
My children have never gone to daycare other than their nan having them or for a brief period a childminder. And guess what, they still display the behaviour yours are showing. They are not naughty and yes it’s hard to adapt.
But, I bet if you spoke to other moms with boys (like I did recently) they will probably admit to theirs being similar.
As moms we don’t like to think our children are perceived in certain ways, it’s natural and I’m sure very normal.
As for the caregiver, take the upper hand and state what you need!
As we say in England, keep your chin up! πŸ™‚
Hugs xx

10 Sue May 18, 2007 at 1:46 am

I feel so sorry for you and totally understand why you would want to crawl under your desk and cry.
But don’t. Boys will be boys and you’ve already identified why they may or may not be like they are and that’s a good mom to understand that.
My children have never gone to daycare other than their nan having them or for a brief period a childminder. And guess what, they still display the behaviour yours are showing. They are not naughty and yes it’s hard to adapt.
But, I bet if you spoke to other moms with boys (like I did recently) they will probably admit to theirs being similar.
As moms we don’t like to think our children are perceived in certain ways, it’s natural and I’m sure very normal.
As for the caregiver, take the upper hand and state what you need!
As we say in England, keep your chin up! πŸ™‚
Hugs xx

11 Miranda May 18, 2007 at 2:12 am

Oh, Dani. No advice and I only know you in blogland, but you seem like a very thoughtful mother of two very fun and energetic boys. As the mother of three children, I’ve gone through many a child care transition and they are never all set after only two days.
I hope things work out for your family.

12 Miranda May 18, 2007 at 2:12 am

Oh, Dani. No advice and I only know you in blogland, but you seem like a very thoughtful mother of two very fun and energetic boys. As the mother of three children, I’ve gone through many a child care transition and they are never all set after only two days.
I hope things work out for your family.

13 Karen May 18, 2007 at 2:35 am

I don’t have much advice but I do know that two days is ridiculous to expect the boys to transition and act as they will when they are used to the new setup.
The only other thing I’d say is to go with your instincts. If you’re not comfortable, start looking for something else. Remember that this is a two-way relationship and she doesn’t call all the shots.

14 Karen May 18, 2007 at 2:35 am

I don’t have much advice but I do know that two days is ridiculous to expect the boys to transition and act as they will when they are used to the new setup.
The only other thing I’d say is to go with your instincts. If you’re not comfortable, start looking for something else. Remember that this is a two-way relationship and she doesn’t call all the shots.

15 nancy May 18, 2007 at 2:45 am

You already know what I think…but TWO days?? Gimme a effing break…maybe at least 2 weeks, or more, then she should start her re-evaluation.

16 nancy May 18, 2007 at 2:45 am

You already know what I think…but TWO days?? Gimme a effing break…maybe at least 2 weeks, or more, then she should start her re-evaluation.

17 liz May 18, 2007 at 4:19 am

I agree, two days is waaaay too soon to be making these kinds of judgments.
May I suggest a couple of things that (mostly) work for us around getting MM to listen better at school.
1. Before school every day we talk about what he’s looking forward to that day and ask him if he’s brought his listening ears with him.
2. He gets a sticker on his calendar every day that he brings home a smiley face on his “what I did today” sheet.
3. If he gets a certain number of smiley’s in a row, we’ll take him to CEC or other place of his choice (it was 20, but he’s never gotten past 11, so I’m going to lower it to 10 so that he’ll actually get this big reward).
4. If he gets a frowny face 2 days in a row, he doesn’t get tv until he gets a smiley face again (this is new, after he hit one friend and pulled another’s hair).
This generally works for us. YMMV.

18 liz May 18, 2007 at 4:19 am

I agree, two days is waaaay too soon to be making these kinds of judgments.
May I suggest a couple of things that (mostly) work for us around getting MM to listen better at school.
1. Before school every day we talk about what he’s looking forward to that day and ask him if he’s brought his listening ears with him.
2. He gets a sticker on his calendar every day that he brings home a smiley face on his “what I did today” sheet.
3. If he gets a certain number of smiley’s in a row, we’ll take him to CEC or other place of his choice (it was 20, but he’s never gotten past 11, so I’m going to lower it to 10 so that he’ll actually get this big reward).
4. If he gets a frowny face 2 days in a row, he doesn’t get tv until he gets a smiley face again (this is new, after he hit one friend and pulled another’s hair).
This generally works for us. YMMV.

19 roxanne May 18, 2007 at 5:17 am

I’d have to agree with everyone so far, both as a mom and a caregiver for other moms’ kids. When I read her reaction after only two days, my first instinct makes me think that maybe she wasn’t sure about the situation in the first place and is now trying to use this to back out. How frustrating for you.
I personally have a two week period where either I or the parents can back out if things don’t seem to be working. Honestly I only have that in my contract so that the parents don’t feel like they’re stuck once they start to get to know me better. I ALWAYS give kids plenty of time to adjust. Two days, two weeks, even two months is barely enough time for them to start getting comfortable enough with me. Heck, it takes me a lot longer to get to know people in my adult relationships. Why should I expect a child to be any different.
Good luck and I hope this can all be worked out for the better. Whatever that may be.

20 roxanne May 18, 2007 at 5:17 am

I’d have to agree with everyone so far, both as a mom and a caregiver for other moms’ kids. When I read her reaction after only two days, my first instinct makes me think that maybe she wasn’t sure about the situation in the first place and is now trying to use this to back out. How frustrating for you.
I personally have a two week period where either I or the parents can back out if things don’t seem to be working. Honestly I only have that in my contract so that the parents don’t feel like they’re stuck once they start to get to know me better. I ALWAYS give kids plenty of time to adjust. Two days, two weeks, even two months is barely enough time for them to start getting comfortable enough with me. Heck, it takes me a lot longer to get to know people in my adult relationships. Why should I expect a child to be any different.
Good luck and I hope this can all be worked out for the better. Whatever that may be.

21 andrea from the fishbowl May 18, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Aaaargh! This is just awful. I’m shocked that she’d try to get out of it after only TWO days!
It seems really unprofessional.

22 andrea from the fishbowl May 18, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Aaaargh! This is just awful. I’m shocked that she’d try to get out of it after only TWO days!
It seems really unprofessional.

23 Loukia May 18, 2007 at 1:56 pm

Wow, that seems totally harsh! It is totally understandable how Simon would cry and have a hard time adjusting on his FIRST DAY! Come on! Way too harsh! I’m sorry you have to go through this… geez… “I’ll think about it over the weekend”???? Poor you Dani, I’m sorry.

24 Loukia May 18, 2007 at 1:56 pm

Wow, that seems totally harsh! It is totally understandable how Simon would cry and have a hard time adjusting on his FIRST DAY! Come on! Way too harsh! I’m sorry you have to go through this… geez… “I’ll think about it over the weekend”???? Poor you Dani, I’m sorry.

25 BubandPie May 18, 2007 at 2:17 pm

Oh NO!! It’s just the worst feeling of rejection, isn’t it?
The first day-care provider I went with when Bub was a baby was a very experienced caregiver, and she explained that she took it for granted that there would be a two-week period of adjustment – only after that could one really assess how a child was doing in the situation. (This, I think, was more for my benefit than hers – she wanted to prepare me for the fact that it might take that long for Bub to adjust to the day-care environment.)
It’s very hard to leave a child in someone’s care when you suspect that she views the child as a nuisance or a problem. Ugh.

26 BubandPie May 18, 2007 at 2:17 pm

Oh NO!! It’s just the worst feeling of rejection, isn’t it?
The first day-care provider I went with when Bub was a baby was a very experienced caregiver, and she explained that she took it for granted that there would be a two-week period of adjustment – only after that could one really assess how a child was doing in the situation. (This, I think, was more for my benefit than hers – she wanted to prepare me for the fact that it might take that long for Bub to adjust to the day-care environment.)
It’s very hard to leave a child in someone’s care when you suspect that she views the child as a nuisance or a problem. Ugh.

27 yvonne May 18, 2007 at 4:20 pm

You have good kids Dani. Active, inquisitive kids and that makes them a handful for any daycare provider. If they would just sit quietly and play with one toy all day long, without any needs, it would be so much easier. But that is not the reality of intelligent, engaged boys. You are doing a good job in channelling them. You are making mistake – so is everyone. If good parenting was easy, everyone would be doing it.
It takes a special kind of person to be a caregiver for two boys; imagine me looking for care for three active boys.
Unfortunately, if she is saying she will think about things over the weekend, it is likely not a positive experience for your boys. It might be something that you want to think about over the weekend as well.
How many years until they are in school full time? πŸ™‚

28 yvonne May 18, 2007 at 4:20 pm

You have good kids Dani. Active, inquisitive kids and that makes them a handful for any daycare provider. If they would just sit quietly and play with one toy all day long, without any needs, it would be so much easier. But that is not the reality of intelligent, engaged boys. You are doing a good job in channelling them. You are making mistake – so is everyone. If good parenting was easy, everyone would be doing it.
It takes a special kind of person to be a caregiver for two boys; imagine me looking for care for three active boys.
Unfortunately, if she is saying she will think about things over the weekend, it is likely not a positive experience for your boys. It might be something that you want to think about over the weekend as well.
How many years until they are in school full time? πŸ™‚

29 ella May 18, 2007 at 6:50 pm

Dani, I’m so sorry – that really isn’t fair of her. Two days is no time at all and she should be ashamed for burdening you with her concerns before at least giving the situation a couple of weeks to settle.
I have three rambunctious, intelligent boys – and I would happily look after your two as well if I could! I’m sorry she doesn’t see it as the fun it could be. I hope it works out for you and the boys.

30 ella May 18, 2007 at 6:50 pm

Dani, I’m so sorry – that really isn’t fair of her. Two days is no time at all and she should be ashamed for burdening you with her concerns before at least giving the situation a couple of weeks to settle.
I have three rambunctious, intelligent boys – and I would happily look after your two as well if I could! I’m sorry she doesn’t see it as the fun it could be. I hope it works out for you and the boys.

31 dean dad May 18, 2007 at 8:21 pm

Jeez, Dani, two days?
Don’t beat yourself up. If your caregiver is having issues, your caregiver is having issues. You’re not.
Hopefully she’s just having some trouble adapting to change. I know some folks like that…

32 dean dad May 18, 2007 at 8:21 pm

Jeez, Dani, two days?
Don’t beat yourself up. If your caregiver is having issues, your caregiver is having issues. You’re not.
Hopefully she’s just having some trouble adapting to change. I know some folks like that…

33 Jennifer (ponderosa) May 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm

I didn’t read all the comments, so maybe everyone has said this. But. I don’t think she’s telling you the real reason why she’s uncomfortable. “Your boys won’t listen to me” seems like too small an issue to kick them out after 2 days.
Maybe she overbooked? Maybe she thought she wanted 2 more kids, but really doesn’t?
Maybe she’s overwhelmed by adding 2 at once? (It’s much harder to add 2 kids to the mix than 1.)
You KNOW your boys are good boys. If for no other reason than that they’ve had success in daycare before.
Since you asked : ) my advice would be: Pursue 2 avenues at once. First, try to get to the root of her discomfort. Be patient with her. She probably doesn’t really want to admit what’s going on. Second, start looking for someone else. It’s always useful to have a back-up mind!

34 Jennifer (ponderosa) May 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm

I didn’t read all the comments, so maybe everyone has said this. But. I don’t think she’s telling you the real reason why she’s uncomfortable. “Your boys won’t listen to me” seems like too small an issue to kick them out after 2 days.
Maybe she overbooked? Maybe she thought she wanted 2 more kids, but really doesn’t?
Maybe she’s overwhelmed by adding 2 at once? (It’s much harder to add 2 kids to the mix than 1.)
You KNOW your boys are good boys. If for no other reason than that they’ve had success in daycare before.
Since you asked : ) my advice would be: Pursue 2 avenues at once. First, try to get to the root of her discomfort. Be patient with her. She probably doesn’t really want to admit what’s going on. Second, start looking for someone else. It’s always useful to have a back-up mind!

35 Jen May 18, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Oh Dani. As the mother of a couple of bona fide hellions, I mean spirited kids (this week a man in the grocery store told me that I reminded him of a condom ad – and I was with only my son — the calm one!), I totally empathize. I don’t have the same caregiver experience but I know with school, they give them a couple of weeks before they make any judgements since the transition thing is so hard for so many of them. You had a good gut feeling about this person so I would ask her to partner with you on this one for, say, a two week trial period to get the boys used to the new situation. I see it as a positive that she was open enough to say something (I have had sitters gain enviable compliance from my daughter only to discover it was the promise of a lerge box of fries daily and handfuls of cookies that was doing the trick!) I would also ask her point blank if there is something else going on (perhaps she made a commitment to another family or something). I know that a lot of friends with caregivers have run into issues blamed on their kids’ behaviour when it is about something else entirely (typically a better offer or a major life change).
I know how much you had your heart set on this working so I’m sending positive vibes your way!
Jen

36 Jen May 18, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Oh Dani. As the mother of a couple of bona fide hellions, I mean spirited kids (this week a man in the grocery store told me that I reminded him of a condom ad – and I was with only my son — the calm one!), I totally empathize. I don’t have the same caregiver experience but I know with school, they give them a couple of weeks before they make any judgements since the transition thing is so hard for so many of them. You had a good gut feeling about this person so I would ask her to partner with you on this one for, say, a two week trial period to get the boys used to the new situation. I see it as a positive that she was open enough to say something (I have had sitters gain enviable compliance from my daughter only to discover it was the promise of a lerge box of fries daily and handfuls of cookies that was doing the trick!) I would also ask her point blank if there is something else going on (perhaps she made a commitment to another family or something). I know that a lot of friends with caregivers have run into issues blamed on their kids’ behaviour when it is about something else entirely (typically a better offer or a major life change).
I know how much you had your heart set on this working so I’m sending positive vibes your way!
Jen

37 Barbara May 19, 2007 at 2:06 am

Dani,
I wrote in an email off line that Friday was coming and you just needed to hang on before I read this post. Others had advice but I just want to say that this sucks and you don’t deserve it.

38 Barbara May 19, 2007 at 2:06 am

Dani,
I wrote in an email off line that Friday was coming and you just needed to hang on before I read this post. Others had advice but I just want to say that this sucks and you don’t deserve it.

39 Kris May 19, 2007 at 3:35 am

This happened to me, and it was extremely painful. I wrote a letter to the woman saying my peace. Made me feel much better. Let her go, ASAP.

40 Kris May 19, 2007 at 3:35 am

This happened to me, and it was extremely painful. I wrote a letter to the woman saying my peace. Made me feel much better. Let her go, ASAP.

41 Mad Hatter May 19, 2007 at 4:22 am

Ugh. No words of advice here. Just sympathy. Finding and coping with childcare is one of the toughest parts of this parenting gig and you have had more than your fair share of grief.

42 Mad Hatter May 19, 2007 at 4:22 am

Ugh. No words of advice here. Just sympathy. Finding and coping with childcare is one of the toughest parts of this parenting gig and you have had more than your fair share of grief.

43 Rebecca May 19, 2007 at 1:36 pm

You’re way too intelligent to be raising hellions. What a great word!

44 Rebecca May 19, 2007 at 1:36 pm

You’re way too intelligent to be raising hellions. What a great word!

45 snackmommy May 19, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Dani, I have to echo the comments of the others, either she was unsure before she even got them, or something else has come up. There is no way an experienced child care provider would make those statements after two days. They could be absolute hell on wheels, and she would be well within her rights to keep you UTD on the problems they are having, but with an eye on it being a transition period. If it doesn’t work it’s way out, that is a conversation to be having at a further point down the road.
If there aren’t any other underlying issues with her, as mentioned above, than I think she has simply never encountered energetic boys. Perhaps she has always had compliant charges whose largest request for more time to colour and make bead bracelets.
I hope you don’t have to go through this again, but I certainly appreciate your unease leaving them with someone who holds such opinions.
I wish I could help…

46 snackmommy May 19, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Dani, I have to echo the comments of the others, either she was unsure before she even got them, or something else has come up. There is no way an experienced child care provider would make those statements after two days. They could be absolute hell on wheels, and she would be well within her rights to keep you UTD on the problems they are having, but with an eye on it being a transition period. If it doesn’t work it’s way out, that is a conversation to be having at a further point down the road.
If there aren’t any other underlying issues with her, as mentioned above, than I think she has simply never encountered energetic boys. Perhaps she has always had compliant charges whose largest request for more time to colour and make bead bracelets.
I hope you don’t have to go through this again, but I certainly appreciate your unease leaving them with someone who holds such opinions.
I wish I could help…

47 meg May 19, 2007 at 5:57 pm

All I can say is we need national daycare-this is an unbeleivable situation!
I can’t beleive you have to go through all this stress! National Daycare!!!!!!!
When are parents going to be free to go to work without the pain and stress of these situations?
Licenced non-profit daycare centre policies are certainly not two day transitions!
Most centres are set up like Club Med and kids jump at the chance to go, they love it so much they automatically behave!
….i just don’t get it!

48 meg May 19, 2007 at 5:57 pm

All I can say is we need national daycare-this is an unbeleivable situation!
I can’t beleive you have to go through all this stress! National Daycare!!!!!!!
When are parents going to be free to go to work without the pain and stress of these situations?
Licenced non-profit daycare centre policies are certainly not two day transitions!
Most centres are set up like Club Med and kids jump at the chance to go, they love it so much they automatically behave!
….i just don’t get it!

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