Top Five Daycare Induced Insecurities

by Amber on September 28, 2010

When I switched Tori to a big daycare center, I expected to worry about the quality of care she was getting. I knew I’d worry that she wasn’t getting enough attention. I thought I’d have to work to erase bad habits she picked up there.

But I didn’t think I’d worry about being judged. But you know what? I do. By the teachers, the other moms, even the front desk staff. It’s silly, I know. But here are five things I worry about nonetheless.

Tori’s appearance. Tori has plenty of cute clothes. Tons of adorable dresses. But at 7:30 in the morning? Her outfit usually ends up being whatever  is closest. Her clothes match…usually. But her socks? Almost never do. Which wouldn’t bother me if it weren’t for the immaculately dressed baby doll that shares her room. The moment I see that kid’s shiny shoes and starched shirt, I shrink inside.

Tori’s temper. Just about every other day, I get a call from the daycare center that goes something like this: “Hi. Just wanted to let you know Tori threw a temper tantrum and hit her head on the floor so hard that she got a little bump. We put ice on it, and she’s fine, but we just wanted to let you know.”  But you know what I hear? “Ummm, yeah. I don’t know what you’re doing wrong, but your daughter has some serious anger management issues. Keep it up and she’s bound to become a serial killer.”

Tori’s bruises. My daughter? Runs first, looks later (much like her mama). As a result, she often has colorful bruises—most of which have unknown origins. In fact , she currently has a black eye. I have no idea why. But I’m sure that the daycare people are evaluating those bruises and slowly building a case against us. If I suddenly get arrested? It’s not because I’m a child abuser—it’s because my daughter is a klutz.

My disorganization. Everything Tori brings to school is supposed to be neatly labeled with her initials. But I? Almost never remember—until I’m stashing things in her cubby. Then I realize her favorite blankie is in danger of getting put in the wasteland of unclaimed items. When the horror of this eventuality sets in, I start rooting through my purse, looking for some kind of writing utensil.This sometimes ends up being a half dried up pen, or a pencil, or worst of all, an eye liner pencil. I’m sure her teachers roll their eyes when they see Tori’s latest set of smeared initials.

My parenting style. Should I let her walk, or carry her on the way in? Should I hurry off or wait to see her settled? Do I say good bye correctly? Do I talk for her too much? These are just a few of the questions that go through my head every morning. Which the independent woman of the world in me knows is just a bunch of B.S. But the insecure mama? Worries,nonetheless.

I think I’d better toughen up before she hits kindergarten. Otherwise, we’re both in for a rough twelve years.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Andi O September 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm

The angry ones aren’t the serial killer ones. It’s those silent, brooding types you have to worry about!!

And bruises? Yeah, I almost put my kid in pants (in 109 degree weather still!!!) bc of all his bruises. Apparently, it’s “normal” to be bruised up. Whatever that means.

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BalancingMama (Julie) September 29, 2010 at 8:47 am

I wonder some of those very same things! Amelia is covered in bruises and scrapes too. Naptime is our school issue. She stays late, until 4:00, since I work part-time. She is the ONE kid who rarely ever naps at school. They love to tell me this… daily.

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Amber September 29, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Oh boy. No napping is a serious offense indeed. ;-) Oh well. Naps only last another, umm, two or three years, anyway. Right?

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Wendy September 29, 2010 at 9:18 am

Yep, same story here. Especially the bruises – one of my kids currently has one as a result of a bite from the other. That’s clearly from my poor parenting skills as well as the poor anger management issues of the biter. Sigh. And the feeling of being judged never stops. Buckle up – you’re in for a ride.

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Amber September 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Yee haw! Maybe I should have another kid – then I can blame all the bumps and bruises on the other one (whomever is not currently bruised).

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Kelly September 29, 2010 at 10:51 am

I don’t understand people who send their kids to daycare looking like a trophy child. Mine comes home looking like she took a dirt bath followed by a funk facial. Why waste your good clothes? We have a drawer full of Garanimals separates for daycare. Her cute clothes are reserved for cleaner activities.

We don’t have a bruiser, but we do have a sassypants. Our notes are all about how Bella tried to send Ms. So-and-So to timeout and told the other Ms. So-and-So to mind her business. I suppose the apple really doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

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Amber September 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Yesterday, her teacher told my hub that she’s “a born leader.” I’m thinking that means bossy. But I’m with you on the clothes. I’m not going to spend 30 bucks on a gymboree outfit to have it trashed with finger paints!

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Jen E @ mommablogsalot September 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Oh the mommy guilt! My four year old dresses himself now which means invariably his socks never match and the outfits… they are interesting. Sometimes I notice!
Jen E @ mommablogsalot recently posted..thoughts on t-ball so far…

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Amber September 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I can’t wait till she can dress herself. Then I can absolve myself of responsibility. ;-)

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Pollyanna September 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm

You need to relax (I know, easier said than done) or find a more relaxed daycare.

You can start chalking the mis-match up to her “dressing herself” – if it isn’t true now, it will be soon. Start using the excuse.

Don’t worry about the bumps & bruises. Sounds like her full barrelled zest for life will become blatently obvious to those at the daycare and she’ll get just as many bruises there as she would at home. They’ve seen it all.

Temper tantrums – it’s the age. The daycare is usually required by state law to inform you of injuries. I’ve seen the uptight parents that get all protective over a little bump and scream at the daycare workers for not calling them earlier when an injury occurs. I’m of the, if-they-don’t-require-a-visit-to-the-emergency-room-or-aren’t-a-health-risk-it-can-usually-wait-until-I-pick-them-up-to-find-out-about-yet-another-boo-boo, mind set.

Label everything. This is the biggest pain in the rump. Fortunately, the daycare teachers almost always have a cup of pencils that includes a Sharpie. Score! By the time you get around to the second kid, you’ve usually got this one down though. Just hang in there, we all go through it.

Your style is your style – wear it proudly! Carry your child in or let her walk. I’m all for walking her in. If you start the carrying thing, you many never be able to tell her to go up to the door, punch the numbers, and sit herself down for breakfast so that you can gather up the misc. papers & crap you need to bring in. We’re always skating in the door five minutes before breakfast is done being served. This independence is vital!

Do you feel any better???
Pollyanna recently posted..Little Parrots

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Amber September 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm

The first time they called, I was sure they were going to tell me she was on her way to the ER in an ambulance. Now I’m just like, “yeah, whatever.” I’m not as uptight as I sound, swear. I just think too much.

But yes, I feel better. Thank you.

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Janet September 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Okay, I used to work with child care providers, and I assure you, they hate it when kids come in all dressed to the hilt because then they worry about the kid getting dirty. And if it’s a good center, your kid WILL get dirty. They are not judging you, and they are probably judging the parent who dresses the kid like a princess!

As for all the bumps and bruises, and the behavior stuff, they are more worried that you’ll be upset with THEM for allowing this or that to happen to her. Stop worrying, you’re a great mom, and they know that! Believe me, they’ve seen the bad ones!
Janet recently posted..The Evil Overlord vs Jon Stewart

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Amber September 30, 2010 at 8:55 am

Thank you. I needed to hear that. And you know what? I purposely sent her with mismatched socks today. Just because.

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erica October 6, 2010 at 8:45 pm

B gets homework like… every week. She has to bring in this.. or bring in that… and the whole signing in, signing out, picking stuff up, bringing things home… it’s a lot. I can’t wait til she can help me out!

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