Thursday, May 17, 2007


Just when you thought the daycare thing was resolved...

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...