UPDATE: My daycare provider now informs me that even though she’s asking Will to leave the program, our contract calls for two weeks notice. So she is going to CHARGE US even though she’s the one kicking Will out. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!!? I’m so pissed off I can’t even see straight and now I have to go over there to pick up all of Will’s stuff. This fucking woman is a joke. She didn’t even call me herself, she had her husband call me and leave that on my voicemail. Bullshit!!!
Five days ago I thought Will getting booted out of his current daycare was just about the worst thing that could happen. I never thought I’d be looking back on that fondly and wishing it was the least of my problems. But even though the situation with the baby has taken precedence, it is only exacerbated by the fact that I feel utterly betrayed by our daycare provider.
It’s no secret Will has had a tough time lately. For the last couple of months, he’s been very hit or miss at daycare. It all goes back to the arrival of a younger boy, who is six months younger than Will. Now granted, a group of daycare kids is not unlike a pack of dogs. The introduction of a new canine into the pack can be disruptive to say the least. Such was the case with him.
At first it was just that Will was jealous. He was the only boy and now he had to share the spotlight. But things devolved quickly. The other boy is a strong personality and very aggressive. So aggressive, in fact, that one day we found out he bit Will. I was alarmed at first, but our provider told us it was really no big deal. At that point, I had no reason not to trust her. She had become like family to us and she has years of experience. So I let it go with no further questions.
But things just got worse and worse from there. Will refused to share and he would not play with the group. He was perfectly content to be alone. And when he did play with everyone else, he and the other boy would get into scrapes. But for whatever reason, our provider told us Will was the problem. She had nothing but good things to say about the other boy, and negative comments about Will. Despite the fact that my son was the one who was bitten.
Things got so bad MJ and I had to come up with a plan to change his behavior. We instituted a “Big Boy Points” system in which he could earn points by sharing, saying please and thank you, picking up his toys, etc. And when he earned enough points he could go outside, play with the basketball or get a treat. And for a while it was working.
In fact, when he came home from daycare on Tuesday he had glowing reviews from our provider. She told him it was one of Will’s best days. That he shared. That he hugged the other boy all day. He was cheerful and pleasant and an all around great kid. I was thrilled and, most of all, relieved.
Which is why I was so surprised when, just 24 hours later, our provider called us and told us she couldn’t take him anymore.
Without going into too much detail, she has some family issues she’s dealing with. She has two kids of her own: one going off to college in the fall and the other in middle school. She already had to re-jigger schedules because she’s having problems with the youngest and wanted to spend more time with him. And apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back was when he came home from the last day of school on Wednesday and Will was throwing a tantrum. He told his mom he couldn’t deal with it and had to leave. Our provider said she can’t have her house become a place her children don’t want to be, so Will had to go.
But that’s bullshit.
YOU’RE A FUCKING DAYCARE PROVIDER!!!! I’m sorry, but whiny kids are kind of in the job description don’t you think? Did she really think she was going to become a daycare provider who only got angelic toddlers and perpetually well-behaved children? If she thought her home was always going to be a pleasant place to be with 4-5 young kids all running around, then she was either on crack or woefully misguided.
My kid is no angel. He can be hell on wheels at times and I can certainly relate to the feeling of wanting to pitch him out a window. I get it, he’s a handful. And she has every right to choose who her clients are. But it’s not like she was doing this on a volunteer basis. It’s her job. We are paying her, and part of that fee is to deal with a toddler. Christ, they don’t call it the Terrible Two phase for nothing.
Then she tried to play it off like it’s what was best for Will. Yeah, because young kids don’t need routine or anything and breaking that routine that he’s been in for 15 months is going to be beneficial. Right. Keep telling yourself that.
But I have to take some of the blame here. First of all, this is the second child she’s asked to leave daycare in the last year. Apparently kids need to be perfectly well behaved in order to keep their spot. But second and most telling, for the last 3 weeks Will has cried and begged me not to drop him off every morning. I just chalked it up to him being difficult, but obviously I should’ve listened to him. Every day it was “No dada, no go.” He didn’t want to be there, probably because she didn’t want him there and most likely has been making him feel that way for some time now.
We’ve found someone who can take Will immediately, which is surprising because I imagined all daycare providers stick together. In my head she most likely sent a fax out to all the daycare providers on the Cape with Will’s picture on it next to a skull and crossbones. I figured he’d be blacklisted at all the high class daycare establishments. Somehow it’ll go on his permanent record and some snooty headmaster will stamp DENIED on his preschool application. He’ll never be able to get a job because by then, Homeland Security will require a background check that dates back to toddlerhood. Getting kicked out of a daycare or not being potty-trained by age 3 won’t be enough to counteract a degree from Harvard.
In the meantime I just feel betrayed. I treated our provider like family. For Christmas we got her and her daughter Pandora bracelets. We gave her husband and her son club seats to a Celtics game. But when it came down to it I don’t think she gave it her full effort and when things got tough she sent Will packing. Now she’s screwing us over during the most chaotic moment of our lives.
Maybe I should become a daycare provider. If I can get paid to only watch toddlers who don’t cry and never whine my life would be made in the shade!