The decision to place your child in the care of a stranger is unsettling to say the least.
When MJ first went back to work after Will was born, we used a daycare provider recommended by one of MJ’s co-workers. I never liked her. Her own kids were disrespectful and rude. Her assistant was flighty and weird. I never felt comfortable leaving Will there, not because I thought he was in danger or anything, but simply because something didn’t feel right.
Then MJ lost her job and we pulled him out of there because she was going to be home. But when she got another job, it was time to search for another provider for Will. The first few places we went weren’t so spectacular. I liked one, MJ liked another, but neither of us were sold on any of them.
And then we met our current provider.
This woman and her family have been a godsend to us. They are just fantastic people, a loving family and they treat Will like one of their own. Don’t believe me? Here’s what Will did yesterday:
First he’s treated to a breakfast cooked especially for him. Yesterday happened to be Pancake Day, which is one of Will’s favorites. But because she is certified by the state of Massachusetts, she follows mandated dietary restrictions so we know Will is eating right.
Then Will gets to take his rounds of the house. She has a son and a daughter. Will absolutely adores both of them. So the first thing he does is head upstairs to their bedrooms. Daycare kids aren’t usually allowed upstairs, but as our provider tells us “Will is different. He’s family.” Usually her kids are at school, but the daughter had the day off yesterday, so she was in bed. Will opened the door and was THRILLED to find her there. So he walked over to her TV, turned it on, and then proceeded to climb up in her bed.
He stayed there with her for an hour. Every so often he’d roll over and give her a big, fat, wet kiss. Then it was right back to cuddling and watching TV.
After he finished making out with her, it’s time for arts and crafts. Will has become an accomplished painter, and yesterday he cranked out three masterpieces. When he’s done, our provider asks him what he wants to call each one. Whatever the next word out of his mouth is, that’s what the painting is named. So yesterday we took home “No,” “Me,” and “Ssshhhhh!”
Because our provider seems to have the power of the gods, she actually manages to get Will down for a 3-hour nap. I don’t know how she does it because I’ve never been able to pull that off.
But once he wakes up, it’s either playtime outside (depending on the weather) or playtime in the basement. And that’s where I find him when I pick him up. He’s running around their basement, playing with their kids and smiling like he’s with his own family. Which, in a way, he is. Because he’d have no trouble convincing the outside observer that he was a part of their family.
And to top things off, last night we had an unexpected event occur.
Shortly after MJ got home around 6:30 p.m., someone rang our doorbell. This is odd, since no one ever comes to our house. MJ opened the door and no one was there, only a bag full of presents. There was a note inside, and this is what it said:
“You’ve been visited by the Jolly Jinglers!
A friendly elf has come your way to wish for you a wonderful Christmas Day
He left a small gift and something sweet, you never heard him come ‘cuz he’s light on his feet
You must be light on your feet too ‘cuz this is what you have to do
Choose two friends and choose them well, now this is a secret you must not tell.
Copy this poem not once, but twice, if you do it by hand make sure it looks nice.
Fill two gift bags with some goodies, like this one that’s been given to you.
Ring someone’s bell and leave a treat, make them happy so they dance on their feet.
Hang a Santa on your front door for all to see, then Santa will know to leave something under your tree.
This is only to have a little fun, let’s see how far it goes before Christmas has come.
Being a reporter, I was not ready to just let it rest without knowing who was behind it. So I opened the door again and caught two people running past the house away from us. I yelled at them to hold it right there, and that’s when I saw our provider’s two kids turn and smile. They were so cute, and they gave Will a ball, Playdoh and a cute Snowman Kit for when the white stuff comes.
So bottom line is we managed to find a daycare where Will has free reign of the house, eats like a king, makes out with beautiful high school senior girls, is becoming an accomplished artist and is surrounded by people who love him like he’s one of their own. Not to mention she’s affordable at $36/day and never charges us if I’m late picking him up due to work. Hell, I think she actually likes it when I’m late!
Sometimes daycare is tough on everyone involved. But once in a blue moon, you find the absolute perfect people and situation for your kid.
We lucked out.