Daycare Drama and Making It Work
Friday, February 15, 2019
When I was looking at daycares, I wanted one that closes at 6. I get off work at 4 everyday, but I wanted the time to go to the gym, run an errand, or just sit somewhere quietly, like at the library or the Burger King.
I first started going to the gym cautiously after we started daycare, timing each piece of the visit--dressing, exercising, picking up my bags, heading out the door and going to pick up The Boo. I knew when I had to be there in order to get a half hour of exercise, and when I had to leave to get to her place before the late penalty kicked in. If I went to the gym, which I didn't often, I would get in 20-25 minutes. 30 if I was lucky.
Last week, our daycare provider told my husband that she is changing her policy to a maximum of 45 hours a week and start charging for every half hour above the 45 hours.
That’s simply unacceptable to me. I do not want to have to think about this everyday (“Okay, we dropped him off at 8:00 and picked him up at 5:27 yesterday, so if I pick him up at 5:55 today, then I’ll have to make sure I get him before 5:43 tomorrow.”). Plus, so many questions: How are we billed? Do we get a tab on Friday? How do we pay? Whose watch are we using to count the hours, anyway? Does the time start and end from the moment we walk in the house, or the moment we walk out? It’s preposterous, and I’m not doing it.
It's also workable for very few in this area. That means if you work 8 hours a day, you have a half hour to commute each way. I'm being a bit hyperbolic, but NO ONE in this town has a half hour commute. At least not in our sleepy suburb. Honestly, I could swing it, because my workday is only 7 hours, but it's still tight. Plus, I don't wanna.
However, if we tell her we want to keep the contract as-is, or even pay more to keep the same schedule, my husband was worried she won’t be as caring with him as she used to be. He didn't think she'd pinch him or anything like that, but he thought she’ll subconsciously not want to hold him as much, and so on. And even in that case, I don’t want to think that my daycare provider is counting the minutes until my baby leaves her house.
Monday, I cried and cried, because my baby loves her, I'm pretty sure she loves my baby, and I like her.
Tuesday, I got mad and made an appointment to see another daycare, so we could quit.
Wednesday, my husband decided we should talk to her instead of just up and quitting, because she's a nice lady, and we have a good relationship with her. She wouldn't retaliate, even subconsciously, and it would be mean to just quit without discussion, without telling her we didn't like the new arrangement and giving her a chance to rectify it. So my husband is going to discuss with her today a compromise. We will not accept the hours counting. However, we will change the closing time to 5:30, so that I can pick him up straight from work (which will be more like 5, but I don't want to tell her that, because then she'll wonder why I haven't been doing that from the beginning). That actually puts us really close to the 45-hour mark, but I just don't want to have to do the math.
The reason is that we realized a creative solution that I hadn't thought of while I was busy crying and being angry. The gym has a kids' club, so I *could* pick my boy up straight from work and go there.
The only problem with that is that if I want my peace until 6pm, I can no longer go to the library or Burger King. I mean, I go to Burger King A LOT, but it's not what you think! I had a coupon once, so I went there for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, and I discovered the one near my house has one of those awesome soda fountains with Diet Dr Pepper!!! This is such a rare find in Northern Virginia, and I've stopped buying it for my house, because I don't want my baby to really see us drinking pop. I go to the Burger King and get a small pop and sit and refill that thing, like, four times before I go get my baby.
And errands? If it's not the dry cleaners or gas, or MAAAAAAYBE the grocery store for one thing I know the exact location of in the store, then those are out, too.
That leaves only the gym. BUT....how is that a problem, really? I can either go home and spend more quality time with my child, or I can go spend quality time on myself. Win-win (-win). AND I can go for 30 minutes or more! No more rushing out the door after 17 minutes, feeling like the working out to getting dressed ratio wasn't high enough!
Wish us luck, because this really must go well. We aren't counting hours. If we're wrong, and she doesn't love him as much as we suspect she does, then we're going to have to yank him. Which would bring me back to Monday.