Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Where is Baby's Childcare? Vol. 1

Back in September, Mrs. Blackwell and I put our little guy in day care.

Much second guessing and agonizing went into our search toward finding the right day care. If you’ve searched for childcare you know what I mean; if you haven’t, I’m confident you can imagine.

Throughout the search, one’s imagination consistently veers toward the worst-case scenario. And when it doesn’t, you’ve got other folks to send it there for you.

To that end, one of the more unproductive exercises new parents engage in is regaling one another with anecdotal evidence of how terrible day care workers can be.

Reason #1 why my first question to a babysitter is: "Have you
ever been on television before?"
Through other parents, I’ve heard horror stories about full diapers that go unchanged for hours, about clothes that are never changed and Kleenex lazily recycled from child to child, thus ensuring they all get sick.

One verified story I’m particularly fond of puts other parents on trial. Friends of Mrs. Blackwell and I took their kids to a day care in which several of the other parents felt it was acceptable to blare explicit music from their cars while picking up and dropping off their kids.

I’m no prude but I also have no urge to ever tell my son that I’m not sure why you “just can’t trust a ‘ho” or explain what a “hit from the bong” is. That’s for him to figure out on the playground when he’s in sixth grade, like a normal kid. 

Never minding the swear words and references to drugs, these parents saw fit to crank the tunes with their cars parked in front of two large signs asking them to turn down any music on account of, you know, sleeping babies.
duke fans use cheer sheets; just throwing that out there. 

To add insult to scarred ears, our parent friends heard their child utter the phrase, “F@!# that f@!#ing b!#@$” one day when she arrived home. They’re pretty sure their little girl picked that up at day care.

(Note: I can only imagine what it is that my boy hear from me and then pass along to his day care buddies. Something about duke basketball, including the words, “damn” or “son of a” are my early front runners.)

And when you don’t  have parents in your ear filling you in on the horrendous possibilities, you’ve got an endless stream of hidden camera reports to fill the void.

So, from baby sitters to day care it seems, you can’t trust anyone with your kids.

Of course this is malarkey. Mrs. Blackwell and I found a great day care filled with dedicated employees who – gasp! – actually love kids. And while we don’t have hidden camera footage to prove it, we know it’s a great day care because, every day he's there we pick up a happy little boy. We found great people in a great spot and they've done right by our boy.

Which is why, after about five months it’s really difficult to say goodbye. A few weeks ago we began a new search, this time for a nanny.

And, we thought searching for a day care was interesting.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Firstly, a special thanks to Vice President Joe Biden who reminded us all that the word “malarkey” exists. Secondly, this is the fist of three parts. Hence the “Volume I” designation, unlike the Home Alone post, which I’m still unsure as to why I titled as “Part I”. Thirdly, I will use a capital 'D' to spell "duke" when they earn it.)

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