It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Oh, honestly…

Today is my last day of work until the New Year!! (Can you hear the whoops of celebration from there?)

Today is my last day of work, and two of my three families are already gone on holiday!!
(More cheers!!!)

Today is my last day of work … and on Friday, when Daniel’s dad found out his were the only kids coming, he apologized. With energy and remorse. Of course, I was all professional and “No, no! I’m open for business, and you have to work! Don’t worry about it.” And then he was all, “Oh, but no, you almost have a day off! I feel bad!” We chatted a bit more about the kids’ day, and then he was off. “We’ll have to see what we can do about Monday!” were his parting words.

Because most families wouldn’t be back on Monday, I give the parents their children’s gifts from me at home time. I send them home so the parents get the pleasure of seeing their children open the gifts Christmas morning. In so doing, I am depriving myself of seeing them open my gifts, true, but I’m being considerate here. The family Christmas is the most important thing.

Friday after work, 15 minutes after Rosie’s departure, Wonderful Husband and I walk to the pharmacy on the corner, passing Rosie’s dad, out playing in his drive with Rosie and Rory. (I’d sent a gift home for Rory, too, even though he’s no longer in my care. Rory comes bombing over to see me.)

“Thanks for the flashlight!!” he says. “I can make it go really bright!”

He’d opened it already? “Oh, yes,” says dad. “We like to spread the gifts out a bit. They can get overwhelmed on Christmas morning.”

Blink, blink. Fifteen minutes? They’d opened their gifts within 15 minutes of leaving my house.

You know, he’s quite right. Little kids can be overwhelmed by the enormity of Christmas. Opening the odds-and-ends gifts from neighbours and friends — and caregivers! — when they arrive makes good sense.

If that’s the case, don’t you think it would have made even more good sense to let her open it RIGHT THERE IN MY HOME so I could see her???

Oh, honestly.

The weekend proceeds. I do some last-minute dashing about, go to a Christmas party, decorate our tree. (Very late for us.) The weekend proceeds … without a phone call from Daniel’s parents about Monday morning. So I assume I’m working today.

Opening time… no Daniel.
8:00… no Daniel.
8:30… no Daniel.
No phone call, either.
9:00… I check my answering machine. Did I miss a message? No.
9:15… Okay, they’re toying with me. This is just cruel. (My rule is, if you’re going to arrive after 9, give me a call so I can accommodate it, since we generally head out at nine for our outing.)
9:27… Can it be true? Am I getting a freebie, unexpected, extra Christmas gift of a day off? I won’t believe it, I tell myself, beating down the hope, until after 9:30.
9:30… no Daniel… I’m still hesitant to believe it, but hope is rising!

9:32
They arrive.

Oh, honestly…

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December 23, 2013 - Posted by | Christmas, daycare, holidays, parents, Peeve me

7 Comments »

  1. I HATE THAT SO MUCH.

    I find myself really resentful when parents are that late, especially on a day that’s a holiday for most people. Like, if you can be *that* late to your job, I’ll bet you can work a short day, or something.

    Daisy & Arthur’s parents arrived at 9AM today – a full hour past their normal dropoff. No phone call. This is par for the course with them. *sigh*

    Hopefully Daniel is OK for you today…

    Yes. Timeliness is an expression of respect. My current bunch of clients, including-this particular family, understand that. Happily, he’s not chronically late.

    This group of parents will arrive any time up till 9:15, typically, so I don’t consider myself in the clear before 9:30. I don’t mind so much in the winter, when outings don’t generally start till 10 anyway, but it annoys me — and I call them on it — when it happens in the summer. I want to be OUT, doing things!!!

    I had one family of most awful tardiness some years back (before I owned a cell phone), and one day, after too many days of late starts and repeated requests for phone calls, I rebelled and left before they arrived. Left, and deliberately took the back streets and the footpath to the park, so they couldn’t find us readily. It took her half an hour to connect. I was most apologetic… (“Oh, dear! When I didn’t receive a phone call, I just assumed you weren’t coming…”) They arrived on time after that. For a while, anyway, and were better about calling. A lovely woman, just a bit — no, a lot! — scattered.

    Today, I think everyone’s feeling a little bit holiday-ish, even those of us who are working.

    Daniel’s been pretty good so far. Fingers crossed!

    Comment by Hannah | December 23, 2013 | Reply

  2. Oh man! That was inconsiderate. At least show up on time. I’m working too. I have several away so I have 2 school kids ages 4 and 5. They are running and screaming. We have put on an exercise DVD to keep it in one place and avoid fights over who is queen and king…..sigh….
    I’m also working an hour longer and have no peace during nap time. This is not going to be my favorite day. We are really going to deserve this holiday. I miss my quiet little tots of last week.

    Oh, so glad not to have schoolage kids. They add a whole ‘nuther level of demand, and no naps! Oof!

    Daniel has asked if he can watch Peppa Pig on my laptop (YouTube episodes), and I think, after naptime, I might just do that!

    Comment by K from London ON | December 23, 2013 | Reply

  3. Oh honestly, indeed! What a tease. Well, it’s STILL your last day. :P

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Mary!

    Yes, it is, and it’s been a good day so far, and is drawing to a close. Almost there!! Merry Christmas to you, too!

    Comment by Sheri | December 23, 2013 | Reply

  4. My kiddo’s daycare does not go out for walks…they have a big backyard and kids play out there…..so I really drop them anytime I like. I’m fairly consistent, as I get to work at a standard time, and ofcourse I call if I am going to be late because of an appointment or illness, but the range of drop off is wide. If I am going to drop past 9.30am, I call, is my usual protocol. Is that okay? I never thought about the other side (from your point of view) as I’ve never been called out.

    If she’s never said anything, it is fair to assume she doesn’t mind. If she does mind, it would be unfair of her to seethe in indignation because you’re not reading her mind. Given the set-up you describe, I think you’re good!

    Lots of my parents have a fairly wide range of drop-off times, and that’s totally fine. I just ask them to call if they’re going to be later than 9:00, because that’s when I like to get out with them. I make that expectations clear right from the initial interview, and will remind parents if they start dropping the ball later on. I only become annoyed when, even after reminders, they’re still doing it.

    Comment by shachi18 | December 30, 2013 | Reply

  5. I think that is my biggest irriatant, tardy parents. I can handle fits with a smile, picky eaters-easy enough, Schedule changes? No Problem! But please please PLEASE dont do a no call late show. With all the school drop-offs, and pick-ups, meals/snacks, naps. Late really doesnt work for me

    We all have our pet peeves. Mine is parents who want me to mess with a child’s naps because they can’t (and never have been able to) manage bedtimes. My attitude is: Wait. You want me to take your child’s naps away? Your child, who is already obviously sleep-deprived? So that she’ll fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion, only to rise bleary and purple-shadowed the next day? No. Not like that, I won’t.

    Comment by Hannah Lance | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  6. Not to sound negative, but sometimes I meet parents for the first time and all of a sudden understand why their children act the way they do. Oftentimes, it’s more work to get the parents on the same page than the kids.

    Oh, absolutely. In fact, something I often say at the initial interview is that I can manage just about any child, but the parents? They’re much more set in their ways! (If the parents don’t laugh when I say that, I’m less likely to take them on…) :D

    Comment by Jonathan Stevens | January 8, 2014 | Reply

  7. Amen! I totally feel your pain. It takes a special kind of patience to work in childcare….and I’m
    not even talking about the kids :)

    You know, I’ve never seen myself as a particularly patient person, but perhaps I do have certain kinds of patience. It’s a kind of patience, however, that does not extend to certain kinds of behaviour. And you’re right. Sometimes the parents are the bigger challenge!

    But in fairness (because now I’m feeling guilty!!) I have to say that I reeeeeally like Daniel’s parents. They are lovely, warm, considerate people. Who sorta blew it the last day before the Christmas holidays, yeah, but that was a total one-off. I’ll cut them that slack! :D

    Comment by carly | January 12, 2014 | Reply


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