It’s Not All Mary Poppins

…And My Reasons

There are a few reasons.

1. She’s very young. The young ones generally can’t afford me, and I no longer negotiate my wages. They either pay, on time and without a fuss, or they seek other care. However, some young ones can afford me, so this in itself is not a reason to refuse her. And I may be wrong about her age.

2. She talks, um, like a valley girl? With, like, questions all the time? This annoys the shit out of me. I’d have to put up with this, for, like, three years? My skin crawls at the thought.

3a. She called me a “babysitter”. Moreover, given her self-correction, she knows there’s a difference between caregiver and babysitter, but can’t be bothered to work it out. THIS is enough to refuse her. I am a professional. I have a ton of education, even more experience; I approach my job professionally, and expect to be treated that way. A “babysitter” is, as I’ve said before, the teenager you get of an evening to keep your child from harm, and to eat chips and drink pop in your family room after the child goes to bed. She does not assist in the raising and education of your child. I do.

3b. Or she isn’t bright enough to comprehend the difference. Yes, I’m a snob, but I prefer working with people who are at least as smart as me. Dim ones are more work.

4. And finally, she’s either incredibly disorganized or entirely oblivious to her surroundings. She’s looking for care to start in one week!! I, like every caregiver in our neighbourhood, am booked months in advance. Months. I did ask her how long she’d lived in the area, just in case she wouldn’t know this, and she said, “Five years?” Has she not spoken to anyone at all during her pregnancy? What expectant mom doesn’t do the neighbourhood networking?

I refused her in the end, not because of any of the above, but because I have truly no spaces available before January at the earliest, possibly not till next May. This is entirely normal for this area. She was a little dismayed when I gently told her this.

Even if I had had the spaces, I may have interviewed with her, but she’d have had a poor first impression to overcome during it. One of the satisfactions of self-employment: one can screen one’s clientele, and almost completely control one’s work environment. I love it!

September 4, 2005 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Months…ha the childcare provision at my place of work has an 18 to 24 month waiting list… for the 3 month to 24 month unit !!!

    and of course you can’t put a child on the list until the day it is born.

    Comment by Aginoth | September 4, 2005 | Reply

  2. Oh.

    And so how exactly does one get a child into said centre?

    It’s mind-boggling, rather…

    Comment by Mary P. | September 4, 2005 | Reply

  3. At the YMCA I work at, we have licensed before and afterschool programs, a licensed pre-school, and unlicensed afterschool programs at various elementary schools. Registrations are sent out in April for September. There is a very high demand for the afterschool programs at the schools (they are free as we’re paid through a grant with the state of California) and they fill up by June. Nevertheless, every year (last week in fact) I get frantic calls from parents begging to get their kids into programs they should have signed them up for months ago. I’m always very apologetic and even a bit sympathetic but what do they expect me to do – kick someone else out so their kids can get in?

    BTW, Mary, please update Child’s Play on your blogroll. I’m an idiot and somehow lost control of my blogspot account so my blog doesn’t exist on blogspot anymore. You can find me at:


    Comment by Matthew | September 5, 2005 | Reply

  4. Matthew: thanks for the update on your address. I tried out my link yesterday, and got someone else entirely! Will fix immediately – I like yours better!

    Yes, it’s a mystery as to what people are thinking. They’ve not registered, obviously, that to squeeze in their child means to squeeze out someone else’s.

    In my case, because I am unlicensed, there is a limit to how many children I can take it. Entirely arbitrary limit, I might add, as three miles to the east, across the river in Quebec, it’s two higher! (It varies by province.)

    Comment by Mary P. | September 5, 2005 | Reply

  5. One of the nice things about having your own business is that you can (sometimes) choose your clients! Good for you!

    Last year, I began taking Tod-lar to a childcare provider one day a week so I could attend class. When space became available earlier this year to send him three days a week, I had to jump on it even though I didn’t actually need that much time until the third week of September, when I return full-time to my grad program. Our caretaker is so good at what she does that we knew it was worth the money to reserve her time for when we really needed it. Money well spent, as far as I’m concerned.

    Comment by MIM | September 5, 2005 | Reply

  6. I have a client now who’s won my long-standing appreciation. When we discussed the possibility of a July 1 start date, I told her that I’d be taking all of August as holiday. I wouldn’t expect her to pay for any of this, not having accrued any holiday time, but I’d be unavailable. I thought that would be the last I’d hear from them. Nope! We met, and at the interview she said that “When you find quality care, you do what it takes to make it work.” Now, will I be willing to go the second mile for this family, should they need it? You betcha I will! I hope your caregiver appeciates you similarly.

    Comment by Mary P. | September 5, 2005 | Reply

  7. For some reason, the math isn’t adding up on aginoth’s daycare equation. Talk about some future planning!

    My HDL makes it very clear in her manual that she is NOT a “babysitter” for the reasons you stated. Home daycare lady is a mouthful. Is there a better term?

    One week, eh? Even I knew to start looking as soon as I saw two pink lines. She must not have any family or friends that give advice to new moms. Sad. Must be the valley girl dialect.

    Comment by ieatcrayonz | September 5, 2005 | Reply

  8. Here the terms are “home daycare provider”, even more of a mouthful; “childcare (or daycare) provider”, or “daycare lady”, a little better; or, the shortest of the lot: “caregiver”. Lots o’choice.

    I found her lack of awareness startling. EVERYONE gives advice to new moms!! Like it or not…

    Comment by Mary P. | September 5, 2005 | Reply

  9. I like “caregiver,” but it always makes me think of the woman we hired to take care of my grandfather. She robbed him blind…and later died of cancer.

    (Unrelated last part, but it makes me feel better to say that.)

    Comment by ieatcrayonz | September 5, 2005 | Reply

  10. OH, no! Did she mistreat any other elderly charges in the same way, I wonder? I can see why the last part of that sentence would make you feel better. There’s a certain rough justice in it.

    Comment by Mary P. | September 6, 2005 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: