It’s Not All Mary Poppins

A Dilemma

My nicest, most supportive parent is also the most lackadaisical about my rules and regs.

The parent who says “Of COURSE you need to take time off to heal that back.” The parent who then phones you over the weekend to say, “If you need to take more, don’t worry about it – I have lots of sick days saved up that I can use.” The parent who is respectful of your expertise and asks your input on parenting issues – and then implements it!

This same parent is the parent most often late to pick up, most likely to send a sick child, and the one who forgets to pay the late fees.


February 1, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. That is a dilemma, indeed. Sigh.


    Comment by jen-o-rama | February 1, 2006 | Reply

  2. Do you find it harder to implement those policies if it’s a supportive parent like that? For instance, if it wasn’t your nicest, most supportive parent who was always late- would you handle it differently? I think that’s my problem with K and B’s mom, she’s great 99% of the time, and when she messes up I find it hard to speak up!

    Comment by Angela | February 1, 2006 | Reply

  3. Yes, I find it harder to implement such policies with supportive parents, but normally I just go ahead and do it: it’s in the contract, it’s what I do. Straightforward enough. This week it’s particularly difficult, though, because I’ve just taken a couple of days off, which I know inconveniences everyone, so I kind of feel I owe them some slack right now.

    Of course Q would say (and he has!) that I could have taken the entire next week off, but managed to gather the support I needed to keep working – and the parents should be grateful for that! Which is just as valid a way of looking at it, but perhaps not quite the way most of the parents would view it…

    The ebbs and flows of obligation and responsibilities. One of the trickiest aspects of this job is that the lines of business and emotion are so readily blurred.

    Comment by Mary P. | February 1, 2006 | Reply

  4. Guilty as charged.

    Oh, you weren’t talking about me? Daycarista was very patient with us in the beginning… Hot Stuff doesn’t carry a checkbook so there were several mad-dash trips on Saturday morning to drop off a check when it was really due on Friday. Now, when I get my pay stub on Wednesday (every other week) I just write the check and put it in the diaper bag. But often the AMOUNT isn’t filled in…. (Shouldn’t she decide if I pay for certain holidays??? No?)

    I’m curious. How early & late do you do drop off & pick up? And how stiff are the late fees?

    Comment by Homestead | February 2, 2006 | Reply

  5. Homestead: I’m paid monthly, and the amount is the same every month, which simplifies things. I get twelve post-dates with the signed contract, which also simplifies things.

    My late fees are steep, a dollar a minute, because I don’t want to collect them – I want parents to come on time!–>

    Comment by Mary P. | February 2, 2006 | Reply

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