It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The prima donna emerges

I have become one of “those” caregivers.

Maybe you think I’ve been one all along. What with my mid-to-upper range fees, my tough late fees, my paid holidays, my “discretionary” days off and all. There are two former clients out there who, I’m quite sure, view me as an uppity bitch. Which is fine by me. As Pierre Trudeau once said, having been insulted by Richard Nixon, “I have been called worse things by better people.”

If that makes me “one of them”, you’ll probably not be interested in reading further.

I also have the parents provide diapers and diaper wipes, and sunscreen in the summer. Does this make me a prima donna? It’s pretty standard here, so I’m saying not. I provide vaseline and zinc creams, food, and sun hats in summer. (Because baseball caps do NOT cut it, people!) So maybe I’m a diva about sun hats, but I forked out the hundred plus dollars for two matching sets of good ones in two different sizes. Doesn’t affect the parents. In fact, they get a charge out of seeing them all in their matching hats.

So I think I’m pretty low-to-mid-range in the daycare diva sweeps. Really. I have caregiving friends who have Parent Handbooks, filled with do’s and don’t’s, lists of rules and regulations. Caregivers who ask that parents not only provide slippers to stay at the caregiver’s house, but specify the brand of slippers that are acceptable. Caregivers who demand a certain type of mitten, who refuse to deal with this brand of diaper or that style of onesie.

I have never done that. Parents can dress their child how they see fit. Now, I don’t necessarily have to do it their way in my home. A child whose diaper can only be accessed by undoing three sets of snaps (jeans, shirt, and onesie) will have two of those three sets flapping in the wind after I’ve been in there once. A child who comes with a sweater on over top of the overalls (which have no crotch snaps!) will have the sweater put on under the overall straps just as quickly. When a child is ready (generally long before it happens at home), soothers are removed at entry. A child can bring a 10-reads-a-day book to Mary’s, but if I consider it substandard, preachy, or patronizing, if it has a poor message, or simply bores me witless, I make no promises that I will read the damned thing.

None of all that affects the parents.

But yesterday, I actually crossed a line, even in my own head, when I sent out this email:

Everyone needs baby wipes. Up to now, you’ve all been bringing whatever you use at home, which means that they come in various counts, sizes and absorbencies. Thus, I go through some at three times the rate of others, which is not equitable for you, and inconsistent for me.

And of course, after all these years, I have my favourite. I was hoping you would all indulge me by purchasing Huggies, in the 160-count size (in the bag not the box) for my use here. So, yes, Mary has become a butt-wipe prima donna. Can’t deny it. I hope it’s not too much of an annoyance: if it is, feel free to bring whatever suits. (But Huggies are better!)

Huggies, in the 160-count size (in the bag not the box).”

Feel free to roll your eyes…

December 12, 2007 Posted by | daycare | 17 Comments