It’s Not All Mary Poppins


I know you guys say all sorts of complimentary things about me. One of you, you sweetie, actually called me the “gold standard” for caregivers. Which would have made me blush — if I ever blushed. (I never do; strange, since I have a very pale complexion for a brunette.) Not a few of you have very flatteringly rued the fact that you lived far, far away and couldn’t leave your child with me. It’s all very nice…

but you’re wrong.

There is no point in beating around the bush. I am just going to spit it right out. I am no paragon. I am not in the caregiver elite, and I am certainly not the Gold Standard.

Nope. As of right now, I am officially a deadbeat caregiver.


I have this great Mother’s Day craft I’ll be doing with the tots. I’ve done it in years past, and it’s always a hit. It’s cute, colourful, personal, and even a little bit practical. And the kids really do a goodly portion of the work. Not all: This is one of the rare ones that I actually “fix up” a bit when they’re done. It’s one I enjoy, AND it has a sort of companion Father’s Day gift, too, for next month.

And you, you lucky people, are going to get to see this thing in production, so that you, too, can make it. If not for yourselves (since most of you guys are gals), then for grammas. Wouldn’t that be nice? Step-by-step instructions, with pictures, and actually little pudgy dimpled hands doing the work? Wouldn’t that be CUTE?

And won’t the mommies just LOVE it?

Well, no, actually, because they’re NOT GOING TO GET IT.

Why not?

Because it takes about a week to complete, and I HAVEN’T STARTED IT YET, THAT’S WHY!

Why not?


I can’t even do some cute-but-quick craft tomorrow, because two of the tykes won’t be here tomorrow.

I screwed up Mother’s Day. I absolutely, totally screwed up Mother’s Day. What kind of a caregiver misses Mother’s Day?

A deadbeat one, that’s what kind.

I. Am. Mortified.


May 8, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I think you’re being too hard on yourself. Certainly the deadbeat comment was uncalled for.

    Just talking as someone who’s an outside observer, having you as my child’s caregiver would be Mother’s Day made and then some.

    The fact that you ALWAYS do these little, what I would call, “extras” at all is a gift.

    In my eyes, you still rock.

    That post was written in the heat of discovering my error. I’m feeling a little calmer about it now… 🙂 But really, I do see supporting the parents as part of my job, and a Mother’s or Father’s day gift is a pretty simple way to show my support. (A lot easier than some!) So I’m disappointed not to do it the way I wanted. But deadbeat? Nah. 😀

    Comment by Zayna | May 8, 2008 | Reply

  2. As a parent, I LOVE the crafts that my son brings home. BUT! I DO NOT EXPECT THEM. A lovely and thoughtful craft is a lovely and thoughtful craft on Mother’s Day or a week after. No biggie.

    But I CAN NOT forget Caregiver Appreciation Day tomorrow!!

    There’s a Caregiver Appreciation Day? Wow. Who knew? I think it must be an American thing. I’ve never heard of it. Gee… I wonder if there’s a way I can subtly spread the news… Heeheehee

    And yeah, the mothers will get their crafts next week, of course. What else will I do with five plasitc trays?

    Comment by heels | May 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. Oh bum. Now some daddies will have to get cracking! Our Mothering Sunday was a couple of months ago, otherwise I’d have reminded you…

    They’re a good lot, these daddies. I’m sure they already have something lovely planned. (“Bum”… that one always makes me grin. We don’t use it here in that way, and it just sounds so quaintly British.)

    Comment by Z | May 8, 2008 | Reply

  4. I remembered at 3:30 I should have done a Mother’s day craft with mine. They’re not getting one either. Don’t feel bad.

    Yay! I’m not the only one. That does make me feel better, thanks.

    Comment by kelli in the mirror | May 8, 2008 | Reply

  5. When I taught school, I never made my kids make mothers day stuff. Or fathers day. Neither of them had been at all important to my family growing up and I found it to be an annoying greeting card company holiday.

    Now I’m a mom. And I still feel that way.

    Since I was so vague as to the dates, it’s pretty clear it’s not a huge one for me, as a mother, though I confess I’d be disappointed if nothing was done for the day. In my family of origin, we celebrated Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed for mom and handmade cards (purchased gifts when we were older; I wonder which she treasured more?). Father’s Day was not celebrated. My mother was widowed, for one, but we lived adjacent to my grandparents, and, though he supported Mother’s Day and saw it as important that we kids did something for our mother and grandmother, my grandad thought Father’s Day was a trumped-up holiday and would have nothing to do with it. Funny, huh?

    Comment by Bridgett | May 8, 2008 | Reply

  6. Homemade Cookies!!

    Tied with ribbon. Or in a cute hand decorated by child paper bag.

    For the kids that are there. The other moms won’t expect anything, Their kids weren’t there on Friday.

    I too have been shocked by the fact that Mother’s Day is already almost here. But since I teach my kids, and I don’t want the extra work of helping them make my gift I’m just trying to figure out what to do about their grandmother’s.

    I’ve just discovered that four of the five will be here today, so yes, there will be a sweet hand-crafted card for the mothers. I still want to do that other craft, though, so they’ll get their gift NEXT week.

    And the responsibility of organizing a Mother’s Day gift rightly (as Z points out) falls, not to the caregivers or teachers, and certainly not to the mothers, but to the FATHERS. Because Mother’s Day is also, ahem, Wife Appreciation Day. Perhaps you could point your husband in the direction of this note…?

    Comment by carrien | May 8, 2008 | Reply

  7. OMG. You should be mortified! That’s horrible! You loser, deadbeat caregiver! I’d totally fire you!

    But seriously……

    If that’s the WORST thing you’ve ever done in your career as a caregiver, you’re still the GOLD STANDARD.

    Hey, you! Broke out into a huge grin, seeing you here after all this time. Yes, I’ve come down off my mountain of reproach and have a bit of perspective on it this morning. And I’m really wanting to know how we can get Caregiver Appreciation Day established up here… I used to have a parent who would occasionally surprise me with flowers or an early-morning latte. Now HE was a Gold Standard parent.

    Comment by MiM | May 8, 2008 | Reply

  8. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s not your job to reaffirm how wonderful it is for us to be a Mom. Our children can do that with just one smile. On a side note. It’s Teacher appreciation week. Where were all of your kudos? My two babies gave flowers, candy, candles and a poem this week to honor the wonderful ladies who dote on them Monday through Friday. My poem sucks, but here it is because you deserve it. I love your blog and you just out right rock.

    “Your name may escape me as I go through my days
    But the lessons that you’ve given me I’ll take along the way.

    Share, even if the toy is mine.
    Patience, it will eventually be my time.
    Kindness, even when others are not.
    Take quiet time, as to collect my thoughts.
    Try again, failure is an attempt I did not start.
    Play and be creative, to grow in character and heart.

    Of all these things, the one that I will most treasure,
    Be loving and caring to others, beyond all measure.”

    Happy Mother’s Day/Teacher Appreciation Week!

    Comment by Jennifer | May 9, 2008 | Reply

  9. I don’t consider Mother’s Day to be a “wife appreciation day”. I expect my kids to make a nice breakfast for me *with his help* and a homemade card *with his help* (and have expected this since the morning I first awoke in my own bed and suddenly realized that not only was it Mother’s Day, but I was now A Mom!) Now, I expect the schools to do the card/gift part for him, but there’d better be homemade waffles with strawberries for me (because I already bought the berries!)

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | May 9, 2008 | Reply

  10. It’s caregiver appreciation day here and not a single one of my child care parents knows it. Bah! My wife, however, gave me a small bottle of Play-Doh cologne as a gag gift. Now there’s a gift that keeps on giving!

    Comment by Clementine | May 9, 2008 | Reply

  11. You’re ridiculously late – mothers day was back at the beginning of March in the UK:-) Find somewhere where it IS next week, and then say you’re teaching the tots about different cultures:-)

    Comment by juggling mother | May 9, 2008 | Reply

  12. Well, it’s nice to know that everyone misses deadlines on occasion! But really, isn’t Mother’s Day what dads are for? so I only feel bad if you have any single moms among your brood.

    Comment by kittenpie | May 9, 2008 | Reply

  13. My dear, I was at the post office 15 minutes before closing time to get cards out to my own mother, mother-in-law, sister, and sister-in-law. Almost didn’t make it!

    I don’t expect the preschool teachers to make Mother’s Day crafts – it’s for dads to take the lead for the young’uns.

    Comment by Lady M | May 10, 2008 | Reply

  14. Our daycarista is Jehovah’s Witness so no Mother’s Day crafts from that front! We had a glorious Mother’s Day on Saturday doing all my favorite mother-things…. eating ice cream, playing outside, making dinner together & having a real sit-down meal complete with music, candles, wine & spilled apple juice (exuberant toasters-those kids of mine). Then we spent Sunday trying to appease the MIL & SIL… who apparently don’t understand that I am the most important mother to my family.

    Comment by K @ The Homestead | May 14, 2008 | Reply

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