It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Ditherers and Decision-Makers

I told you yesterday of the my two interviews. Two interviews, two very different family styles. One couple, soft-spoken, a little reserved, cautious. The other high-energy, cheerful, gregarious. One couple dithered and dithered and could not come to a decision. The other took a day to think about it, then decided!

Yay for people who can make a decision!

We agreed to two probationary weeks, because of their child’s difficult experience in her first daycare. During the first week, mom would spend part of some days with us. Two hours the first day, half hour the second, then a regular drop-off (2 minutes) the third and final day.

During those visits, I am reminded that mom is loud, which, as long-time readers know, I find wearisome. But she’s so full of positive energy, I can put up with the loud. What is harder to take is that she interrupts constantly. Not only is that rude/aggravating, but she’s interrupting me while I’m answering questions or passing on information, so she’s only getting half the information she has requested and/or needs. Then she’ll ask me a follow-up question. A follow-up question which would have been answered already if she hadn’t interrupted me in the first place. She also doesn’t remember things we’ve agreed to, because, I suspect, in her head she’d already raced on to the next thing and had ceased to listen to me even as I was speaking.

People like this are exhausting. I make a mental note to follow up any conversation with an email, so we have necessary information in writing.


But that concern aside, the week goes well. Her little girl is a charmer — interested, easy-going, easy to soothe, curious, prone to smiles and laughter even when mummy isn’t around. She’s going to be fine. I’m really looking forward to having her in the group!

At the end of the first week, I get an email from the ditherer. The one who’d interviewed with me a month before, who now has a little over two weeks before first day at work. She’s wondering how the probationary weeks went with the other child.

Why? She still hasn’t signed with anyone! I am flabbergasted. This woman really can’t make a decision! I’m flabbergasted, and also a little concerned for her. I reply, explaining that we’re only partway through the probationary weeks, and suggesting with as much tact and kindness as I’m capable (not to worry, I’m good at tact and kindness!), that she needs to choose from amongst the available options, or she may find herself with no daycare at all.

Wow. Decisions are so hard for some people. Thank goodness for my almost-signed-on parents, and their ability to come to a quick, firm, decision!

A day later, I get an email from the probationary parent. Over the weekend, their child had been to the emergency ward with trouble breathing. It turns out she has cold-induced asthma. Alarming, to be sure, particularly that first time, but not something that can’t be safely managed. I’ve had kids with this condition before. For some it’s more intense than others, but it’s always been manageable.


Except, these parents, the ones who, you know, can MAKE A DECISION!!! Well, they’ve made one. Another one. They have decided … that they will not put their child in daycare at all.

Boom, done. Guess that’s the flip side of all that decisiveness, huh. Could they not have dithered, just a wee bit?

But, wait! I still have the ditherers, the ones who told me “I kept coming up” in their discussions of caregivers, the ones who, only the evening before, had not yet chosen a caregiver!

Feeling a tad sheepish, I send them an email. Are they still … ?

Guess what? The ditherers finally made a decision. In less than 24 hours since our last email exchange, they have signed on, paid up, and have a start date.

I am impressed by the dark humour of the universe.


November 29, 2013 - Posted by | daycare, parents, the dark side | ,


  1. *shakes head, throws hands in the air, pours another drink*

    Full time clients are better than part time clients, right?

    I suspect the loud woman’s constant interrupting and inability to hold a thought in her head would drive you crazy, given enough time. But still… what a bizarre chain of events.

    I’m confused though… the little one has cold-induced asthma (which yes, scary, I’ve been through it with my kids and it sucks) so now they aren’t putting her in daycare AT ALL? This doesn’t mean she’s going back to the crazy co-op situation, does it?

    No, it means mom’s not going back to work at all. (Until when? Six months? Preschool? Kindergarten? High school graduation? I have no idea.)

    Comment by Hannah | November 29, 2013 | Reply

  2. The non-decider could really be hesitant about going back to work at all. She may have not wanted to make a decision, because making a decision makes it real that you’re going back to work.

    Either way, what a bummer!

    Yes, that was my conclusion in the end. I’ve had one of those before, though she did actually sign on with me. Within two months, she shifted her child to a large daycare centre, and a couple months after that, pulled him out of that centre to stay at home with him. Undoubtedly what she’d wanted to do all along, but hadn’t figured that out yet. I’m probably just as well off without this couple!

    Comment by Suzanne Lucas | November 29, 2013 | Reply

  3. Wow. Well I’m glad you’ve got someone in place, anyway! Also, parents like that are kind of strange. Kids are going to get sick. The first year of a multi-kid daycare situation is always going to be bad for the illnesses because the kid needs to build his/her immunity! Same when the kid goes to kindergarten. She’s just delaying the inevitable. Weird.

    Comment by Elizabeth Hawksworth | November 29, 2013 | Reply

  4. Goodness, how odd! I’m glad it worked out in the end though. At least for you!

    Comment by May | November 29, 2013 | Reply

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