“It’s OK For You, You Like Kids…”

by Lori Dwyer on June 15, 2012 · 29 comments

I consider myself to be blessed in that I have access to affordable, good quality child care for my kids.

I would absolutely lose my freaking mind without it.

The Chop, emotionally handful that he always has been, went into day care earlier than I planned– he was just fourteen months old; but I was six months pregnant with the Bump and calling my husband at work in tears every second day, so frustrated with the constant tantrums, the cloying clinging…

Poor kid screamed as if his heart was broken– it may have been– every time we dropped him off. It didn’t really get any better until he turned two and could move into the the ’big kids’ room.

I didn’t blame him, not one bit, not when I left feeling distressed every time I deposited into that big, stuffy room where most of the kids where not yet walking and always seemed to be crying.

In the big kids room, he was with two of his closest buddies, who he’d known since birth. He spent a very happy thirteen months there before I dragged him away to Paradise.

Not that that daycare in Paradise wasn’t awesome– it was, the best I’ve seen. The staff were attentive, the garden had actual grass, and it warm and inviting. Which was a good thing, because it was the only daycare in town, and choosing any other meant an hour round trip each way, twice a week.

I know, I know- they look like such angels!!

The building itself was tiny and I never saw more than fifteen kids there at once. Unfortunately for me, they didn’t take children under two, so I was not only effectively isolated but without any decent kid–free downtime. It wasn’t until we moved to TinyTrainTown that the Bump began ’school’ with her brother– about a year too late for her liking.

There was never a tear shed by the Bump– she waved goodbye to me, and that was that. They both adore ’school’, so much so that I only felt the tiniest tinge of guilt upping them to three days a week instead of two a few months ago.

I need every minute, every second of those three days. If only daycares did overnight stays… the temptation would be unbearable.

Years ago, before producing offspring of my own, I worked with kids– to a certain degree. I played with them. I made them laugh. While it required an infinite patience I don’t seem to possess when it comes to my own children, it was easy. I didn’t do food, or nappies, or crying– I did the fun stuff. If the water got hot, there was always a parent or even a medical professional to step in and take care of the hard yards. In high school, when every second girl my age was preparing for a career in child are or teaching, the last thing I wanted to do was work with children in any depth fashion.

Kids are awesome. When they’re not screaming, vomiting, crying, or releasing any other bodily fluids. That doesn’t happen very often.

And there lies the reason why there are some days I nearly genuflect on the doorstop of my kid’s kindy. Not only am I eternally grateful for the three days a week where I don’t hear “Mum!! Watch this!!! Mum?! Are you watching!?” on a rapid fire repeat cycle; these women must be some kind of sainted angels to do this sh*t day in, day out.

I’m irrationally jealous of the daycare workers who tend to my children, simply because of their grace under fire, their eternal smiles and seemingly endless energy. I’m often quite literally ready to kick something by the time I drop my kids off at school, and they deal with it for the next seven or so hours. (And yes, by the way, I’m that mum– the last mum to pick her kids up, almost every day. And even though I know someone has to be last, someone’s kids have to be there till they are the only ones left and it may as well be my two, who are also dropped off latest every morning… it still feel alike the Walk Of Shame, and I pull into the tiny carpark cursing “Dammit, dammit!” every time it happens).

I think it’s that jealously– it must be, I can’t blame everything on the PTSD; that causes me to snap, rather ungracefully, at one of my kids sweet, unassuming daycarers the other day. She smiled sympathetically at me as my son launched into a full scale screaming tantrum– cause still undetermined– the second I open the door. “He’s been fine all day– he hasn’t played up at all…” I think that’s supposed to be a reassurance, but it just makes me like crap and I am tired and if he’s not screaming he’s chatting away and dear God there’s two more days until I get another break and I say “It’s OK for you, you must actually like children.”

Which, of course, she does– her own three–under–five attend this centre too, so she doesn’t get a break at all.

And all that just makes me feel even more like crap, if that were possible. Which it is. A profusive apology didn’t seem enough.

So– as a kind of sisterhood penance, if you will– I present to you, my coverage of the Early Educational ChildCare Awards that I didn’t get to attend because my kids were sick. Huzzah!

Winners in each category were…

·      Macleans Early Childhood Educator of the Year 2012:
                Kerry Hennessy of Gosford Family Day Care in Gosford, NSW
·      Catholic Super Early Childhood Service of the Year 2012:
                Bulimba Child Care Centre in Bulimba, Queensland
·      Australian Scholarships Group Early Childhood Director of the Year 2012:
                Narrelle Cahill of Phoenix Street Children’s Centre in North Sunshine, Victoria
·      Educational Experience Rising Star 2012:
                Jessica Whipps of Norwest Child Care Centre in Baulkham Hills, NSW

A huge congratulations to all of you… and to all those parents who send their kids to these centres, it seems you’re even luckier than me. Heh.

In honor of these awards, Macleans is giving two lucky RRSAHM readers the chance to win a six month supply of Macleans products including…

6 x Macleans Extreme Clean toothpastes

4 x Macleans Flex toothbrushes (adults)

6 x Milk Teeth, Little teeth or Big Teeth toothpastes

4 x Milk Teeth, Little teeth or Big Teeth toothbrushes

And to top that off, Macleans will tailor each pack to your child’s needs, so you’ll get exactly the right product for their age- awesome sauce. Thanks Macleans.

To win, leave a comment on this post telling me either your best, warmest, fuzziest daycare story… or your worst ever tooth brushing story. 

The answer that amuses or confuses me the most wins. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.

This one’s open to Australian residents only.
Entries open Friday 15th June and close midnight (AEST) on Friday the 22nd June.

The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email with their postal address, or the prize will be redrawn.

Comments must have a valid email address to be included in this competition- I cannot stress this point enough, people. The number of times I pick a winner and have no contact address for them… it makes me sad. If you’re on Blogger, make sure you’re logged in then click this link to set your email address to reply-able. Cheers.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

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Lori @ RRSAHM July 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Hey Rene, winners have been contacted; they'll be announced in the RRSAHM newsletter due out Friday :) xx


Rene Demspey July 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

Where do we find who won this competition? Thanks :-).


taylormadecakes June 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Sorry didnt have my email address attached

louise said…
I went to pick up Maria from childcare when she was barely 12months old and she was nowhere to be found, childcare went into lockdown, frantic searching ensued. She eventually was found sound asleep in a dolls cradle ready to be put into the cupboard. The big 4 year olds who were nearly 5 year olds) had put my baby (about the size of a 6month old) into a dolls cradle and got her asleep. The carers not realising had put the cradle with the "doll" in it outside the toys cupboard, luckily she hadn't made her way in for the night.


louise June 20, 2012 at 7:54 am

I went to pick up Maria from childcare when she was barely 12months old and she was nowhere to be found, childcare went into lockdown, frantic searching ensued. She eventually was found sound asleep in a dolls cradle ready to be put into the cupboard. The big 4 year olds who were nearly 5 year olds) had put my baby (about the size of a 6month old) into a dolls cradle and got her asleep. The carers not realising had put the cradle with the "doll" in it outside the toys cupboard, luckily she hadn't made her way in for the night.


Sophie Allen June 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

I just discovered your blog last night. I must admit, I have blog envy. Your writing style is amazing, your stories bring out every emotion, and usually all in the one post. I feel my blog to be very inadequate after reading yours.

I have a toothpaste story. One of my sons used to vomit every night, coincidentally after cleaning his teeth. We worked out it was the toothpaste! After that we had to use the tinniest amount of paste, and have a tissue handy to quickly wipe any excess off his tongue. It works!


Lisa H June 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I don't want to win the Macleans pack, my kids are a bit old for those toothbrushes, but I just wanted to say I completely understand where you are coming from re: the kids in daycare. I sent my kids to care for all the craft and cooking and painting and play… Not my scene. I'm been a mum for more than 22 years and while I love my kids fiercely, I still don't really like kids all that much. Thankfully the show is almost over for me! :-)


Bron66 June 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Not very funny but frustrating : My 5 year old had to take brush and paste to school so that they could brush after the much anticipated prep breakfast. I had to do a mad hunt around for a grown up toothbrush and paste at the last minute because he said his "Cars" toothbrush was too babyish!


Anonymous June 16, 2012 at 1:12 am

Same daycare crap here in the US. Never really liked little kids – so I am not surprised that its work to like my own at times. Some days I get the joyful Mommeeeee arms outstretched running toward me and some days I get Nooooooo-I'm-plaaaaaying-I-don-wanna-go-hoooooome. Only felt guilty dropping off the first one, by number three – Its just an internal high-five as I flee the shriek fest.

Its Friday here, I will try hard not to cry on the way home from pick up. Monday cannot come fast enough.

-Fist raised in solidarity-


Liza @ Life with 3 under 3 June 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I laughed reading this post, probably because I can relate on many levels!!

Warm and fuzzy: my 3 under 3 attend the same centre, Miss 10mths has just started and screams like The Chop when I hand her to the girls in the repressive baby room. She puts her arms out to me, screams and pleads with her eyes. Miss almost 2, proudest big sister ever, pats her on the back and says 'ok baby, ok'. Both then give me death stares as I walk out. It's ok though, we hit maccas drive thru on the way home and all is forgiven


Anonymous June 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I used to be a day carer, I was the always smiling, endless patience type. Then I had my son. For some reason it's much easier to get frustrated with your (my) own child than someone elses. (or maybe I'm just older, tireder and grumpier. *shrugs*



MichVee June 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm

My worst toothbrushing story was when I was pregnant and staying with my in-laws at their beach house. I had severe morning sickness, so bad I needed to be medicated. I'd vomit up to 40 times a day!
My sickness was made worse when I brushed my teeth. The feeling of the toothbrush going down my throat caused me to retch and gag. I was mortified when one morning during my stay with them that I vomited in my in-laws bathroom basin and on the bathroom floor!!!!!
Email is kookla123@yahoo.com


Carly June 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Not entering, because I don't have children; but I am one of those Early Childhood Teachers that just needed to comment.

I love my job; and yes I have endless patience and energy when I am at work. I put on a smile even when I am having the worst day. The list goes on..

But I just realised I have said that before, "He's been fine all day" as they are throwing a tantrum when their parent arrives. Hmm. And don't stress about being the last parent, we only get annoyed when parents arrive LATE, as in after we were supposed to be closed and have no good excuse except that they were 'typing an email and got distracted'.

I liked this post xx


Samantha Mawdsley June 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm

My first friend to have a child took me with her to pick her son up from his very first day of daycare. He would have been maybe six to twelve months? (That's probably a huge difference but he's six now & I suck at kids) While she talked to the staff, she asked me to go get her son – who id known since birth. And do you know, I'm so bad with kids that I actually didn't recogniz0se him. He recognised me!!


Anonymous June 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm

warm fuzzy daycare story
which made me cry alittle but then made me feel good was my then 3 yr old zayne going to day care 2 days a week he would take off one shoe when he got there an no matter what anyone would say he would tell them the other shoe is for my friend i wont put it on concerned teacher ask me why he does this i bent down an ask zayne why do you not where both shoes at school he said the other one is for noah mum his little brother that had past away 6 months before i felt sad then happy he was around zayne an told him he never had to wear 2 shoes at school again then hugged him. kirralea weinert


Emily June 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm

And this P.S. because I wasn't logged in to blogger properly. Double Aaaaargh.


Emily June 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Enough with the guilting yourself! All good. No need for penance or jealousy – some people can handle kids, others can't. I never could. Somehow, now, I can. Never saw it coming.

This SOOOOOO won't win. Ashleigh loves brushing her teeth. No tantrum stories or anything else – the worst thing is probably that she loves it so much she eats the toothpaste straight away and asks for more. But she's going through a doll phase at the moment. It's been going for about six months now – I say 'phase' in the hopes it will go away. Huh. Anyhoo, all four of her dolls have to brush their teeth before Ashleigh.



Karlene June 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Master four doesn't like toothpaste with coloured stripes, he doesn't like toothpaste with a "girls" deign on the front (read "Dora"), he doesn't like too little or too much toothpaste, he doesn't like bubblegum flavoured toothpaste. And he chews the toothbrush rather than rubbing it along his teeth. It's the most draining 6 minutes of my day. (Truthfully it doesn't last anywhere near 6 minutes but parental guilt made me type that number. Try 2)


Belinda June 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Miss 4 goes to daycare 2 days a week. She has news on Thursdays. Last week I went to pick her up and checked out what her news was. She'd told them all that I have a baby in my tummy!! Not true! I'm so embarrassed, now the teachers think I'm up the duff, but really it's just left over baby belly from Miss 17months! lol


Shannon June 15, 2012 at 10:18 am

Yeah…I'm one of those mums too.
My boy is the last to arrive and the last to go and every week I swear I will get my shit organised and be at the playschool as soon as it opens and pick my son up at a respectable time but it nevah happens.

Admittedly though,I think he quite enjoys having the run of the place and there is always a gaggle of adoring teachers sitting around giggling at his antics (and most probably thinking 'when is your neglectful cow of a mum going to come and get you').

I only get one day a week though…lucky you with 3!


Rene Demspey June 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

We were down to the last squirts of the kids toothpaste and on a rarely super organised morning the kids had taken themselves off after breakfast to brush their teeth. I called out for them to wait so I could ration out the remaining dribbles of paste onto the brushes. My eldest class out 'Don't worry, Mum, I sorted it out'. I head into the bathroom to find all three of them around the basin brushing away with foamy blue mouths. I screeched 'What are you brushing with?' My eldest replies 'With Radox Mum, I out some on each of our brushes'. As I started to wash their mouths out my middle child said 'There's something wrong with the taste of this Mum'. You think????


Jess June 15, 2012 at 11:07 am

Warm and fuzzy daycare stories? Closest I get is the huge smile/arms in air/running squeel when I go to pick my little guy up.

Worst toothbrushing episode was probably my eldest two fighting in the bathroom while they were meant to be brushing their teeth. One hit the other one and the toothbrush knocked the latest wiggly tooth out…. is it bad that I can't remember which of them it happened to??

p.s. they get sent to brush their teeth seperatly now…


Tara @ Our Whirlwind Adventures June 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

My Kidlets absolutely love brushing their teeth, so I was distraught last week to find out during one toothbrushing incident that Hubby informed me Miss E had lost a broken tooth.
WHAT.!? She's not even two years old, how could she possibly have a broken tooth without anyone knowing?
I investigated the situation, only to discover the 'broken tooth' was actually a brand new tooth coming through!
Needless to say, I have decided he's banned from supervising the Kidlets during toothbrushing time. Hahaha :)


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