Friday, October 12, 2012

Daycare Musings

Here I sit, watching and listening to the kids playing. Today I have three, which these days, is a lot. It`s sad, and I`m feeling kind of desperate. I`ve got to get some more kids in my daycare, or there`s going to be trouble! I don`t know what the problem is, maybe word has got out that I just suck, or something. I want to write LOL after that, but I`m really starting to wonder. I`ve had for the most part, two families leave me in the past month. I know the reasons mostly, but there`s always that doubt in my mind.
One family of the two little boys I love have a crazy schedule now. Mom is a cop, and dad is in fulltime school training to become a nurse. My hours don`t fit their needs, and if it was a case of bending a little on my hours, I`d likely do it, but the bending part would be too much in this case. Like, 6:30 am to 7 pm or something crazy like that. I`ve seen the kids getting picked up at school by a teenaged babysitter, and I miss them. So do my boys. Their mom and dad are both super-nice, and have always been very good to me. I`m sad to lose them, but life changes. There was never any official end date to their time with me, it just kind of happened, which is the sad part. Their mom was convinced, I guess in her mind, that she could make it work somehow for them to still come to me. Ah, well.
The second family I`m not so sad to say goodbye to. I`ve been waiting for this day for a LONG time! So this is the kid that has been a bee in my bonnet, the pebble in my shoe, the, well, you get it...I can`t remember the nickname I gave him previously on here, I think it may have been X, or PIMA (pain in my ass). He`s the one that never got along with my L, who drove me crazy. Finally, his mother has decided in a weird sort of way that he is old enough to go home on his own. We had an issue (of course we did, we ALWAYS had an issue) at the beginning of the school year. It involved him completely disobeying me, and while we were at the park, he took off to the surrounding small wooded area (which we call the forest, although it`s pretty small to be a forest). On occasion, I would let the older kids go off to play in there, while I stayed at the park with the younger ones. But there were rules. If the rules weren`t followed, then there were consequences, namely, no longer being allowed that freedom anymore.
On the evening I told his mother about his infraction, we discussed that he might be old enough (he`s turning 11 in November) to go home on his own. He was bored at my house, and of course the ongoing issue of not listening. My R, who is the same age, is more than mature enough for this himself (but that doesn`t mean X is!) and had generally lost most interest in playing with X anymore. Over that next weekend, X`s parents decided that they would give it a try. I no longer had to collect X from school, just his younger sister A, who is in grade two. And BTW, I like A, she is a sweet girl.
Now, I said earlier that this was in a weird sort of way his mother had decided. What I meant by that is that at first, she was very reticent to give him this freedom and responsibility. But instead of easing him into it by, for example, letting him go home on his own once or twice a week at first, or setting very strict rules, she just proverbially threw up her hands and said, "Go, be free!" I found out later that he wasn`t sent straight home from school to immediately call his mother to let her know he was there. He is allowed to leave school and go to the park, to the forest, or wherever and to be home at five.
Perhaps I`m showing too much of my over-protective side here, but that just seems extreme to me. What if something happened to him? What if he left school at 3:20, went straight to the forest, fell out of a tree, or became kidnapped? His parents wouldn't know until he was missing for several hours. I know, I know, what if, what if.... I know when I was a kid, I roamed free, and I'm still here. Have times changed? Maybe. But when R goes to the park with his friend, I send him with my cell phone, just in case. He has been eased into his freedom, starting with small amounts of time of being left alone at home, and being allowed to walk to school alone and such. Then came walking to and from a friend's house alone, and then bike rides without an adult, taking the dog for a walk alone, and now he goes to the park with a friend, sans adult.
Anyway, it's her kid, her decision. I don't think this kid is mature enough to make the right decisions for himself or to handle that much freedom all of a sudden, but whatever.
So that's how I've lost a bunch of kids. A is only coming to me once or twice a week now at most, as I think her mom has adjusted her work hours in order to be home earlier or something. Maybe she realized she would rather save herself the money, I don't know.
Now I have Kady-bug three days per week, J is in JK now and is here once a week plus his alternate Fridays, and MM is my only fulltime kid. And her mom is having a baby in a month. So that will be it for her. Great. I'm starting to think I will have to get another job. Which will suck, because I have NO idea what to do, other than pour coffee at Tim's, or scan groceries at Zehr's. Which would mean I'd end up working weekends for sure and missing out on family time. Not good.
Maybe we just should win the lottery...

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