The Discussion … and Happy Thoughts

It’s been a tough evening. What was meant to be a, “here is what I am doing to help with the situation, what do you think and has it helped,” discussion turned into an hour long vent on Lori’s part. She flipped back and forth rapidly between tearfully talking about how Ethan’s the one being bullied by Cameron and yet he’s always the one in time outs and doesn’t understand why and this is causing a rift between her and her son, and how horrible it is to have to deal with Cameron’s constant whining and crying. Oh, and Cameron lies, and he pushes too. All of this infront of Cameron, by the way, as there was nowhere else for him to go. I tried to keep away from even hinting at blaming Ethan, tried to focus on making both boys happy, and outright told her that I know Ethan is a good kid and this isn’t his fault, that I’m not trying to lay any blame, that I’m just trying to find a solution.

But at the same time I’m snarly-mad. How DARE she? I was bending over backwards, twisting myself into knots to NOT offend her and to show her that I was listening, to not contradict what she said. I only once asked her to keep in mind that all I heard about was Cameron being hit and being told he was hated, so of course I was upset. I asked her once to consider that if she doesn’t tell me there are problems, I can’t deal with them. She couldn’t even acknowledge that I had reason to be upset.

I have sent her a very nice email, clearly stating that I understand that she is having troubles with CAMERON’S behaviour. I stated that these are behaviours that I rarely see at home any more. I outlined 1-2-3 magic, using the situations she described and how I could see her handling them using this technique. I stated that Cameron knows this counting thing, and after a day or two max she’ll see an improvement, once he knows she’s serious. I also outlined three other courses of action that I can take – role playing at home, baking those cookies, and sending Cameron with two toys (one for Roselyn, one for Ethan, as he always wants to bring toys to share with Roselyn and I never let him).

We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, I’m sad, and I’m looking for another daycare. Not because Ethan is a bully, but because I cannot cope with having Cameron in a daycare where there is zero effective communication about the important things. I hate to phrase it this way, and I try to not treat Lori as ‘paid help’, but when push comes to shove I spend a hell of a lot of money on daycare. As I think it was Carly said, I pay her nearly half again as much as my rent costs. The least a daycare can do is treat my concerns as valid, not push them away and replace them with her own complaints.

(and yes, Lori is under financial stress right now, as the assistant she had December through the end of February was very expensive for her. Still, she shouldn’t take that out on me and Cameron!)

Okay. Happy thoughts.

Delicious suppers last night and tonight! Last night was pesto-lemon salmon and quinoa with spinach, red pepper, and onion. Tonight was squash soup, brown rice, and veggies.

I got another Big Task done at work, and part way through another.

From my window at work I see a lovely terraced courtyard with lots of greenery. On the top terrace, spring flowers are appearing, bright with blues and yellows.

Giggling hysterically in the livingroom with Cameron. I’d flopped onto my back, pulling him on top of me, then acted as though I couldn’t get up again. He squirmed off (once I let him), and lifted my head to help me! I overshot, and flopped forward, to be dragged around back onto my back by my arms … which of course pulled him on top again, and we started again! When he finally got me upright, he shouted with glee, “AGAIN, Mommy, again!”

Playing with Cameron at bath time. Too often I treat that as me-time, get him playing and head for the living room. But today, he was a fairly sad little guy, so I stayed and played. We roleplayed a little, tussles over toys between him and Ethan. But mostly it was just play.

Cameron had troubles settling to sleep tonight. I know that while I tried to not show how distressed I am about the discussion at daycare, some leaked out. He finally fell asleep holding my hand, and with my other on his chest.

Joanne. Judy commented that I’m showing maturity in how I’m dealing with daycare, and I honestly think that I have Joanne’s influence and advice to thank. She also didn’t hesitate to take the phone and listen to me rant about the daycare discussion today!

Tomorrow, Mom arrives! The place is a mess. Oh well. I know she loves me anyway!


7 responses to “The Discussion … and Happy Thoughts

  1. Mel, I’m glad you had the conversation even if it went badly. It’s hard to bring these discussions up. I think moving to a new daycare is a good idea. You deserve to have good communication with your daycare provider. And I think that Cameron will benefit too.

    And no, Lori shouldn’t take it out on you guys. She is providing you with a service and you have the right to good service. It’s a cold way to look at it, perhaps, but Cameron and you both deserve the best.

  2. Lori is providing you with a service. Yes its an inhome daycare but that does not mean she is not a professional. Blaming you, not effectively communicating is wrong, especially since you are her Boss. You pay her salary. It the truth.
    Interestingly, I overhead one of the childcare workers at monkeys daycare talking to a parent about a name-calling incident. She explained to the parent that the child was given a time-out and told that words hurt. The daycare is a safe place for everyone and we are not hurtful toward each other. Then they spoke about what can be done, with the mom explaining how to effectively to get her child to listen etc. I thought it was an excellent example of how this type of situation should be dealt with. Have you called campus daycare??

  3. Chris – hugs! Been a while since we talked, have ideas about the Q you asked on your blog, but haven’t yet gotten them to coalesce (is that how that’s spelled?) into a coherent comment.

    SM – that’s /exactly/ how it should be handled, ayup! But as you say, she isn’t a professional, this isn’t a big centre. I have called them … the answer was “Not this year, maybe next.” But they did give me a bunch of other numbers to call to try.

  4. You definitely should call them. There must be listings around too. Licensing agency with a listing of licensed daycares? We’ll chat soon. We’ll do a post-birthday dinner celebration. I have ideas. Bwahahaha

    I’m curious about your comment to my questions. I’m sure it’s a hard one to answer. I don’t know that I could if asked the same.

  5. Oh Mel. I just wish I could make this better for Cameron (and for you!) That was terrible that that conversation happened in front of Cameron. I’ll have to remember this for myself, and remember to suggest a phone call later in the evening might be better should a situation like this ever happen to us.

    I hate to slag Lori, because personally, I have had no issues with her and Grace is happy. She’s been nothing but good to her and to us.

    That said, this sounds like more than “she was having a bad day”. I believe Lori is doing her very best- I know I’d be a basket case looking after so many kids.

    What was the result of your e-mail? How was it yesterday and today?

    Thanks for the “happy thought” but don’t go giving me credit for you being so awesomely cool!

  6. Joanne, believe me I have no wish to drag you into slagging on Lori. Just know that I don’t need for you to show friendship or support by doing that – I know you’re a wonderful friend and supportive. And you’re right, Lori’s been nothing but good for you and your family, and until recently I would have said the same. I don’t quite understand what’s happened, things seem to have spun out of control. Even now, I don’t want to vilify her, she’s not horrible, and I know that Cameron’s in good hands when he’s there, just … I don’t know. She’s not communicating as I wish she would? Stressed and tired and not handling it well?

    On Wednesday’s drop-off she wouldn’t even look at me, but by pick-up managed to be friendly enough. She hadn’t read the email, but by then seemed open to the ideas. She said that things had gone better that day, so at least there was an improvement.

  7. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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