Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Poor Babies

Due to the economic crisis and the fact that despite it, I am still having a hard time cutting down the spending this year, I decided to try to get a part time job. I found out a daycare around the corner was hiring, so I went in and applied. It just so happened that they were hiring for the perfect after school hours for me and wanted me to start immediately.

Remember that whole "if it seems to good to be true, it probably is" bit. Yeah. That applies here.

I have fond memories of working in the childcare field. I enjoyed playing with kids and making lesson plans and didn't mind all the other not so fun stuff that came with it like changing diapers and cleaning up after messy lunches.

Here I am working with little kids. Kids from 1-2 years old. They break my heart. Today it got up to a whopping 34 degrees. That's 2 whole degrees above freezing. I had a 14 month old baby come in this morning with nothing but a onesie on. A onesie. A piece of t-shirt material with short sleeves and no legs. She also had no shoes on. When I asked the teacher in the room with me, she replied, "Well, Dad brought her in this morning and I guess he doesn't have winter clothes at his house. She comes like that all the time." *Shrug*. I can't even speak I am so taken aback- not only by this crazy parent, but by the fact that a childcare worker is so unconcerned about this.

Are we not paid to look after the best interests of the child? Would that not mean that we should be concerned if a child is deprived of the basic necesseties like food, shelter and clothing?!? Sadly, my disgust doesn't stop there. The same teacher also told me on my first day that she tried to be "nice" to the kids, but they just didn't respect her, so as soon as she started being "mean" to them, they understood.

They are 18 months old. How can you be "mean" to a baby. But the "mean" only comes out to certain children, I've never seen such a blatant show of favoritism in a daycare.

There is an infant who comes to my room at the end of the day who has reflux. As soon as they walk in the room, the baby gets laid on the floor (which does have carpet in it) and ignored because they don't want to get puked on. Get a fucking burp cloth and get over it. This is a 6 month old baby who needs love and attention. I picked her up today just to spite them. I got puked on of course, but I wash and so do my clothes.

There is a handful of books in this classroom which are kept out of reach of the children because "they will just tear them up and I don't feel like messing with them.". Which by the way, this woman says ALL the time. "Messing with them." Today Little was pointing at the letters on the wall and saying their names and what color they were when she asked me if I "messed with him alot." What? I don't even know what that means. Do I talk to him and treat him like a human being who is worthy of my attention?- yes, but I don't consider that the same as "messing" with him. I "mess" with my car or with household appliances, not my kids. Anyway, back to the books. The children are not allowed to touch them simply because the teachers are too lazy to show them how to handle books properly or keep a close eye on them while they are looking at them. But I guess then they would have to look at the kids instead of texting all day. But I digress.

It's like everything you fear your child going through in a daycare- being ignored because they are too needy, being treated with anger and frustration instead of compassion because they are not the teacher's "favorite", not being allowed to play with certain toys because they will tear them up instead of being taught respect for other people's things. Part of me wants to get the hell out of Dodge, but another part wants to stay with these kids and give them at least three hours of love and support. I'm going to try to stick it out until I am allowed to stay in the room with the kids by myself (should be next week when the background check comes in) so that I can just do things my own way. I'm a bitch like that.