Daycare...help!

[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )

Okay, so here's my problem.

My 10 month old son just started Daycare almost 2 weeks ago and I'm already running into a few issues with one of the care givers. A little background, my son goes to a home daycare with a husband and wife team. The wife looks after the 1 & 2 year olds while her husband handles the 3-5 yr olds. The husband is the disciplinarian and the wife is the softer touch who I like very much, her husband on the other hand is giving me pause. A few times he's made cracks about my son's size (he's almost 24 lbs and 29 1/2" long) he even went as far as to call him an American size baby (no offense to the Americans on this forum). The last time he made that comment I looked at him and jokingly said "What? He'll work you're pipes and get you good and strong". He hasn't made a comment about it since then. LOL One day last week it had taken an hour to put my son down for a nap (can happen sometimes) and when I went to pick him up he asked if I hold my son to sleep. I told him I guess given that I feed him his bottle and have to HOLD him while I do that. He then informed me that they can't do that because they have 9 children to look after. His wife said that when she would leave the room my son would fuss but would stop when she went back into his line of sight. I told her he can be like that sometimes and as long as he can see you he'll drift off to sleep. Well, her husband pipes in again saying "She can't do that, we have 9 children to look after." I just looked at him and then further ignored him because he is not the primary care giver to my child there, his wife is. Then last Thurs he had to mouth off again about my son and this is what really did it for me. I go pick up my son and while I was talking to the wife about my son's day the husband butts in and asked if I let my son in the kitchen. I looked at him and told him politely that he goes in there occasionally but I usually have that area gated up. He told me that my son continuously kept going in their kitchen which is off limits and would not listen when he was told no and kept going back there (they can't gate up their kitchen because of the layout) and then while they were cleaning they gated the children in the playroom and my son was whining to get out and when they wouldn't he went to the play table and swiped all the toys off the table in a temper tantrum. My son has never thrown a temper tantrum with me or his father. He may get upset and cry because he's hungry or tired but he's never thrown anything in a temper, just while he's playing...lol. Yup, he's a true boy, likes to throw his toys around. Just on a side note here, all the kids had a bad day that day not just my son, must have been the weather or a full moon.

Anyway, I guess my issue about the husband is all he seems to do is complain or have negative comments about my son, he never says anything to me if it's been a good day or with anything positive to say. Does he really expect a 10 month old to know that the kitchen is off limits and to obey when he's told no? Is he behaving negatively towards my son? He's in a new setting and it will be an adjustment for him as well as the care workers but if all I hear are negatives about my son do I really trust the husband with the care of him? His wife is the one I communicate with about my son's day and she'll tell me about how his day went, good and bad. I don't really need the husband to bust in the conversation with the negative aspects of the day. I guess he feels that his wife won't say anything so it's his job to do so.

I would yank my son out of this daycare now if I could but unfortunately we are stuck with this place for now. Where I live there is a 2 yr waiting list for daycares which SUCKS because it leaves you limited with options. The only saving grace of this place is the wife because I really like her and so does my son, he responds to her well.

I guess for now I need advice on how to deal with the husband. I know I need to speak up and say something to him the next time he feels it necessary to complain about my son. What is the best way to go about it without getting into a conflict? I'm a hot tempered individual so I have to be mindful of what I say because it can go from warm to hot in a matter of seconds with the possibility of explosions. lol And when it concerns my child...grrrrrr!

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[deleted account]

Get your self on a waiting list. Keep looking for somewhere else to take your son. As he gets older things will open up because infant spots are far and few between. You may find as he he gets to be 15-18 months of age that there are more spots available. And you would be surprised how a 2 year waiting list can drop to 6 months or less when spots come available and they call people and they have found care else where. Rarely do parents ever call a center to tell them to take them off a waiting list.

I do home child care. My gut reaction is for you to remove your son. Obviously you don't have the luxury of doing so.
Why is this my reaction?
I think the wife as, soft and nice as she is and likely very good with the children is not addressing her issues with your son and having her husband do it for her.
I have watched many a couple do this behaviour with regards to conflict within circles of friends.
Also he's not been there very long, he's never been to day care, and he's 10 months old. He should not be expected to be following the routine and settling on his own for at least 4-8 weeks depending on his stubbornness for change.

Also, in my opinion, when cleaning is being done, one of them should be in with the children. They should be taking turns with the cleaning. This is how it works in a center. And as someone who does home day care on my own with 5 kids of which one is my own, it's not that difficult or expensive to child proof one's kitchen. I have what feels like a million magnets on my fridge to keep the crew occupied while I clean or make lunch etc. If I am doing something with the stove, then I may corral everyone into the play area, but then I generally put in a video as a distraction and since they don't get to watch tv often here they get excited by the "treat"
I get that they don't want all 9 children in there with them, but there is no reason it can't be child proofed and made so that those who need to be around people more can be there, but kept busy and out of the way. They should be the ones adapting here, not the kids. 9 children in a play room unattended... doesn't sit right with me. Even when I am working in the kitchen which is directly attached to my living room/dining room I am constantly going in and out. My lunch making process is very much put out all the bread for sandwiches, go check the kids, lay out the meat/peanut butter on the sandwiches, go check on the kids etc. If I end up with the whole group in the kitchen they all have been taught to stick to the fridge area. When the youngest one was your son's age I would pop him into the high chair with some toys while the older ones played with magnets. As they get older I got them involved with helping getting things in and out of the fridge and setting the table etc.
As to your son throwing temper tantrums. It will happen. And in this case he has probably learned it from another kid (don't you wish they would only pick up the good habits?) and it got the attention he was looking for even if it was negative. Kids are funny that way. They'll take attention of any kind.

But yes your feelings about the husband being an idiot are not unfounded. His expectations of a 10 month old are not realistic either.

Should you say something? No, because he will take it to a heated discussion. He's already demonstrated with his comments that he is an arrogant ass. Ignore him. If he seems determined to engage you, make non committing agreeable noises and change the subject. If he seems really determined politely tell him that you will discuss your child's actions with (insert wife's name) since she is his primary caregiver. Keep it polite and simple. Give him no room to engage you in battle of stupids with regards to his messed view of how young children should behave.

I hope he smartens up or that you are able to find care else where sooner.

Good luck!

[deleted account]

Just read your comment.
Don't panic over your son not eating. He's still learning to cope with the big changes to his routine and you being at work.
They other alternative is pre mixing the bottles for his day and sending them with him and see if that helps.
The fact the husband only makes comments to you and not your husband implies he really is an ass and is just trying to goad you into a confrontation. I reiterate ignoring him and not wasting your time on his stupidity.

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[deleted account]

Unfortunately, I can't pull him out now because I don't really have a support system where we live. Both our families live hours away and our friends work as well. My hubby has picked up our son the past 2 days and the husband hasn't said anything to him. I'll be picking him up today so I'm hoping for a positive experience when I do.

On a side note, for the past week my son has been refusing the bottle at daycare. The wife has tried feeding him at different times and putting it in a sippy cup but for some reason my son is refusing it; not good. I brought a fast nipple for her to try today and hopefully that works, we shall see. If it doesn't I don't know what to do. Maybe it's the way she's mixing the formula? I guess I could try pre-making the formula for her and see if that makes a difference. My son has NEVER refused the bottle before he's an eating machine! He does eats his lunch with no problems and will only drink water all day. Any suggestions?

JuLeah - posted on 09/13/2010

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He sounds like a bully. Based on what you said, I'd have concerns leaving my child there. It doesn't even sound like he treats his wife well.
Maybe drop in from time to time during the day and see how things are going?
It doesn't sound like he has a lot of skill dealing with small children. I wouldn't trust him with a toddler or a baby.
This is a tough one ..... I'd say pull him out if you can. Find a friend/family member to watch him?

Danielle - posted on 09/13/2010

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Whoa!
That sounds like an intense situation.
Maybe pull the wife aside and explain to her that you would prefer to talk to her specifically about your child's day. Being that he is not responsible for his age group that if there were any concerns that you would prefer the main caregiver to confront you with them, and do not appreciate his inappropriate, unprofessional remarks.
I would start looking around and maybe getting your name on some of those waiting lists. Also you could probably check some adds in the paper, or internet for qualified day-homes.
I would personally look for one with less children. How can you know or trust that your child is getting the attention required especially when he is still at such a young age.

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