Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Childcare Snobbery

So. Due primarily to what I like to call ‘cash flow issues’ (because it sounds so much more dignified than “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!”) and secondarily to the fact that I’m just really-really ready to do so, I’ve been pondering going back to work.

Which means I need to find childcare for my Precious Poopsies.

Ah, yes. Childcare. Such fun! Such excitement!

Such a pain in the ass.

So I’m looking for someplace to place Captain Adventure and Boo Bug – the older two are covered through their current school. And naturally, I don’t want to put them just anywhere with just anybody.

Oh no.

I called around, I checked out programs and facilities, and what have I about 98% settled on?

The number one most expensive option in town. The one that is anywhere from $100 to $200 a week more than other available options.

Of course I have. Apparently, I feel that we are just ever-too hot of shots to send our children anywhere but the snootiest, second-most granola option in town (the single most granola option is actually cheaper, but I have concerns that they are too weird a combination of granola and military school).

I have two compelling reasons. The first is past experience. It’s where we sent all three of the girls in years past, and we have never been anything but happy with them. They’re clean, well-run, have good discipline without being militaristic about things, provide good food and keep the kids (reasonably) clean throughout the day. Also, there isn’t a TV anywhere to be found in the center – I have to admit, I got kind of pissy about finding my kids had been watching video tapes for three or four hours a day. What are they supposed to do when they get home, for Pete’s sake?!

The other is that this center has a full kindergarten on site. So instead of having to deal with freaky transportation issues for the weird half-day schedule of the public school’s kindergarten, I can just drop her off at the center when that time all-too-soon comes. Her classroom runs the kindergarten program in the morning, and then goes seamlessly on to standard daycare arts and crafts, and all the other catch phrases that basically mean “they go play”.

I thought about a nanny, but I still have nightmares from the last time we had one. Lord. First of all, relying on just one person to provide childcare for four children is kind of psycho. Secondly, there is nothing the state of California hates more than an Employer. Employers must be punished at any and all opportunity. Those bureaucratic donkeys still send me the occasional nastygram about some tax or other they think I should be paying, and she’s been gone from our lives for four years. And third, I have never once found one who didn’t have one, two or even three of her own kids she wants to drag along. Even when I put the ‘no other children, please’ requirement right in the ad – still the mothers would call. They always expressed surprise that their kids were part of the ‘no other children’ requirement. “But they’re not other children – they’re mine!” they would explain.

Yes. And now, you’ve brought your kids into my house (which event I’m not really insured for), and they are tearing my house apart because kids are always monsters to their own mothers, and they are terrorizing my kids, and you are both distracted and trying to watch five to eight children all by yourself. Plus, how the heck are you going to take my older kids to and from school, given that even my big old van can only transport four kids at a time?!


Anyway. Yes. I have become a Childcare Snob. I think I’ve talked myself into it. They’re going to the expensive option. Because then, I will be able to go to work without worrying about Things.

That right there is worth every dime.


Myownigloo said...

"First of all, relying on just one person to provide childcare for four children is kind of psycho."

Um, not that I disagree with you or anything, but isn't that what your DH is doing?

Just sayin'.

(And BTW, I am firmly in agreement with any option that means you don't worry about Things. It's worth the price.)

Mother of Chaos said...

Hee - that is EXACTLY what the DH has been doing. Take Monday. I called him at work and said, "Uuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhh..."

And he had to drop everything and come home, because I just couldn't handle things. That's about three times this year that I just flat-out couldn't work through the pain (or gastrointestinal distress). Being their mother - the other times I would have called in sick if this were, you know, a "real" job, I just had to suck it up and walk it off.

A nanny...would have called in sick.

Lucky stiffs.