Tomorrow marks a very important day at HyphenRidge, namely the last day of daycare for our brood. While Ben has been out of daycare since he started Kindergarten in August, Abby stops tomorrow as it has been determined that she needs to attend the Special Education pre-school program that the county offers.
I am of two minds about this. The one mind isn't too thrilled that my 4 year old needs to be in a Special Education class, nor do we know what we'll do with her during the summer when school is closed, especially if "normal" daycare isn't an option.
The other, much larger mind, is absolutely thrilled as this represents an additional 900 bucks a month in the bank. Oh sure, I'm also glad that Abby will be getting the help that she needs, as it would appear that this environment will be much better for her in preparing her for Kindergarten, and I certainly won't miss having to drop her off in the morning, but having that extra cash ain't too shabby.
Honestly, daycare was never one of my favorite things. I always found daycare to be annoying, preferable to a single income as it may have been. The thing to keep in mind about daycare is that while individual teachers may care about your kid, the daycare as a whole is only interested in their bottom line and if, at any point, the best interests of your kid and the best interests of their bottom line conflict, well, guess which one will lose. To me that always seemed backwards, no doubt because it was my kids that came out on the losing end, be it something as trivial as a kid with a fever that has to come home only to have the fever mysteriously gone the minute he toddles through the door, to a kid asked to not come back to school because no one is willing to work with her and her unique needs.
I'm sure this all sounds like I wanted the daycare to raise my kids, which isn't the case, however Linda and I have always been at odds with the various places our kids were in due to the fact that their idea of discipline and our idea of discipline were so completely different. Step out of line at our house and things will go poorly for you. That's just a fact and I don't care how cute you are. At daycare, minimizing conflict seemed to be the rule of the day as it worked towards making the place appear cheery and happy for prospective customers. When you have a kid like Abby, there is a lot of conflict, and a firm hand is needed to work through it. You may find a lot of things at daycare, but a firm hand ain't one of them. Obviously, I'm working from my own experience here and your results may vary, but if it's a big "chain" place you're dealing with, I doubt that you'll find things to be much different. I'm not asking the daycare to smack my kid, but perhaps making her sit by herself when she freaks out because she doesn't want to follow directions would be a better idea then letting her go and sit in the Director's office and eat waffle fries from Chik-Fil-A. And no, I am not kidding about this. I mean, come on, I'd drown kittens daily if it meant I got a steady stream of waffle fries and I'm 36. How the hell is a 4 year old supposed to learn proper behaviour in this situation?
So yeah, not having an option for the summer right now sucks, as does the extra burden on Linda to have both kids home a little later in the morning and a little earlier in the afternoon, but if it means that my kid will get the help she needs and I get almost a thousand buck staying in my pocket, where it belongs, I'll take the hassle of figuring out the summer. To daycare I say so long, and thanks for all the waffle fries.