Oh, I feel so beaten down, trampled really. I know part of it is that I'm sick. My dad is still in the hospital and we're wondering if his being in so long for extra tests signals the Big C; I talked to my brother yesterday and among other things, we discussed Dad's values -- his fancy cars and charging high rent to his kids on an apartment he probably couldn't get rented anyway. So it was already an emotional day. I also didn't manage to eat after breakfast until I got home. But the trampling has to do with Tot's daycare. I desperately need an outside perspective.
Last night, when I picked up Tot, I noticed he was trying to sit down without sitting on his butt -- and his thermals were all bunched up inside his pants. When we changed him, we found had the worst case of diaper rash I've ever seen on the little guy. Painful to look at. A couple layers of skin off. Really bad. And he was clearly in pain, though before he had been basically his happy self, though he's sick (and we clearly shouldn't have taken him into daycare yesterday in the first place).
Both AL and I were freaked out about the diaper rash: he didn't have it in the morning. I changed him, and though I don't remember particularly looking at his butt, I know I would've noticed that. Of course, this puts the question mark on what's going on at daycare. But really, he just has a terrible bout of diarrhea (which we've figured out since) and it's irritating his skin -- and I'll bet dollars to donuts the poor guy is scratching. (Poor thing has my super-sensitive skin.) I had initially thought that he had a skin reaction to the eucalyptus oil I was experimenting with because it's supposed to be good for colds. But now I don't think that was it. Anyway. This isn't the problem.
The problem is that when we took off his pants and thermals, we saw there was poop on them. That's not cool. He has extra clothes, so it wasn't that they didn't have extras and he had to wear them. The daycare people must've not noticed. On the one hand, I can see how it happened -- how they would just not notice, especially in the case of a big bad terrible poop, which is likely what was going on. On the other hand, do I really want my treasure in a place where they didn't notice that there was poop on his clothes? Even on the outside of his clothes? (I guess it's possible that they saw and made the judgment that it wasn't worth changing his clothes because we'd pick him up soon, but that's not a great judgment either.) This comes on top of some issues that have made me a little worried about this daycare in the past, especially about their respect for following parents' instructions. I could go on and on about their totally insane food choices -- okay, so they don't care about GMO or organic or whatever, but everyone knows about what sugar does to children and how children need nutritious food and someone please tell me what possible effing nutritional value Nilla Wafers have? Anyway.
AL put it very simply: we pay them to provide the care that we would. He took me into the bathroom to look at Tot's clothes soaking in the sink: is this what we want for Tot? Is this what we pay for? He's decided that Tot is not going back there. He's taking days off work to make sure Tot is okay. (And there's no way that Tot is starting new daycare all sick and rashy.)
In order to present this correctly, I have to say that Tot has learned all his letters and now sings the alphabet song (though with letters omitted) primarily because this place has done such a good job with him. Not that I care whether Tot is a verbal genius, necessarily. I want him to eat well and be well cared for. I want him to be able to run around. When he's there, he seems to be quiet and into himself. That's not strange for his age or temperment -- AL and I were and are both very animated and goofy at home (when I have the energy, which I frequently do not), but are sometimes withdrawn and reserved out there in the world, especially when we're uncomfortable. Is Tot uncomfortable there? I don't know. He's not as excited about going there (and I can say that the tenor of the place has changed a bit lately), but doesn't cry when I leave either. (He does sort of follow me around and doesn't want me to leave, but I don't know if that signifies anything but that I am his mom and he prefers me.)
Here's the thing: on the one hand, I think AL is leaping to a decision here. He's not being fair to the place. Tot was not endangered in any way -- and a little poop on his clothes is not the worst thing in the world. On the other hand, is that what I want for Tot? What duty do I have to be fair to the place, when the most important thing is Tot? When it comes to my kid, I don't have to be fair. In fact, my duties are to do the best for him. Can I really say now that this place -- poop on his clothes, food issues, respect for parents issues -- is the best we can do? Furthermore, do I want to argue to keep him there? Do I feel so great about it that it's worth arguing about? No, not really.
I'm really freaked out. And I'm not sure whether it's the daycare, my concern for Tot and his diaper rash (which is really terrible to look at), that I'm sick, AL's strong reaction, or just the accumulation of all this on top of my father in the hospital and my poor unhappy brother.
Oh, I hate searching for new daycare. Despite that there are tons of daycares in the area, it never feels empowering. Our stance on vaccinations and food makes us fringe -- and I always feel at a disadvantage. I know I'm paying them -- and in a consumer economy (yeah right) that's supposed to give me the advantage -- but they've got something up on me -- we're talking about my son. My precious, my only, my baby son. (Yes, I'm being melodramatic, but I feel melodramatic. And he's no longer a baby. He's two.)
I'd really like to hide under a rock.