My sweet little boy started a program called Head Start this year. It’s an optional school program for s so they can begin to learn reading, writing, math and the concept of being in a classroom 3 and 4 year olds before they start Pre-K. He loved it! He came home singing songs about numbers and colors. He would bring home lots of custom artwork like elephants made out of paper plates and caterpillars made from cupcake wrappers. He loved taking something every Friday for show and tell-usually action figures and military men. When he graduated this May, he was so proud of himself as I mourned the loss of my little baby. I just can’t believe he has grown up so fast.
After school ended, I was faced with the impossible task of finding something for him to do while I work. I work Monday-Friday, 9-5pm, like most people. While most of my friends have parents to lean on for help, I don’t. We are also faced with the challenge that he isn’t quite old enough for Summer camp, most camps are 6+. So I reluctantly signed him up for a daycare in my town.
Although I have not seen any signs of physical abuse, I picked him up last week and he immediately told me “I’m hard headed”. I said “What, who told you that?” He said “My teacher”. I tried not to get angry. The truth is I know he is hard headed but should a “teacher” be saying those things to students?
After receiving a June calendar with multiple misspelled words, I was again upset but trying to let it go as I felt I had no other options. In the last week, he has told me that we goes to time out at least twice a day for not listening and the “teachers” taught him a dance off the internet that I found very inappropriate for kids. I decided to enlist advice from my sister and brother in law just in case I was just being overprotective and controlling which I know I can be. They told me to go online and check out a website that posts the evaluations of daycare facilities. I did and I was shocked to learn that none of the people working around my child everyday have a criminal background check. There has been abuse reported including spanking, hitting a child with a puzzle piece, belittling a child, and a case of a child that ran away and no one knew he was gone!
I was disgusted with them but also with myself for not checking it out sooner. I feel ashamed that I stayed in this relationship with this daycare because I felt like I had no other options. I woke up and decided that I don’t give a damn if I lose my job, my child will not be subjected to another day of abuse or neglect as long as I can help it. I have since removed him from the facility but after searching for a place with no infractions, I have yet to find one.
I’ve been lucky this week. He is on a mini vacation with his grandparents and cousins at the beach so I have at least 3 days to figure out what I’m going to do.
I’m in the process of putting together a daily routine and looking for babysitters to help fill the time. I know that everything will work out. One way or another.