September 5, 2007

Dodged a Bullet

Although I need the money (really, I DO!), and I've been praying God would send me just one more daycare child, I refused one last night. One that could have started today. One that would have paid more than any other child I have in my daycare right now. Not that I was trying to charge them more, but it was for an infant and infant rates are higher. However, I am pretty protective when it comes to my sanity and I think this little "ray of sunshine" would have caused me to lose what little I have in the first place.

To make what could be a long, ranting story short... A grandmother called me yesterday afternoon in desperate need of daycare for her granddaughter. She had been watching her but had been hospitalized and would no longer be able to watch her. She sounded so sad and I really wanted to help her. She asked if her daughter could call me later tonight and I said "Sure!".

Fast forward to about 5:30... the mom called and left a message. I wasn't by the phone and didn't realize she'd called until almost 6:00. I called her back and our conversation began like this:

Her: Hello
Me: Hi, this is -----, I am calling you back regarding child care.
Her: yeah
(long silence)
Me: Ok, are you still in need of child care?
Her: yeah
(long silence)
Me: Ok, well, could you tell more about what you're looking for?
Her: Someone to watch our baby. (like DUH!)

Oh my gosh, I felt like I was talking to a brick wall!! So anyway, on with our "conversation"...

She started out telling me her 6 month old was "high maintenance" (first red flag) and that she cried a lot (second red flag) and that she was breastfed (third red flag) and absolutely refused to take a bottle and only nurses at night (fourth and almost final red flag). I asked how long she has been back to work and she said she went back full time when she was 6 weeks old. So in the last 5 months she hasn't been getting milk during the day?

Ok, I have experience with breastfed babies, I will take them and I have no problem with that, HOWEVER, they need to be able to take a bottle! So I asked mom, "Well, how does she get milk, will she take a sippy cup?" Mom says, "OH NO! anything like that makes her even more angry!" So I say, "Oh, ok, well then how do you console her and how do you feed her during the day?" Mom says, "Well, my mom had to just feed her some baby food every now and then and a few times she was so inconsolable she had to bring her up to my work so I could feed her." My reply, "Well, you understand that I will not be able to do that, right?" Mom, "Yeah, I guess."

So, then I'm asking her what they do to console her if she won't take a bottle, won't take a pacifier, etc... mom says there's nothing you really can do but let her cry. (Ok, FINAL red flag!) I should have ended the conversation there and just told her sorry, but I didn't think it would work out, but I have a heart and felt bad for them so I just kept talking.

Mom said they HAD to have an interview TONIGHT and the baby would need to start tomorrow. It was 6:00 already and I hadn't had dinner yet, so I wanted to give myself some time to eat and get things ready for them to come over, so I said "Ok, well why don't you come over around 7:30" to which mom replied "Well, if we have to come then, the baby is going to be a grouch because that's her bath time." Umm, well, sorry, but if you're demanding an interview the same night you call needing daycare, you're going to have to let me work you into my evening! I do have a family to think about, I'm not dropping everything because your baby may get a little grouchy because she missed her 7:30 bath. Anyway, we left it for 7:30 and hung up.

I was already irritated at the conversation but when I sat down to dinner and started telling my parents about it, I started getting even more irritated. The more I talked about it, the more I decided there was no way this would work.

So, I did what any honest Christian would do... I called her back at 6:30 and told her Labor Day messed me up and I forgot tonight was Tuesday and I wouldn't be home at 7:30. Then I said quickly, "If you want, you can call me tomorrow. Ok? Thanks. Bye." Then I packed up the kids and left at 7:30. (Ya know, cause I'm not a total liar!!)

I now understand why grandma said "We just can't find ANYONE who will take her!" Really? That's crazy, cause I would have jumped at the opportunity to take a baby who is exclusively breastfed for 9 hours a day, minus the boobs needed to keep the child happy.

On a concerned note... how is this 6 month old getting proper nutrition? And WHY didn't they do something about this when mom went back to work when the baby was 6 weeks old??? I just can't believe a mother would be ok with this. I'm not sure who has the bigger issue here, the mom or the baby. My bet is the mom.

All I have to say is, I KNOW made the right decision! Oh, and I'm making a list of all the other local providers I don't like, just in case she calls today. (Kidding!) I wouldn't wish that nightmare waiting to happen on anyone!!