Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Enlightening Conversation

Although I'm not actively looking for another child to take care of in my home, I interviewed a woman this morning who was referred to me by someone. I say "interviewed," but it's more of a conversation. I'm trying to see if her child will be a good fit for us just as much as she's deciding if I'm a good fit for her.

She called me, and frosted my ego with all kinds of compliments that she had heard about the way I take care of children. I love each child like they're my own, I'm consistent about discipline, I serve nutritious food, I'm nice, yada yada yada.

She has a 3 year old that she is looking to place in a home childcare environment. Perfect for Sariah! I was close to considering it when we had the following conversation:

Her: Alyviah (pronounced "Olivia") isn't used to sharing because she's an only child. So if she's not sharing, please don't make her. I want our homes to be consistent and she doesn't need to share at home.

Me: {Silent pause.} I understand that she may not need to share at home, but there are 2 other children here that she will need to share with. I promise to ease her in to sharing gently, and with lots of conversation and positive reinforcement.

Her: Alright, well, I'll have to think about that. Another thing is Alyviah can't fall asleep on her own, so you'll have to lay in bed with her until she falls asleep. Then if she wakes up during her nap, please go back in and lay with her again until she falls back asleep.

Me: {The sleep consultant in me is appalled.} Falling asleep on her own may be a good habit for her to start. If you decide to bring her here, I can help her with that. Because I teach online, I use naptime as my grading time, so I can't promise that I will go back in there to lay with her.

Her: I'll have to think about that, too. I don't want her to feel like she's been abandoned and banished to a room to sleep. I'm afraid that will traumatize her.

Me: I promise to make it as comfortable, peaceful, and an easy transition as possible. We read books and sing a lullaby before we go to sleep, so she will be given plenty of love before being put down for her nap.

Her: Hmmm. We may have to agree to disagree about this one. But let's move on. I feed my child only organic food. Organic milk, eggs, peanut butter, hotdogs, organic everything. Please do the same.

Me: All of my produce is organic, and I know that organic food may be best in some cases. I didn't know they even made organic hotdogs! {Uncomfortable chuckle.} However, organic food is considerably more money. If you would like me to feed your child all organic food, will you be providing it? If not, I may have to charge you a little more per week to cover the cost of food.

NOTE: Food is part of my weekly fee. I don't ask parents to provide food for their children, or require them to provide me a food allowance.

Her: I'll see what I can do about that, and I'll talk to my husband. I'll also get you a list of movies she's allowed to watch, books she's allowed to read, songs she's allowed to sing, oh and her diaper size so you can stock up on diapers for her.

Me: I can assure you that the books we read are enriching, fun, and captivating. We sing and dance and play all day, but we watch minimal TV. And by the way - I don't buy diapers. That is one thing I will ask you to provide. However, she is 3...maybe I can help you potty train?

Her: We let her watch TV whenever she wants at home. She's old enough to know what she wants. And you want me to bring diapers for her? She's not ready to potty train, and I think that you should provide diapers. You want me to provide her food and her diapers? Let me talk to my husband, and I'll get back to you.

Me: It was great talking to you. Have a good morning!

After I hung up the phone, I sighed, shook my head, and then started to laugh at what kind of teenager this girl was going to be. Seriously. Think Veruca Salt from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Oh, and if it's not obvious, I won't be accepting this child.


Amy said...

Seriously speechless.

bedonts said...

Uhhhh....... ya. I can't believe some people!

Johnson-n-Johnson said...

yikes! seriously yikes!

Aaron and Jessica said...

Wow.....what kind of world is that lady living in??? Maybe she should consider staying home with her!

Tidwell Family said...

omgosh! how many days did she need you? she will never find anyone as great as you! it will be interesting to see where they end up!

Gooch Family said...

Wow that is unbelievable!!!

Sarah said...

this is why i don't babysit. you are a saint!

Jason and Amy said...

okay so there are worse moms out there then me. OMG, that lady could not of been for real. and now im really wishing we lived closer. I need you to be involved in my kiddies life, you are an amazing mom and babysitter. wowsers. your kids and the others are incredibly lucky

Brianna said...

We took 2 little girls into our home when I was pregnant with Tati. We picked up the oldest from school each day, provided help with homework, fed them dinner, played with them, did fun activities with them, and put them to sleep. (Daddy picked them up at the end of his night shift). We treated them well and they were almost a part of our family. We did many things they did not get to do at home because both parents worked...like coloring together, story time, and singing songs. The younger had some issues and the parents assured me that I should put her in time out, or talk with her about her behavior. And then let them know about it. One afternoon she hurt our daughter (15 months old, and this little girl was 3), took away her toy and then stood up and threw it at her face. It all happened so quick and was very unexpected. So, it finally came to the point where we needed to sit her in a chair in time out (she was in the same room with us and we did not raise our voices or anything...it went really well actually.) We talked about being nice, sharing, not taking toys from babies, etc. and ended it with a hug and went on with the day. During time out (all of 5 minutes) she had a chance to cool off and we didn't have a problem the rest of the day. So at the end of the night we told the dad what she had done, and how we dealt with it. The mom got really upset, and did the "she is allowed to do whatever she wants at home thing" and they never brought them back. It was interesting. I would have been appalled if I found out my child did that and appreciated the way it was dealt with. But maybe I'm strange. And by the way...you shouldn't have to provide diapers, or special food! lol. Lucky you dodged that one! :)

Karen said...

If all these things are so important maybe she ought to stay home with her... but maybe she can't stand to be around her 24/7...
That's WAY to much power for a three year old. What they really want it enough love that the parents provide structure and discipline.

Carlie said...

the kindergarten teacher in me cringes at the idea that she will eventually go to school. i swear, at 5 years old was the first time some of these kids had heard the word no before. or had any structure. or had consequences. or had responsibilities. most kicked against the pricks at first, but they all got used to it, and had less behavioral problems. kids crave structure, and knowing if i choose to do (a), then (b) will happen.
sigh. these diluded parents think they are raising kids to make their own choices, when in reality, they are doing them a great disservice.
and providing organic food.... and diapers? i draw the line.

Ren, Anna & Tristan said...

What?!?! This conversation is wrong on so many levels! Oh, man....