I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
April 20, 2006
>I realize that you come here looking for a laugh. And I realize that I’ve been writing a LOT about Baby lately. But hell. I don’t choose the topics, the topics choose me. And so today’s post is both unfunny and about Baby. If you want to leave now and come back tomorrow, I’ll understand.
Yesterday, I had a 1:00 appointment and so I decided to take Baby to my local drop-in daycare center. It’s in the nicest neighborhood in town, it looks clean and well-stocked with toys, and I convinced myself that she’d have a lot more fun playing with other toddlers for an hour than she would sitting on my lap being shushed while I tried to talk business.
I dropped her off, went to my appointment, and came back an hour later. When I arrived, there were 15-20 children three and under running around the playroom and one woman on the phone in the front of the building, sitting at a desk with her back to the kids. The other two women who’d been there when I arrived were gone.
I looked around for Baby- She was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, I heard a sniffle below me. I looked down and she was standing by the gate with her back to me, crying quietly. I picked her up and couldn’t believe it. Her eyes were red and puffy, she had snot all the way to her chin and her diaper was sodden. She clearly had been crying unattended for some time. She couldn’t even catch her breath from crying. “Mommy, hic, I, hic, wanna go, hic, home,” she said pitifully. That was the first time I have ever heard those words come from her mouth.
Those of you who “know” Baby from reading about her will remember that she never cries. Never. She loves playing with children, she loves babysitters and nursery workers, and I don’t think she has shed a single tear with another caregiver since she turned one. For her to be crying like this was a big deal.
I tried to comfort her and waited for the woman to get off the phone. I stood there for about four minutes. I’m not kidding. I seriously wanted to just walk out with my baby, but the woman had my diaper bag. When she finally got off the phone, I tried to stay calm. I asked her where everyone else was and she said they had gone to lunch. What the hell? I paid and left and promised Baby up and down that she would never have to go back there again. “Okay,” she said shakily.
When we got home, I asked her several times what had happened. Every time, it was the same story. “Bad babies,” she’d say. “I fall down. I crying. I say Mommy! Mommy!”
I’m assuming that a child pushed her down and hurt her and she cried and no one came to help her. Until yesterday, Baby was under the assumption that every adult was on this planet to play with her and tell her how cute she is. Yesterday, thanks to me, she learned that she might find herself in a situation where she calls for mommy and no one comes to help her. And that breaks my heart. I had a good cry last night about it after I put her to bed.
I am kicking myself now because I realized last night from an old blog entry that the same thing had happened when I took her to the drop-in center six months ago. I got there and only one woman was there in the front of the building, on the phone. When she got off the phone, I asked her if anyone else was there and she said a woman was in the back making lunches. But no one was watching the children. By the time I signed Baby in, the woman had come out and I left to go to a freelance job and cried in the car.
Today, I filed a complaint with the state about the daycare center. Baby’s a little clingier than usual and she got lots of special treatment from her family last night. She solemnly retold her story each time someone arrived home. “Bad babies. I fall down. I crying. I say Mommy! Mommy!”
Ha. I’m crying now. I feel like the world’s worst mother.