I feel that DJ and I may have, as my grandfather would say, “shit in our hat,” which is a colorful (and fragrant) way to say “messed up royally”. If you remember our problems getting Pookie into daycare in the first place, then consider this “Chapter 2”. Back in October we finally got her into one of the 5-star (read: best) places in town. We loved it there, despite the fact that my instructions to have Pooks doing mandatory tummy time daily to help her learn to crawl and be independent apparently fell on deaf ears, because every time I went in she was happily perched on a teacher’s knee. The teachers were wonderful and Pookie was happy.
Then we discovered that she would be moving up to the next infant room. Sadness for us, because we loved her teachers. That very same day, we got the call from the reputed crème de la crème of daycares, right here on campus. After over a year of being wait-listed there, we were in! Pooks could start in 2 weeks, and only have to be in the next infant room up (with the unfamiliar teachers) for one week. Yay! The best daycare, and right there near work! What could be better?
Except that in that week, we grew pretty close to her new teachers, and found out that they’d been going into the infant room for weeks beforehand, playing with Pookie and getting very excited for her arrival. The final day (last Friday), we all cried. We exchanged email addresses, I baked cookies and gave them photos of them playing with Pooks, and they gave me a journal they’d written in every day she’d been there. It was very sad. (And I’m sure very silly to read about, if you’ve never been through it.)
Monday was her first day at the new school. We got there early, and were instructed to wash our hands and all her things, and to give them a feeding/sleeping schedule that they promised to adhere to. Looking around the gleaming facility, I hoped we had made the right choice. Monday seemed to go okay.
Today Pook’s allergies were acting up, and her little eyes were watery, rimmed in red circles. It looks sad, but it’s actually common for her and clears up on its own. We dropped her off at 7:45, and told them about her allergies. At 8:45 I received a call and was instructed to come pick up my “infected” child, who obviously had pinkeye and was hellbent on passing it to the others. (OK, I added that last part, but it was implied)
When I arrived, the student aide in the classroom practically shoved my baby into my arms and rushed past in her hurry to get to the sink and lather her hands and slough off any offending germs that my
petri dish child might have so rudely (and purposefully) transferred to her. As I clutched my infant, I suppressed the urge to say, “Look, Miss Sorority-Letter-Shirt-that-is-too-tight-totally-on-purpose, my child MIGHT have pinkeye, probably just has allergies, but she certainly does not have Marburg or Ebola or anything that would constitute immediate sterilization of your hands without even saying hello to me!”
I was told that until my baby has a doctor’s all-clear (in note form, and even with that, there is to be no tearing of the eyes), she is not to return. Not “we hope she feels better soon,” or “poor little girl, that must be uncomfortable”. Nope. Basically just a “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out because your ass is likely crawling with dastardly pinkeye germs that might get on our precious door”. Granted, if another child there was suspected to have an illness, I would want them sent home until they were well, but it was the rudeness on the part of the staff that really irritated me.
So I hauled Pookie to the doctor, where she got some eye drops for the irritation (pinkeye/conjunctivitis was never even mentioned by the doc). She can’t go back to school until at least Thursday, and maybe not until next week. I'm not sure how that "no eye tearing" rule will work- her eyes (and mine) are always watery because of allergies. I don’t know that I even want her to go back at all.
I feel like a middle school kid who ditches her tried-and-true friends when the popular kids suddenly want to hang out with her, only to discover that the cool kids just aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
And ps, Pookie’s old daycare called me at work today to check on her and say how much they missed her. I feel like a total shithead.