It’s no secret that my grandson, the pTiny pTerodactyl, is the golden light of my golden years. I would give him both of my kidneys and my right hand if he needed them. He already has my heart.
Since last August, hubby and I have been babysitting three days a week for the pTpT while his mom, my daughter Berrie, works part-time as a substitute teacher. Now, she needs to return to a full-time schedule. Unfortunately due to my scoliosis, curvature of the spine, I can’t handle the extra two days which means my daughter must find a suitable reinforcement.
As a mother myself, I realize how difficult it is to entrust the care of your adult child to an outsider, let alone trust one with your helpless infant. I feel Berrie’s pain. Crikey, I get cold chills just thinking about some interloper changing my grandson’s diapers, feeding him Cheerios, then snuggling up with him, a good picture book and a bottle of formula.
So it was with heavy hearts and sweating palms Berrie, pTpT and I went daycare hunting. Naturally Berrie had done lots of preliminary footwork and had narrowed the field considerably. As we drove to the first location, visions of dark, dreary ‘Oliver Twist’ type orphanages with cages for cribs, run by evil ‘Miss Hannigans’ danced in my head. No doubt, these uncaring, unfeeling baby wranglers would do nothing to curb the mean-spirited antics of their charges who were either feral two-year-old bullies, or defenseless, gruel-fed but still starving infants. For a second, as we walked toward the daycare facility, I nearly snatched pTiny pTerodactyl from his mother’s arms, raced back to the safety of the car and promised to sacrifice my health, happiness, home, both cats, the dog and my life savings if only Berrie would allow me to keep my grandson safe from the clutches of the abusive stranger-dangers waiting inside that daycare center. Alas, one look at her anguished face proved that one of us had to be strong. So, being the oldest, I ‘grandma-ed up’ and tried to smile.
“Wow!” I exclaimed half-heartedly. “What a pleasantly landscaped facility.”
It was true too. The outside was immaculate and all the windows were intact and unbroken.
The inside of the building was divided into a series of large, airy rooms where happily engaged children could be seen. The main foyer was lined with cases full of children’s books and comfy reading rugs. The student-to-teacher ratio was almost as good as at my house–except that the personnel here was young, strong and physically flexible. There was an abundance of, refreshingly, battery-free toys and an inside exercise/play room for when inclement weather kept the children away from the age-appropriate ones outdoors. Later, at lunchtime, newly diapered infants and recently toileted toddlers, were lunching on luscious fruits, colorful veggies and enticing whole wheat sandwiches. There was not a Miss Hannigan in sight–and I searched high and low.
But the thing that really won me over was that the friendly, watchful staff encouraged families to visit, unannounced, any time. We were there for about two hours and I came away, relieved and thankful that my scoliotic back won’t have break prematurely and the pTiny will have a loving nursery in which to stay when his family can‘t be there.
I just hope Berrie can find as congenial a place for me when my golden years turn brassy.