I have been blessed to be able to be home with Marshall for his whole life. Most days it’s just the two of us. It’s what we’re both used to, so naturally being cared for by others–even for short periods of time–is not always easy on him. But in the large scheme of things, it’s good for him to have that experience. And sometimes it’s necessary, as it was a couple weeks ago when I had a doctor’s appointment. The YMCA that we belong to has drop-off child care for up to three hours, which is a great option for the random, infrequent times that I have to be away from him.
Unfortunately, the Y seems to be employing child care workers who are very ill-equipped to handle my monster* of a baby.
As I rounded the corner, I heard a baby screaming. I breathed a sigh of relief that it didn’t sound like mine. We were approaching nap time, so he was likely getting tired and hungry. I hoped that all the other kids and different toys were keeping him distracted and happy. When I walked in the door and scanned the room, I saw that I was wrong. It was my baby who was screaming. Face red and puffy and covered in tears. He was twisting his body around, trying to climb out of a swing that was cranked up as fast as it could go.
Still a bit shocked that Marshall was making such a horrendous sound that I didn’t even recognize it, I said to one of the staff, “he’s not happy, huh?” She responded, “oh, is that one yours?” with an expression equal parts pity and relief. She shouted to a woman in the back that I had arrived so there was no need to call me, as she apparently was doing at that very moment. They had tried giving him a bottle to calm him down, and when that didn’t work they were out of ideas. So they strapped him into the swing and called me to come take him off their hands. I took a moment to swallow my momma bear hostility and calm my bristled hairs. Then I quietly signed him out, scooped him up, collected his bag, and headed out of there. We paused in the lobby for a brief session of nursing and cuddling before going home.
No more of that nonsense. Never again.
*Total sarcasm here. Though difficult at times as a newborn, Marshall has grown into a very easy-going baby. Yes, he has fuss-fests from time to time because HE’S A BABY! But also because he’s a baby, he’s usually fairly easily distracted from his fussiness by singing, dancing, new toys, fresh air, new faces, and so on. Yes, it requires effort and sometimes a bit of creativity, but it’s not that hard!