5 Ridiculous Myths About Daycare Kids

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kids-at-daycareImage via Shutterstock

After I had a baby, I quickly realized that, despite just having had a human yanked through my abdominal wall, my bills still needed to be paid. And it turns out that my family members have whole lives of their own that do not include spending entire days with my spawn. So it happened: my child became the dreaded “Daycare Kid.”

For some reason that I can’t understand, “daycare” has become a derogatory term. And “Daycare Kid” is even worse. It conjures up images of some kid dropped off at a warehouse where he or she is largely ignored and needs a tetanus shot before playing on the playground equipment. Daycare Kids are unruly. Daycare Kids are the bullies. Daycare Kids are to be feared.

True fact: I was just at a playground in my work attire with my Daycare Kid after I picked her up from school. Moms actually backed away from us. It’s like they knew that the Daycare Kid hadn’t get her cootie shot that day, and how DARE we infect their children with the Daycare Cooties?

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I cannot deal with this anymore. There are so many myths surrounding Daycare, and it’s time to kill some of them dead.

1. Those poor babies! They are left alone to cry for SO LONG! Just no. Want to know the rule at my kid’s daycare on this? 7 minutes. That is how long they are allowed to cry in their cribs. Want to know how I know this? I asked them to let my kid cry longer. We were sleep training her and I asked them to let her cry it out (I see your judgy eyes, you stop that right now), and they couldn’t because of the 7 minute rule.

2. Daycare kids need their MOTHER, not a STRANGER. Well, isn’t that first part a kick in the pants to any single dad, stay at home dad, or gay father. I’d venture to guess that children need people to meet their needs in loving ways. Funnily enough, that’s just what a good daycare provides. Oh, and the moment I reached my hand out, said, “Hi I’m Kelly nice to meet you,” and shook the teacher’s hand, she was no longer a stranger. Stop acting like I hand my kid over to a rogue person off the street every day.

3. Daycare kids have no structure. You’re right. That place that takes care of a bunch of pre-schoolers for up to 11 hours a day is just run free-form. Breakfast is at 8:00, lunch at 11:15, snack at 2:45. Outdoor time at 9:00, nap time at 12:30, library time at 4:00. The kids walk up and down the hallway holding rings and in a (fairly) straight line. They wash hands and sing songs and clean up toys and books regularly. Man, it’s just BEDLAM there. I’m sure I’d do a much better job sticking to a strict schedule if I were home every day.

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4. Daycare costs as much as you make. Have you hacked my bank account? I’m by no means flush in cash every month, but the fact is, daycare is LESS than I make in a month. By quite a bit. Add in a flex-spending account for childcare and other tax deductions, and it actually makes a whole mess of sense. Also, um, insurance. And retirement. And that college fund. All things I would have to wave buh-bye to if I quit my job.

5. Daycare is simply “bad” for kids. Yeah. The worst. It’s terrible that I send my child to a place where she is loved on by teachers (learning to place trust in people other than her parents), where she is exposed to developmentally appropriate activities (silly education, who needs that?), where she is learning to play nicely with others, cover her mouth when she coughs, and eat with silverware (social skills FTW). All terrible things. I’m sure my husband and I will end up paying a fortune to cover the therapy for all of this trauma.

Related post: 8 Enemies of the Daycare Mom

When Will We Let A “Fat” Girl Be More Than Her Weight?

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Let’s talk body image. But let’s start with one of the reasons I hated Pitch Perfect as vehemently as the majority of theater goers loved it: Fat Amy.

Pitch Perfect fans, stick with me. I’ll explain, then I’ll explain some more.

I won’t confuse Rebel Wilson with Fat Amy, but I will take umbrage at the idea that it is OK to laugh at fat people if they call themselves fat first. It is never OK to make fun of someone’s body.

Let me say that again: It is never OK to make fun of someone’s body.

People got excited about Fat Representation with Wilson. For me, plopping Rebel Wilson down in the middle of the rest of the Bellas was sheer tokenism. “Representation” should mean a statistically proportionate show of X in a group of Y. In a sea of Hollywood-sized beauties, we had one spotlighted overweight girl, who was presented as the gross-out character. She was barely human. She was one zit-pop above John Belushi’s character in Animal House.

The Fat Girl couldn’t be the smart one, or the one with the best voice, or the one with the A-Plot romance, or the one struggling with any issue outside the context of her weight. Weight is her context. Weight frames everything for the Fat Girl. Because, you know, Fat Girls exist in a bubble outside reality where they only worry about dieting and finding a man who is willing to touch their lard.

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Fat Girls aren’t out there getting law degrees, finding cures for diseases, worrying about their 401k growth, or raising babies. They are just eating and crying, or eating and letting you in on the joke of their sad, Twinkie-filled lives, agreeing with you about how gross they are. Fat Girls aren’t people.

Fat Girls are jokes. That is not representation.

That was my 3rd biggest problem with Pitch Perfect, and how it was presented as a refreshing option for fat people. My biggest problems were what a terrible human being Anna Kendrick’s character was and the sloppy writing.

Rebel Wilson is in trouble because she, an actress, lied about her age, her name, and her socioeconomic background. I’m not sure why this shocks anyone who has ever heard of acting, but it’s raised some scandal, and in addressing it, Wilson threw back to her Fat Amy character in saying her real name was “Fat Patricia.”

I started wondering about what Rebel Wilson owes us as an audience, and decided she owes nothing but a good performance when we’re paying to see her work. The rest? Come on. We’re not paying to learn about her mundane life, to paraphrase Cate Blanchett’s beautiful statement last week regarding the possibility of her having had lesbian love affairs. We’re paying to see, god help us, Fat Amy.

What does Fat Amy owe us?

Fat Amy owes us less than Rebel Wilson does. Fat Amy owes us what we owe each other: Basic human decency.

I was thinking about buying a new swimsuit, so I’ve been trying them on here and there, just for fun. There is no lighting so unflattering as that of a dressing room, and there are few moments with such potential to destroy a woman’s self-confidence as those spent in said ill-lit dressing rooms, squeezing bodies into Lycra casings.

I wear a size 16. At best, when I put on a swimsuit, I can expect it not to look too bad. At worst, I can throw out my back laughing. People, there are some badly made options out there.

Last night, I went over to Ross and found seven different suits to try on. All the suits were the same size, save for one, which was two sizes bigger just because I wanted to see it on. The one I liked best was too big, and the one I liked second best was designed by someone who did not understand that putting a seam up the center crotch of a ladies’ swim bottom means her labia will end up occupying entirely different halves of that bottom, like when Marcia and Jan Brady put the tape line down between their beds and neither was allowed to cross over. You don’t want Jan and Marcia fighting in your bikini bottom. It draws all the wrong kind of attention.

buckman swimshorts

Here we see the Jan and Marcia suit while the sisters are still being friendly.

Anyway, the suits I avoided trying on were suits with tags screaming INSTANT MINIMIZER! and SPANX! and MAGICALLY SLIM! and REDUCES TUMMY! Why? Because for the love of pete, if I’m going swimming, I want to be able to actually move my parts and breathe. The last thing I need are jokes about me having beached myself because I am gasping for air in my Spanx suit.

Also, because a size 16 is a size 16 no matter what you stuff it into. If it magically reduces your belly fat, that’s probably because it has squished the fat around to your back, and it is bubbling up over the straps in a place you can’t see it.

And also, because I don’t owe anyone my perfection in swimwear. My body is not a problem to be solved, and I thumb my nose in the general direction of anyone who thinks it is.

Your body is not a problem to be solved, either. Are you fat? That’s OK. Are you skinny? That’s OK. Are you Cindy Crawford? Thank you, I like looking at you.

You don’t like looking at me? That’s OK. Don’t look at me. But don’t ask me not to exist because I am the sight that makes your eyes sore, and not the other way around. And don’t ask me to devalue myself or depreciate my self-esteem to appease some idea that I can’t strut my stuff until you think my stuff is worth strutting.

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In preaching to the choir (because I know if you are reading this, you are delightful), let me say these things:

1. If you own a mirror, own your reflection.

2. Understand that you are not your body. Your body is just the costume your soul is wearing. If you love your costume, wear it with pride. If you don’t like it, change it. But do not let anyone else tell you there is anything wrong with it — you are the star of your movie, and you are in charge of the wardrobe. No one else gets to pick your costume. Only you.

3. Understand that it is OK to love your Body Costume the same way you love your favorite outfit. Anyone who tells you different — anyone who gets upset with you for liking how you look — has bigger problems than you can imagine.

4. Stop looking at People of Walmart pictures and laughing. Don’t do to someone else, what would make you die if someone else did it to you. You don’t know those people, or the hows and whys of what brought them to the day someone snuck a photo of them for the purpose of mockery. Those are human beings. Those people are not Fat Amy.

5. Find ways to appreciate other people as forms of art. Everyone is a different genre, from your realists to your abstractionists. Enjoy them the way you would enjoy something wonderful in a museum. You don’t have to want it hanging on your living room wall to recognize the value of it. You can simply appreciate it for what it is.

6. For a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous literary representation of a girl who happens to be fat, read Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell.

Are you with me?

Related post: How My Children Changed The Way I View My Weight

Why I Prefer My Vibrator To My Husband

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I have a confession: I can’t break up with my BOB.

That’s Battery Operated Boyfriend, for all of you in the dark. No matter how hard I try to pry myself away from my secret habit, I just can’t. There is something so delightfully satisfying about getting my jollies on without the planning of a Date Night, the worry of getting busted by my children, or the feigning interest in my husband at the end of the day when really I am drop-dead tired and still have another load of laundry and some dishes to get done.

Sometimes the best way to reenergize myself is to have a solo romp. There is no fumbling through the etiquette of making sure my husband gets his and I get mine. There are no hurt feelings when the excuses of exhaustion or busyness cut off the flirty suggestion of romantic time. It is just me, a glimmer of a mood, and BOB.

It is quick and dirty. And mostly a perfunctory action that generates an immediate untangling of nerves and stress. And for any harried mom, isn’t that better than chocolate or wine?

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My husband gets it. Mostly. He fully expects that as a grown woman, I am not helpless when it comes to making sure that my needs are met even when the demands of parenthood make strains on us that extinguish our desires at the end of the day. I know he has a pile of glossy magazines filled with buxom blondes hidden somewhere in the garage. And he knows that I have BOB hidden in my dresser drawer.

I’m not entirely sure, but sometimes I honestly wonder if my husband calculates how much more action BOB gets than he does. And while I will not likely confess to my husband anytime soon that BOB has seen more of my fun parts in the last six months than he has, at the very least this secretive habit has done wonders for my ability to chill out.

A part of me yearns for the day when parenthood won’t suck the life force from me day in and day out, so that I can enjoy my husband more. But in the meantime, while we live in survival mode at Planet Parenthood, I’m sticking with BOB as my handy tool for delivering that basic necessity of pleasure, because otherwise, I’d just be a robot that doles out clean laundry and packed lunches.

Related post: Darling, We Don’t Play With Our Vulvas at the Table

 

31 Strange Addictions Only Moms Understand

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I’ve developed a proclivity for habits my (naïve) pre-baby self would have deemed nonsensical. I’ve tried many forms of therapy — self-hypnosis, journaling, and chocolate (hoping to replace one habit with another), but nothing seems to kick my motherly addiction to the following …

1. Talking about baby’s bodily fluids, to everyone, even the nice teenage grocery store clerk who asks me how my day has been.

2. Talking in cartoon-like voices well past the time it was “developmentally stimulating” for my child.

3. Making spastic movements, and accompanying noises, when attempting to convince said child to smile for a photo.

4. Purchasing colorful plastic that is on sale.

5. The Dollar Store (See #4).

6. T.M.S.S (Too Much Stuff Schlepping)

“I need diapers, wipes, and a changing pad for our outing. A few changes of clothes wouldn’t hurt. And, in case he gets bored, we need some books, and a few toys, and the TV tablet for desperate measures. Is it charged? I should bring the charger. Snacks, we need snacks, and water. I should bring some extra hair ties; loose hair and a poopie diaper is a recipe for disgustingness. We might need some silverware to eat the snacks. Heck, I’ll just bring the kitchen sink.”

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7. A certain MTV reality show that makes me feel better about my parenting skills.

8. Bravo and wine (together or apart).

9. Coffee coffee coffee coffee, with a splash of coffee.

10. Smelling the top of my child’s head when he’s not looking, à la über creeper status.

11. Searching for hidden sexual innuendos while watching Disney movies, with or without the kid.

12. Online shopping. Because who wants to go real shopping when you have children, and Amazon Prime?

13. Tie dying, and other unfortunate craft projects that thrill the littles for 30 seconds, but suck me in so deep.

14. Mom Blogs!

15. Reading negative comments on said blogs, and lamenting with my fellow bloggers.

16. Squeezing juicy gossip out of my single girlfriends and living vicariously through their dating lives … but secretly being grateful I’m no longer dating, because who wants that headache, or hangover.

17. Talking about bodily fluids. (It warrants repeating.)

18. Pinterest.

19. Internally comparing my parenting to that of others’, for better or worse.

20. Wiping something off my child’s face and sticking it in my mouth before I know what’s happening.

“That was not chocolate.”

21. Target.

22. Snowballing birthday parties. What starts as plans for a “simple gathering” ends in a bouncy house, sloppy homemade confetti eggs, and bubble guns.

“Who brought the bubble guns?”

23. Oversleeping. (Ha! Just kidding.)

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24. Offering up my birth story to unsuspecting pregnant women.

25. Swaying side to side, à la “putting baby to sleep” rhythm.

26. WebMD

27. Putting saliva on my hand and wiping something off my child’s face, even when there are baby wipes two feet away. (See #20.)

28. Eating dessert in the bathroom so I don’t have to share.

29. Adding an “ie” to most words.

“Baby want some egg-ies?”
“Can mommy have a hug-ie?”
“Ugh-ie.”

30. Macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, and grilled cheese. My hips mourn the day I allowed my child to sample the glory of cheese melted on carbs.

Fortunately, all these habits are counterbalanced by my incurable addictions to seeing my child smile, sharing a snort-laced laugh with him, and cuddling away his tears.

31. Ending articles with cheesy sentiments about motherhood.

Related post: Motherhood: The Big Fat F You