Baby A has been going to daycare for a month now, it is the same daycare she went to as an infant and D before her. Yesterday, I walked by the front office on my way to pick up Baby A from her class and I overheard the director speaking to a parent about their child having trouble adjusting and transitioning between activities. On our way out I noticed the director was still talking to the same parent about their child. I didn’t pay it much attention other than to make a mental note of being in that parent’s shoes at one point. I would be told how D didn’t want to participate in playing with the other kids in his class and being more interested in lining things up or stacking them, usually by size or color. Today completely changed my perspective on that conversation the daycare director was having with that parent.
We were making our way to the sign out screen by the front office and the director was venting to her assistant in her unabashed loud voice. I didn’t immediately make out what she was saying until I heard the same phrase she used the day before: trouble transitioning. As I tuned in, I could make out that she was talking about a mom who had called her to explain her son’s needs and why he was having a hard time adjusting to the daycare. It was obvious by the frustration she was letting out that the child was unable to communicate his own needs and she had to now “deal with the mother”.
“… she said he needs more time to transition… he needs a sippy cup at snack time… I told her we can’t do that because then the other kids would ask why he’s getting special treatment… that’s why she handed me that huge stack of papers… no where in there does it say that he needs special accommodations… it just says he’s special needs…”
I stopped listening at that point because my brain couldn’t handle how callous she came off and the door had closed behind us. It wasn’t until we got outside, in the cold, that I realized I had been holding my breath. Before D was enrolled in school, we would bring him here. This is what they had thought of me and my child. That could have easily been me on the phone pleading with the director to understand that D needed an extra adjustment or arrangement.
It breaks my heart that this woman gets paid to run a daycare where she openly voices her disdain for parents who simply want to help their children. Why is that so wrong? Isn’t that what our parental instincts are designed to do? On one hand, she was being completely unprofessional, on the other – at least now I know how she truly feels and how little she understands about special needs children.