While my days consist of the beautiful faces of children and the lovely sound of laughter and I love you’s there is another side of the daycare life that isn’t bragged about. We (daycare providers) don’t go around announcing these things or wearing them like a badge of honor. Why you ask? Well just keep reading….. For your enjoyment and to maybe make you feel better about your own “dirty” job I have compiled a list of the top 5 most disgusting/disturbing things when it comes to doing daycare.
#1. Snot Surprise~
I am really not sure why I buy tissues. These lovely little snot producers don’t master the art of nose blowing until 3ish (depending on the child of course). Shoot my 8 year old still has tissue issues! So where does the snot all go you ask? Why it flows down from their cute little noses…they lick it or do the arm wipe which then smears it all across their face. This is usually at the exact moment you are jumping up and running frantically to the tissue box; while dodging other kids and trying not to trip over or stub your toe on the toy land mines that cover the floor; just to reach the tissues, pull a few out (you always need more than one), turn around and…..ALAS! Too Late! Now you need a wet wash cloth because the snot has already made its way to their hair and in really bad cases…..they have shared it with someone else.
AWWWWW! Look at that little toddle coming over, arms outstretched, ready for a big ole bear hug! NOPE! As that tiny tot gets to the point of “no way can you back away” you notice it! That gigantic goo monster that has collected just above the upper lip. It’s too late….your soft cotton shirt has become the best place to bury their sweet, little face.
Ok Ok this isn’t all the time so let’s talk about when the snot isn’t flowing and they have just reached that booger picking stage. You will witness every spectrum of booger grossness as the years pass. So hear is a short run through of what to expect. Boogers…..wiped on walls, wiped on you, handed to you like a precious gift, flicked on the floor, flicked at you, flicked at a friend, and YES….EATEN! Don’t worry this stage does pass and I wish I could give advice on how to handle it but what works for one child doesn’t work for all.
#2~The Mysteries of Poop~
By now you may decide to come back and read this when you aren’t enjoying a snack! If I still have your attention then great because we have arrived at my favorite subject….POOP! Why on earth you ask. Let me explain how much of my day is consumed with poop. On average I take care of 5 children ages between 1 and 3…..all in diapers….all eating regular food. During a normal 9 hour day I ask .”Ok, Who pooped?” at least once an hour. So if you are doing the math that means that on average all of my kids at least poop once a day. Do you smell poop every hour where you work? Unless you are a nurse, work in plumbing, or for a port a potty company I think probably not. So back to the Mystery Poop and this one is so good we need subheadings….
A. You smell the poop. You know that there is poop….somewhere. However you have checked all children and rechecked and there is no poop to be found. We are not talking about a gas smell. It is indeed a mystery.
B. It is an ordinary day when you turn around and see….GASP! a turd on the floor. (no you do NOT have a pet). You make the rounds. Check and recheck after you have cleaned and sanitized the area…..but nothing. No evidence. You think about consulting a private detective and most definitely go to your daycare providers’ facebook group to tell the mystery. You end up wondering and speculating about “ghost” poop for the next couple of days.
C. Just a few more Poop Mysterious~
1. How on earth can that much come out of something so little!
2. It gets everywhere except for in the diaper! (yes I mean everywhere and now you need a shower)
3. No poop smell whatsoever so you prepare for the “quick change”. Low and behold you take that diaper off and…..SURPRISE! That’s not chocolate pudding! On these occasions you better believe you left the wipes at least 20 feet away.
4. All 5 of your kids have pooped at least twice in one day. AT LEAST! This is usually on a Monday and they have been with Grandma or Grandpa for the weekend. This isn’t so much a mystery as a……”What on earth did I do to deserve this!!” The top 3 questions that run through your head on days like these…..”What on earth did you eat all weekend?! Perhaps EVERYTHING!” and “Do you ever poop at home?!” and “Maybe I should start charging by the poop?”
I could go on about poop experiences all day since there is never a shortage of it at my house. So at this time I will give props to my garbage man! Sir or Ma’am thank you for your service and I do apologize for the smell of my can….especially on the 90 degree days with 100% humidity when the breeze is just right and your truck is at the perfect down wind angle. You are an unsung hero!!!
3. ~ Barf’s Away!~
There will come a time in your daycare career that you will be covered in barf. Vomit, Spew, Upchuck, or throw up….whichever you prefer. You may say, “but wait a minute! you’re a mom with your own kids. A little spit up can’t be that bad.” First let me say that, just like poop, it is just different when it is your own child. I don’t know why….IT JUST IS. It doesn’t really make it better when it’s your own kids, but dealing with others vomit is just all around unpleasant in every sense of the word. Thankfully this doesn’t happen a bunch but when it does you are never quite ready….nor are you ever quite the same. Case in point….It has only been twice in my 5 years of doing this that I had the pleasure of dealing with……hmmmm…..let’s call it a puke plague. Child #1 starts vomiting……they are little….they tend to freak out…..I am big….I tend to freak out as well. (1st lesson learned….don’t try to carry a vomiting child to the bathroom in the hopes of getting some in the toilet.( NOT GOING TO HAPPEN) What did happen was a lovely spew trail and both of us covered.
15-20 minutes later….Child #2 begins barfing….you have just finished cleaning up child #1, yourself, the spew trail, texted parents about situation, while also finding imaginative and fun things for the other children to do so they stay out of said spew trail and away from the quarantined child. (Ok I turned on cartoons….don’t judge!)
Yes! There was a third and then the next day another. If memory serves me correct I think it was a good week before it went through all of us and life could go back to normal…..both times. In the end you have a great story to tell and I do feel like I am a puke pro which will look great on a resume someday.
4. ~Don’t Put That There~
So this one isn’t really gross compared to the other three but it is one of those things that leaves you scratching your head. If there has ever been a phrase that has been said over and over and over and over again in my house this might be the one. At least a runner up to, “close the door” and “wash your hands”. There is just something about putting something in something to a toddler. I know, I know they are curious and learning. Keep in mind I have hundreds of toys to be played all within reach of said little toddlers……but the outlets (with the safety covers) or that little hole in the wall or vent is just way better than any toy. On the flip side of this you have them putting whatever random toy they find in their mouth, up their nose, in their ear, down their diaper (just pray this isn’t one of those “no smell” poop diapers today), or in their friends nose, ears, mouths, etc. Just when you think they understand that “you don’t put that there” you turn your back and let your guard down and some one has a lego stuck up their nose. A fun example……they come to you with a cute little stuffed toy and say in the most angelic way “kiss baby” as they hold up that cute little stuffie……as soon as you “kiss baby” you realize you have been had, duped, set up……can they be this smart and devious….I just don’t know. What you didn’t realize is that this child has been over in the corner lubing up “stuffie” with a ton of saliva….getting it all nice and wet with their own “baby kiss”. You swear you won’t make that mistake again but then you forget and they are so cute when they ask you to do something. Especially if it comes along with a “pwease”.
5. ~Murphy’s Law of Daycare~
A short list-
If one poops…someone else will be pooping soon.
If one throws up…..someone else will be throwing up soon.
If one has snot…..just tie the tissue box around your waste but don’t ever leave it where they can get it. There is nothing funner than pulling out ALL 300 tissues from the box and watching someone else clean them up!
If something fits in a hole…..then something is going in that hole!
If they can pick it…….they will!
Everything gets licked at one time or another!
Yes you will repeat yourself 5,492 times but at some point they will get it and then you can bask in the glory that you taught them that!
Let me just wrap this up by saying some days this is indeed the grossest job ever….some days you are just not sure if you can make another meal that will most likely end up on the floor and some days you can’t believe that a 3 year old just lured you into an argument about if you really have a “real” job or not but most days you realize that you have the best and most rewarding job in the world and that all this grossness just gives you great stories to tell! Now go enjoy your little ones!!
The grass is always greener……
Everyday is a good day to dress up!
Exhibit 4A….the blocks fit on her toes so the blocks must go on her toes;)