Attitude is everything

How do you react when your day care provider tells you that your nine week old baby has more attitude than any baby they have ever seen?
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Tell them it’s impossible. How could this baby possibly cause any trouble?

Right. No. Actually, somewhere, deep inside, I felt somewhat validated. Kai screams like a banshee for nearly all of the hours that we are together and, after six weeks of that while I was on maternity leave, I seriously began to wonder if I was doing something wrong. Although I did not want to hear that she had attitude, [I understood this as: “Your baby screams all day.”] that declaration somehow made me feel as if it was her, not me that was the problem.

Until Miss Sharon’s follow-up line: “You know that you are probably causing it by holding her all the time.”

Excuse me? First of all, she has spent more waking hours at day care in the past three weeks than she has with me. [Not proud of that, but it is true.] Secondly, can you really hold a baby too much? Yes, we do hold her for nearly all of the two hours between when we get home from work and her bedtime, but I definitely don’t think that is too much. In fact, I feel guilty for not holding her more than I do.

After this conversation set in, my initial reaction began to dissolve into a panicked “oh no, I think they hate my baby” feeling. Not good. I don’t know how comfortable I am with leaving her, day in and day out, with someone who obviously finds her to be annoying.

For the record, I don’t really blame the lady for being annoyed. Kai is a super loud, extremely demanding baby. Even I was exhausted after six weeks of solo Kai-care.

To further build on my excitement about daycare, I just got this note about auditing my milk each morning.
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Sweet. Obviously I:

  1. Have plenty of spare milk to bring them if they throw mine away.
  2. Will not have any trouble making extra time in the morning for milk audits. Promise I’m not struggling to get to work on time as it is.
  3. Will test my milk temperature before leaving the house and, based on the R-rating of my cooler bag and my typical commute time, do some scratch pad math to decide if I should bother going to work that day.
  4. Totally understand that it is in the name of food safety. After all, if I won’t protect Kai from potentially harmful milk, who will?

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28 comments
  1. jena said:

    Oh dear. I would not be comfortable leaving my baby somewhere with people who are clearly irritated with her. It’s not her fault, geesh people, she’s a baby for heavens sake. Isn’t screaming what babies do? and that whole milk/food thing.. I don’t even know what to say about that. That sounds like a gigantic pain in the ass. I mean, is breast milk naturally 41* ?? Serious question. I’m thinking No, but what do I know?

    Good Luck! I hope you turn in the form as you have it above 😉

    • Brit said:

      “Fresh” milk is body temperature, then it gets refrigerated if it isn’t used right away. Hopefully it is not a problem to make the milk cold enough that it is still 41* or less when we arrive at daycare. I’m sure that the refrigerator can do it, but I’m not sure if it will freeze all of the other food in the fridge? I’m picturing frosty spinach and stuff, like you get when the refrigerator is too cold for the food.

      • Christine Brown said:

        I have a lunch bag I keep in the freezer with built-in ice packs that I keep Haley’s food and milk “refrigerated” in when we are on the go. I got it at the “as seen on TV” store for $20. It supposedly keeps stuff as cold as a fridge would for up to 8 hours.

      • Brit said:

        Impressive! I should get some extra ice packs and hope for the best. I know that they mean well, but I feel like I have enough going on without worrying about getting our milk sent home.

  2. Christine Brown said:

    Oh, poor Brittany (and Kai!) That’s ridiculous! Sounds like the daycare lady is the one with the attitude. She probably didn’t get held enough as a child! Seems like there could’ve been a more compassionate way of telling you about Kai’s crying. I don’t believe you can hold a newborn too much, that’s silly. Especially one as small as Kai. If it is the reflux that’s making her cry more than would be expected, hopefully the medication will start helping with that soon. I’ve heard that’s a pretty common issue. You deserve some empathy and understanding, not flack from the daycare Gestapo! Haley was especially gassy as a little baby, which made her irritable, and we found that by adding a teaspoon of gripe water to her bottles, she digested the milk easier and slept better, which in turn made her happier all around. It’s a natural supplement made of ginger and fennel extracts that helps sooth little tummies. Hope we are able to see you guys when you come out to Cali!

    • Brit said:

      I plan to keep holding her even if it causes trouble. I have a feeling that the Prilosec will help. We’ll know better in a few days. Fingers crossed!

  3. jillybean222 said:

    Grrrrrrr, not a big fan of your DCP! I am trying to figure out her tone but all I can “hear” is an angry, irritated, and condescending woman.

    The tone of the letter is even a little condescending too – but, maybe I am reading into it a bit too much.

    Weren’t you considering an au pair…why not just hire a full-time nanny and keep Kai at home. You will cut time off your morning routine, you won’t have to zip home and let the dog out at lunch, and you won’t have to answer to morons like the DCP above regarding your parenting. Problem(s) solved!

    • Brit said:

      FT nannies are crazy expensive. We might have to give more consideration to the au pair. Ugh. I can’t decide if I’m stressed out and making too much of it or if they are being difficult.

  4. Kate said:

    I’d have serious problems with the milk auditing. MYOB for Pete’s sake. I’m mad at this daycare I’ve never met. :p Are they going to clean and sterilize the thermometer between each test? I wouldn’t want someone else’s audited product to get into mine.

    • Brit said:

      I have the same question about cross contamination. I’m curious how they will do that as well. Next they will be requiring each child to have their own candy thermometer for milk auditing.

      • Kate said:

        Sheesh. Might as well just move into the daycare center for all the extra time you’re going to need! 😉

    • Goodness can’t believe I seimsd this post until now! I really am behind on blogs. SO happy for you all. What a wonderful gift for your family! I very much hope these first days of motherhood are going well. Can’t wait to see some pictures of baby Kai!

  5. maureen said:

    ughh I feel for you. I would have lost my cool with the DCP. I am interested as to how they will be conducting this “audit of milk”

    • Brit said:

      I think Chris needs to talk to them. He is good at having a factual discussion without showing emotion. I would probably either get angry or cry about it.

  6. jen said:

    ok…first things, first. You can NEVER hold a baby too much. I mean seriously, if your baby wants love and attention and is happy and content being held, why in the world would you NOT hold her? I’ve never met your DCP, but I don’t like her. If she’s got an attitude like that, what the heck is she doing in childcare? (ok, off my soapbox)

    And what a pain in the butt the milk audit will be. 😦 I feel for you.

    If you guys moved back to India, you could definitely find in-home daycare for a very reasonable amount…just sayin’. 😀

    • Brit said:

      India sounds tempting. Chris was in Chennai yesterday on a whirlwind tour of India this week (Mumbai, Pune, Chennai). I was jealous that he got to go back so soon.

  7. shelby said:

    I don’t know anything about babies but it sounds like I know more than your asshat daycare lady. Yes, the baby has an “attitude” because you’re spoiling her with your embraces! Not because she is a small human going through massive bodily changes who cannot communicate with those who she depends upon in any other way than to cry! WTF.

    I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this.

    • Brit said:

      I feel like day care and I are total frienemies. Ugh.

    • Rayane said:

      When I saw the title I thought, YAY she went and got an u/s and found out what she’s hnaivg. I totally wasn’t expecting baby Kai to be here already! Chris made it home JUST IN TIME!! OMG i’m so excited for you. It’s a little ridiculous how excited I am over a baby of a person i’ve never met IRL.

  8. I know diddly squat about babies but I think over-holding a baby is a bit ridiculous. If anything there are too many babies in this world not being held enough! I’m thinking this day care lady just likes to throw her opinion around!

    As for the milk – as annoying as that is I completely understand why this is. I work in a restaurant and there are very strict health code regulations on food temps. If you were to bring food/milk into the day care that temped at 46* and someone from the health department came by and did an inspection just after you left and found the milk at anything over 41* then the day care would be responsible – which depending on the state/county can mean all sorts of things and the milk would get tossed, leaving Kai without any food at all. While any food can be in the “danger zone” {41-135 or 40-140, depending on who is asked} for up to 4 hours without causing major illness the day care can’t prove any of that – all that matters is the current temp.

    Still super annoying to deal with the temping as you drop her off but the day care is basically trying to cover their asses. Good luck with it…hopefully they at least manage to run everything smoothly! And this uneducated not-even-close-to-a-mom says hold Kai all you want and if she needs to cry in the day care ladies face so be it!

    • Brit said:

      I totally see the point about them being held accountable if the milk is too warm. I wish there was some kind of waiver that I could sign though, like I take responsibility for Kai’s milk or something.

      • That would actually be a really good idea – maybe you should suggest that to them? And you probably aren’t the only one thinking the extra time and stress is a bit insane. Maybe its something they/you could talk to other parents about and get done?

      • Brit said:

        Hmmm. 🙂

  9. Laurie said:

    Really, as a Chef in my former life before kids and Marine husband, your poster had a point about cross contamination. If they are going to be SUCH a stickler with no exceptions, then you need to ask to see their HAACP procedures for the thermometer immediately. Because, of course, they should have them readily available since you are certain they know all about that stuff since they are auditing your milk. DEF should be sterilized between audits. Be picky right back.

    In other words, that is ri.dic.u.lous. The temperature danger zone is between 41 and 135, so that is where they are getting their information. But really? an audit? So odd.

    • Brit said:

      I did ask about their thermometer cleaning procedures. They owe me a copy still. I also asked to watch them get cleaned once. My thermometer behind the scenes tour is still pending.

      • Yeah…I’ve seen some pretty not cool things happen to the thermometer that temps the food in our restaurant Honestly, sometimes I’d rather eat un-temped food than the food after said thermometer comes into the picture! Getting picky about the cleaning, storing, usage is pretty legit if you ask me!.

  10. Lisa said:

    What a cluster. Ug! Glad you’ve got the blog so you can at least tell us about it and get some feedback. I wish I knew more about these issues, but all I can say is I support your version of the signed letter 100%. 🙂

    I guess I can sympathize a bit too, as I’m always trying to get baby calf colostrum (1st milk from mom) into the fridge if the calf doesn’t quite finish it. Bacteria, you know. 🙂
    Good luck!!

    • Brit said:

      You are like the leading authority on milk in the blog world. 🙂

      I’m sure we’ll work through all this, we have no choice, really. In the meantime, I will continue to over-hold Kai.

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