Daddy's Coming Honey!

We’ll Take Your Baby

Responsible parents start searching early. Or they make grandma do it. But since neither grandma is retired yet, one is in another state, and the other has to raise a Chesapeake Retriever and assist a sleep-apneac, Carrie and I are getting an early start on the daycare situation.

We’ve only checked out one place so far. The first perk, we knew, was that it was within walking distance of Carrie’s new office, the name of which will remain undisclosed, because I don’t want anyone to kidnap my child. But that brings me to another perk.

The place is safe. The doors are locked electronically, and only parents are issued a security clearance card. I’m sad to say they do not have voice-recognition or retinal scan software, but they try their best.

Carrie knew the place from one of our friends who takes her baby there. Boom. Connection. We’re in, right? See, in case you didn’t know, visiting day cares is a tryout. But its not a tryout for you. It’s for the daycare service. You may have a tendency to think this is like enrolling your child in a prestigious school: The proprietors interview you, look you up and down, whisper in each other’s ears, and end the visit with “we’ll keep in touch. By mail. Most likely.” No, these guys just want your cash. If you can pay, they’ll sit for the day. They’re the ones trying out.

So they tried out. First thing I notice is that there’s a dude at the front desk. Daycare’s are stereotypically female-staffed. First person we see is a dude. Of course he’s a very well dressed dude with hair gelled into a canopy like a widow’s peak resurrecting from the dead. That would turn some away. He’s good with babies. I don’t judge.

The place is all divided by age groups. And by that I mean they’re specific. See, there’s a difference between infants, toddlers, AND waddlers. I’ll say it again: Toddler, AND waddler. Ok, I don’t know which comes first by their definition, but they’re different. This determines which lasso to use to round them up.

In the baby room, three different women are quietly rocking and feeding little babies as we take off our shoes (shoes have germs and socks don’t, and babies crawl all over these floors, mind you—-we could learn a lot from the Japanese). There’s a chubby kid knocked out in the crib beside us. Another is bouncing in a bouncy thing that I’m sure Carrie recognized immediately and knew the name and price of.

Carrie used to work at a daycare, a five-star daycare. Of course, in the North Carolina Appalachians, a five-star dayday care probably involves not dropping the babies on the sawdust floor, taking them to the trough at least three times a day, and having mobiles made from possum bones and dried apple cores. Hill people milk (140 proof!) is used to soothe the children and put them to sleep.

Nonetheless, Carrie knows her daycare qualifications: a fire crib to put the babies in if there’s a fire, a sanitary diaper-changing routine, ample feeding breaks, 15-minutes SIDS checks (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome—sorry to be so morbid, but it happens). While she barrages them with questions, I scan the room for more important things, such as noticing from the diaper bag cubby holes that, contrary to Carrie’s notion that one of the names we’re thinking of is getting too popular, none of the babies have that name. No, they all have names like Paul and Ivey (Ivy with an E).

The diaper-changing pads have big frogs on them. Who wouldn’t want to have their diaper changed on a frog? I know I would.

There’s also a camera. But it’s not a security camera. Well, it is that. But it’s also a spy camera. Parents can log on to the camera from any computer and watch their child sleeping, being fed, being rocked, or having their diaper changed. They can also watch other kids having their diaper changed. Nothing weird about that. I know that if we choose this place Carrie will have a constant feed in her office computer. I know that I will also have a quick on my Mac. “Just gonna check and make sure they’re not strangling little Ralphy.” Yes, we’re naming our baby Ralphy. According to my dad, that is.

Here’s a link to the webcam so you can view the babies too.

Make this blog real interactive, don’t you think? I don’t think the other parents would mind. I already planted a few other secret cameras in that place while we were taking the tour anyway. The same thing I do with people’s homes whenever I visit, just to make sure its a safe place. You wouldn’t believe what some people do when they don’t think anybody’s watching. Gross. Stop scratching that.

See you next week.

p.s. If you walk into a daycare and see this, its best to try someplace else.


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