Desert Sand Mica

Whatever, just crash it Bob...


I was listing books just now, and came across a book on how to run your own home daycare. I flipped through it and had to laugh, most of the ideas and protocols are so illogical. I could have written the book myself, having had run my own home day care for nearly 9 years. But mine would have been called "Tear Your Hair Out And Watch Your House Get Destroyed".

There was one summer, I believe the summer of 1993, when I had 11 kids in day care. Not all were full time, but there were plenty of times when they were all there at the same time. It was mind numbing, but damn I was making the cash. That's the summer we went as a family to California and Magic Mountain, nearly solely on my day care income. What do people charge for day care these days? I was charging $65 a week for full time. It's probably at least double that by now. If I wasn't such a hot tempered demon these days, I'd consider doing it again. The money was terrific, and I was having a great time, too.

One thing I will never regret about that time, even though I really was tearing my hair out being able to stay home with my kids for so many years when they were little. I stayed home until Daniel was nearly half-way through first grade, and I had been home since Katie was a newborn. I was able to do a mountain of things with them and for them that I never would have been able to do if I worked, even part time. Amanda got the short end of the stick only briefly, she was in day care for a short amount of time and I hated it, then once pregnant with Katie I vowed to find a way to get what I wanted, which was to stay home with my kids.

We spent summer after summer at Water World, going there almost daily..! Dragging along whatever day care kids happened to be there that day. I always asked the day care parents to purchase a Water World pass for their kids, and they were always happy to, knowing their kids would be having some hella fun.
I always felt bad when one of my day care charges smiled for the first time, walked, talked..or did some other monumental milestone while at my house. Most of the time I wouldn't even tell the parents, and wait until the child did it for them, then they would think that was the first time. I can't tell you how many kids took their first steps or said their first words at my house. It made me even more grateful that I was home all day every day with my kids. I didn't want anyone else telling me what my child had for lunch, or showing me what handicraft they made for me while I was off at work.

Nowadays I have a little more consideration for moms with little ones that have to work, but back then I was a rabid "stay-at-home-mom" advocate. And even now I will argue that there are a plethora of things we can do to make money that don't take us away from our kids when they're tiny. I'm not trying to appear pious about my choice, it was the right one for me and I wish more moms would investigate ways to stay home with their kids longer.

This book just brought a lot of things back from the recesses of my memory, and made me so glad and grateful that I had the opportunity to raise my kids myself, and be happy that one thing they'll not remember from childhood is their babysitter.


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