I love our daycare. Literally, I like every single teacher and staff person there. They are sweet, they clearly love my kid, they limit milk and slather on sunscreen… they’re wonderful.
Their strengths are pretty clear — they’re patient, kind and loving. They’re each a lovely combination of teacher and nurse. They’re paid much less than they’re worth.
But their positivity has pervaded an area that I feel could use a bit less sunshine and a tad more reality: The daily report.
Every day, we get a written report that tells us when Ryan ate, when he slept and what activities he enjoyed that day. We even know when his diaper was changed – and what was in it.
Each day, they check a box that lets us know what his overall “disposition” was for the day. The options are: Cheerful, Content, Tired, or Sensitive. According to his teachers, Ryan is always cheerful. I am not exaggerating when I say they claim my kid has been cheerful every single day since he started there six months ago. Even on this day, the Cheerful box was marked.
I’m not sure why they feel the need to sugar-coat it, but I know my kid, and I know he’s not cheerful every day. Pacified, perhaps. Bossy, whiny or irate, more likely.
In fact, if I were them, I’d add in a new category just for Ryan called “Hated Everything Today” and I’d be checking off that box off every now and then.
I would not be offended by this in any way. I don’t feel it’s a reflection on him as a person or on me as a parent. He’s a toddler. He thinks he’s all grown up and he wants to do his own thing and he doesn’t want you telling him that he can’t whip toys at the wall.
Additionally, the teachers write a couple of sentences that tell us what Ryan did that day. They go a little something like this:
Ryan enjoyed having a pretend picnic with Ms. Rada and friends, had fun sitting on the blanket, playing with plates and food. Ryan also loved listening to stories.
Or: Ryan had fun playing with the matching colors and shapes box. Ryan also enjoyed circle time and story time.*
In these summaries, Ryan always, always enjoys something. If *I* were filling out that report, it might go something like this:
Kid was enjoying his pancakes until he decided that he HAD to have Mommy’s turkey bacon. Got pissed when I said “No.” Was in a sh!t mood for the rest of the day.
Or: “Dude loooooved playing outside! But eventually, I made him come inside and he was so upset that he whacked me on the arm three times, despite me using my best ‘No no, we don’t hit‘ voice.
Then again, maybe this is why I’m not a daycare teacher.
*These are the actual summaries we received the past two days.