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Good and Bad, Black and White

November 17, 2009

So, today I had an upsetting encounter.  But before I get to the upsetting part, I need to give you the backstory.  So my two kids go to a family daycare.  They have gone to this particular daycare for about 2 years.  We like it there, but we don’t love it there.  There have been things along the way that haven’t sat right with us, but at the same time, we know our kids are loved by the providers and they are safe.  In the meantime, come January, we are starting with a nanny.  This will alleviate much stress of trying to get the kids out the door, will give me more time with them since it will cut down on commute, and the nanny will also do a load of laundry or two to boot!  In the meantime, we also get to relieve the nagging doubts we have had about their current daycare situation.  What’s not to love about this scenario?  When it came to interviewing potential nannies, we were uber scrupulous about finding the perfect fit.  Let’s just say there were tons of questions asked, references called, and a background check completed.  How could we not?  These are our kids we’re talking about.   Well, we found her!   Not to idealize her, but she’s a friggin’ dream come true.

So, today I was picking the kids up from daycare.  Without getting into unnecessary details, I basically found out that in response to requests for dessert type foods, the daycare provider….the one I’ve entrusted to care for my children 3 days a week for the past 2 years, the one that feeds them 2 meals and 2 snacks a day (for anyone who’s keeping track, that’s 4 meal times a day, 12 meal times a week, 624 meal times a year, and 1248 meal times over 2 years.)  ….. has been saying:

“You need to eat the good food, before you can have the bad food.”

Now.  If you read my about me, you will see that I have a history of an eating disorder.  I realize that to many (maybe the majority?) people, thinking of food as good or bad is the norm.  To me, it is one fucked-up, destructive norm that I would like to smash to pieces until no longer recognizable. 

My husband and I have thought long and hard about how to teach our children to tune in to internal cues, not external.  To view all foods as healthy.  To understand that the body needs all kinds of food (sugar included) to function properly.

“You need to eat the good food, before you can have the bad food.”

Holy shit.  Really?  This is what my kids have been hearing?  I want to cry right now.  I am so fucking pissed off.  Really?  She thought that was a good idea to say?  Actually, she said while laughing, “I probably shouldn’t say that!”  Please. use. some. self. reflection. when INTERACTING WITH MY CHILDREN.  January can’t come soon enough.

Ready for the good news?  

  1. I know that I’m angry.  Not feeling my anger has historically been a HUGE, eating-disorder-causing type of problem for me.   But did you hear me everyone?  I”m ANGRY!
  2. While tempted, I did not attempt to think of ways to micromanage every bit of influence my kids may come across.  It is so tempting to think of them as a blank slate when they are born… and that I somehow have control over every part of them that evolves.  Tempting, until I realize how fucking panic inducing that is.  Seriously.  Who needs that kind of pressure?
  3. Instead, I am choosing to view this as an opportunity to reinforce my beliefs and start to divulge that other people can and do think differently than Mommy and Daddy.  Equip them! 
  4. I am fighting the temptation to be hard on myself about this.  To my husband’s point, even if there were “blame” to be had, wouldn’t it be to both of us?  AND, when choosing a daycare, you don’t have as much flexibility.  We could literally pick the perfect nanny.  The reality is, I called 60 daycares.  I found 7 or 8 with room for 2 kids.  This one is far superior to all the others we looked at.  It has been a good daycare.  With some issues. (apparently).

Till Next Time,



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