Sometimes I think that I talk (or write) too much about specific subjects. Maybe I do, but honestly, I don’t obsess about any random subject; I only obsess about those that are important to my life, or to my philosophy on life. (The obsessing about topics important to my philosophy on life has got to stop, though. I just don’t have enough time and energy to upkeep it.)
As a parent, daycare is one of those topics, especially since I’ve gotten quite a few comments on how Shlomo needs a social life, and I really should send him to a daycare to make friends. About how kids who go to daycare are more “mature” (read: advanced) than those who don’t (they’re also more violent), and it’s very recognizable on Shlomo that he doesn’t go to daycare, since he’s not so advanced (read: doesn’t feel like talking, and is kind of shy around other kids). Plus, he’s probably bored at home (which I can assure you is most certainly not the case).
One thing I noticed during the air raids last week was that the daycare nearest me did not take any of their to a bomb shelter. Apparently, the one farther away, did; however, I didn’t see them, so I can’t know for certain. On Tuesday evening, when I was talking with Yitzchak about a conversation I had had with someone in the bomb shelter, it struck me: Why had Shlomo been the only baby in the bomb shelter?
Right across the way from the shelter is a small daycare, with at least six or seven babies. There were several people walking the route between the daycare and the shelter, so even if the one or two workers on duty couldn’t have taken all the babies, certainly they could have taken three or four in their own arms, and passed the rest out to other people running to the shelter. Especially since we had a whole minute and a half, and many, many people who made it in could have spared another twenty seconds to take a baby, without worrying that they wouldn’t have time. They would have been happy to help out, because that’s the way Israel is.
But no – the daycare didn’t bother. And this bothers me, because to disregard the siren is one thing. To disregard it when you are in charge of other people’s children is another. The first isn’t okay, but you’re only hurting yourself. The second is completely irresponsible, and instead of ending up a suicide, you might end up as a murderer and a suicide.
Which just proves to me that even though I may be paranoid about placing my kid in a childcare center, I’m certainly not being unreasonable, and maybe not even obsessive. And I might even be really smart.
After all, one of my primary fears about daycare was that in an emergency, my child might be overlooked, because each staff member has only two arms; if the children aren’t small infants, those two arms can only hold one child. There’s also the chance that, in an emergency, someone might be overlooked. I would never be able to forgive myself if the child who was overlooked was mine, and I could have prevented it by keeping him or her with me. So, until my kids are of the age that you can teach them to follow instructions and how to act in an emergency, they stay with me – or with someone else whose only priority is their safety. That’s one of the reasons I think that a babysitter is a world of a difference from a daycare, especially if the babysitter becomes a permanent part of the child’s life.
For those of you who need a little more of a push to reconsider daycare, check this out. Actually, I take that back. Take a look at it, no matter what you think. Really.