I wrote this letter to my daycare before realizing that the ‘teachers’ at daycare have magical powers to transform my little monster into an angel. In my mind, the child they described to me was clearly someone else’s.
Dear Miss Emily,
I’m so sorry to have taken so long to write this. It’s just, well, embarrassing. For me and for you.
I’m afraid you’ve been giving me the daily reports of a different child in your care. I know. It’s even embarrassing for me to tell you. But please know I’m not passing any judgment. I’ve been there. I have. I’ve actually corrected people on what a person’s name was at my office only to find I was the one using the wrong name all along. I discovered my mistake when I chummily told Heather that the Kevins had thought her name was Judy. Heather then blushed and told me her name was Judy. I was mortified for months. So I get it. Besides, I’ve known in my heart for weeks that this was the case, but it felt so good to get these wonderful reports that I let it go.
I don’t know who is wrongly receiving Henry’s daily reports, but at some point my guilt caught up with me. The poor kid, not to mention poor parents of the kid getting the mistaken reports detailing how their little love has inexplicably turned into a monster at your lovely daycare. The child you’ve been describing to us is truly an angel, and I shudder to think about how he’s being fretted over at home at the news of the truly dreadful behavior that is being reported to his clearly wonderful parents.
We first became suspicious when, after a few days, the notes didn’t change. “Wonderful boy! So well behaved and smart!” Later notes would describe a boy quick to share, easy to calm, and altogether a delight to be around at all times of day. Our Henry is bright, but the child you described, even in these fleeting notes, was clearly a boy we don’t know.
You see, Henry, the real Henry, whom you clearly know by another name, is the furthest thing from ‘well behaved.’ In fact, if there’s still any confusion as to whom Henry is, simply look around throughout the day.
Circle Time: He is likely screaming because A. you are reading the ‘wrong’ doggy book or B. you are reading the ‘right’ doggy book. There’s really nothing to know other than the fact that he’s screaming because you aren’t doing what he wants you to or you are doing what he wants you to. It’s a real catch-22.
Arts and Crafts: He is cracking himself up by pointing to his ‘pee pee’ and saying it’s ‘poopie.’ We THINK he knows the difference and is being intentionally funny, but who’s to say?
Playground: Judging by both my wife’s and my personal experience, there’s a 50/50 chance he’s pushing or hitting someone right now. Or throwing rocks. I know the playground has rubber mulch under foot, but you’d be surprised at his capacity for finding throwing-rocks in the most unlikely places. Based on his appearance upon returning home, it’s a safe bet he’s the one that has gotten down to just his diaper and is rolling around in the rubber mulch. After that, it would seem he is trying to fit as much of the rubber mulch into his mouth as possible.
Lunch: If your menu ever varies from apple sauce and cheese sticks, he is yelling ‘can’t like it’ while pushing his plate aside, sticking out his lower lip, and demanding apple sauce and a cheese stick. By the way, it’s fine to give it to him. He tends to use the cheese stick for dipping. The boy you describe, eating and drinking everything offered, well, he sounds like a delight!
Nap Time: If we haven’t outed our boy by now, this should do the trick. You’ll know he’s tired due to the amped-up grumpy combined with droopy eyes, yawning, and super clinginess. He WON’T be put down at this point until he’s so asleep that you could actually toss him into the bed. This child you describe who naps from 1:00 to 3:30 daily is a literal dream come true. We seriously dream about this.
As a parent, I feel truly invested in all children, particularly those children roughly the same age as my own and living in the same area. These are the children who will make up my child’s world, and from the sounds of things, you’re doing an amazing job ensuring that the world my boy grows up in will be one filled with simply lovely children. Thank you.
Please accept my apology for allowing this to go on for so long.
All the best,