Archive for February, 2010

No I Don’t Work in a Daycare; It Just Plays One on TV

YIN:

Who knew that having a child would help me in dealing with my co-workers? You see technically I work with a bunch of children who are out of control and have temper tantrums. Sometimes they are loving and appreciative; but a lot of the times they scrunch their faces up and just let all their emotions out.

I often tell people at work that I only have 1 child, not 75 and my child is much cuter than any of the people that I work with. Let me give you some examples of childish behavior that I have been through:

  • The Tattletale: I work with two people who love to tattle if you don’t do what they want. The conversation will be: “You need to do (blah)”. They are very demanding and no, they are not anyone’s boss. When you say why it can’t be done or why you don’t want to do “blah” they’ll say “Well I’ll just talk to Mr. Manager”. Huh? How old are we? No one can stand a tattletale no matter if you’re 5 or 55.
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  • The Pigpen: Have you ever seen the sign that says “Clean up after yourself – your mother doesn’t work here”? Well I think some people at my job have never seen it. Dirty dishes dumped in the sink, toilet paper left on the floor of the bathroom, not flushing the toilet, dropping things and not picking them up. Yep, I’ve seen it all. It’s okay when my 20 month old daughter does things like that. Not so okay for an adult who really should know better. Makes you wonder what other people’s houses look like.
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  • The Taker: Small children love to grab things off a table, run and put it somewhere. We lost the keys to our storage closet for about 2 weeks when our daughter first started walking well. One day I was at the front door with her and she reaches down into my husband’s golf shoe and pulls out the missing keys! At work things disappear without anyone asking you, but the taker isn’t always so generous as to always return said item as my daughter was.
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  • I Want You to Share But I Won’t Share With You: There’s always that one person who wants you to help them out but when you need help from them they’re always busy. Just like the little one who wants you to share your Legos but won’t let you borrow their blocks.
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  • The Whiner: No one likes a whiney child. No one can stand a whiney adult. It’s okay to complain but to complain ad nauseum and not have a solution is just annoying.
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  • The Baby: Have you ever met the child who is old enough to do for themselves but has to have their mom carry them around, hold their cup and do things a child their age really is capable of doing themselves (and they do themselves when their mom isn’t around)? You can excuse a child of this but not an adult. I work with a woman who thinks we are all here for her serving pleasure and asks for help with everything, even things you know she’s been trained on. Since she’s in her 40’s it’s extremely annoying but since she’s also a I Want You to Share But I Won’t Share With You employee, people just pretty much ignore her at this point.
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    So as you can see my job can be a challenge. I do enjoy what I do but sometimes I feel like I’m at daycare and want to ask if anyone needs their diaper changed. Thank goodness for the other grownups I work with that make up for all the ‘children’ at my job. Because I don’t have a degree in child psychology.

    Table Tricks for Picky Eaters

    YANG MOMMY

    I’ve yet to meet a young child who ate everything on their plate with gusto all the time, and without making a mess. In fact, I could apply this to men too, but I’ll stay within the realm of young children for this post. Young kids are notoriously picky eaters. “You’ll have to introduce the same food at least 10 times before a child will eat it,” say the doctors and pedia books. This doesn’t seem to apply to cookies or chocolate, does it, just the nutritious foods they need to eat! What they really mean to say is, “Keep giving them the same food until you wear them down.”

    And just think of all the money we’d save if we didn’t need to buy bibs or floor mats to catch all that food that we keep re-introducing. Of course, if you have a dog, you may be less likely to need a floor mat or Dust Buster to pick up the scraps. But I’d rather not change my child’s clothes after every meal, so a catchy-bib is de rigueur wardrobe for dining.

    Nevertheless, I’ve come up with some “table tricks” that not only save me from having to reintroduce every food item my daughter doesn’t instantly like, but also saves on the clean-up factors, ultimately leading to the manna of every mom, More Me Time!

    • “The No Pile”:  Before every meal I indicate a space on my daughter’s plate or the table where the food she doesn’t like will go.  I encourage her to taste new things first, but instead of throwing any “yucky” food on the floor, she now pointedly puts it in her “no pile.” (This works only after the “testing gravity” stage of older babies.)
    • Food Games: In our house, we now have Jumping Green Beans (beans that make her jump when she eats them), Laughing Beans, Disappearing Carrots (they make her invisible whilst chewing) and Makes-You-Fast Asparagus (as if she needed any more speed!). All of these culinary techniques tend to result in little girly giggles as she jumps/laughs/hides/runs in place from Mom and giggles from Mom at having outwitted her little girl.
    • “Mine!”: Playing upon the toddler motto of “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine,” I tell her that Daddy will eat her unwanted food. Quickly, she’ll reach for it and eat it because there’s no way Daddy, or anyone else, is going to eat her food! Note that this is not a failsafe method especially if she actually wants to share. (And she tends to share only what she doesn’t love, LOL!)
    • Creative Cooking: There are lots of ways to hide food within food, but some kids just don’t go for it; their taste buds are too clever. But funnily enough, I’ve found different preparations of the same food item can work. For instance, steamed broccoli ends up in the no pile, but a bowl of broccoli cheese soup is licked clean. Spinach on its own is a highly developed taste, but diced spinach mixed with mac and cheese (or hidden in chili–in fact, lots of veggies can be hidden in chili) is rarely  noticed. And one friend labels her food differently, too, such as fish sticks become “ocean fries.” Mmm!
    • Bribery: The old stand-by, coercion.  When all else fails, I urge my daughter to eat her food by promising some of her favorites for dessert, like various fruits or yogurt.
    • Dips and Sauces: Toddlers love to explore new things, so why not introduce some healthy sauces to the old-standbys? Like yogurt w/ a touch of cucumber to dip in, or homemade BBQ sauce. At my table, ketchup is making everything taste better lately.

    Ah, the tricks we parents resort to in order to get our kids to eat healthy! Tell us if you have any tips, too; we’d love to hear from you!

    Your child is a gold mine (or so said the thief)

    YIN:

    Every year as a habit, sometime between January and March, I get my free yearly credit report. Everyone gets one free credit report a year and if you’re really lucky you live in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont – these states require the credit report companies provide you an additional free credit report on top of the one the government requires them to provide so you can get an update twice a year for free.

    So to make sure all is kosher I always pull a report for myself and my husband. And this year for the first time I’ll pull a credit report for my 1 1/2 year old daughter.

    It sounds funny even writing that. But the facts are that identity theft is sky rocketing and children are a perfect target for identity theft since their record is completely clean and has no blemishes. Who better to steal the identity of?

    When my daughter was 3 months old I went back to work and she went to daycare. In the state of Florida, where we live, we have to provide proof of immunization to the daycare on a regular basis. So while at the pediatrician’s office I requested the paperwork needed. When I received the papers I was shocked. Sitting right under her name was my daughter’s social security number. I couldn’t figure out how the dr’s office had gotten it. I’d never provided it to them. And when the dr visited us in the hospital she hadn’t received a number yet. So I asked the nurse to remove her social from the form. To my surprise they told me they don’t put the social on the forms – the state does. I just researched it a little and there is a program called Florida Shots that is a centralized online immunization registry that schools and doctors offices use to track children’s immunizations. But I don’t know how the state got my daughter’s social. I guess the U.S. government gave it to them. Because there’s no other way the state got it.

    Forgetting about all the Big Brother issues involved in the story above (which is hard to do but that’s another blog) it occured to me that anyone in the dr’s office or at daycare could get my daughter’s social and start ordering things off of Amazon.com. So I blacked out the number each time before giving it to daycare. That still leaves the people in the dr’s office who are able to view it (and the people at the state) but the nurse did tell me I could call the department of health and ask them to remove it. But I will admit that I have been remiss in not doing so yet and that was well over a year ago. Shame on me.

    So I’m getting on the ball finally and am on the phone right now trying to get her social security number removed from the form. I’m sure it’ll be a little effort involved but I’m ready for the challenge. My husband and I take great care in making sure our little one is safe in the car, safe with her caretakers and pay a pre-paid college fund every month to make sure she’ll be able to go to college if she chooses. Now I need to make sure that I protect her future finances as best I can too.