Callous

I'd rather be drinking chocolate milk.I stay home with my kids. The decision has less to do with the fact that I have the option of wearing pajamas all day and more to do with the fact that I vainly think I can give them the best care out there. It may not be the most mentally stimulating, educationally sound care out there, but I think it’s the best because I love them more than anyone else on the planet. I also play Milli Vanilli and flail my limbs around the living room like an epileptic sea anemone daily. Name me one daycare that does that. Exactly my point.

Today Laylee asked, “Why don’t mommies go to work like daddies?”

Me: Some mommies do go to work.

Laylee: Why don’t you?

Me: Because we’re so lucky. I get to be with you all the time.

Her faced looked more like she’d just eaten a buttered-popcorn flavored Jelly Belly than that she felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have me all up in her grill all day long.

Me: If I went to work every day, then you’d have to go to a babysitter instead.

Her face lit up. Babysitters = no rules, endless movies and painted toenails for 4 year olds.

Me: Not all babysitters are that fun. I love you more than any babysitter could and so you’re just so lucky to be with someone who loves you all day long.

Laylee: If you die, can I go to work with Dad and drink chocolate milk all day?

Me: Nope. Dad’s not allowed to have kids at Megacorp all the time. If I die, you’ll have to go away to a babysitter all day [the thought crosses my mind that she’s seen daycare centers around here and they look like magical playlands. Dude. I almost want to go to one.] AND they won’t love you like I do and you’ll be so sad.

She begins to tear up because, dude, what a jerk am I? I suddenly envision what will happen if I ever do go back to work after, in a moment of pride, having built daycare up in her mind as a heartless Dickensian depository for unwanted children.

Me: Or we could find a really nice babysitter or Daddy could go live near Grammy or Grandma and you could stay with them during the day.

Laylee: Yay! I wanna do that.

Me: But if I die you’ll miss me so much.

Laylee: Not really cause you’ll just get resurrected someday and I NEVER get to see Grammy and Grandma. I wanna do that.

Me: No.

On one hand I’m pleased that she’s expressing a belief in the ressurection. On the other hand, how do you continue to play play-doh with someone who’s just expressed that they wish you dead? I ask you — HOW? She doesn’t even know the rules of play-doh. And her hair looks funny. And if I’m so disposable, maybe she can find someone else to fix it for her.

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