So where did I leave off again…. Oh yeah, the day care called me at work.
Every working mom dreads the phone call from day care. The moment of panic when you see you missed a call from the day care. Immediately you fear the worst. I picture my little boy sweaty with a fever, crying inconsolably. You can’t dial fast enough. I just want to beam myself there pronto.
And then other times, I admit that I’m annoyed. I want to be at work. I have stuff that needs to get done, a schedule to keep. The idea of chucking it all to run out of the school is not appealing. I want to be there for my son, but on important days where I would prefer to stay at work, my husband and I compare notes and see who ideally can leave. It’s excruciating to have to make that choice though. I feel guilt no matter what I do.
I keep my cell phone in my purse on silent at work. Over lunch I checked my phone and saw my day care had called. That feeling of slow moving dread came over my body. I called them back.
Immediately the daytime director told me that there was nothing wrong with my son. She said she was calling to talk about the letter. She said she appreciated the feedback and that they were developing a survey to send out to all parents about the food at the day care.
They read my letter and decided to do what I suggested. Whoa.
In my letter one of the things I had mentioned how some moms were upset about ice cream being served sometimes twice a week. She disputed that ice cream was ever served twice in one week. She said it was served once a month. I guess she doesn’t realize that I obsessively keep track of their menu.
I told her that ice cream was definitely served once a week. Her response, “You should see how many fresh apples and oranges we throw out!”
Thankfully I thought of a retort on the spot (go me!). I said, “You know, I think parents need to know that. If parents knew that fresh fruit was being wasted, they could tell their kids in the morning, ‘Joey, don’t forget to eat your snack of fruit today!” Maybe that’s being optimistic of me, but remember that it’s a day care center so kids are young (6 weeks old to kindergarten) and still highly influenced by parents and adults.
When kids reject apples and oranges, it doesn’t justify offering ice cream just because they’ll eat it! Kids who are under-weight or nutritionally deficient need calories in any form, but the kids at my son’s day care seem to be of normal health. Giving them ice cream just to get them to eat something is extreme to say the least.
Anyway, our conversation continued and she said that they would get the survey ready to send out within the next day or so.
Before I picked up my son from day care, I had received an email from the day care with a link to an online survey through surveymonkey.com. Seriously. I don’t think I have ever felt more positive about my son’s daycare than I felt at that moment.
The first link they sent out had a glitch. I found that out because one of my friends emailed me to ask, “Did you get that survey link from the day care? Did you have trouble filling it out?” They fixed it and sent out an updated email.
I did the survey a couple days later. The only thing the day care didn’t do was notify parents about the survey on paper (like on the daily summary sheets we get). That would have been a great reminder. I have the survey results because they did print those out after they closed the survey and they shared them with all the parents. Some of the responses made me sad while others were aligned with how I think.
I’ll share the survey results in the last installment of this series as well as my next steps! Also later this week I’m going to survey you to find out what you like to eat for lunch. Can you believe how responsive they were to my suggestion? I also think that doing that survey earns them major points with parents too.