If you’re going through what I’m going through with so much to juggle, please let me know. Daycare solves a lot of my problems (including the primary one of what to do with my kids while I’m at work) but it creates its own to-do list. Part of keeping up with kids at daycare is keeping up with “stuff”. By “stuff”, I mean:
The list of things they need when they start at the daycare- or start a new class- or start a new year. These lists, especially the very first time, are your big assemblies. Your typical infant daycare program is going to require you to bring:
- A giant packet of forms, including complete medical history (at least this is probably simple, if the baby’s 6-12 weeks old) and contact information for everyone who could ever possibly have anything remote to ever do with your child
- A storage container (giant Rubbermaid drawer, if you’re me)
- Two-three changes of clothing
- Extra bottles
- Extra formula (yes, even true if you breastfeed- we’ve had spillage and super-hungry-baby incidents)
- Diaper cream
- enough crib sheets for a week at a time
Of course, this progresses, and each subsequent “class” change is accompanied by a new list, and some things go home. Not to mention there are mid-class additions… come six months old, I had to start sending A with extra spoons and bibs and her own sippy cup. (Then, of course, you have to admit to yourself your tiny baby is old enough for a sippy cup.)
(And I’m not even getting into daily nutritional needs, the bottles and labels and soon enough, baby food until they’re old enough to eat the meals served).
Once we hit the preschool years, there are school supplies on the list. Crayons and kid scissors and (oh, better them than me) glue. Still changes of clothing, still sippy cups, still a sheet and a blanket for naptime, though now they’re on mats.
And those are just the class lists. Then we’ve got stuff that comes up as we go along:
- Summertime swim days! Girls need bathing suits, swim diapers, waterproof sunscreen, a hat for the baby, and a towel.
- Student of the week. Need a cute form filled out and a picture and a show and tell item.
- Class parties. Need to sign up to bring a food item. Need to remember to actually bring that food item once signed up.;
- Crazy hat day. Dude, I don’t own crazy toddler hats.
- Pajama day. Much easier.
- Stuff for a craft. I was recently asked for wax crystals to make candles. Can’t I just give you an extra $5?
- A family picture so everyone can hang up family pictures.
I once dropped the ball on that last one, just before A was born. I was pregnant and sick and exhausted and stressed, and I didn’t look through the things that came home from daycare that week. That Friday, my husband told me that C was the only kid in the class not to have a family picture up.
I’m still dealing with that, guilt-wise. I’m not one to overdo the Mommy Guilt, but this was… yeah.
Right now, a year later, I still have the family picture I printed for her up on my bulletin board next to my desk to remind me.
We love our daycare, and I’m glad they’re so thorough and I’m glad they do so many activities. I keep up as best I can (and one of the things I love about them is that if I drop the ball, they make do.) But the sheer amount of stuff I keep up with is astonishing. I just do it as I go along- I’ll set aside the note that comes home (“Allison is out of diapers!”), grab the item when I’m making bottles and my own lunch, and toss it in the car the night before, then bring it the next day.
What am I going to do when these kids are older? I guess then they’ll be able to take on some of the burden themselves, but someone will still have to supervise, and the amount and complexity of stuff is likely just going to grow.
How do you keep up with the stuff kids require?