Adventures in Daddy Daycare

Let’s get this out of the way now…I am not dissing dads.  I’m not even dissing my husband.  I’m simply stating facts here. 

Daddy Daycare at my house was banana-nuts with a cherry on top! 

Testing the Waters

After the birth of our first child, going back to work for me meant a 6am feeding, diaper change, and a little mommy/daughter time while getting ready for work. She would fall asleep again just in time for me to head off to work. I would put the baby monitor next to my sleeping husband and leave the house content. Gotta be honest here…I say I trusted him with my baby girl, but in reality, I probably didn’t. I would call home constantly, asking him how things were going, with the usual response of “fine, we’re doing just fine here.” 

Back in those days, my husband had Mondays and Tuesdays off so he was home with the baby all day. Yup…all day. My husband’s babysitting capabilities were put into question my second day being back at work. When I arrived home, I eagerly picked the baby up into my arms only to met with a diaper so wet, it left a mark on my dress the size of Kansas! I remember calmly asking my husband why she was so wet, but his memory has me freaking out yelling at him. “She must have just done that! I swear I just changed her!”  Uh-huh. That is when I started putting a red marker dot on the inside of her diaper so I could see if he was changing it. 

Can I just say girls?….genius move on my part. He never did catch on.

“You What?!!”

By age one we had to put her into a daycare program as she had graduated from the infant daycare lady. Daddy would still watch her on his two days off, then bring her in the morning. It was always interesting to see what Daddy would dress her in that day. Usually, it looked like a LuLaRoe trunk show threw up on her!

Our daughter was now old enough to spend every morning at the zoo with Daddy. He loved bringing her there to see the animals. Her eyes would light up with excitement watching the monkeys! Explains her love of animals now. Then came my husband’s dream come true….the Jurassic Park animatronic Dinosaur exhibit!  He would tell me about how the Dinosaurs actually moved and would even spit at you! The problem was, our daughter wasn’t so keen on it. Cried every time. Explains her fear of dinosaurs now.

By the time we had our second child, we had moved and I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. I had things a little more structured with two young children. We still had our fun time, but I had to make sure it wasn’t a mad house either. By the time baby number three came along, I decided to head back out into the work force. I found a new job at an elementary school. I was lucky enough to have my second daughter attend Alternative Kindergarten at the same school. Daddy was once again in charge in the mornings. 

Here We Go Again!

After a long first day back to work,  I came home to my 2-year-old eagerly grabbing my hand and rushing me into the family room proudly exclaiming, “Look Mommy! Polka dots!”  My eyes about popped out of my head when I saw about 50 holes poked into my white leather chair from an ink pen!  When I confronted my husband about it he replied, “She must have just done that!  I swear I just left the room for a minute!”  Uh-huh.

Five-year-olds have great tattling skills…Daddy fell asleep in the chair while my youngest did her classic artwork.

Within the same week, I was called down to the school office to find my 5-year-old sitting in a chair swinging her little legs with a big smile on her face. The secretary smiled at me and said no one was home, so the bus brought her back. I took her home to find both Daddy and her little sister soundly asleep.  “I must have just fallen asleep! I swear I was waiting for the bus!” Uh-huh.

About once a week I would hear the dreaded call of, “Would Mrs. Saville please come down to the office please?”  There my girl sat in her now own “special” chair smiling as I came in and said, “Daddy forgot me again!” She and her bus driver were best buds by now! 

Daddy’s Style vs. Mommy’s Style

I think my husband’s plan was to teach our girls the idea of self-reliance and for them to be “tough” girls.  No “soft” girls in our house! I never disagreed with my girls being able to do what boys could do athletically or otherwise, I just wanted them to have some girly qualities. My plan was for him to do more constructive things with the girls when he was in charge, and he wanted to “toughen” them up. I would suggest animal shows for them to watch while I was at work, he let them watch Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and Anaconda. I will take the hit for that one…should’ve been more specific! 

I eventually learned to trust my husband and his style of “Daddy Daycare,” but it took some time and the need for a cell phone. Mommy style of being home with the kids and Daddy style were completely different in our house, but we always had the same intent; to make sure our kids were happy and safe!

How is your parenting style different from your partners?

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Brenda is a working wife and mother of 3 daughters. Almost an empty-nester, Brenda will be adjusting to a quieter home-life by trying her hand at writing about her motherhood experiences. She attended the University of MN-Duluth with a Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree in Art and Interior Design graduating in 1986 and marrying her husband of 26 years, Scott in 1990. After moving around a bit for her husband’s job, they settled in Cedar Rapids for good in 1996. Currently working as a high school secretary and holding down a part-time job as well, Brenda still finds time to enjoy her daughters’ track meets, scrap-booking, tending to her 2 dogs Tucker and JJ, and attempting to show some swagger in Zumba class!