Little Monster Late Fees

Last week, I paid a late fee to daycare.   I neverpay daycare late.

little monsters

Image by sekundo via Flickr

Except last week.

As I’ve said before, I work 80 hours a week.

For the last couple of weeks, my three year old has decided that she needs to sleep in every morning.   No getting up at 6:30 for her.  No way.  That little prima donna wants to lounge in bed until 8, then watch a movie while eating breakfast in bed.   She’s never gotten that treatment, so I don’t know why it’s become her goal.

Last week, she decided to throw a tantrum when I woke her up.

Followed by a tantrum when I reminded her she doesn’t get to wear diapers during the day.

Followed by a tantrum when I dared to pick out clothes that didn’t have horses, or didn’t look right, or weren’t sweats, or weren’t picked out by Mom, or this, or that or….

I’ve been the one to get her ready almost every morning for 3 years and she has never been catered to that way.

Me: overtired, with 1000 things  on my mind.

Her: diva training, trying to wake up.

Her sister: teasing, asking questions, and generally doing her best to stand under my feet.

Her brother: gets himself ready, but tries to avoid combing his hair before school, and can’t be relied on to put on clean clothes.

Me: overtired.  Juggling getting three kids and myself ready to leave.  1000 things on my mind.

Daycare: What check?

She finally got paid on Thursday.    Over the 12 years we’ve had kids there, we’ve paid late maybe 5 times.   I hate late fees.

What’s the fix?

Checklists don’t work for me, when I’m rushing around.  I tend to ignore them while I’m herding children.

Selling the monsters to the gypsies is out.   They are far too difficult to succeed working in the salt mines.

We need to start picking out clothes the night before, to short-circuit most of the tantrum.  We also need to enforce bedtimes better, but that’s hard to do Sunday night if they are allowed to nap too long on  Sunday afternoon, which happens when I nap with my kids on Sunday afternoon.

Maybe the best solution is to switch schedules with my wife.  I’ll go in to work between 6 and 7.  She can herd monsters while trying to get ready for work.

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    1. Funny you mention tantrums – I just heard a thing on NPR this morning about them and how they follow a pattern. (I can’t find the link to the segment while at work, but you could probably google it)

      Basically the idea was that all tantrums are a mix of anger and sadness, and you need to overcome the anger to get to the sadness and deal with it. When kids are at the peak of screaming and incoherence, just ignore them or issue firm short commands. Don’t try to reason or ask questions, that only makes it worse.

      I don’t have kids yet, but I still found the ideas helpful.

    2. These are the times I am not looking forward to when we start a family. I know it will be worth it though.

    3. Either swap with your wife or set up a automated calender reminder telling you to pay. Automation works best in my opinion. Have your bank auto send a check.

    4. I have a diva in training, so I totally understand where you’re coming from. Picking out clothes the night before really does help cut down on tantrums…most of the time.

      The way I remember to pay daycare on time is by paying her on payday when I pay the rest of my bills. Although I have been known to leave the check in the car on occasion, I have never been late in 4 1/2 years by doing this.

    5. Can you set up a direct debit payment on your bank account to pay bills on a specific date, so that you don’t have to bother with cheque payments?


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