Daycare and school: where you cannot control everything

Now that Kaia is in daycare/school, there’s really little to no way to control everything. Even when our ex-nanny was with us, I couldn’t control everything. She repeatedly went against my back and did things I explicitly told her not to do, and she’d overlook and forget things I gave instructions for her to do. But with daycare, even when you provide detailed notes to the administration and ask that they pass it onto the teachers of your child’s class, there’s no actual guarantee those notes will ever get to the teachers. So it can make you wonder why you have to fill out all those endless forms in the application process to begin with, when you will likely send multiple messages to the teachers directly after you start, and have to reiterate it… yet again in person during drop-offs and pick-ups.

One of the things I wrote in Kaia’s food notes in the original enrollment forms were: no foods with added sugar. Well, these notes were never passed onto the teachers. And even when they were, the teachers actually don’t even know what I mean when I say “added sugar.” To them, they didn’t recognize that fruit or fig bars actually DO have added sugar in them; they said they were “natural sugar.” No, not really: the way these things are processed, it’s definitely added sugar! I had to explicitly write: no fruit or fig bars. The teacher wrote this in capital letters for all teachers and substitutes on the fridge for all to observe (or so we think). Then, I saw photos posted on the daycare app of all the kids, including my own, eating cinnamon raisin bread. In what world does cinnamon raisin bread not have any added sugar? And what about Special K with strawberries — they were also eating this for breakfast the other day! It suddenly hit me that it was highly likely the teachers did not actually understand there were added refined sugars in any of these foods. And that really made me sad: that’s the state of our education. Average Americans don’t even know what they put in our bodies willingly.

At the end of the day, I cannot police everything, and I cannot constantly message the teachers banning all these items from being put into my baby’s body. At some point relatively soon, the Pookster will likely have regular exposure to it, so it’s really going to be up to her (to a certain degree) regarding whether she wants these things or not. For example, yesterday, they were doing deconstructed s’mores. To my inner joy, I was so happy to see that my baby ate part of the graham cracker, but refused the marshmallow (processed, nasty sugar) as well as the tiny bit of chocolate. That’s my baby.

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