Question: I have a 1-year-old who attends in-house daycare a few days out of the week. He has been going to this woman's home since he was about 6 months old. I trust that he is getting the proper care... except when it comes to his stinky clothes. What I mean is that when me or my husband picks him up from daycare, he seems to always smell like "POOP". I would check his diaper, but there's nothing ever there so I am assuming she changes him before we arrive. But the smell is in his clothing as if he sat in "POOP" all day. Long story short I like the daycare, it's close to home, and very affordable, but how do I tell this woman nicely without feeling like my son will be mistreated once I drop him off, that my son stinks because your not taking off those rubber gloves when your done changing him? PLEASE HELP!!
From: Gemini, Boston
I have three thoughts: The first is to give her the chance to, ah, come clean (sorry, I couldn't help that) by asking her: "Many days when we pick him up, there's a smell of poop on him. When we check, we can see he has a clean diaper, so we can't figure it out. What do you think it is?" That gives her a chance to own up or at least fix the problem. Give it a day or two. If it doesn't get fixed, point the smell out to her the next time you pick up him. I can't believe it would be that she's not changing the gloves, but you could certainly ask.
Here's the second: If she is not properly dealing with diaper changes, where else is she cutting corners? It would be enough to make me start looking around.
Lastly, you're worried she will mistreat your son because you're pointing out a problem to her?
That alone should tell you that this relationship is not what it should be.
If you don't feel you can act as a parent-provider team -- that is, if you are so intimidated by her or so fearful of losing the care that you can't give her feedback and, yes, criticism, and have it be received appropriately -- then this is not a healthy relationship. I understand the importance of proximity and cost, but quality of care needs to come first. My best advice: start looking for a new provider. I'm not saying you have a crisis on your hands, I'm not suggesting this is a terrible situation. In fact, it's the fact that you are afraid to talk to her is more worrisome to me than the stinky situation.
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