Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...


Let's be honest. No matter how much you love and/or adore your kids, children are a burden- a burden that you chose to spawn, which makes them your responsibility (well yours, and depending on how the division of labor works in your house, more so your wife's). They require constant care 24/7 that no one in their right mind would be able to handle alone (if they ever wanted to keep their sanity), and if you and you wife both work, you have no choice but to farm out your responsibilities, from time to time, to a secondary caregiver, or daycare facility, if you will. The whole transaction seems quite simple: you pay a set monthly amount, they watch your kid while you are at work. It should be so easy... but it never is.

Whether your child goes to a daycare with three kids or thirty, the rules all seems to be the same: they make them up to suit their needs. I can't tell you how many times me and my wife (well, to be honest, it's usually my wife) have been called at work to pick our daughter up from daycare because she is sick. Sure, sometimes it's because I sent her there with a bit of a fever (barely, at 99.1 degrees) in the first place, and in my defense, I sent a thermometer and a bottle of Tylenol too. Other times it's because all the other kids at daycare got sick, and even though my daughter looked healthy (to a doctor) the ladies at daycare said she looked sick and should go home. Can't tell you how much fun it is to leave work to go pick up your daughter from a half day of daycare that you're still paying for (I really can't, my wonderful wife always does it), but it sucks! It's a waste of your time, and money.

I mean, why do you pay for daycare in the first place? Because you can't watch your kid between certain hours of the day, right? And whether your kid is sick, or healthy, the fact that you need to go to work doesn't change, right? And, if your kid gets sick with something mild, like a cold, which she probably got from daycare anyway, you should be able to send her there and expect the same level of care, right? WRONG! And, if your kid has to stay home, and you have to take off work for an entire week to watch her because your daycare provider won't assume the "responsibility," you shouldn't have to pay for the missed days, right? WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! It's all so wrong. I haven't seen a more lop-sided contract since Donald Trump married his third wife (and she got the raw end of the deal for having to sleep with him). They take in your healthy kid, watch him for a few uneventful days, get him infected with some other kid's germs that lay dormant until such time as you have an early meeting that you can't miss or your wife has an appointment that she can't reschedule, and... BAM... your kid's sick, and the place that got him sick won't take him in (forcing you to stay home) and on top of that, you have to pay for the service even though you're at home, missing work and watching your own kid.

Does this sound familiar?

  • Kid falls and bumps her head (even though it's because no one was watching her)... Daycare calls: "You should come and pick up your daughter....she's got a bumpy" - that I couldn't even find.
  • Kid feels warm to the touch (because she's been sitting in front of a window, during summer, with the sun shining on her for an hour)...Daycare calls: "You should come get your daughter....she's got a raised temperature" - that was 98.9.
  • Kid's lips well up like two pieces of uncooked liver (because no one told the new kid that peanut products were not allowed)... Day care calls: "Your daughter had an allergic reaction, and you may want to meet her at the hospital...."- it wasn't my kid, it was this one (press for picture).
Sometimes I just think it will be cheaper just to have a second kid and get the economies of scale of having a live-in Nanny (did I just say that out loud?- don't tell my wife). For now, I will resolve myself to the fact that every fourth time my daughter gets sick and has to stay home from daycare I will be staying home with her- right in line behind my wife, my mother-in-law, and my mother, the way nature intended it (or, I'm just that low on the totum pole). After all, I'm really just complaining about the money. Nothing I hate more than paying for a service I didn't get (no shiatsu jokes today, sorry). I guess what I'm really trying to say is... is there a tax write-off for having to send your kid to daycare, even through she never stepped foot through the door? Well, there should be... and my wife would be entitled to it... and not just because the government says so.

Stupid germs... 

The End!

Here's are the pros and cons of a variety of child care situations. Enjoy!:

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