March 5, 2009

Motherly Instinct

In my past posts, I'm sure some of you readers remember when Jason and I had to change daycares for Abby because our daycare provider was going to be closing her business. Well, after a few months of stressfully looking into other providers, we came across Susie. We interviewed her and all seemed well except for when we walked through her kitchen, my "Mommy Super-powers" were in overdrive and I thought I smelt a hint of cigarette smoke in the kitchen. So, during the interview, I definately made sure to ask her if anyone in the house uses tobacco products or smokes and she gave me a flat "No" for her answer ... except, those "mommy super-powers" were screaming, "SHE'S LYING, SHE'S LYING!"

When we left the house, I asked Jason if he smelled the smoke and he said he couldn't remember what it smelled like in the house and that he hadn't noticed anything suspicious. So, I tried to control my mommy super-powers and supress them saying, "she's not lying, why would she lie to me?"

After a somewhat difficult transition for Abby in the beginning, you would never know it these days as Abby runs into the house and heads staight for Susie's arms. Susie greets her every morning with a warm embrace so the loving feelings between Susie and Abby are mutual. And this is the exact reason why I am so furious with her.

A few days ago, I just happened to pick Abby up when another parent was picking his two sons up. As we left together, he asked me if I had ever noticed that Abby smelled loke cigarette smoke when I picked her up. I know that every once in a while I had noticed a faint smell of smoke but just thought it was maybe the way her house smelled or maybe her husband smoked etc (that's me trying to calm my mommy super-powers again.) He explained that his wife had noticed it as well as some of his friends making comments on the fact that his kids smelled like cigarette smoke. He also explained that some of the other parents had noticed it as well but they hadn't confronted Susie about it. This other parent said he HAD confronted her and she continues to deny it but she seems to deny it half heartedly because she realizes that if she admits it, she could lose her license.

I am sick to my stomach with anger about this whole situation. First of all because I can't believe she'd lie to me especially if it's something SO important to me that I asked it during an interview. Second of all, Abby is a developing child who can be detrimentally affected by second hand smoke and it's not like Abby can speak up for herself to defend herself. Thirdly, I am beating myself up because I can't believe I suppressed my mommy super-powers and ignored them. I KNEW I shouldn't have left her there. I KNEW it smelled like smoke. I KNEW she was lying. I knew, I knew, I knew ... and I STILL left her there. If only I had listened to my gut. I tell new mom's that all the time that if they don't feel something is right with there baby, they are probably correct and they need to listen to their instincts ... and I didn't listen to my own advice. I am furious at the whole situation.

Either way, if we prove Susie has been smoking, Abby needs to go somewhere else for daycare. If we can't prove Susie has been smoking, Abby still needs to go somewhere else for daycare because we can't disprove that she's been smoking.

Now when I drop Abby off, it's frustrating because I want her to love Abby and care for her but if she smokes, she is putting my child in harms way and I honestly could slap her for it. It makes me sick to think about.

Looking for support and advice

~Mama Beal