Dear childcare: I don’t want to be the fun police, but can you stop doing this?

Posted in Childcare.

I know, I know. This would be better said in a friendly chat face-to-face with the educators rather than a rant here.

It would be easily fixed if I just said SOMETHING to them.

“No problem!” They would exclaim if I did. And it wouldn’t be, because they are so lovely.

But for some reason I can’t bring myself to say anything about it.

Still, I wonder if I’m not the only one who says with a tired smile to their child at childcare pick-up, “Oh, you got your face painted, AGAIN”.

“I am a dino!”

When my little guy gets a green dinosaur with horns painted on his cute little face at childcare, he thinks it’s the best day ever.

On these days, kindy is a magical place. He runs gleefully into my arms at pick up and proclaims he’s had a, “thumbs up really high” kinda day.

And, “Look, Mummy! I’m a dino”.

Boy wearing face paint

I scrub and scrub

While he LOVES having his face painted, I must confess I am not as thrilled.

The thing about face paint on little ones, (or maybe this is just my son?) is that it’s an effort to get off. Am I right?

On face painting nights I spend a lot of time scrubbing his delicate skin, while trying to be as gentle as I can. But to him, this is never gentle enough.

There are whines and complaints about the water getting in his eyes and bath time takes three times longer than usual.

The paint has also been applied too close to his eyes to safely remove. So he ends up looking like he’s wearing green eye liner. And yes, I use make-up remover wipes as well as a washer with soapy water.

Then, the hungry vibes set in because the ‘quick bath’ has turned into a long, scrubby one. I also know if I give him a banana to hold him over, that my chances of getting him to eat the spag bol that is brimming with hidden veggies is over.

Girl with face paint

But I don’t say anything

Now if I just said, “Hey, he LOVES face painting day, but would it be OK if you just painted his hand as I’m finding it too hard to get off his face?” all would be well. Or I could ask his teachers to kindly not paint so close to his eyes.

Maybe I will, but I haven’t said anything yet because I feel like his educators are juggling so many parent requests as it is, me included:

“Could you please buddy him up as he’s feeling shy today and please don’t let him nap as I won’t get him to bed until 9pm if he does. Oh, and would you mind reapplying his suncream in a few hours? I put it on him but he burns easily.” That sort of thing.

Face painting requests seem nit-picky and small potatoes in the big scheme of things. And yet …

I also don’t want to be the fun police

The other thing is, I don’t want to spoil the fun.

Face painting is just one of those things that makes kindy and childhood in general so much fun. I don’t want him to be the only kid who isn’t allowed to have it done like everyone else.

So what if it causes me some extra work and mum-pain at the end of the day, I reason.

That said, I think I might still mention the painting near the eyes thing. That alone will be a game changer.


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