And although we’re not related, it doesn’t bother me one wit.
According to Amy Jo over at Philly Moms Blog, it should. The stay-at-home mom says she’s protecting her kids from insincerity when she says she’d rather not hear her kids’ childcare provider using the “love” word with her kids.
“My oldest is only three and change, and I doubt he understands the
difference between how his parents love him and how his teachers “love”
him. I would hate for him to suffer any kind of hurt over this
confusion,” she says.
Hold on a minute here. Doesn’t everyone who “loves” our kids love them in different degrees? You don’t tell Great Aunt Sally not to say “I love you” even though she sees them once a year and can barely remember their names, do you? True, she’s family, but this woman doesn’t even know their names! And sends your son barrettes to wear in his buzz-cut hair!
Maybe I’m particularly lucky. My nursery school teacher still gives me a hug when she sees me, and she’s been out of the game for some twenty years. Living in Florida most of the year, she sees me only in the summers at chance run-ins at the grocery store. And still, she remembers particular details about my childhood and relates them with a genuine smile. She might not love me like one of the kids she gave birth to, but I was one of her kids. Just like the hundreds of other little boys and girls who went through her little house on the hill catty-cornered from the old Chevy dealership.
Somehow, I’d bet she’s the rule rather than the exception when it comes to folks who sign up for her (former) profession.
Amy Jo admits she’s being cynical when she fears the teachers are just buttering her up for a better gift at the end of the year. But, really, if the people are in it for the gifts, they’ve chosen the wrong profession.
I chose my sitter based on a number of factors – but the number one was how she related to kids. She genuinely likes being around them and caring for them. So yes, I believe she loves my daughter. Not the kind of all-consuming love that I have for her, of course, but a love that makes her take the kind of care of her that I’d want someone to take while I can’t be with her. You can’t just turn the mama/papa bear thing on during the hours you watch a child and turn it off when they walk out the door.