I loved my childhood. I have many, many, MANY fond memories. But I have some not so fond ones too and this is one of them.
My mom was a working mom, not by choice I must add. When I was born we had a full-time domestic helper at home to take care of me and my older brother. However the year I was to start primary school she left us (don’t know if mom let her go or she asked to go) and my mom had no choice but to put me at a childcare center after school.
It was HORRIBLE!
Till today (even with my failing memory) I remember some of my limited experience there vividly. The most traumatic was how they bathed us. They’d strip us and line us up naked in the bathroom. To make things easier for them, they’d line us up closely together (very closely). Then they’ll quickly splash water over us (from head down), soap and shampoo us and splash us with water again. Done. Mind you, I was 7 then, I showered myself at home. I felt so embarassed and awful. The food was also yucky and I had to drink milk (which I disliked profusely). In the afternoons all of us had to take a nap whether we needed one or not. I was 7! I didn’t need my nap. I just laid down together with a mass of kids and just stared into space and waited till nap time was up.
After a week, my misery broke my mom’s heart and she desperately looked for an alternative. We were so grateful she found a babysitter near our house. She immediately pulled me out of the childcare center at the price of losing the month’s fees she had already paid even though money was tight for us then. So from then on, I went to the babysitter’s house after school.
I was much, MUCH happier at the babysitter’s simply because it was a home environment. I had homecooked food and I had the privacy to bathe myself. The babysitter would talk to me and I remember watching and helping her cook everyday. She treated me just like her daughter.
That was what made a huge difference. At the childcare center, I was just another kid. One of MANY kids.
So yup till today I’m anti-childcare centers! But that’s just me.