Nap Mats, Seriously?

Parenting, and especially motherhood, is challenging.  No matter what.  Period.  But, each different situation comes with different challenges.  As a full-time working mom that has to go in to an office every day, my biggest challenge:  DAYCARE!  Now, let me just say, I LOVE our daycare, and I still hate it.  I feel very blessed to have a place that I can send Emily that I trust the workers and can feel confident that she is well taken care of and loved every day.  But, it’s the little things that you have to deal with in corporate daycare that can make you crazy.  I present the following rant:

The story starts with a note from our daycare director informing us that the kids will no longer be sleeping on cots and that we need to purchase a 2″ thick nap mat and that we could get the mats on sale from Wal-Mart for $10.  Innocent enough, right?  Little did I know that it was going to kick off three stressful weeks and a state wide man hunt across over a dozen stores and 100 miles.  Yeah, that’s right… over nap mats.  Seriously?

Apparently DHS has implemented a new requirement that kids sleep on 2″ mats this year and so EVERYONE was looking for the stupid things.  Target and Wal-Mart were both carrying them as part of their back-to-school items.  But, once they sold out they wouldn’t get more because they were “seasonal.”  *eye roll*  Target, your job is to have what I want, when I want it, every time!  Beach balls in February?  Yes!  Cute mittens in June?  Yes!  But I digress…  I personally visited 6 different stores (and some of them on multiple occassions before realizing they wouldn’t be getting more in) looking for these stupid mats.  I called a half-dozen others trying to find them all with the same response “We have the 1″ mats, but none of the 2.”  Damnit.

Finally, last week I called a Wal-Mart and a sweet old lady said they had them.  “Are you sure? That’s a miracle!  I’ve called everywhere!  You’re sure you have the 2-inch mats, not just the 1-inch?!”  She said she was pretty sure but that she would go double check and came back on the phone a few minutes later confirming “Yes, we have a whole bunch of the 2″ mats, they are $13.97.”  Awesome!  So, that night after dinner we loaded up in the car and headed over to this Wal-Mart (did I mention that it is not in a very good part of town and I won’t go there by myself).  It is dirty, gross, NASTY!  We are talking about the Wal-Mart that had the “toe-licker”, a guy who would hide under cars and then lick womens’ toes as they were getting into their vehicle.  Yeah.  Let that marinate for a while…

So, we get to there and sure as shit, no 2″ mats anywhere.  The “worker” was a huge bitch and just kept pointing at an endcap with the 1″ mats (priced $9.97) telling me “They are right there!”  I don’t know how the old lady on the phone got the size AND the price wrong.  But, I couldn’t find a single damn 2″ mat or even a place where they were supposed to go.  FML.

The next day I went to Mardel’s because they had said they *may* get some in that morning.  I was beyond excited when they actually had one.  Even though the retail price was $28.99, the lady gave me 30% off for signing up for their emails.  Done.  And done.  Sidenote:  I LOVE that store.  I hardly ever go there but it really is great!  And I love what they stand for.  I worked there for several years in high school and early college and it was a great place to work too.  =)

Other things I asked myself along the way:  Why is daycare making me hunt all over town for this damn thing instead of just buying a whole bunch of them from a education supply wholesale kind of place and being done with it?  If it is my responsibility to buy the mat, then why does DHS have a say?  I mean, I’m the parent, if DHS wants to set the default requirements for the daycare providers, fine, that’s their job.  But, as a parent, if I choose to bring something else and I say a 1″ mat is cushy enough for my little sweetling, then by god a 1″ mat is good enough, DHS needs to butt out.

Okay, I’ll leave it at that.  I’ll take my 2″ mat and count it a win.  That was my week last week.  How was yours?


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