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The Zoo

For the first nine month of my son's life I was lucky to have my mother watch him. When my mother decided to go back to school I had to find a daycare provider. My husband and I are both employed full time, making a modest wage, and even though we can barely afford childcare we do not qualify for any assistance. So I looked around on Craigslist and the State register for people in my area that we could afford. I found what seemed to be a nice lady that had been doing daycare from her home for 10 years. The first time I had to leave my son I almost cried. She was certified, she had a devoted playroom, and she had a zoo. Seriously she collected Sugar Gliders, and lizards, and snakes. My son would cry every time I left him at the Zoo. I thought it was normal separation anxiety. I hated it, and I felt horrible every time I left him. I thought I was being paranoid and I shushed my inner voice when it told me to take my son and run far far away.

One day my mother came with me to pick up my son, and she left the woman's house in tears. I was so relieved to have someone else validate my feelings of concern. She and I began looking for a new daycare immediately. I finally found a lady who was doing daycare to be able to stay at home with her infant daughter. The difference in his care was noticed immediately, my son never cried when I dropped him off. We've been seeing her for over a year now, and I hope she doesn't mind another charge soon, because there isn't anyone outside of my family that I would rather have watch my next child.

—SaraOregon
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