Creating a day care checklist that's free of euphemisms

  • My infant son's daily day care report includes this "disposition" section.
My infant son's daily day care report includes this "disposition"…
May 10, 2012|By Sarah Kickler Kelber | The Baltimore Sun

My son Aaron started day care on Monday, the same day I returned to the office. I wanted to start him a week earlier to transition him in a little more subtly, but it appears I was in denial about going back to work, and there weren't any free spaces until this week.

I was a little concerned about how that first day would go. He's only 4 months old, and he hasn't spent much time away from me at all. So I was pleased to see on his daily report a check mark next to "Cheerful" in the disposition section. Friends and family had wondered how the day went, so I uploaded the photo above to my Facebook page, and it ended up starting a discussion I hadn't expected.

I was so glad to see his day had been deemed cheerful that I didn't look all that closely at the four options:

  • Cheerful
  • Content
  • Tired
  • Sensitive

"It seems possible to be all of those things simultaneously," one friend wrote.

"Those are the only options?" asked another.

The more I looked at the list, the more hilarious it became. Sure, infants don't have that broad a range of emotions, but the ends of the spectrum are surely more extreme than "cheerful" and "sensitive." Particularly that last one.

Sure, "sensitive" is a code word, no doubt, but it's hardly the first word I'd use to describe, say, a day full of teary teething, a colicky baby, a baby who misses his or her parents. I mean, you don't want to make mom and dad feel terrible if baby had a bad day, but on the other hand, we need to know the real deal.

There are plenty of other spaces on the form for more details, but I think we can come up with some other options. How about:

  • Giggly
  • Fine
  • Cranky
  • Banshee

What would you put on the check list?

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