Let's say you have had your child in daycare since he (or she) was about 5 months old. And he was taken care of by the same lady until he was about 16 months old. And certain things about the lady bugged you, but then there was that two week period she actually left and went on a vacation and your child was tossed around from one lady to another, and actually let outside to play in the near 100 degree heat, and so you decided none of the things that bugged you about the lady bugged you anymore because at least she wouldn't do that. And maybe you were secretly pleased that the lady seemed to favor your child over the other 3 she took care of because that meant he would get lots of attention and love instead of being let outside in near 100 degree heat to turn bright red from overheating and being close to having an asthma attack.
So you let a lot of things go, you ended up appreciating her much more than you ever had, and then that's when you kid moves up the daycare room scale and goes in to the toddler room. While it was bittersweet, you knew it was the best thing for him and the other babies in the room. (Your child might be a tad, um, enthusiastic about life.)
You soon realized a huge difference between the toddler room and the infant room - the toddler ladies weren't child hoggers nor did they keep you there long when you were trying to pick up your child; you simply got to get him and go. And your child didn't seem affected by the lack of attention being poured forth minute by minute. And there weren't anymore complaints about your child's "enthusiasm" towards anything and everything (which was demonstrated by hitting or bum rushing or pushing).
You, for once, were able to enter the room, gather you child and his belongings, and leave. In less than 5 minutes.
As time went on, you began to realize that the lady who used to take care of your kid was keeping her distance so that he could adjust to the new room, kids, routines and ladies. And then you realized she was never going to go away, not until he was out of the room he was in now.
One time you might show up, wonder where the heck your kid is, be told he's in the infant room "visiting" the lady who used to take care of him. So you go in, and your kid might make a beeline for you, only to be swooped up by the lady, who will tell your kid, after he says "momma?", that "Momma's gone, momma's not HERE, MOMMA GO BYE BYE!" even though you're standing right there, watching as she's swinging him around and getting him completely riled up (something he doesn't need any more of, he does a pretty find job of it himself).
And maybe, just maybe, while your child is being swung around, a baby has just woken up and is lying in full, bright and HOT sunlight, and that baby is screaming, hoping for someone to rescue him/her. And maybe the lady is so focused on your kid, that she completely ignores or doesn't hear or maybe just doesn't care that the defenseless baby is being roasted alive by the sunlight streaming through the window.
And finally, when she does decide to look, that's when she will decide to release your kid to you. Suddenly Momma is here-here and no longer bye-bye.
And let's say another time you arrive to be told your kid is visiting the lady again, and your heart sinks in dread because you just know how hard it will be to get him to leave because what 18-month old boy doesn't absolutely love 100% attention and horseplay? And when you're told the reason why he's in there, because of his asthma and the heat, you agree that's a great idea because if you complain, then some of the kids who would love to go outside and play (and who are asthma free) would have to stay inside because of your asthmatic wild child. And you really won't want that to happen, do you?
And maybe you end up stuck in the room for a good 20 minutes because the lady won't let him go, and she's getting him more and more riled up, and his face is turning redder by the minute because even though he's inside, it's not like the room is well air conditioned. And each time you try to get him to go willingly, he flips out and says "NO!" much to the pleasure of the lady who used to take care of him.
And since you know your child is thirsty on the way home from daycare, you thoughtfully brought a sippy cup of water for him to drink on the way home, which you left in the car. And when you tell him this, not even sure he understands you, he completely ignores you. And then a few minutes later indicates he wants water, and even though you just said you had water for him, the lady gives him a sippy cup, tells him to sit down and drink, which then takes up another 5 minutes of your precious time with him. Did I mention you might just be a working mom who doesn't get to see her kid that much during the week? Oh yes. Don't forget that.
And when you make a last attempt to leave, you're at your wits end because your kid obviously doesn't want to go home (Why would he? The attention! The horseplay!), but you have to somehow get him out the door and into the car without being attacked by sharp toddler nails.
And then another time you show up a bit early, so you linger in the room, waiting for all the kids to come in from outside. And while you wait, you're thinking how happy you are that you can just get your kid and leave and get home at a decent time. And when he finally comes inside (he's the last one in, of course), he immediately flips out because he doesn't want his hands washed, and you know just how tired he probably is and that the sight of you is the comfort he needs to know he.can.finally.release.
And maybe, just maybe, the lady who use to take care of him walks into the room, causing your kid to light up and run to her to give her a hug, and you're left standing there, frustrated because you were "this" close to leaving.
And maybe the lady turns to you as she's hugging your child and he's all eyes on her and says, "I don't know what it is, but he's really clingy to me lately!"
And maybe just maybe it takes all your control to not step forward, punch her, grab your child before he falls to the ground, and run out the door before the police are called.
But you don't.
Instead you just stand there and dryly say, "He's teething. He's getting four teeth in at once, and he hasn't been in the best of moods lately." Because who would know this but his MOTHER.
And then you're stuck with trying to get your kid to leave with you, and each time you gently grab for his hand to hold it, or his arm to pick him up, he says "NO!" and runs off. And the last straw is when he almost seems like he's going to leave with you, and he turns around, runs back to the lady and hugs her - again.
And so all those old feelings of annoyance come flooding back and you are angry and mad and really tired of hearing how she wants to take him home with her and how Mommy would be so glad to get a break, and don't you want to come home with me?
And your embarrassed and frustrated because your kid certainly isn't hugging you or trying to run away from her to get to you and everyone titters and thinks, oh how cute it that when your kid does it to the lady and leaves you hanging like the loser you feel you are.
And even though this happens, and will continue to happen, you will keep letting it go because what else can you do?