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ABOUT ME

About me: I'm a 40-something mother to a pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our tween Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler Cam, and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). I'm a freelance graphic designer and writer.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What'll I do next week without all the mid-morning field trips?

Last Friday I was supposed to have an appointment with the daycare director to talk about her bowling stats—I mean, about the garish behavior of her staff. We never got to talk, because she canceled on me.

By then I’d pretty much decided I was done scaling buildings. But I brought Junior in this Tuesday for one last hoorah, and to see if maybe—miraculously?—things had improved.

Hah. When I dropped Junior off, he clung to my leg and cried. Like this:



The zombie grandma sat in her chair and stared. The teachers went about their business. We stood like that for ten minutes. I tried to engage Junior in some of the room’s activities. He wasn’t interested. I tried engaging the teachers, like, “Hey, Junior, I bet the teacher has a fun project this morning.” Nada.

Finally, one of the teachers said to Junior, “Mommy has to go to work. I really don’t like prying kids off their mommies. I’d really hate to have to pull you off.”

Omifrickengawd! I wanted to pick up the kiddie chair and club her. If anyone’s going to pry my kid off me, it’s me.

Junior finally let go and let her lead him to the bookshelf. I said goodbye and walked out into the hallway. Then I heard a horrible thud. Junior had flung himself against the glass door and was screaming for me. I ran back inside and picked him up. Then I went back out to the hallway and called Chuck:

“I CAN’T DO THIS. I HATE THIS. THIS ISN’T RIGHT. WE NEED TO GET HIM OUT OF HERE. IT’S AWFUL.”

All of a sudden, Junior wriggled to get down. He’d seen one of his friends and wanted to go play.

These toddlers, man. They are downright bipolar. As he happily ran away I stood there, speechless. You’re kidding me, right? So off I went to work—a mere 35 minutes late. I fretted. I fidgeted. I called to check on him. They promised he was doing fine.

At 11:30 a co-worker popped in. There was a fire truck outside the preschool, and the kids were outside. I immediately ran across the parking lot and looked for Junior. If the school had difficulty with snack time, how the hell would they handle flames?

The kids were standing in the far lot. I found Junior and the director (to my dear friend who described her as a flamingo: you were right).

“Nothing to worry about,” the director told me. “False alarm.”

“Super. Can we talk when the drill's over?”

Into her office we went. I told her I was going to pull Junior, that the behavior of the teachers was unacceptable and that the granny gave me the creeps. Then I waited.

She coughed for a few minutes then sputtered, “I have bronchitis.”

“That’s fucking swell!” I said. “Your teachers are throwing things!”

“I know,” she moaned. “Things haven’t been great.” She stretched her mouth in one of those “eeeek” faces.



“And your reasons for taking him out are perfectly understandable. The grandmother is weird. We don’t know why she comes.” Her eyes got buggy, and then



“We’re just so new.”



She started hacking. “Will today be his last day?”

“That’s it? No, ‘We’ll try harder, baby’? or ‘We want this to work’? You’re just going to let me go?”

Hack, hack.

On the drive home, Junior was uncharacteristically quiet. When we got to our exit, he puked. Chuck came out to the car to meet us in the driveway. He stuck his head in the door and asked, “How was your day?”

"Gutter ball."



"What? Is he covered in puke?"

"I'm going to go lie in the road now."

(But hey, at least I know we made the right decision.)

Thanks to www.allmoviephoto.com for the freaked out kid picture.

21 comments:

tootertotz said...

Congrats on springing Junior from the joint!!

Could be a crazy idea but have you checked out any of the Mom's Day out programs with church preschools? Our Bug goes to one and the teachers are great plus he says 'Amen' in all the right spots during church now. In fact, I think he's got me beat on Amen accuracy and speed.

SmartBear said...

I feel for ya. I met with the director til I was blue in the face. It never got better and one day my tot came home and told me in detail how his teacher "hurt" him. That was it.
It's the toughest thing in the world to find good quality childcare. You can dish out the dough, and it still doesn't matter. We have been touring pre-K's for fall all week. He is attending the half time montessori school up the road a few days a week and has a nanny for the rest of the time. Seems like the half day programs are run a bit better...good luck!

Lindy said...

"false alarm?"

Like maybe one of the kids couldn't take Grandma anymore and pulled the alarm?

Brandy said...

I'm so sorry. this mommy stuff is tough especially with bipolar toddlers. I think you are making the right decision especially if the director is retarded.

The Mother said...

Love those days.

Stacie's Madness said...

wow. i can't imagine they will be in business long...or, at least i hope they won't without some major overhaul of directors, teachers, etc.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Oh my gosh. I am so glad you pulled him out of there. This is totally why I am afraid to sign him up for any kind of preschool or daycare!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I mean sign my son up for preschool....ugh.....anyhow...he goes to a sitter now for half a day, but the places around here freak me out. And lately I've been hearing stories about how his sitter pulled his hair and yelled at him, etc. I really hope it's not true. I think one day I'll just pop in and see for sure. (She's really a nice lady, so I'm pretty sure my child is exaggerating. He's a bit sensitive...like his mommy)

rachel... said...

FWIW, I think you did, too. You gave them a fair shake and I can't imagine you ever regretting trusting your instincts, as far as your kid's well-being is concerned.

Nellyn said...

Hahaha, I love how you put pics in to help the story! I try to do that, and I'll take tips from you!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Buggys said...

I'm glad you got him out of there! Did she really say that about the grandma? Really? Maybe you need to report this place to the....somebody.

Jen said...

It sounds like hell. I'm so glad he is out of there. I'm also sorry he is now sick. That bites. I'm also so glad I don't have to worry about daycare anymore.

Katherine said...

Oh WOW. Sorry about the puke. I've been cleaning it up for a week. I have probably cried more tears over daycare and the need for it than anything else... such a hard HARD thing. Why can't we moms all just STAY HOME?! I was born in the WRONG TIME, that is for sure. Follow your gut.. there has to be something better out there. LOVED the pix... you took lemons and made lemonade in your post!

blognut said...

Wow. That place sounds unbelievable! So glad you got him out of there!

Magpie said...

Sigh. But yeah, right decision. Argh.

Sheila Sultani said...

When it comes to your kids you've got to go with your gut - there are tons of great places that will bend over backwards to keep you and your kids happy.

Julia said...

Navigating day care is a nightmare. That's all I can say.

Your instincts are always right. I'd try to find a small in home day care, but that's tricky too.

Becki said...

Ugh. I thought I may have a possible part time job..but I'd need to have someone watch my two year old. I'm scared to leave her - are there scary grannies everywhere??

Pricilla said...

...and new is an excuse for bad?
*sigh*

Mee2 said...

My daughter's daycare sucked too. She hated to go, which isn't like my social butterfly of a child. Every day after preschool, she would say, Maaaooomm, do I HAVE to go to day care today? It broke my heart. I found out not too long ago that they have the kids take naps for 2 and a half hours. That was the whole time she was there. WTF?

Alison said...

Holy crap.

I am so glad you got Junior out of their!!