Friday, August 25, 2006

And They All Rolled Over and One Fell Out

This morning, I took my children into daycare, late for a chiropractor's appointment (which I never got to, incidentally) only to be accosted by "Mr. Gary." Mr. Gary seemed out of place the moment I walked in. He was dressed in a suit and tie (no jacket, but here in NC where it is averaging eight billion degrees a day, that's still considered a full suit) and he was talking to the two Center's birds, Sunny (who is yellow) and Share (who is blue... which I just find funny).

Anyway, when we entered... me waddling with the weight of Mr. Man in his car seat, "Mr. Gary" said, "Hi! I'm Mr. Gary! What's your name?" to my daughter... who immediately looked at me and said "I'm scared!" I smiled at Mr. Gary, who I suddenly realized must be new to the center, either as a dad or as an employee, and I explained that Athena is shy. (HAHAHAHahahaha) He smiled, nodded, and then FOLLOWED US to the infant room. I was getting a wee bit creeped out. Fortunately, Miss Monica, the Assistant Director for the center, was in the infant room, and she seemed okay with the presence of Mr. Gary. However, I noticed SHE was also quite dressed up for your average Friday. WTF? Did someone die?! My heartbeat sped up.

Athena and I shed our shoes as is required by some sort of state ordinance for infant rooms, and we all trooped into the classroom. Soon, Miss Monica handed me a memo. Aha! So something IS going on.

Sure enough, the center's director had quickly and unexpectedly (to me, anyway) resigned yesterday, and Mr. Gary was her boss and was here to answer questions and work on filling her position. In the meantime, Ms. Monica would assume temporary Center Director responsibilities.

I've been in the workforce a long time. For those of you who haven't... let me translate the above. Ms. Linda (the previous center director) f**ked up majorly, but because she was usually pretty good, they allowed her to resign before they fired her ass.

So questions started forming in my mind. I planned to talk to Mr. Gary as soon as the kids were squared away. Athena and I reshod ourselves and headed to her Twos classroom. While I was filling out the daily paperwork, I saw a REALLY big kid (he must be older than three) start a fight with Aiden over some playdough. He had Aiden by the collar and was sort of pulling him around. (K, I forgot to tell John about this earlier... sorry... I can tell you more later. No one was hurt). The teacher quickly stepped in to stop the tussle and we put away the offending playdough. Then another girl across the room started to cry. All our attention shifted to her. Before I knew it, Aiden came up to me with some sort of brown goo on his hands.

"Aiden, what's this?" I asked, pointed to the goo.

"I don't know." He was frowning and clearly distraught.

"Is that poo?!"

He shook his head.

"It looks like poo!"

Then I saw it. One of the little girls had poo all over her hands half way up to her elbows. And poo was visible at the top of her diaper. She was walking around touching toys and countertops and children and all sorts of things after she had stuck her hands down INTO HER DIAPER and collected the poo from her own butt.

First priority... wash Aiden's hands. (I've got your back, sistah!) Second, stop the child who is spreading poo around the classroom. The teacher was calling for backup and putting on the rubber gloves. It wasn't until I had collected as many poo-infected toys as I could find before I realized I hadn't put on gloves. By now, the teacher is changing the offender (never has that word been used more appropriately!) and surfaces have been cleaned. After a good old-fashioned pre-op quality hand-scrub, I made a hasty exit. I recalled Jessey's tales of poo-smeared carpet and realized it could be worse. Barely.

I found Mr. Gary talking to the birds again. He led me to his office... um... well, Linda's old office, and we had a good old chat about how Linda had to resign, etc. Bottom line, some policies weren't being followed, there was a high turnover of teachers at the center (no kidding) and therefore, she had to go. I asked questions about how they were choosing a replacement and how morale was being addressed, and I got only the vaguest possible answers.

As I walked out of there, I couldn't help but wonder why we are paying these people such an assload of money (thanks, Chris, for the catchy phrase). I am seriously considering calling some nanny services on Monday to get price quotes. I'm not big on the unsupervised caretaker idea, but I'm starting to think that the center isn't the best place for them either.


jen said...

Okay, that "calling for backup" still amuses the hell out of me. I'm just picturing someone with a walkie-talkie saying, "Ten-54, requesting assistance in Section 3. We have a Poo Incident. Over." Much more amusing (to me, anyway) than my earlier thought of a frantic "HEEEEEEEEEEELP!"

Also, don't forget to blog about the Songs of the 70s...

Kathryn said...

Jesus! I did not hear about playdough bullies and poo on the hands, John did manage to mention that Linda resigned - no specifics. I'm not sure how much you told him, but he passed along the bare minimum. Typical.

I have my suspicions about who the offender is, but I'll ask you about that later. Let's just say it is not the first "poo" incident I've witnessed in that room and when it happened I heard one teacher say to another, "she always does this and it's driving me crazy!"

I very much appreciate you stepping in (not literally) to confront the poo problem and for making my son your first priority.

Chris said...

Kathryn, just ask Aiden. He probably knows. Athena was bitten the other day by one of the kids. They never write who did it on the ouch report, so I just asked her. She said "Ryan", so that's that I guess.

Jack said...

Holy crap (no pun intended), that place sounds disgusting AND scary. Good luck on finding something else!

eaf said...

I can confirm that this was not the first poo incident for said person. So you are probably correct in your assumption as to who the offender was. :-)

Jessey said...

We've got a Code Brown!

Geez, Elizabeth, you get wrist deep in poo one time and you're ready to call it quits! Weenie!

Nah, I understand completely...if I HAD TO put the kids in some sort of daycare, I'd definitely lean toward someone coming to my house to watch them in their own environment. At least then they would get all the attention AND my floors might get swept.
So far, I'm still sole caregiver, with occassional babysitters here and there. We'll see if I can keep it up!

Sophie said...

We had a bit of a "blow out" incident ourselves today. I guess Elise was a bit backed up, because the cleanup was not pretty... it went beyond the diaper ... to her dress ... to the high chair. It took five wipes, two towels, Oxyclean Baby, and a bathtub to get everyone cleaned up. I could sure have used a pair of rubber gloves for this one!