Friday, July 6, 2007

Excerpt From July 4th & Day Care's A Crap Shoot

We had a very fun July 4th. Plenty of cousins and lots of food. It was wonderful picnic weather and just right for fireworks. Cool enough for shorts and a sweatshirt. Clear enough to see all the fireworks from the surrounding cities.

We made our way to a prime spot on the grass, close enough to the runway to see the planes take off and land, yet high enough up the hill to see the ground show. It is also far enough away from the parking and potty that most families don't trek that far. That means there is plenty of room for volley ball and light sabers.

The best part of the light saber duels was the dialog. Three little boy cousins, 5, 7 & 9. I'm sure you can only imagine it.

"You can't fight me anymore. I cut off both your arms and your legs!"

"It's OK. I can still fight you. I'm killing you with the force."

You can't make this stuff up.


Today at the park I was witness to a day care group. About a dozen kids from about 6 months to 6 years in age. A whole 3 adults. One baby never left the stroller in the hour we were there. One baby made it to the swing briefly. The 3 ladies barely moved or even noticed the kids. A very young child climbed up the playground equipment and got stuck. She was under 2. Two other girls tried to help her. They were 3 or 4. An adult finally came over to help the girl, but spent a few minutes yelling at the older girls first, leaving the youngest one still perched on the climber.

There were kids without shoes, kids with pants and sweatshirts on--it's in the high 80's here today. There was a boy that fell off and got hurt, but never went to get help from one of the teachers, and they never noticed. I could see why he wouldn't bother to tell them he'd fallen off. Two kids got scolded for needing to use the bathroom, and then were left to go on their own. This is a public park. On a busy road. In the middle of the city. It has many entrances. I'm sure the ladies could not see the kids enter or leave the bathroom. I couldn't, and I was just a few feet away.

I'm pretty sure the adults never noticed me either. I would have been watching me. I was sitting there alone, with the baby, watching the kids. A little boy about 1 came over to me and asked for a drink. He would easily have left with me if I had asked him or simply taken his hand. They would not have noticed.

The playground was in full sunlight. They had no drinks for the kids. One adult did tell one child to "go get a drink, your face is red". The girl just stared at her until she said, "over there, behind the building is a fountain". Again, no one could see her there getting a drink, and I don't know how she could have. The fountain was taller than her.

I'm sure this is not a bad day care. I bet the parents checked it out before signing away their kids. But I bet they'd be thinking it over again if they'd been at the park and seen this in action. I'm guessing at the actual day care place, it looks pretty good, even if it's a home day care. But at the park, another story.

It was really 3 ladies standing around talking. Having a smoke. Being bothered with the care of your precious child.

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