Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Extreme child care

Most mornings, I drop the Hatching at child care then come in here to the hospital.  Yesterday morning, it was the child care workers who dropped the Hatchling - literally. 

I got a phone call around 10am, it was the child care boss.  My first thought was that she was ringing me up to rouse on me for not paying our bills.  This is a splendid example of a conditioned stimulus.  The first thing she said to me though was, "The Hatchling is fine.  There's been a bit of an incident."  Good first line - I guess lots of parents would assume that disaster had struck as soon as the child care centre calls them at work, so it's sensible to defuse things immediately.

But "an incident"?  That's too vague.  I suppose she said it was "a bit of an incident" so I wasn't thinking of sieges and hostage-taking so much as perhaps she's had her finger bitten or something.

Anyway, it turns out that two other kids mugged one of the child care workers while she holding the Hatchling, with the result that the Hatchling plummeted earthwards.  Fortunately she landed on the child care worker so there wasn't much of an impact.  Nevertheless I scurried up the hill to go give the Hatchling a cuddle.

As soon as I walked in the door the poor woman who'd dropped her burst into tears and started begging for forgiveness.  "YOU BITCH, I'LL SEE YOU IN COURT, YOU'LL NEVER WORK IN THIS TOWN AGAIN!", I screamed, spittle flying from my lips.  No wait, that was the feedback I gave my supervisor a few rotations back.  What I actually said yesterday was, "It's okay, she's not hurt, accidents happen, you must have got a real scare but it's all okay now."  That made her cry even more. 

Once the staff realized that I wasn't going to burn the place down in righteous fury they all got kind of manic with relief.  They launched into a detailed account of how it happened, where it happened, who was standing where, what similar incidents had occurred in the past, re-enacting how people had rolled around on the floor in desperation trying to catch the babies that were raining from the ceiling, and generally creating a ruckus.  It was quite a scene so I beat a hasty retreat, shouting reassuring words to them as I went.

I reckon they probably have a policy that if anything bad happens to any of the kids, they call the dad first.  Dad turns up, nobody is missing any limbs, so he jiggles the kid a bit and takes off again.  Saves time for everyone.

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