Not so nice

As I type this entry I don’t really know if I will hit the button that says ‘publish entry’ as what happened today is very off topic.  Let me go get my cup of tea and I will make my decision after I write the whole thing down.  I think that is a good compromise don’t you agree?

This afternoon I parked my car after a short shopping trip and was getting ready to get out my car, which is when I spotted a site that is familiar.  Two women were walking with multi-child carriages filled with adorable tiny tots that go to a child care facility within walking distance of where I was parked.  I would normally look, smile and then go about my business.  But this time I noticed that in addition to the small kids in the carriages the women had two small children walking aside them – well not quite aside but I will get to that later.

The women were walking at a fairly leisurely pace and the two tots whom I guessed to be between the ages of 2-3 were walking with a – for the lack of a better term – safety leash/band (?) attached to their waist.  I have an odd reaction to these contraptions anyway, so here you go, full disclosure of my bias.  The other end of the safety-band was attached to the handle of the carriages that was at the waist level of each woman.  I would think these bands/leashes were about 4-5 feet long, not quiet sure…regardless, the child walking with the woman in the front had no problems keeping up.  The story for the following set was different.

I will probably never forget the adorable little girl with the shiny dark hair who was attached to that carriage, the color of the leash/band and the fact that she kept falling behind, stumbling and being yanked by the woman pushing the cart.  She did not notice me in the car, I am sure of it as she softly yanked the little girl again right by my car.  This time after the tug she stopped and spoke to the child.  At this point a slow heat started spreading around my cheeks and my waist as I imagined my 3-year old being yanked by this woman.

I waited and after they passed me I quietly got out of my car and watched.  The little girl fell behind both because she did not have the stride-length and because she was distracted and was looking around.  The tension of the leash/band pulled her forward as the woman continued to walk and she stumbled (she did not fall).  The woman must have sensed her stumble as she pulled/yanked her with the leash and stopped shortly to talk to her again.  She did not yell or say anything that from my angle upset the little girl. 

The walk resumed and the little girl stumbled again.  At this point I could no longer restrain myself and I yelled “Excuse me, that little girl is going to fall down and get hurt!”  I was not heard so I repeated myself.  Second time the woman in the back heard me looked at the little girl and looked at me and then bent down to talk to the girl again.  I walked to my destination with some hesitation but I did not want to create a scene, which is when the first woman yelled back “Why don’t you mind your own business b…h!”

My cursor blinks…I need more tea, I will be right back. 

Let’s disregard the closing commentary by the second woman as it is irrelevant.  I find the little girl’s predicament upsetting and unacceptable.  She was not being abused but at the least the women in charge was negligent and ignored her apparent discomfort.  In my opinion they did not care for her well being.  I then wonder if they do this on a street where they can be observed by others what exactly do they do in the confines of the child care facility?

So I sit here and ponder, what to do, what to do?  What would you do?  I am going to go kiss my sleeping babies.

UPDATE: Within the last two days I made all the phone calls that I could plus some.  I now hope and wish for the best.

15 thoughts on “Not so nice

  1. I have to admit that, until the end, I did not read into your narrative that these were daycare workers and believed them to be mothers taking their children to the daycare facility.

    Regardless of who’s doing the tugging, it’s difficult to make a recommendation. If you contact the daycare owner, then I believe you’ll feel compelled to watch to see if the behavior is corrected. Who else would you contact? CPS? The local PD? I wish I had an answer.

  2. That’s horrible!

    Sadly, I know exactly what can happen in a facility like that if it isn’t well-regulated. My dear friend lost her 6-month old baby boy to head injuries he suffered at the hands of his day care provider. This was an in-home facility, so it was slightly different, but if you can find a person to contact regarding what you saw, please do. You never know what you tragedy you might be able to prevent.

  3. My family owned a child care facility for the first 20 years of my life, and we saw examples of this kind of abuse (yes, it is abuse) every day. Any time a child is neglected, ignored, or otherwise treated with disregard to their abilities, in time that child will grow to either feel worthless, or else that such behavior is acceptable and eventually pass it on to their children. I would seriously think about talking to the child care facility owners, who are trained to observe such behavior, and when necessary, report it to the authorities. You were right to feel upset and offended. Your babies are very lucky to have you for their parent.

  4. i’d call, just to be on the safe side. if i saw someone do this to my daughter, i’m pretty sure i would punch somebody. maybe not, i’m not sure, no one has tested my bear-like mother skills yet!

  5. It’s a sad reality that many children need to be left in the care of others so that both parents can work to afford to live. I watched my sister struggle to get adequate child care – waiting lists, interviews, trying to weigh cost – and knowing that whatever decision she made, she was going to have to go on blind faith that her child was being cared for with respect and compassion.

    I’m glad you saw this, and I’m glad you spoke up. If you know what day care service they work for I would encourage you to make a call. If nothing else, they may care that one of their employees swore in front of the children and shouted it across a public area. Bad PR, don’t you know.

    Isn’t it sad that that’s the only thing that she may get spoken to about…

  6. Good for you! I don’t know that I would have had the backbone, but I certainly know you do.

    Anyone can call Children Protective Services and file a complaint. ANYONE.

    I urge you to call. Even if nothing ultimately gets done about it, the fact that a visit or call by the state happened may be quite the eye-opener. The fact that it is a day care facility may also prompt more action by the state (than just a random complaint about a family).

    May daycare facilities are owned by larger companies. How about a visit to the corporate web site??

  7. Luckily, I am able to now stay home with my children but there is a time when I didn’t have that luxury and it was agonizing my putting my little ones in daycare. It is such a difficult decision for a parent. I urge you to contact the daycare facility and maybe even CPS. As a parent, I know I would want to know if that was my little girl behind the leash. Then I could choose to make alternate decisions for her. It also concerns me that the day care workers used such harsh language in front of children. That is another issue I would bring up.

    I commend you for speaking up – that would be a difficult thing to do and I am glad you did!

  8. Not sure I’d have had the guts to say what you did, but I agree wholeheartedly. I think it was really brave of you to speak up like that, and you were certainly in the right.

    Like the others, I’d call up the childcare center and/or CPS to report her. That type of behavior is 100% unacceptable from someone caring for small children (I knew a few horrible daycare caretakers in my time), and should not go unremarked. I hope your babies never find themselves under the charge of someone like that. Love!

    PS. I finally installed those daylight bulbs in my room and it is SO much brighter. Like, crazy bright. And photographable! Well, except for the giant mess.

  9. I know in the state of Texas, they have inspectors visit daycare centers randomly. Your state might have a regulatory department that you can call and report what you observed.

    Then I would call the daycare and complain to the director about what you saw. Hopefully something can be resolved.

    If anything, you can call your local news station. They might be interested in doing a report on this kind of behavior.

    If I found out my provider was doing this, I would go nuts. That’s why it’s important to make surprise visits to see what is going on at the center if your child is in daycare.

  10. I can’t say I’m a big fan of the kid leash either. My parents used one when I was little, but I set the pace, they never yanked, they never told me to go faster, and I wasn’t being dragged after them, being ignored. All of these things together are enough to justify a call to CPS, just so somebody takes a look at what’s going on. If these women ignore one little girl and her needs, I can’t say I’d want them taking care of any other children, either.

  11. Glad to see that you did make a few calls. Given both the way the girl was treated and the comment made in front of the kids, one has to wonder what happens inside the facility. It sounds as if they need a visit by the state to remind them how to treat the children in their care.

  12. I hear ya. I lost it in a seven eleven once when a woman kept calling her daughter a brat (the daughter was the cutest little thing and was not acting bratty at all) and I felt the heat and heard myself blurting out “The only brat here is you, not your daughter!” I got a response out of the mom with the mind your own business B***h! But the rest of the people in the store gave me the thumbs up and smiles. I think the emotional abuse is just as (if not more) damaging than the physical at times.
    ann from virginia

  13. I just read this and found it to be awful. I used to use one of those leashes, but I always held them USING MY OWN HAND and kept an eye on my child. You see, my older daughter used to dash off very fast, and it would take me several seconds before I could react and catch her, and in that several seconds anything could have happened. In fact, one day, she managed to run partway into the parking lot before I was able to catch her, so I finally broke down and bought the leash. It took only a couple of weeks before she got sick of it and thought twice about running off (she was two at the time we did this).

    Daycare facilities should not be using these things without consent from parents. Aside from the the careless use and harm to the child, there are serious liability issues. Parents should use any restraint device (including strollers, which I’ve seen being misused as well) with extreme care. The fact that the daycare worker yelled profanities at you is a sign that something is not good.

  14. I resolved to never use a leash — until Aimee came along. Such independence, such strong will –and walking and talking at 9 months! I did end up using a leash to keep her safe yet give her the freedom she demanded when she escaped us in a small store in Seattle and we found her a block away strolling in Pioneer Square. She was one and a half years old. However, being on the leash was always on her terms with us following along after her, not dragging her.

    To me, the issue in your story is not so much about being on the leash, but the lack of respect shown by the yanking of the child, and probably whatever was said to the child when she stumbled and didn’t keep up. It really breaks my heart to hear how some parents speak to their small children in public, berating and threatening them with violence and and calling them degrading names like brat or monster. This sort of emotional/mental abuse is extremely damaging and doesn’t heal any easier than physical abuse, if at all.

    Aimee did live to see another day after her Pioneer Square stroll, and didn’t seem to suffer any from her freedom on-leash. She is now 35 yrs old and a successful international intelligence analyst and wife. I am hoping that she soon has her own little “Aimee” as that is the only appropriate revenge that I can get —LOL.

  15. I think a parent making the decision to use a leash or harness for a toddler in a crowed place is one thing….

    A child care facility…no way…you did the right thing by calling…I would have in a heartbeat.

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