MMMmmmmmm….. There is nothing like enjoying a cup of Starbucks at Chapters while hanging out at the train table with my little man.
Except of course when there are 15 other children running around while their daycare providers sit on the other side of the room pretending they’re not actually supposed to be working!
I try to keep an open mind and understand that, when it comes to parenting, most people make their choices out of love for their children. I try not to judge. Well today, these were not parents, and I am going to judge.
As my friend Genna and I sat on the floor playing at the kitchen with Tristan with Emalea, chaos ensued around us. Children were running around. Children were grabbing toys out of littles ones hands. Toddlers were playing out of sight of the adults who were supposed to be caring for them. Would these women even have noticed if one of them were to disappear? I highly doubt it. Twice I saw a Chapters employee have to stop pre-schoolers from driving the little ride-on vehicles too quickly and into shelves. All the time this was going on, three day care providers sat in their comfy chairs, engaged in discussion amongst themselves, not batting an eyelash. Only once in the hour that we were there did I see one of them get out of her chair. She came over, barked a few harsh words to a couple of kids, and then quickly retreated back to the comfort of her little circle.
These little kids were wanting attention so badly, they started to interact with Genna and I. We happily tasted the “soup” they had made and redirected them when they needed a little guidance. One poor little kid, probably about 13 months old, sat in her stroller the whole time. I’m sure she had a blast.
Ummm, hello… you ladies sitting over there…. aren’t you being PAID to play with these children right now?? Of course children need free play time…. but they also need supervision!
The whole situation really un-nerved me. If I was the parent of one of those children and was paying my hard earned money for someone to care for my child and I found out that THAT was how they were spending their time and THAT was how the woman was treating my child, I would be livid. What worries me even more is if that is how those women were “caring” for the children in public, how great of a job are they doing behind closed doors?
Ottawa has some really great programs and activities and I have nothing at all against daycare providers bringing groups to use them, but it is not a free-for-all. If your job is to care for and entertain children, then that is what you do. You don’t let them run wild and leave the discipline up to a book store employee! At Chapters there is even a prominent sign stating, “Your children are precious. Please do not leave them unattended.” Apparently these women couldn’t read either.
I’m sure there are many amazing, loving care givers out there, the kind that love your children as much as you do. I wish these women would take a lesson from them!
Ok. Rant over. If you have a wonderful caregiver, give them an extra special thank you when you pick your little one up tonight! They deserve it!