Sunday, April 11, 2010

reason #210 to hate aftercare

My twins' school has an aftercare program. To say I'm grateful is saying a lot.

As I work full time outside the home, and our school has no bus service, my children have to stay after school at a program where, for a nominal fee, they receive a snack and supervision.

That's about all they receive.

They receive



This is the deal. On Thursday we had a busy evening. Chicklets (I though) had choir practice. Crab had a kickball game. Yell had track practice. Sapper is a track hurdles coach. And Sapper had a meeting following track practice.

I had it planned out. Crab had her kickball clothes in the car. I would stop for fast food after work & pick up Chicklets from school. Crab & Yell would eat their fast food dinner. Crab would change her clothes in the car. Sapper would meet Yell and I at the kickball game. He had Yell's track clothes. He and Yell would go to track practice. After the kickball game, Crab and I would wait for Yell's practice to be finished, then the three of us would head home. Sapper would proceed to his meeting. We would all collapse upon arrival at home. The end.

Did the plan work? Nope.

I left work, picked up the fast food, went to get Chix at choir practice. There was no choir practice. No biggie, proceeded to aftercare to sign Chix out. The instant I walked in the door, I noticed Yell was seated with her head down on her arms. Crab came running up to me, "Yelly's feeling really sick."

I called to her. Three times. Yell had gotten up from the table and was moving as fast as she could out to the car. She finally turned toward me and gasped, "I. Don't. Feel good!"

Uh oh.

I collected Crab's various crap and made it out to the car where I was barraged with, "Where were you? Why were you late?" I explained that I thought they had choir, but I was obviously wrong, and then felt Yell's forehead. She was warm and clammy. And crying.

Uh oh.

She proceeded to tell me she couldn't see out of her right eye, her head hurt, and she felt sick to her stomach.

Uh oh.

Warm and clammy could be because she had her head down on a table while crying. Or because her head hurt and she was uncomfortable. Or something else?

Eye hurt. Blurry vision. Sick to her stomach could be because her blurry vision was making her queasy? Eye hurt because of injury? Agh!

I grab a dose of Motrin (usually kept in the car for post-orthodontist visits) and Yell swallows it down without question. She ignores her food. She never ignores food. The child has two hollow legs. She never ignores food. My mind is spinning with possibilities: migraine, allergy headache, floaters in her eye, detaching retina....terrible thoughts needing reassurance in the worst way.

I call Sapper to tell him about the abrupt change in plans. I would need to take Yell home instead of going to track practice. I would meet him at the school so he could accompany Crab to her game. Hang up the phone and call my mom to let her know Yell is sick and potential plans for Friday are very very potential at this point. Hang up the phone and call the eye doctor (who is no longer in his office). Hang up the phone and call the pediatrician (who is no longer in her office). Answering service assures me her ped is on call and will return my call within twenty minutes. An eternity. Hang up and answer Sapper's call -- he asks me to pull Crab to the side and ask her about any head injury to Yell. Ask if she'd heard anything had happened during the school day. Usher Crab over to her kickball team warmups. Go back to the car to check on the now-sleeping-Yell.

Ped calls. She and I agree that if Yell doesn't feel significantly better in the next two hours (it's now 6pm) that I should take her to the ER. Sapper arrives. He checks Yell and proceeds over to the kickball warmups. I search the field for familiar parents and manage to arrange a ride home for Crab; depart for home with the sickly one.

Fast forward. After sleeping two hours, it indeed turned out that Yell had been suffering from a migraine.

My issue is with aftercare. Why on earth didn't the adult in charge CALL ME to let me know of Yell's health concern? If she had a contagious illness, would they honestly want her to be exposing others to her germs? Do they not care about her health? Did they not consider her well-being? Did they even pay attention to the small girl with her head down on a table for more than an hour?

To say I'm irritated is putting it mildly. I would never want to be treated the way aftercare treated my child. She is exactly that -- a child. I pay for them to ensure her health, her well-being, her safety. But I felt that she didn't receive very good care on Thursday.

But do I dare write a note criticizing the care? Probably not. Because then my kids would be ostracized. Or ignored.

Instead I'll blog about it and hope that I get commiseration from the anonymous masses.

This sucks.

1 comment:

  1. Hey sorry to hear about your difficulties. Gah! There's no easy solution to much of anything, eh?

    Just wanted to stop in and thank you for being such a faithful blogging friend. You've supported our family and encouraged us in more ways than I can thank you for!
    Thanks for being a blessing!


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