Becoming «THAT» parent

Soon we’ll be taking her off to college…
Maybe I need to add a monetary reward.

So she’s off to the nursery.  This morning, she grabbed her two suitcases in one hand and a toy in the other and headed for the door.

I know we’ve been lucky in that we’ve been able to live off the land and stay home with her for almost 18 months.  I dread how I would have felt if I’d have had to hand her over to complete strangers before she could even walk.

Now I live in constant fear of becoming «That» parent.

The one who is always complaining about something, pointing out shortcomings, never satisfied and whom makes the nursery staff think «fuck off and stay home with your kid if you can do it so much better».

My protests are in large part based on the observation that the mass murderers with whom I used to work received better quality treatment than do Norwegian children at nursery.  Go figure.

Obviously, stating this at nursery would be a *big* mistake.

Instead of being «That» parent, I’d be «That Crazy» parent.

So instead, here is my little TOP THREE LIST OF PROTEST.

  1. At the madhouse psychiatric high security institution (henceforth PHSI):  Patients received three hot meals per day.  Porridge and fruit for breakfast, two-course hot lunches and dinners.  Example:  Beef stew with mashed potatoes for a main, toffee pudding and custard for dessert.

    At the nursery (henceforth BHG):  Kids receive kneippbrød* three times per day and one fruit in the afternoon.  Once per week they have a «hot meal».  Example:  Fish cakes, macaroni and sweetcorn.

  2. At PHSI:  On arrival, all patients are seen for a clinical interview for assessment, and allocated one main contact staff and a secondary support contact staff as backup.

    At BHG:  Arrival conversation with child and parents deemed «unnecessary» by staff due to «exchange of written material» (much of what we received has turned out to be wrong or outdated).  Child receives a main contact person «at the beginning», but this is phased out over time and there is no contact person at all.  NOTE:  Not once has this «contact» person met and greeted said child in the morning.  Today, I actually had to ask someone to catch said child who was crying and chasing me to the door.

  3. At PHSI:  Due in part to the vulnerable position of the patients, records are kept where three times per day, staff write down what the patient has done, said, eaten etc.  Ideally, the patient is consulted at least once every afternoon and asked if they want anything put down in their records.

    At BHG: No written feedback.  Ever. If you don’t count a whiteboard at the entrance where they write two sentences about the day’s activities as a general message to all the parents.

OK, go on and call me a hysterical parent.  Also, I’ve never worked in a nursery and can only imagine the hellishness of having twelve toddlers screaming for attention and pooping their pants at the same time.

And I have no complaint as to their ability to care for small children.  Apart from one girl who’s been crying for mummy constantly, 5/7 days I’ve been there, they seem happy, and Bolle is not averse to going there at all.  

However, if you don’t have time to meet the parents, as it were, it will create more work for staff as they have to explain things randomly over time and have no time to check if information is correctly absorbed.

Also, we received home a 10-page booklet in which we’ve stuck photos of familiar objects (as a comfort book for the child to keep at nursery).  In each page of this booklet, someone had by hand cut out and stuck on a black and white plain text headline.  10×12 headings = 120 cutting and pastings (we are talking scissors and glue here).

If you’d made that document in Word and printed it out with headings already on,  you might even have had time for an interview with the parents at the start of the year.

*Kneippbrød is a special Norwegian bread attributed to a Dr Kneipp.  I’m sure it was healthier than white bread when he invented it, but as it contains about 15% wholemeal and the rest plain flour, it’s really neither filling nor very exciting tasting.  However, it is very cheap.  My mum doesn’t see why I’m complaining about Bolle growing up on Kneipp, as it was «good enough for you when you were a kid».  Didn’t have the heart to tell her that my chronic stomach cramps improved hugely when I moved out and stopped eating it alongside dairy.