Help a mother out?
Last month I started physical therapy for an ongoing issue I have with my knee. It’s been since I was 14, so it’s not a big deal.
Anyhow, I chose the physical therapy group that is out of the building my gym is at so that I could have the kids go to the daycare while I got stronger. The daycare ladies don’t mind, in fact, after I ran the marathon two years back, they watched the kids while I went to the grocery store because I was walking so slow.
Last week when I dropped the kids off at daycare, I passed by the front desk and smiled at Molly (who is probably almost 80,) as I always do, and walked upstairs to therapy. No big deal.
When I picked up the kids, Karen (the main daycare lady) said to me, “Hey, for some reason daycare stopped being charged every month to your account, so if you could later, just pay me for the month.” Embarrassed, I told her of course I would, and apologized. Karen told me that it wasn’t a big deal and that of course I was good for it. She felt bad she even had to tell me, since she’s literally watched the kids grow up – we’ve been going there that long. She then leaned in and said, “It wasn’t a big deal until Molly got nebby.”
I, of course, felt terrible that I hadn’t paid for the month and it was a week in, but worse, I hadn’t paid last month, apparently. The next day I dropped by money for both the past month and the recent month and that was that. The office apologized for the error, and they made sure it was fixed.
I dropped the kids at daycare, and saw that Karen was running late. No big deal. I sat on the floor with the girls and started to play with Dora figurines while Luca played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the Innotab.
That’s when Molly came in and gave me the third degree.
Molly: Is Karen here?
Me: Not yet, it’s OK. I can wait.
Molly: Are you teaching today?
Me: Not today. I have PT.
Molly: Did you pay for the daycare to watch them while you go to therapy?
Me: Yes. Last week.
Molly: How much?
Me: (wide eyed) 25 dollars. (That’s how much I’m supposed to pay.)
Molly: (clearing her throat) Oh. OK. Well, I have to check with Dave. I guess I can just sit in here.
At this point I was pissed. She’s always been so rude to me, for all the years I’ve gone there. Given me a hard time about Audrey crying, heck, giving me a hard time when Claire used to cry back when she was just a baby. So I decided to play her little game.
Me: No. No you don’t need to inconvenience yourself. I’ll take them upstairs with me. I’ll just grab this toy for Mae to play with and I’ll make sure to bring it back. Let’s go, guys.
And upstairs we went.
Can I just say how difficult it is to do PT with three kids? They surprisingly did so well. Luca played his game, Mae played with her Dora figurines and Audrey chewed on stuff. But that’s beside the point. The point is, she didn’t need to give me such a hard time. She made me feel like a common criminal. She’s a mother, too. I’m sure there has been a point in her life where she didn’t have anyone to watch her kids and she needed to do something for herself.
I feel burdened enough asking them to watch the kids so I can do something for myself. But I pay for that service.
After therapy I walked back to the daycare so the kids could get their coats. As soon as I walked in, Cindy (the other daycare lady) asked me what the heck happened. She said she was going to come up and grab the kids, but didn’t know if I wanted her to.
When I told her, she looked at me appalled and said, “She’s such a…” you get the point. Yes. She was. She had no reason to treat me so poorly. After Cindy made me tell Karen the story, Karen agreed and said to let it roll off my back. Cindy told me that I’ve always been too nice to her, and I probably shouldn’t be.
I said, “I just…I felt like I was doing something wrong. Like I should be ashamed. It’s not fair.” And near tears, we left.
For the first time, possibly ever, I didn’t respect my elders. She didn’t deserve it. I could have said something to her, and put her in her place, but that’s not me. Instead, as we left, she said, “Bye kids!” and then, because she knew I was pissed and near tears, she said, “Bye, Cassie.”
I just looked straight forward and walked out.