Thursday, 18 December 2008


I can be harsher than a harsh thing, when the mood and the moment strikes me.

And it well and truly struck this week.

Well, it started brewing last week actually.

As there had been a spate of children being off nursery with various ailments – Max being one of them – the manager decided, supposedly reluctantly, to cancel the kids’ nativity.

At the time it did not really hit me, particularly as I was nursing a poorly boy and had his party to consume what thought space I had left.

But at the end of the week I took Junior to our local playgroup’s Christmas shindig.

We usually go with another parent and their child from our village, to save using two cars, and also as we like a right gossip natter.

Last week was no exception, and we got chatting about the school and nursery.

She was disgusted, and I do not use that word lightly, to learn that the little ones’ play had been cancelled.

Or as she rather more dramatically put it; Max’s last chance to be in a nursery nativity.

It played on my mind a little.

Then early this week I also learnt that the nursery had not cancelled the visit of a clown - which VOLUNTARY contributions of £3-50 were welcome for - even though there was a supposed shortage of children currently in attendance.

I also let this go, preferring to give them the benefit of the doubt, and perhaps considering it was too late for them to cancel a heavily makeup strewn fool.

But then I was advised, that as the nativity had been scheduled for the last day of opening, that they were having their party instead, which they had previously lined up for the same time as the clown.

No problem, until I realised I was only being told this as they were bringing the finishing time forward by an hour.

Which was not a real logistical problem for me either, while it may have been for others.

Yet it was the point at which my annoyance broke.

“It hasn’t escaped my attention that suddenly your week has become a lot easier.”

I said to a somewhat silenced staff.

“I’m not going to get in to the ‘whys’ and the ‘wherefores’ but just so you know, from the outside, it may appear that your effort, heart and general ‘at-all-costs’ attitude are somewhat wanting at present.”

As I had said, I was not looking for trouble or an argument, but I just wanted to make my point.

A firm reminder, if you will.

I did not get one either, not that my words were taken as read either.

All parties have been a bit sheepish for the remainder of this week, and I had started to doubt if there was any truth in what I had thought, and eventually mentioned.

Then today, the day of the party, I unusually noticed that some older kids looked like they were also headed for the school ground.

Children, who had just finished for the holidays.

And would you know it, their school, in a neighbouring village, finished early, so they were arriving at the nursery to meet their mothers, right on cue for the earlier finishing time.


Or am I just an evil cynic?

Anyway it re-affirmed my thoughts somewhat, and I hope that it does not continue into the New Year.

It is most disappointing, as to this point I have been so, so, so impressed by the nursery and the people manning, or womanning it.

I hope they rediscover their impetus in 2009, as they really do not want to be discovering my dark and less forgiving side.

It is not pretty.

Unlike all my other sides, that are positively delightful.


dadshouse said...

I think you hit the nail on the head - they were making things easier for themselves. Good for you to speak up. Did you chat with other parents about it? Nothing like a whole slew of riled up parents.

Mama Nabi said...

gawd... the number of days I will be taking off to accommodate LN's preschool holidays... it is not easy being a single mom with no one else to provide care when school is out. Grr.

T said...

Wow! You tell 'em! I agree with Dads... too many parents complaining will force them to take notice.

Dan said...

We're not happy with Evan's nursery at the moment either, for a number of reasons. It's not a nice place to be in.

Susanna (A Modern Mother) said...

It must be a national thing. Our nursery did a few similair things...and I like you paid a blind eye, until they CANCELLED the last day of school (Friday) because of LOW ENROLLMENT. Apparently there were only going to be five kids. UUGHHHH. Just shoot me.

Working mum said...

I have never heard of a nursery/school cancelling a nativity before. It's one of the most important events of the year!

Do you really think they did it to make life easier, or was it just a series of naive and thoughtless decisions?

I can tell you that my school did the opposite. Normally we finish at lunchtime on the last day but this year, because some parents said it was difficult to pick up their children (age 11 - 18) at lunchtime, we carried on till 4pm. I can't tell you how long and difficult that last afternoon was with teenagers who know they normally finish at 12 noon! One of my form (age 18) just walked out of school at lunchtime and I spent half the afternoon on the phone trying to get hold of one of his parents to let them know what he'd done! Give me strength!

Single Parent Dad said...

Dadshouse - I have had a brief chat with some of the parents. Max's party will be a good chance to air my views, especially as some of the parents coming also help out part-time at the nursery.

Mama Nabi - I'm lucky, I have quite a lot of help should I require it.

T - It sure will.

Dan - I'm not enjoying it either.

Susanna - I agree it must be a UK thing!

Working Mum - I think the leader, while a very good carer, isn't a very good decision maker. And I do believe they took the decision in a sort of giving-up/it-actually suits-us way.

Ladybird World Mother said...

I run a little pre-school, and we had about half our children off with illness and so had our play with only half the cast. The parents were thrilled with it despite the absences! We were so apologetic for still having it despite all the illnesses. So I am glad now, that I have read your post, that we did... (we also had only 4 chldren on one day, but still had a very happy morning. )
I should take one of those staff members to a quiet corner and speak your mind.. I know you have already, but say the good things too... its hard to please everyone, but unless people are told to their face, it is amazing how little they pick up...

Single Parent Dad said...

Ladybird World Mother - And you prove, by your very actions, that your heart is in the job. I fear no matter how much I protest, if the nursery leader isn't interested it will probably ony worsen the problem.

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