Because this is the second post I have found today that I thought was published.
To catch you up, this post is about that HUGE Navy inspection that destroyed the fibers of my being a few weeks ago. I guess better late than never, right?
So I can finally talk, write and think about the Navy inspection without having a panic attack over the epic way in which I could do nothing right while this lady was in my home. We’ll start at the beginning and if I start to ramble, taser me. Sedatives are just not enough for this situation…
I get the knock on my door and I just knew it was my monitor (administrator) and whichever surveyor of doom was with her. And as soon as I opened the door and saw who was with my monitor I said “yooooouuuuu” in that ominous voice that can only be produced in your head. Or a blockbuster movie with a great sound effects budget.
It was the Blonde Terminator.
I’ve been in the Navy childcare business for 11 years and you get pretty used to seeing the same faces over the years. The Blonde Terminator inspected my classroom in 2004 and 2011 and now she was back. In my home. Where I try to be happy.
And all the happiness in the world just died because I knew no matter how much I did right, she’d want to know what more I could be doing.
Even though that’s not the purpose to this inspection.
The actual purpose of this inspection is to follow my monitor around while she does her regular monthly inspection and note anything my monitor doesn’t do, correct, or talk to me about. The inspector is not actually supposed to talk to me or interact for more than two questions. And they are the same questions every year.
How do you report child abuse and how do you get help with kids who have special needs?
Simple. I know those answers. And a whole lot more but it’s not her job to interrogate me. But the Blonde Terminator is all sorts of chain of command jumping and she proceeds to just decimate the entire inspection process.
First up, let’s interrupt story time and make a nuisance of ourselves. Then when the kids start crying because I am ignoring their story and answering the questions, she doesn’t stop. She just.keeps.talking.
Hey Terminator, zip it. My babies are enjoying the stories.
And then she decides to go all rogue and just wanders into my backyard. No question on if it’s part of my daycare. You know, because they are only allowed to go where you actually designate they can go. It is my house after all, I don’t want you trooping through my bedroom.
So my poor monitor (who is relatively new and currently being inaugurated by fire to this inspection process) panics and chases her outside. Hello inspector, you’re supposed to follow the monitor, not just wander aimlessly!
I hear something about how my monitor “needs to check these areas in case they have a gas can or something” and I laugh a little inside (and out loud if I’m being honest). First, my monitor does go outside each month to check. Second, she wasn’t even to that part of her inspection yet. So give her some damn time to do her job before you criticize, shall we Blonde Terminator?!?
After that’s all over it is time for snack. God help me. I’ve only got one eating adult food but I know Blonde Terminator will make it count. I walk into the kitchen, she follows right behind me. So I keep bumping around and having to get her out of my way while I am getting things together.
HENCE WHY SHE SHOULD BE OUT OF THE WAY AND JUST VIEWING!
As soon as I get situated at the table with the Big Little, the Terminator just looms over my shoulder and wants to know why I’m not letting the Little smear her own peanut butter on the cracker and why she isn’t eating “family style” which is how the Navy thinks all families eat. You know, everyone lets their one year olds serve their own plates at every meal.
Okay? No? Wait.
So I am now explaining that we do family style breakfast and lunch because that is the meal that all my infants eat at, even the baby food aged Littles. She proceeds to lecture me on doing every meal, four times a day, family style. I calmly tell her that the OPNAV (our Navy rule book) designates that only multiage homes must do family style. Infant homes (like me!) are not required to do this. Because it is absurd, time-consuming and you are frankly ignoring babies who don’t eat adult food the entire time you’re trying to help the one year old serve. So instead of doing family style, we just plate the food ourselves and give it to the one year old so we can then care for the Tiny Littles.
Nope. Terminator insisted.
So I get out additional silverware and proceed to help her smear peanut butter. And Terminator asks me to move seats so my back isn’t to the other infants on the floor.
Which it wasn’t. (Even my poor director had to call after the fact and tell me whichever chair I like I can use, she knows any of them keep the infants visible to me. I think she knew my head was about to pop when the monitor reported back to her on my inspection.)
And the kicker?!??? The chair she picked out for me was the hardest angle to view the other infant due the giant couch in the way. It’s the chair I avoid using when not all the Littles are at the table. But okie dokie, I complied with the obnoxious request.
As soon as I am tasking the Little at the table to smear another cracker, the Terminator calmly says “and now you’re ignoring the other infant.”
And my head fucking explodes.
I KNOW THAT LADY!!! THAT’S WHY INFANT HOMES DO NOT DO FAMILY STYLE DINING!!!! I MAKE THE FOOD AND SLAP IT ON A PLATE, PUT IT IN FRONT OF THE KID AND THEN I ACTUALLY HAVE THE ABILITY TO CONCENTRATE ON MORE THAN JUST THE KID WHO IS EATING!!!!!
And don’t even get me started on the teeth brushing requirement for my one kid who is older than 13 months. Discussed and answered. Nope. Let’s discuss it again.
So this Terminator, who thinks my sitting at the dining room table right next to an infant in my eyesight is not supervising him enough, wants me to take another Little down the hall (to the complete opposite side of the house) and turn on water and brush this Little’s teeth.
I mean, how’s that for supervising the other infants?!?
So I tell her that my Director has told me she would like me to skip that requirement because when you weigh the safety factor of the other Little’s down the hall out of eyesight to the health factor of the one Little’s teeth, well, we like the Littles alive. Even if their breath stinks.
They left pretty quickly after this incident, my monitor could tell I was holding it together by a thread. The poor Littles would not stop crying, they could sense the tension radiating through the room.
My monitor called me afterwards and said as soon as they stepped out of my home the Terminator looked and her and said my home was great and I was great and the whole world was great. And I got absolutely ZERO wrong on the inspection.
One day when I am in a position of power I promise this: I will always tell you what a great job you have done to your face. Not decimate your self-confidence for an hour and then leave you shattered and miserable with the very Little lives you are supposed to be enriching.
And all the people beneath will be happy that I am a kind boss.
The Big Little would like to add a note to future inspectors: Never, never get between me and my Giant. I don’t like it, my friends don’t like it and frankly, we will cut you off at the knees to get to the Giant. Now stop making us cry and get out-of-the-way!
Poor Big Little. And poor Tiny Little. They had a hell of a day also.
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