Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What The Doctor Said And What The Director Said

Hopefully this will be the last post on this subject for a while... for the last month it feels like all Karen and I have eaten, slept and talked about is nursery.

However, there has been movement if not resolution.

A visit to the GP on Monday secured us the confirmation we needed: there is nothing wrong or abnormal with Tom or his behaviour; it is all within normal bounds. If anything he is very bright, probably bored stiff and ready for school right now. The doctor’s diagnosis matched many of the comments you guys left on my last post: “the problem is environmental not pathological – change the nursery”.

When we reported this to the manager of the nursery she disgusted both Karen and I by actually looking disappointed. Disappointed that there wasn’t something wrong with Tom; that he didn’t have a diagnosable, pathological problem. She announced she’d make moves to refer him to someone herself.

Karen and I let that go as we were booked in to see the director of the nursery yesterday afternoon. Up until just before Christmas the director, J, was running the nursery day-to-day and had everything, including Tom, under control. Her retirement and the installation of a new manager and Tom’s degenerate behaviour are something more than just coincidence.

J is a lovely “old school” type. And totally got what we were saying. She was, I suspect, appalled that such a hysterical flap had been allowed to develop; that Karen and I had been guilt tripped by the manager on a number of occasions (“I was so worried about Tom I crashed my car”, for example); that the boundaries had been allowed to fall away to such an extent that any kind of authority had broken down. I think she was more disappointed that Karen and I hadn’t been listened to in terms of the effective techniques we employ at home to maintain order – the same techniques that she herself employed when running the nursery daily before her retirement. She was sad that we’d been driven to view other nurseries and that moving Tom was now a definite consideration.

She took it all on board and her response was that her nursery, her staff needed to do more. And if they didn’t like it, tough; it was their job to deal with it. Since J started intervening last Monday the daily phone calls to Karen and I from the nursery have stopped. Tom is getting one-on-ones with the staff to intervene at any flashpoint and guide his behaviour back onto the straight and narrow. The improvement and drop in stress for everyone has been palpable. If they’d only done this 4 weeks ago...

J is so honourable we’ve decided to give the nursery another 2 weeks. Giving up and washing her hands of Tom was so beyond J’s thought processes it was truly heartening and plainly moving Tom really has to be the last resort.

So the nursery have got 2 weeks to re-establish our trust in them and to start to turn things around.

Karen and I have viewed 4 other nurseries – 3 of which we’d be happy for Tom to go to – so we feel like we have choices and a plan B should this not work out. We feel like we’re back in control again.

Hopefully with J back to keeping a watchful eye on the helm, nursery are too.

Which is happy news for everyone. Especially Tom.

Normal scurrilous blog service will be resumed shortly.

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30 comments:

Heather said...

oh gosh, what a palavor. So pleased you are getting somewhere finally and the nursery seem to be pulling their finger out. Fingers crossed it carries on.

London City Mum said...

Yay for you all - amazing what a bit of good old-fashioned common sense can do.

Here's to a far less disruptive future.

LCM x

Steve said...

Heather & LCM: we're not out of the woods yet but things are certainly less tense and more normalized. We'll keep an eye on it and see how it goes. Having another nursery already lined up just in case is a great boost to our confidence.

vegemitevix said...

I'm not surprised the doc suggested he is v bright as his behaviour is completely consistent with being bored. Is there a gifted extension group for preschoolers near you? We had one called Small Poppies when my kids were little and it really helped give them more to concentrate on and keep them out of trouble. Good to hear the old nursery teacher still has influence!

Owen said...

Hoping it all works out for the best, so as you can rapidly scurry back to scurrilously blogging...

Kelloggsville said...

Sounds like the direction is good. Good for Tom and good for the family. Fingers crossed x

Being Me said...

She announced she’d make moves to refer him to someone herself. I gasped in as I read that which was, unfortunately, right when I was taking a sip of my morning coffee.

So they should be working at it and giving him the one-on-ones. They have to regain his trust and respect - it's a two way flipping street and they owe Tom to meet him in the middle here (the staff do, I mean).

One thing I really have marvelled from all this is the unanimous and uplifting support you've received from your loyal readers. Let that be a credit to you, good sir. Good luck for these next 2 weeks, I hope you and Karen recoup all that lost sleep.

Steve said...

Vix: he's definitely showing sings of wanting to learn to read... I think he's up for a challenge and nursery haven't been presenting with one.

Owen: don't worry... I have a few juicy posts lined up.

Kelloggsville: having a plan B and even a plan C definitely helps!

Suburbia said...

I am breathing a sigh of relief for you. Fingers crossed

Steve said...

Being Me: so sorry for any throat burn I have inadvertently caused you, good lady! Funny you should mention lost sleep... as we've slowly allowed ourselves to relax both Karen and I can feel the tiredness settling down upon us like lead weights.., unbelievable. I hope the nursery do turn it around - we're still reserving judgement. Karen and I viewed a new nursery this morning that was perfect... so I'm afraid J and her team really do have their work cut out for them now...

Steve said...

Suburbia: thank you!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Phew. It's great that the director has taken you seriously, hopefully the manager pulls her horns in and gets on with being professional, so that you can maintain continuity for Tom. I'm not surprised your lad is ready to read - words are in his genes after all. Looking forward to some more of your sharp wit and scurril :-)

Gorilla Bananas said...

Does J look anything like the headmistress of St Trinians? The sight of her face always reduced my stress levels.

Vicky said...

Hurrah!!

the fly in the web said...

So pleased you stuck to your guns and weren't intimidated by the new bod running the nursery.

I think you're right to give J a chance to turn things round...and you do have other options.

But imagine if you were not articulate and organised...you'd be going through the guilt trip of all time, half convinced that your bright little boy was somehow abnormal.

The training that produced that nursery manager is deeply flawed.

Steve said...

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden: the manager hasn't shown her face since our meeting with J. Hopefully that isn't a bad sign; we certainly won't be standing for any more unprofessionalism.

Gorilla Bananas: sadly not... but on the bright side there is no sign of Russell Brand either.

Vicky: ditto!

The fly in the web: that is the saddest thing, really. J had worked hard to create a really first rate nursery and now Karen and I can't help but feel that all her efforts have been compromised and the previously good reputation of the nursery is at risk.

libby said...

Onwards and upwards eh?

Steve said...

Libby: either that or outwards and upwards...

Keith said...

You have both dealt with this admirably. It would seem to be a top team you have going there the two of you.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

yay, I am pleased that finally things seem to be settling down. Hopefully you won't need to take Tom out of the nursery and he can go back to enjoying his time there.

Clippy Mat said...

good to hear(read) this! the little lad has been a victim of an over zealous new manager perhaps trying to prove she's 'in charge'. hope things will return to normal asap and that you catch up on your sleep.
good lad, Tom.
:-)

Steve said...

Keith: we may yet run for the prime ministership...

Very Bored in Catalunya: a couple of the staff are being a little sniffy so we're monitoring the situation closely...

Clippy Mat: that's what we're hoping... but I've a feeling the kids will return to normality a lot sooner than the adults...

Nota Bene said...

hurrah for Tom...and a few restful hours for you two too

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

I think you're right to give them the chance to redeem themselves but don't wait too long. Sometimes when something like this happens, the relationship between you and the nursery is irrevocably damaged. If you've found a good replacement then you'll probably be surprised at how well Tom adapts to a new place: if he's a bright boy he might love the change, new toys, fresh start. Then he can still meet up with his old pals in September.

Steve said...

Nota Bene: it's certainly been nice not being called on the Batphone every day...

Trish: yes, Karen and I haven't abandoned the idea of moving him at all; it could still be very much on the cards. However, we have noticed some improvements in Tom's behaviour and how nursery are dealing with things so some good has come out of all this. But Karen and I aren't relaxing our guard just yet.

Omnvoluteddy Pieperviewph said...

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Steve said...

Omnvoluteddy Pieperviewph: I like a good pipedream...

Löst Jimmy said...

I'm relieved to read about the positive direction. I wish a good outcome from the 2 weeks probation for the nursery.
In the meantime, enjoy a better weekend

Gappy said...

This is good to read Steve. Sounds as though there is light at the end of the tunnel. And nice for you to get that validation from the doctor that it's not Tom, it's THEM.

Steve said...

Gappy: yes, the doctor's opinion was a real shot in the arm for all of us.