When you love to hate Aftercare

Warning: Ranty post.

Our kids are in aftercare and I have a rather interesting relationship with them. Read: I love to hate them, for various reasons I don’t have the energy to go into right now. They are an unfortunate necessity in our lives.

I know, that sounds terribly ungrateful, but there you have it.

Today, when I collected the kids, Mignon was very upset and crying because the Aftercare lady ‘forgot’ to collect her from ballet. She did, however, not forget to collect the 9 other children that also do ballet.

I then ask the class ‘teacher’ what happened.

‘XXX did say she only came with 9 kids and she was meant to have 10, but we did explain to Isabel.’

You read that right. She said Isabel.

At this point I would like to say that I get that they are identical twins and that it can be confusing, but not knowing which child you FORGOT about is rather alarming.

I would also like to say that ‘explaining’ to a 6yo little girl why she was left behind is just not good enough. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Which is what I kept asking: Why did it happen in the first place?

It probably sounds like a huge overreaction on my part, but coupled with other things that worry me about Aftercare this kind of pushed me over the edge today.

I politely (ish) suggested that if she needs me to give her some pointers on how to tell them apart I would be happy to oblige. No, no, she says, I know exactly who is who.

And then proceeds to hug Isabel and apologise for her being left behind at ballet.

I can’t. I just can’t.

And no, I didn’t have the heart to point out her mistake.

We have spent the last almost 7 years celebrating the differences between our girls and treating each as their own person, knowing that the world will often see them as the same person because they look so much alike, but this infuriates me beyond belief. These people are responsible for taking care of our kids, the least they can do is get it right.

Ok. Rant over.

Ps. I am completely aware of the fact that my anger is partly fuelled by guilt. What. Ever.

An Aftercare question and Poll

As is usual for this time of year I have been angsting about childcare for next year.

Daniel is going to Grade R at the school down the road and we are working on a plan for the girls for next year that could potentially be spectacular.  But it’s still in the works.

It’s around Daniel’s aftercare that Etienne and I have had many arguments disagreements heated discussions debates conversations.  See, it’s like this: Etienne had a stay-at-home Mom all his life.  In fact, he only went to any kind of school when he was 5, which certainly had it’s own set of challenges.  I, on the other hand, had 2 parents that worked full-time.  (I’m not whining about it, I totally get that they both had to work.)

The reality of my after-school life was that I was at various stages at home in the afternoons with a domestic worker, a latch-key child, in aftercare and with a lady who had a really creepy husband.  The only time my Mom was at home was the 3 months she was on Maternity leave with my sister and I was in Grade 1 at the time.  So, understandably I am really worried about what would be the best for Daniel, especially knowing that he leans toward his Dad’s introverted personality type.

Right now it is just not possible for me to not work full-time as sucky as that is, so we need to make a plan.

So here’s a little poll and I would very much appreciate it if you could vote and leave a comment if there is something I didn’t cover.

Please note:  I want to know what your reality is and would welcome any advice you could possibly give.  Even if you tell me to just suck it up.