Putting your child in daycare is difficult for most parents. It's tough to leave your kids under the supervision of someone else. And even though they're the most wonderfully aggravating little monsters you'll ever come into contact with, the second you're away from them, you can't wait until they're back in your arms. On top of all that, childcare costs are very, very high, in the US especially.
It's a lot for any parent to handle, and Heather Chisum, a single mom with two children in daycare, has to deal with all of those challenges and more. Like the fact that her boys, Fin and Milo, are being looked after by some strangely heartless folks.
That's perhaps harsh, but how else do you describe someone who leaves a message for a mom on her child's chest and stomach in permanent marker?
It sounds more like something the mafia would do. Actually, no, most mobs wouldn't mess with someone's child, but here's this daycare center that thought a good place for a note to buy more diapers was on a toddler's stomach.
Heather wrote about the debacle on Facebook, wanting to know if her outrage is justified (spoiler alert, yes it is). Here's what she wrote:
"So. I need opinions. Am I right to be furious about this? Or am I overreacting? I really need your opinions guys, because I’m about to barge in this daycare tomorrow morning and have some words.
"Everyday when I pick Fin and Milo up from daycare they put a daily report paper in Milo's lunch box. It says what mood he was in for the day, what times they changed his diapers, and if he needs diapers or wipes."
She continues, "I’m a single mom with a full time job and two very young children. SUE ME FOR NOT READING THE REPORT EVERY SINGLE DAY.
"I guess yesterday they wrote on his report that he needs diapers, and I failed to see that. Now keep in mind, I see several teachers at drop off and several at pick up, if I failed to see that he needs diapers a simple, “Hey Heather, your son needs diapers maybe you missed the report” would have done the trick. From any of the many teachers there I see daily."
"But instead, I change his diaper this afternoon AND SEE THIS WRITTEN ON MY SON WITH MARKER. You can’t even see all of it in the pic.. it says, 'Mom I’m out of diapers pls read my report.' I’ve scrubbed it with several baby wipes and it’s not coming off. I had plans to take them to the beach to play, and now I can’t because my son has writing all over him."
She adds, "In the very worst case scenario, I can’t see anything other than 'need diapers' needing to be written. Why a big long message needed to be written across my son's stomach is beyond me." She also suggested they could have just as easily writted the note on his actual diaper rather than his skin... "OR YA KNOW, JUST TELL ME?!?" she writes in all caps.
Apparently it wasn't the first time either. "They’ve done this several months ago, too."
It didn't take long for her Facebook friends to not only reassure Heather that she isn't crazy and what the daycare did was "disgusting" and "uncalled for."
Others pointed out that there are easier and more normal ways to tell a mom she needs to buy more diapers for her kids. Like, a phone call, text message, or email. Or just, you know, another reminder?
Even if they didn't want to deal with all of that hassle, they could've just purchased more diapers and added the expense to Heather's bill, and maybe include a policy to that end in their contracts while they're at it. I've never run a daycare before and I am coming up with these ideas on the fly. Surely they could've found a more civil way to remind Heather to buy diapers. Putting a Sir-Marks-a-Lot on a kid's stomach is the last thing I'd ever consider.
It seems like Heather's outrage is already garnering a lot of media attention, and local news stations are already reaching out to her to discuss her story. Looks like the daycare center is in for a world of scrutiny, but they should've thought about that before penning a letter on a baby's body with permanent marker. Yikes.
Update: The daycare worker responsible for writing the note on Milo's stomach has been fired. Children's Education Center of the Islands told NBC 2 News that the daycare provider has been "placed on permanent leave." The school also said it will be releasing a statement about the incident.