Thursday, 10 June 2010

Saved by Shark

So I dropped the kids off - in two lots. Marina was packing a wobbly so she got taken out of the pushchair and put in the genkan for daddy and granny to look after until I came back from taking Shou. An hour later I then take Marina in the car - tis still only eight ten though! Some washing gets hung, some dishes washed and then its time to head back to the kindy for my English time.

Had the big kids first and in general they were quite good. We read the hungry caterpillar and then used some flashcards. Cool flashcards that have furry bits and bumpy bits and shiney bits. They are meant to be fun to touch so no fun if they can't all touch them. I gave them rules. No grabbing. This stuff costs me money and I expect it to be in usable condition when I leave.

The first one to go round is a mirror that you can actually see yourself in. The girl beside me gets it and the plan is that she will look at it and pass it on to the boy beside her. I wonder. Is this too much to ask of 5 year olds? The boy tries to take it off her straight away and there is a tussle that ends up with my super duper cool flash card getting all bent and the boy hitting, no let me reword that, punching the girl in the face.

Yes, you read that right.

It is the same boy who had a go at Shou a while back - the one whose mother I am on the committee with. The girl in question used to be boss of her class last year and beat up the boys constantly. She isn't like that anymore (which gives me hope that slapper bitey bitch might get over her phase too) I saw this 'exchange' and immediately took the card off the boy and asked the girl, who was crying, how she was.

The teachers..... there were two of them..... and seeing as I witnessed it I wasn't watching them but I find it hard to believe that neither of them saw this....

they did NOTHING.

They did not even verbally reprimand this boy. And it was a punch people. IN THE FACE. If they didn't see it happen surely they would at least ask the girl why she was crying. Surely just my being their didn't stop them from behaving like they would normally behave??

Course of action.... me, the by now monster parent all the teachers will start to hate, - I am going to first of all ask how the girl is and then say that I don't teach in a classroom where it is OK for this kind of thing to happen. What is the pre-school's policy on this kind of thing? And I hope they don't mind that next time I come, if I witness this kind of thing again, and the teachers don't do anything, I WILL. I will pick that boy up, and sit him out in the hall and he can stay there for the lesson, which I will then make as fun as possible so that there is a lot of giggling and laughing for him to be 'missing out' on. He will then get brought back in and the class can together spend a few minutes thinking seriously about the course of this kind of action. He will also be made to apologize properly - none of this half laughing gomen shit.

So that wasn't all the drama this morning. After this class I had Shou and Marian and their little friends for half an hour. It was fine. The kids were a bit clingy and liking the novelty of mummy being at kindy. Sakura wasn't naughty. She wasn't interested much either, but at least she wasn't naughty.

Well, not for those 25 minutes.

As I was putting my stuff away one of the very lovely two year old girls went and sat next to Sakura. It appeared to me that Sakura had put her arm around this girl, which I thought nice but a bit odd, given her recent behavior. They are facing away from the room, sitting on the step to outside. I see Sakura start to strain, putting all her strength into something. I start to go over and the nice girl stands up with BLOOD DROPS DRIPPING DOWN HER CHEEK.

Fuck me.  The teacher's first reaction was NOT to tell Sakura off. It also wasn't to go to the girl and ask how she was. It, to me, seemed that telling Sakura off (a slap on the hand and a bit of a shake by the shoulders and a 'why did you do that' kind of thing) was an afterthought. Because of me perhaps?

What kind of fucking muppet operation is this kindergarten running?

I got in the car with Ryu - who the teachers had held the whole time, no doubt freaking out if they put him down with bunch of stressed out for being in a small room with eleven bitey scratchy kids babies and toddlers he would end up getting a going over - and we drove for a while and I cried.

I am now leaning a lot more towards the side of 'the staff at the kindy are useless' as opposed to the it's all Sakura's fault.

I think Shou, for the most part is fine. He is in a room with two very sweet girls. Him and Marina fight a bit but thats to be expected I guess.

I am thinking I might try next week with Marina at home.

If it works, and she can be good while I have English class, or I can get Ryu to sleep then so that Granny K only has to look after her, then hub and I will talk about making it permanent. And Shou? He will be in the same room as the punchy boy next year. Hopefully the boy has calmed down by then.

Having two kids at home will mean no translation work whatsoever. We could look into the kindy in the middle of town, where Chiemi works, but we won't get second child discount there and Marina would be a 35000 for the month - which is slightly more than what Shou is. I don't particularly want them at different places. What I want is for the kindy to sort their fuckin shit out and make it a place where kids are having a bit more bloody fun and not getting beaten up by the handful of bullies, or at least that there are proper disciplinary rules in place so that the children learn that that kind of behavior is not acceptable.

So anyway, I was not a happy camper this morning. Had lunch and then Ryu and I had a big nap and five minutes after I woke up I got a lovely phonecall. I was a bit reluctant to pick it up thinking that it would be the crab and scollop shop up in Hokkaido AGAIN - hub and I went there on our honeymoon six years ago and bought two crabs to send down to his brother. They ring all the fuckin time, regardless of the fact that we haven't bought anything since.

But it wasn't, it was Heather. What a pleasant surprise. Sorry for not sounding more friendly Heather. I don't think I even asked how you and the girls were? How are you?

Heather saw some shark at the local supermarket, thought of me, and is going to freeze a pack and cool post it down so either on Saturday or Sunday night I will be able to make proper beer batter fush and chups.

You made my day Heather, you really did. I didn't know how I was going to pull myself out of sucky kindy depression but it looks like shark may well have saved the day :)

Thank you.



Sara said...

Um... holy crap.
That sounds more like a madhouse than a kindy.. please don't tell me they are ALL like that.

(In the middle of maybe getting new job and this post has not strenghened my resolve to put my Sakura in a kindy)

Hope that you are recovering after what seems like hectic day... will be interesting if you have Marina at home! More interesting tales to come I am sure!

I remember there being absolutely no disipline at the Japanese JHS I taught at a couple years ago... sad to see that the kids may be allowed to get away with everything from such a small age. Of course.. by the time they are adults being in the kaisha squashes all that independence :P (sorry I'm feeling a bit anti-Japan today)

BTW How does one go about getting the magical GW phone number?!

anchan said...

GW, your post made me cry! Unfortunately, it seems that the next course of action is indeed to pull Marina out of there. The school HAVE to do something. I don't know who you would need to talk to... How about going to the other kindy and explaining the situation? Perhaps they could take both Shou and Marina? Removing your kids from the school would be an effective protest, and you might find that other parents follow suit. The teachers MUST take responsibility for what is going on... heads need to roll!

Hurrah for Heather!

Rachel said...

At least you had the opportunity to see if for yourself, from the inside out, and not have to rely on just what they said.

Sara, the kindy I teach at is better than that, the children are told to behave, and in a class of 18, I haven't had one fight yet, so I assume the teacher has them in good control the rest of the time too (this is 5-year olds).

Options for Marina, send them ALL to a different place? Send her back in a few months when Sakura grows up a bit? I can get work done with Erica around, though it does involve having to break my train of thought to get milk/find a toy/go examine a scary bug. She might even amuse Ryu for you! (I know, wishful thinking there...)

Claire said...

That really is bad. I know many daycares let a lot of rough play go on - DS1 was usually in the middle of a pile of screaming, flailing boys when I went to pick him up each afternoon - but the staff did always intervene when it looked as if someone was actually going to get hurt, and the one time we had a biting incident it was firmly handled. OK, they never use timeouts or the sort of discipline we're used to with our kids, but even so, actual injuries like that should see something being done to deal with them, pronto.

I agree with A-chan, if you like the other kindergarten, why not see if it can take both of them?

world of sekimachihato said...

god, that kindy story makes me wanna put a kakushi-camera in the corner and see what really happens when the gaijin wife/sensei is not around.

and another oh-my-god, i didn't know they sold shark at the local super. wonder if its had its fin whipped off and shipped over to my shores.

Nay said...

Wow - what type of kindy allows stuff like that to happen!! I am in shock...

I think maybe taking Marina out of kindy might just be what is needed. It doesn't look like the teachers are going to get off their arses and stop Sakura from being a little twat... As somebody mentioned, would it be possible to send both Shou and Marina to the other kindy together?

Hope you enjoy your fish & chips!! *drooling as I am typing this*

Brenda said...

I nearly starting crying while reading your post too! Forget shaking Sakura by the shoulders, I'd like to shake the teachers! Have they even told Sakura's mother the damage she has done to other children? Could that be why she has not yet apologized? If it were me I might pull both Marina AND Shou out and tell the teachers or the director or whatever that I just didn't feel safe sending my child to a kindy where NOTHING is done to curb children's violent behavior. It's one thing that the child does it, but for an adult to just idly stand there and watch it happen without doing anything is unforgivable. If an adult doesn't tell them that behavior is unacceptable how in the world are children supposed to learn not to do it?!

I really hope this mess works itself out in the least stressful way to you, and the least painful way to Marina.

Enjoy your shark :)

Bryn said...

Wow! Gabi never drew blood...that's just horrid! That little girl could have a scar on her face for the rest of her life! In the U.S. wee Sakura would have gotten the boot by now. Gabi was a bit younger during her biting epidemic, just at and slightly after her 1st b-day, and everyone was fair game, she didn't zero in on anyone in particular. Sounds like you need a daycare where the kids have LESS 'bloody' fun LOL

I agree w/ everyone else, is it possible to move them both to the other kindy? That'd get Shou out of the sites of punchy boy as well. Though I do think Sakura-chan will get past this soon enough, so maybe Marina having a small break at home will give her a chance to do that (and save you some money) but it's sad that its come to that, so not fair to Marina, or you.

Lulu said...

That is insane. I am just catching up on all the Miss Mc Bitey drama- once, possibly twice I could understand but I would be asking the kindy to remove the violent child until

I realize it is probably not entirely the childs fault (as parents play a huge role, not to mention the fact the teachers don`t do anything) but seriously.

When we had a girl bite a boy at the preschool I worked at (through his shirt, and drew blood. He was mean to her and she reacted- it was the first time) we put her in time out, tried to calm the extremely distressed child and rang both sets of parents. First the boys parents to say "Come get S-kun, he has been bitten and there is some blood so please take him to the doctor so it doesn`t get infected" (Human bites can be dangerous!) and then the girls mother to say "Please come pick her up early, she has bitten someone and we can`t tolerate that so she needs to go home early today so that she understands what she did is really bad"

Keep in mind the boy was 4, the girl was 3.

The girl arrived the next day, already a bit teary and apolgised to the boy in English and then Japanese and said she wouldn`t do it again. And to my knowledge never did. The parents had spoken to her about it (after we had spoken to her about it before her mum arrived).

S-kuns parents were not at all phased. They said he went through a biting stage of biting his baby brother and thought it was probably karma (!) but R-chan, the girls mum, was so embarrassed and apologetic towards S-kun and his family.

I know these things happen and that kids do shit like this all the time. But it is the adults responsibility to discipline -both the teachers and PARENTS of the little girl.

It just sounds insane.

I hope you don`t have to pull Marina out of kindy but if the teachers are not doing crap then i guess it isn`t a very safe environment- and if you do have to, that you can find another nice place for her to go to. As others have suggested, Could you move BOTH kids to another kindy and get a discount?

Or, send Marina to me for a week and I can take care of a little girl for a change :-)

Nice job on the shark!

Ruth said...

I agree with Lulu. It shouldn't be Marina and Shou that have to be taken out and sent somewhere else (especially if it will cost you a fortune) Sakura should be made to leave. If she is really that vicious then she needs to be removed from the school until she is able to play with other kids without causing GBH. I actually felt queasy when you said she bit the kid on the FACE! It's like something out of a vampire horror film.

Gaijin Wife said...

Sorry for the misinterpretation - Sakura didn't bite the girl on the cheek she scratched her with all her might.

Thank you for all the reassurance that I am not overacting about this. The very blazzay attitude by the teachers was starting to make me doubt myself and as a mother this should never happen. We all want is best for our child - within reason. I don't think my kids, or any of the kids, should need to put up with this kind of shit on a regular basis. Kids will be kids but there is a right and wrong way to deal with it.

Lulu - can I send you a nearly four year old boy instead? Then you can see what Noah will be like in a few years :) Girls are nice though - I truly believe that the dynamics at home would be different if the first child had been a girl. Sigh. Love them to bits but sometimes I just wish I could stuff them back up the saloon doors for a while and be ignorant of the chaos to come,

Chrysanthemum Mum said...

Bloody Nora! Can't believe that the staff just ignore this kind of behaviour. This is a government nursery, isn't it? The people at the city hall perhaps need to know that the care of the children is inadequate so that measures can be taken to improve the situation. Whether it be heads rolling or re-training of existing staff.

I agree with others who said that Sakura should be "suspended" from nursery for a while. If her parents aren't doing anything about the problem either, the inconvenience of having a child at home when they need to be at work should give them the kick up te arse they need too.

Check out the other kindy, though I know you can't always pick and choose where you send your kids. Getting a place at nursery is nothing short of a miracle in Japan!

Oyomesan said...


Fully support what everyone is saying about pulling your two out of the kindy for a week and seeing if THAT makes the teachers take some action....

And is there no move at all to have a Parent/Teacher meeting about this???

Lulu said...

I will take Shou for a bit! Might make me start looking into boarding school for Noah though huh? jk

Tell him he can come by airplane! Or Shinkansen! That will excite him, no? Such a shame that dump trucks don`t make the trip to Tokyo from Oita. Or if they do that they don`t offer trips to kids :-)

umebossy said...

If there really seems to be a problem can you talk to other parents about it maybe? If there's a PTA it sounds like something that really needs to be raised and dealt with. I'm sure other parents would be as concerned as you if they realised that nothing is being done. Maybe try talking to Sakura's mum directly if you think that the school haven't bothered their arses to get in touch with her about it?