Monday, August 20, 2007

Digging for 'jewels'

I did a lot of laundry yesterday. Since I hadn’t been feeling well for most of last week, not much had gotten done around the house so we were definitely feeling the lack of clean clothes. Let’s just say that by Saturday night we were scrounging for anything the kids could wear to sleep in (yeah sweetie, you do want to wear that t-shirt and pair of shorts to bed, right?). So yesterday I did all of the kids’ laundry (including Hannah’s bedding since she decided to sleep in underwear instead of a pull-up Friday night, with predictable results…), a load of Ron’s and I’ve got a load of towels still sitting downstairs waiting to be put in the washer, since I didn’t get to it this morning. Oops.

I’ve never really paid attention to checking the kids’ pockets when I wash their clothes. Up until this point, I’ve never really had to. Ron’s – yes. He keeps pens in his shirt pockets for work and a few of them have made it into the wash in the past (there’s nothing like pulling clean, wet clothes from the washer and seeing blue ink stains all over them…), not to mention all of the little coaxial cable connectors and other assorted pieces of metal that end up in his pockets as well. And his wallet’s been washed at least a couple of times too.

In the past few months though I’ve started noticing some strange things mixed into the girls’ clothes when I’m sorting and folding them. Their toy cell phones have been washed several times – did you know those ones from the Disney Store can go through the wash a couple of times before they start sounding a bit – odd? Play jewelry, the assorted stuffed animal, doll blankets... Hannah is generally the culprit since many of the items I’ve found have been in the pockets of her shorts.

Last night I found something that scared the heck out of me.

I’m reaching into the washer to move wet clothes in to the dryer, when I see something shiny. Not in a pocket – just mixed in among all of the clothes. I pull out of the washer – a shard of (real!) glass – it's flat, like from a window, several inches long and broken off into a point on one side.

What the…??!!!

I’m just glad I saw it before I reached in and gashed my hand open or something!

So I carry this ‘dagger’ of a piece of glass upstairs and show it to Ron. Who is about as speechless as I am – where did this thing come from and how did it end up in our kids’ laundry?

Have you guessed it yet?

She didn’t admit to it right away, but Abby knew and once she said something, then Hannah said yes, she’d found it at daycare and put it in her pocket.

?????!!!!!!

So first of all, my child walked around for a good part of a day with this glass shard in her pocket – thank goodness she didn’t stab herself with it or get cut. Or bump up against something and break it into even smaller pieces. Big sigh of relief.

But then, what the…????!!!!!

On further questioning, Hannah said that she found it in the dirt at daycare, in the back yard. I do know that she and a couple of the other girls have been digging in the yard (after being told repeatedly not to) and on Friday Hannah came home pretty much covered in dirt. Now I know why they’re not supposed to be digging.

I took the glass with me this morning and showed it to our daycare provider. It seems the girls have been digging in the dirt in an area way off in the back that at one time was used for burning garbage. They are not supposed to go near there, much less dig, and they’ve gotten into big trouble for it several times.

And why are they digging? Apparently they like looking for the pieces of plastic and plexi-glass that they find – they call them ‘jewels’ because they shine when the sunlight hits them. This was the first piece of real glass that our daycare provider had seen from back there.

We had a long talk with Hannah last night about why this is not a 'jewel' - it's dangerous and not something to be played with or put into pockets. Our daycare provider is going to sit her and the other two girls down again today to have another long talk with them as well.

I’m also thinking that I need to insist that she fence or block that area off somehow. Yes, if the little kids are out there, she’s always out there with them to keep them in the main part of the yard. But the older kids do go out and play on their own (they can be easily seen from the kitchen). I don’t know that I completely trust Hannah not to dig or put things in her pockets – it’s very tempting, especially when you’ve been told not to and when other kids are doing it. But I’m thinking that she has maybe learned her lesson from seeing how scared, worried and freaked out I was when I found that piece of glass yesterday. We'll see.

And new house rule for us - all pockets have to be (carefully) emptied at night before they change into their pajamas. So I don't have to be scared to reach into the washing machine the next time I wash their clothes.

You know, I just thought too about how much trouble she could've gotten into if she'd had something like that in her pocket at school (once it starts) - in today's world, that may very well be considered a 'weapon'. Yikes.

I'm not sure what else we can do? I feel like I'm maybe over-reacting in some ways but under-reacting in others...

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6 wonderful people said...:

Jodi said...

Wow Deb!! Glad you didn't get cut, or the girls either for that matter. I too think she should have that area fenced off!

Kellie said...

I definitely think she should have that area fenced off! ((((hugs))))

I love the new look of your blog!!

Ana said...

That daycare should have gotten the fencing situation under wraps a long time ago. At the very least they should have better monitoring of the children. I can imagine the potential law suit if a child got seriously injuried. People are so sue happy these days. I'm so glad none of your girls were hurt.

Summer said...

Ack! They should definitely fence that area off!

Michelle said...

I had to laugh at all the stuff that turns up in your washer - glad our home isn't unique in that department! How frightening about the glass though! Hope that daycare does something quick!

(Love the blog - found you at blogcatalog. ~micpro)

Jennifer Sprague, All Natural Mommies said...

I think it should be blocked off somehow too - I think in our neighborhood that kind of thing would not be tolerated to KEEP a daycare license - I mean your right, that COULD be a weapon and she could be sued - I mean what if...UGH I guess you can always what if it to death but Thank God that nothing happened and everyone is ok!