Wednesday, June 18, 2014

#PoolProblems: Would you have complained?

See that jovial boy pictured above, eager and excited about swim class?

I want him to remain that way.

Scotty recently began is second session of tot swim, and despite the fact that more than a year had passed since the first session he took back when he was just one year old, he hadn’t missed a beat.  He approached the pool with vigor and gusto and remained equally enthusiastic after he had entered the water.

He’s got a new instructor this time around, Kevin, whom both Scotty and I liked immediately. Kevin was fun and engaging and full of Jedi mind tricks, such as singing songs like “Five Little Monkeys” to get the kids to willingly put their faces underwater. He was the cherry on top of an already ideal scenario.

Until he wasn’t: One day we came to class and were told that Kevin was no longer with the program. A woman – I’ll call her “Bambi” – delivered this news to us and then informed us that she’d be instructing from now on.

Can I be honest? I didn’t get a good vibe from Bambi from Jump Street. But I quieted my instinct and let it ride. Give her a chance, said my voice of reason.

When we all entered the water – a parent is required to accompany his or her child in the pool – it was all downhill from there. There was no singing, there was no clapping, and Bambi’s incessant demands made me wonder if we had registered for tot swim or a preliminary class for those aiming to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio. After she basically strong-armed Scotty to hold both ears underwater for a specified amount of time, I saw a look of trepidation in his eyes that haunted me. I know that in order to grow and advance that Scotty has to take risks, but I also know that there is such a thing as moving too fast and, as a result, making him unnecessarily uncomfortable.

He’s two. This is supposed to be fun.

Our second class with Bambi was no different. Wait. Yes, it was: It was worse. It was like Bambi was giving a big, fat “up yours” to my voice of reason.

That was it. I called management. Basically, I was told in no uncertain terms that Bambi was not their ideal choice as a fill-in instructor (No! Really?), but that they had been left in a lurch by Kevin up and leaving, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I bet you dollars to donuts that I wasn’t the first parent to complain.

They offered to enroll Scotty – free of charge – in the summer session, which starts in a few weeks – and I was assured that this new class would be led by a more child-friendly instructor. I agreed, and that was that.

We’re not returning to Bambi’s class.

I’m not one to complain. I hated to do it, and the old me – the “BC” me (Read: Before Children) – probably wouldn’t have. But when it comes to my children…don’t even get me started on my readiness to pounce when I feel that something doesn’t pass the smell test. Hell, Bambi is lucky I decided not to bring my brass knuckles to class. (The chlorine would have wreaked havoc on them.)

How would you have handled this? Have you complained about a service, particularly one geared toward your child? 


P.S. Thank you to everyone who read and commented on Monday's Operation Naturally Curly post. I've completed step one by running to Sally's Beauty Supply, Target, and Walgreens and spending a king's ransom on necessary product. (Curly ain't cheap; that's for sure.) We've got a family event this weekend that I want to remain in straight-hair-mode for (with my vain self), but I'm going to take the plunge sometime around the start of Scotty's next round of swim classes. I'll keep you posted...


VOTE * VOTE * VOTE * VOTE * VOTE * VOTE * VOTE * VOTE *


If you like what you see, cast your vote for us on TMB! 
Just click the pink banner below my siggy.
You can vote once every 24 hours from your computer and cell phone! THANK YOU!!! 

And if you're really feeling benevolent, “like” us -- on Facebook and subscribe here to receive this goodness in your e-mail inbox.
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- 
The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

32 comments:

  1. After you had Kevin as your instructor how could you not complain?! It is funny, isn't it? When we have that gut feeling and try and ignore it. I believe that is not only our instinct but God giving us a heads up! You totally did the right thing.

    Looking forward to seeing your curly locks!

    xxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susie! You know, back in a Intro to Bio class I took in college, one of my professors broke it down like this: "Some animals have hair that stands up on certain places on their body; some animals rattle their tails...and some animals (us humans) get a feeling in our gut -- and we need to trust it."

      That was freshman year, and I always think of those words.

      Thank you for your words, Susie. (And send your good beauty vibes this way in hopes of my achieving good curly hair, will you, please?)

      I need it.

      xo

      Delete
  2. Oh man hate when I have to do it, but yes I would have complained as well. Your little guy is so cute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Jennifer! Thanks, and welcome...

      Doesn't it suck when we have to be "the bad guy"? I mean, really, I don't delight in having to complain. But like I said: Leave. My. Kids. Alone.

      Just follow those simple orders, and nobody gets hurt. ;-)

      Thank you so much for commenting.

      xo

      Delete
  3. That stinks! I would've done the same thing as you and complained. Hopefully they'll have new swim instructors soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, fortunately, they do. (Which is the only reason I agreed to take them up on their offer to register Scotty again for free...)

      Thanks for co-signing, Louida. As much as I'd like to keep the peace, sometimes my inner Mama Bear must come out swingin'. lol

      xo

      Delete
  4. Of course I would have complained!! It's my child's safety in the water at that. Never go against your instincts, hope he has better time next time around :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I thought so. ;-)

      It should be smooth sailing when the next round begins, seeing as though there is now an anti-Bambi policy...HOORAY!

      Thanks for visiting -- and commenting -- mari!

      xo

      Delete
  5. I would have complained, but my complaining would have been wimpy. I suck at it. I probably would have found something nice to say about her and then said 'but i dont think toddlers are her forte'. I'm glad you said something. You don't want him to end up hating the water because he had a child-unfriendly teacher. Good for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "You don't want him to end up hating the water because he had a child-unfriendly teacher."

      This, this, THIS, Susan.

      As Scotty tensed up in the water and had that look of pure fear in his face -- a look that, mind you, was of pure joy and glee moments prior -- your sentence is what drove me to complain. And get this: During our last two classes with Bambi, I had even begun ignoring her completely, and Scotty and I would do our own thing in the pool. Was I teaching him the Butterfly?

      No.

      But my boy was having fun.

      Thank you for commenting, and good luck with the move!

      Delete
  6. One of the things you learn as you get older is not to put up with crap and to stop excusing others' behavior. It's drummed into our heads as we're growing up that "nice people" don't complain, are patient, try to get along, and are understanding. BUT crap is crap and being patient won't help. Yes, complain every time you see something wrong. Do not put up with bad behavior or incompetence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One thing: I love you, Lexa.

      Okay, two things: When in the hell are you coming back to the states? Come visit us here in Michigan.

      Thank you for sharing those words...words that ALL OF US can -- and should -- live by.

      xo

      Delete
  7. You did the right thing! I would have let them know especially since it a child class and she wasn't child friendly. I'm glad Scotty gets to go to a new class. Yayy for giving curly a shot :) You should check out MahoganyCurls on YouTube she has some gorgeous really long curly hair (she wears it straight too) reminds me of your hair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Cookie! Thanks for co-signing...

      Stay turned for my curly debut. I've said it before in one of my comments, but I'll say it again: Lawd don't let me end up looking like Bozo the Clown...

      Yes, I have perused MahoganyCurls -- both on YouTube and her own site. I LOVE what she does with those flex rods, but, alas, my hair is more than twice as long as hers, so I would literally have to put in a gazillion rods...and I would have so many that I wouldn't be able to fit under my hooded dryer! I love that look on her, though...

      My curly role models have been Curly Fit Chick, here: https://www.facebook.com/TheCurlyFitChic?ref=stream and, of course, the queen, Curly Nikki! LOVE those ladies...

      Thank you for commenting today. You looked beautiful in your feature earlier this week. :-)

      Delete
  8. I don't blame you one bit. If that were my niece or nephew, I would have gone ballistic. These are kids for crying out loud - the stuff we can tolerate as adults, our kids should not have to. Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel in my bones that I did the best thing-- the right thing -- and it makes me feel even better when I get a "Amen" from my bloggy sistas.
      (and SITSeas; lol)

      Thank you for taking the time to come visit and comment.

      xo

      Delete
  9. I totally would have complained right along with you. I probably would have treated it the same as you did, as I hate complaining and confrontation and all that, but this is about your kid, and that kid can't speak up for himself. Someone has to do it!

    Rock on, lady. Good on ya for standing firm. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stephanie! And I know we're two of a kind, in this regard: I know you'd do the same for Tycho David...

      xo

      Delete
    2. Absolutely! We've gotta do it for the kids. :)

      (Also, OT, but I came across this article and thought you might find it amusing, considering your curly escapades! http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/advice/problems-curly-haired-women-have)

      Delete
    3. Oh, dear, is this one of those articles that will make me reconsider my decision to go curly? If it does, I'm coming for you, Stephanie, for killing my dreams...

      Delete
  10. Good for you, I would have complained too. Can't wait to see you curly. You are right, curly ain't cheap! LOL.

    Sonya
    Saving Everyday With Sonya K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Sonya! Nice hearing from you! Thanks for the compliment -- I HAD to do it. Like I said: Don't mess with my kid. Grrrrr.

      Ah, the pressure about Operation Naturally Curly! Please cross your fingers (and toes) for me. I seriously don't know what the hell I'm doing...

      xo

      Delete
  11. I ran into a similar situation recently with Munchkin's gymnastic's class. He'd been moved into an advanced class which was then taken over by a new teacher. She was... okay. But Munchkin's learning curve (which had been pretty steep prior) completely flattened out. There was one time he was waiting for a turn on a particular piece of equipment, and every other kid went three times as he was waiting. Kid management is not her strong suit.

    I did complain, and unfortunately the gym decided to shrug it off with "there are difficult kids in that class," but I moved him to another one and will not put him back with her as a teacher.

    In your case, I would have complained at the strong arming of Scotty alone - seems like that could easily become child abuse - and there's the strong possibility that he'd learn to hate water! At least management heard and understood your complaints, and I sure hope his new session goes better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Dakota! Sorry -- I actually left the part out of the post where I did pipe up and chime in that I didn't think it was a good idea that Scotty be made to hold his ear under water (that is the mild way of putting it). Bambi replied by stating that "he would get used to it by the third time."

      WTF?

      After that, I began ignoring her (with her bird brain self.) After speaking with The Hubs, a lightbulb went off that ignoring her wasn't enough, and that I'd be wise to vocalize my discontent with management.

      I'm sorry you encountered a similar situation recently.

      What is it with these yahoos who work with children, when, in fact, they should be working in seclusion somewhere, oh, I don't know, polishing silverware or handing mints to patrons as they leave the restroom.

      Delete
  12. Hell yeah I would have complained. There's no excuse for bad service or experiences, especially when it comes to kids LEARNING TO SWIM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Dina. Let the church say Amen...

      And I'd do it again if I had to. I mean, not that I have even a modicum of regret in the first place...

      Thank you for commenting!

      xo

      Delete
  13. Hey Courtney - Chile, it's just starting. Why do you think they call us "Mama Bears?" LOL! You will find you will have to be the advocate because they are your babies and I say that and my oldest will be 22 next week. Now, I don't have to advocate for him anymore because he watched me do it expertly (for the most part, haha) and now understands when he needs to request a supervisor and handle an issue himself.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Wilma! (And you do not look nearly old enough to have a 22 yo; but then, I'm sure you're probably tired of hearing that...)

      Yes, in my short tenure as mom, I've learned that the Mama Bear in me is alive and well -- and I am getting more and more comfortable with letting her out of the cage. ;-)

      Thank you for visiting, and,, of course, for sharing your wisdom.

      (I'm going to reply to your e-mail now...)

      xo

      Delete
  14. You handled this perfectly! When it comes to our kids, we have to speak up for them. Like you said, swimming is supposed to be fun! You sound like a great mama!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Lana! Like you said, it's something we just have to do...

      And as time progresses, I am SO glad I did!

      Thank you for the kind words. (Jeez, don't we need to hear that from time to time? I know I do...)

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

      xo

      Delete
  15. *Waving Hello*! I absolutely would have called. You did the right thing and those motherly instincts were right on! Hope you're having a great weekend. - Heather, Life of a Traveling Navy Wife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Heather! Nice to hear from you, and thanks for stopping by and "co-signing" on my Mama Bear rearing her head. lol Grrrrrr.

      I hope you guys are having an awesome weekend as well...

      xo

      Delete