Monday, July 7, 2008

The Winnah!

I won the auction for the cute suit, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival.

Claire was awake from 2:30 am - 4:30 am for no good reason at all. Stupid canine teeth. Whose idea was it for babies to get teeth anyway? They shouldn't be allowed to get teeth until they can say, "Mom, may I have some Tylenol please?"

Mary Grace had gymnastics today. Once again, when asked what she liked best, she said, "Everything." We need to switch to a different time of day, though, because the 12 - 12:30 class falls too close to nap and lunch, and Claire acts up the whole time. To be honest, I'm not in love with the place we're going. We're going to investigate the other, more expensive place at the end of our pre-paid 6 weeks.

The woman who runs our current organization is always in a really sour mood. We've been 4 or 5 times. I have given her a chance, just in case she had an off day. At this point, I want to shake her and say, "Lady, they're three, this isn't the freaking Olympics! Have a laxative and get over it, already! They're here to have fun!" She yelled at me last week for trying to show MG what her teacher wanted her to do (put her hands by her ears, feet on the floor, belly toward the ceiling, and push up like a bridge) on the corner of the mat after MG's class. Um, hello, if you're going to put so many kids in each class that the teacher (and I use the term loosely) doesn't have time to explain to a two year old what she means by a "bridge" then you're going to have to accommodate the Mamas who don't want their little sweeties looking like the class dunce. Ok? And since our carpet was put down directly on the slab, it's sort of a "don't try this at home, you'll get a concussion" scenario. Besides, I've checked their website and all the walls, and "No parents on the mats with their kids after classes" is not posted anywhere, so she's just a cranky bitch who needs to get over herself.

I don't like being yelled at.

Today she fussed at somebody else's kid for not having her hair in a ponytail. Ok, fine, I understand that long hair and gymnastics don't mix, but would it be such a big damn deal to have a bag of hair elastics somewhere for the poor moms who forget things, occasionally, when running out the door with their 4 kids? Do we have to call her out in front of all the parents of all the kids in all three of the classes that are simultaneously going on? Do we have to tap our foot like some kind of drill sergeant? I mean, seriously, lady, if your biggest problem in a day is that an 8 year old (or an 8 year old's mom, to be fair) forgot to put her hair up, I'd call that a pretty successful day. If you think that's a problem, then your priorities are seriously out of whack, or you have a seriously easy life.

I understand that there have to be rules, that the rules have to be followed, and that if we give a kid an elastic, she'll have a pony tail for a day, but if we teach a kid to bring her own elastic, she'll have pony tails for a lifetime... but along with rules, there has to be compassion (don't freak out over nothing in front of the entire assembly, please) and the rules have to be transmitted to the people you expect to follow them (hello, one sign would've been a lot less embarassing than you yelling, sternly, "Ma'am, MA'AM! Parents aren't allowed on the mats after class!")

The other place in town is more expensive, but their website is gorgeous (as opposed to the current place - lots of spelling and grammar errors... Real professional), the gym is open and uncluttered (as opposed to our current place, which is cluttered and overcroweded with equipment and people and too many chairs), and they have a beautiful play area for siblings near the gym so Mom can watch multiple kids at once (as opposed to our current place, where the siblings area is a separate room, with a hallway and two closed doors between, and no windows, and where the toys are a complete joke - the kind of stuff that Goodwill would pitch).

Yeah, the place I'm considering is more expensive, but you get what you pay for. The lady was really nice when I spoke to her on the phone, too.

So, there you have it. Now I've become that mom - dressing my kids in boutique clothes (even if I did get them on ebay) and going to the expensive gymnastics place. I'm thinking about writing a letter to the mean lady at our current place, saying, "We're leaving, and these are our reasons. If you want to improve your business, you can do the following things to improve..." First, would be to unclutter and clean up the gym area. It looks extremely unprofessional, and could be hazardous. Second, post the rules somewhere. Third, try introducing yourself to new parents - we've been going for a month, and the only interaction that she and I have had was when I wrote the second check (and she was rude then, too), and when she yelled at me. And finally, try effing smiling once in a while.

What do you think? Should I write the letter after we bail, or should we just bail? Would you want to know, if you were the gymnastics lady, or not? Or should I just expect that the least expensive place in town is going to be low class, and let it go?


Megan Schell said...

I think the mean lady couldn't care less about your feelings and input which is unfortunate because you're right, it would be nice for some improvement (sound like it anyway)! I bet she knows the problems and would say life is too busy to care about little things like hair ties and posted rules. She obviously doesn't think about her customer and the other place does. Good thing there's even a second place to consider!

On a random note, it would be fun to see the scenario played out on a Malcolm In the Middle kind of sitcom. You should write a script!


Mimi said...

I would talk directly to the lady. Tell her that you are considering going to a new place and list your reasons. When people get a mean note they will try and say that it didn't happen the way that it did, and that shouldn't be the case. You would probably get a lot of feedback from her about the situation and you may be able to go to the less expensive place and have a better experience. Honestly, she may not care (and I would) but it wouldn't hurt to be direct instead of a letter.
I know, easier said then done!
P.S. Bridesmaid dresses are here!!!

Barbara said...

I say write the letter and let her know precisely why you are leaving. Who I really feel sorry for are the instructors conducting the classes who have to deal with Cruella de Vil on a daily basis. Ugh!

Ginny said...

I would definitely change gyms. I am an "all done" mom who reads your blogs. I found over the years, raising my kids, that you get what you pay for. Also, your child can pick up on the negative energy in the gym. My son would never play Little League because his T-Ball coach was a yeller and a screamer. He associated any kind of baseball with his experience as a 5 year old.

Check out the other gym first and tell them what you expect. Hopefully, they will be a better fit.

Remember one thing as you raise these beautiful little girls and that is that you are the parent, you are paying these people and you have a right to expect them to, at the very least, exhibit some type of acceptable behavior.

I would let them know why I was leaving.

Heather said...

No kid, NO kid, deserves to be publicly humiliated. Yes, this is a personal hot button. Even if your kid isn't the one being treated so horribly, she gets to witness it - and depending on her own maturity level, either she learns that this is "okay" behavior, or she starts wondering when she'll be next. Neither of these are scenarios where you want your kid - get her out, and don't wait until all your prepaid classes are done, either.

(Not to mention the red flag that comes up when an instructor doesn't want the parent to be involved in the activities. I can understand crowding, but I can also understand WELCOMING a little freaking HELP if the classes are that understaffed.)

I'm a wuss in real life (although that may be changing)... but in my head, if it were me, I'd tell this woman exactly why you're leaving, to her face, (maybe in front of the other moms), and demand your money back for the sessions you aren't going to be using. This person simply doesn't deserve your business, your money, or your time; take 'em all back instead of feeling stuck because you've already paid for the sessions.

I mean, jeez, my daycare keeps entire tubs full of spare outfits in case of spillages, accidents, or other wardrobe malfunctions. A package of hair elastics wouldn't exactly bankrupt the gymnastics business; neither would a magic marker, some poster board, and a roll of tape to stick some rules up somewhere.

Personally, I'd like to know the name of the place, so I don't make the mistake of taking the Monkey over there. Forewarned, etc.