Thursday, May 30, 2013

The McDonalds That Was

Here I am.  Sitting in the newly renovated McDonalds near my home.
It looks very up to date and slick.  Almost sterile.
There are some nice seating choices.  But I am going to miss the fish tanks.
The fountain area is the same.  Good.  Didn't need anything changed there.
The front counter is a little different.  Missing a register.  Not looking forward to coming here during a rush.
Now there is a computer screen that flashes your order number on it when ready.  I feel like cattle.

On to the table.  My kids picked out a nice one in the play area.
I had them move to one that would seat everyone.
lots more seating in here now.
But the play equipment is half the size it used to be.  Just asking for "incidents".
But, I admit.  Nowhere to hide now.  You will get caught.

My 6yr old was here last week.  He told me about the great new touch-screen computers they could play on.
One is already out of order.
I took a closer look.  I was expecting coloring pages.  Learning letters.  Fun with Elmo, or some other character.  Just some fun programs for kids.
It looks like one of the screens I have seen in many bars in the area.
Skill games.  Puzzles.  Etc....   The only difference is, you don't need quarters.
I. Am. Not. Amused.

There are also a lot of kids around.  I don't see any parents.
There are two tables of girls.  They range in age from 5 to 10.
No adults near them.
There are three boys playing on the computers.  With a little girl of about three, crawling on the counter where the monitors are.
Again.  No adults.
Four or five kids running around the play area.  Only one adult near them.

At this moment, my brother (D) noticed a young girl crying in the equipment.
He called over to the one adult near to draw their attention to it.
She put down her phone and thanked him.  Then yelled for them to come down.
We saw her talk to the two kids and send them back to play.
After this, D wandered over to her and struck up a conversation.
Apparently, she drove all the kids here in a stretched van from a Day Care in the area.
We saw the van in the lot.  With the business' name in bright red letters across the side.

She explained that it was only her, with 12 kids to watch.
When D came back over and told me this, I was shocked.
I have put my kids in Day Care/preschool at different times.
I even looked at Day Care for infants when our daughter was born.
The ratio of adults to kids is always higher than 1:12
And to bring them to a public place like this with only one?

Maybe I am way out of line.  Maybe that is all they need.
But obviously, if you don't know that one of the kids you are watching is hurt, something is off.
But then my brother told me what I think is the worst part of all.
When he went to talk to the woman, and then after he walked away.
That whole time.
She was watching a movie on her phone.

I reported it.
I sent a message to the State of Missouri.
I put my name on it.
Let them call me.
Maybe nothing will come of it.

But at least I did something.
And I will tell everyone who asks.
That there is at least ONE day care, that I would never send a child to.

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