(obviously a day late)
Today is Parker's 6th birthday. Last year I remember blogging about my entire labor and birthday experience. Naturally I think about that day every year on his birthday. I remember and reflect on all the development and change that has happened since 2005. I can only talk about his birth because it is all I can think about....at this point in my life, his birth is the most significant. Today it isn't the same and it is making me so sad that I am not sharing my experience with everyone (and I mean everyone, employees don't really want to hear about their boss' most important day, but dammit, I tell 'em anyway!) A quick example of how distracted I am from the day; Parker was born at 8:32 on Wednesday June 29th, 2005......and today is Wednesday June 29th! I didn't make the connection that this year his birthday falls on he day of the week he was born! This is something that I would have normally known if I hadn't been so distracted! I am mad because I didn't, even though I know it is small and trivial.
So why am I distracted? Because I am livid. Why am I livid? Because I don't know what to do. About what you ask? The negligence that I have encounter at the day camp Parker is attending.
I picked Parker up early on Monday because after my meeting in Columbus, I was through for the day. I got there before they got back from swimming. He is the first kid in the room and I gasp be use of how beat red he is. I wish I was exaggerating but honestly, he was redder than you can imagine. I asked the counselor what happened with the sunscreen. Of course he hadn't been with the group all afternoon but was told that Parker claimed to not have and then one application was made. Fucking bullshit!
According to the camp providers he had sunscreen applied once to him....but seriously, you look at this kid in the sun and you need sunglasses because he is so white! I was mad. And something you have to understand about me is when I get mad, like really mad, I get quiet. I don't get outwardly angry until after I have time to collect my thoughts. I wish I wasn't like that sometimes because I hold my immediate response inside.....but anyway. I did what I thought would be best at that time. He has never been badly sun burnt and I have always thought that he would have his father's complexion as in, sunburn is gone in 2 hours. Well, needless-to-say, he follows my genes. Like I said though, I didn't know this, so off to get aloe we went. I covered that boy twice in an hour and a half, gave him Tylenol and sent him to bed. Enter Tuesday morning and little blisters all over his shoulders.
Now I am worried. I am sure that I blistered at least once or twice as a child but I can't remember if I did, I didn't know what to do. The obvious would be no swimming. But I didn't think that being outside with a shirt on would do any damage. I took him to camp and told one of the morning counselors about the blisters, that he has 2 kinds of sunscreen in his backpack (and had since day 1), no swimming, shirt on at all times and to make sure she told the other counselors. The day goes on, I make a shit ton of sandwiches and make plans for his Wednesday birthday. 4:45 my phone rings and it is the camp......the person on the other end tells me that Parker was burnt again and that he has really bad blisters, oh yea, and that he is freaking out a bit. How the hell do you let this happen twice!?!?!?! I snapped on the guy because he is the one who supposedly put the sunscreen on Parker the day before.
I get there and he is sitting in the office without a shirt (they had to pour water on it to get it to release from his skin) with people just looking at him and being astonished on what can happen when you get sun burnt. I "talk" with the other adults in the room. They all apologize but no one has an answer. They ask if when they put lotion on, if I mean he has to have it when he is just at the park too and not the pool. Yes you fucking idiots!!!!!! Sun is sun not matter where you are! The lady keeps apologizing, which I believe they are sorry but come on! Look at him! He is a sunlight magnet! She says something about informing her superior and said absolutely, what is their name and phone number. She calls him to the center.
Of course it is the first that he has heard of the incident. We talk in his office for over an hour. Mostly it sounds like bullshit because they are the one that provided the medical release form for sunscreen application. Someone knew it was important to put it in the packet automatically! Where were they on Monday?!?!?! He explains that the staff has had no real training on sunscreen, it's purpose and importance. Most of the people who work and attend this camp do not or have never used sunscreen. I get it but it isn't just a group out for the afternoon, they are a licensed day care provider! Nothing was resolved there.
The next morning, Wednesday, yesterday, after having to sleep in the same position on his back all night, we wake up groggy. And with another blister. Today he will go to the doctor. I cut off sleeves on a t-shirt so that we don't irritate or pop the blisters. Go to work and then the doctor. There really is nothing the doctor can do but all the nurses told me that it is better to have the doctor's report in case I pursue and further action. Then it is time for me to go to work and Parker to go to camp. I hated dropping him off and was very unfocused during work. I don't really think I did anything at all while I was there. He didn't want to go because he was worried the other kids would tease him about his shirt. The first 5 kids we walked by all asked him what was wrong with him. He was embarrassed. His group leader gave me a ten minute apology and assurance that she would be applying sunscreen once an hour at the pool or just outside. (That was one thing that I demanded to get done from the on out).
So now it is Thursday night. His blisters all popped yesterday and he is starting to peel. He is fine and I knew the entire time that he would be fine but I have never felt so out of control of his life and what happens in it. It was terrifying and it was just a sun burn. I have never thought about the places that have cared for him either day care, camp or before and after school programs because I have never been completely and utterly let down and questioned the care that was provided. He is and always has been very well liked by the leaders in the class or group. He is smart, outgoing and inquisitive. But now their negligence has me questioning my next step. I believe that they are sorry and that it was complete ignorance and because I believe that I don't think that getting all of my money for the entire summer back is necessary, but I am a minority in that thought. I want something to be done and they will be reimbursing me for his doctor's visit, but I don't know what else is appropriate.
It isn't fair either that I was/am more focused on this than I was his birthday. We still had a great night with mr at Johnny Rockets where they sang to Parker and then we saw Cars 2, which was pretty awesome. I was so drained of energy and so was Parker that I wish it could have been a better day all around.