Monday, May 27, 2013

You mean THIS scratch?

When I picked up Raphaela today from Gan, she seemed her usual self, happy to see me and tell me about her day as we walked home.  I happened to notice a new small scratch on her nose, and asked (without leading) how she had gotten scratched.

Her response?  She lifted up her shirt and said, "Oh, do you mean THIS scratch?"  Across her entire  stomach were three large red inflamed scratches, as if she had been side-swiped by a lion, no exaggeration.

In shock, and knowing that it couldn't wait until tomorrow, we turned around and returned to the nursery school, whereupon I showed the wound to the manager of the Gan.  She immediately called over Raphaela's teacher, and we all did a "walk through" of the play area where the event took place.  After much searching, Raphaela picked up a thin piece of bamboo from the sand box, and explained that she and two other boys had been "playing Doctor," the two boys were the doctors and she was the patient and they "fixed her."  (Some vague illusion to the Chiropractic adjustment?)

It did not calm me at all to know that at some point my child may have been unsupervised, or that she felt it was normal to get scratched as long as it was part of a game they were all enjoying.  General apologies abounded, and Raphaela and I went home because I did not want to put her through any more stress regarding this story.  At home I sterilized the area and rubbed in anti-biotic cream, and hopefully her bath will make it better as well.

I am feeling various emotions at the moment, angry because the scratch under Raphaela's eye seems to be disappearing too slowly for my taste, and may even scar; this took place over two months ago by another girl in the class known as The Scratcher, which implies a certain level of lack of control and malice.   I don't want my daughter to have any further battle markings from nursery school, no matter how "acceptable" it is within the Israeli school system to experience base line violence.

And yet I give her Gan credit, within the past hour I have gotten calls from both her teachers and from the manager herself, all of them sounding quite perturbed, all of them swearing to clarify the situation and rectify it as much as possible.  The Head Teacher plans on having a talk tomorrow with all the children in the class, defining clearly the boundaries of play, and reinforcing the fact that no one has the right to touch our bodies in inappropriate ways.

1 comment:

Midlife Singlemum said...

My daughter got a very deep scratch right down her face in her first week of gan when she was 19 months. It took the whole year and more for the scar to fade. The regulalar ganenet whom we loved was away on maturnity leave and the sub didn't even call me to explain, apologise, nothing. I waited three days until she was in gan again at drop off time. As you can tell I still feel upset about this three years later. In the end no harm was done but had this been the regular ganenet I would have made more of a noise about it.