Oh, Mother!

, , , , , | Related | October 5, 2017

(I work in a reception class at this time, for kids aged four to five. We have just finished saying goodbye to all the children when we hear a noise from the toilets. We investigate, and find the little brother of one of our students happily playing with the water in the sink. All the parents have gone at this point, so I am sent to go and call the parent while my colleagues entertain the child. I try the first number we have for our student, but get no answer, so I leave a message:)

Me: “Hi. This is [My Name] from [School]. When you have picked up [Student], you left [Brother] behind. He is safe and I didn’t want you to panic. Can you call me back when you get this message?”

(After five or ten minutes of no response, I try the second number, listed as “Grandma.”)

Me: “Hi, [Grandma], this is [My Name] at [School]. I was hoping you could help. I have got [Brother] here; I think [Mother] has left him here when picking up [Student], but I can’t get through to her. Can I just check her number with you?

Grandma: “I ain’t dealing with that b****; she can f*** right off.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but do you have her number so I can get in touch?”

Grandma: “I deleted that b****.” *hangs up*

(I go and explain the situation to my colleagues and relieve the colleague watching [Brother], who needs to pick up her own children, leaving me and the teacher. I try the first number again, and this time there is no answer at all. The phone just rings out. Finally, over thirty minutes after the children were all collected, we decide to find the mother’s old contact information, which includes a work number.)

Me: “Hi. Is [Mother] there, please?”

Employee: “No. I think she used to work here, but I have only been here about six months.” *shouting in the background* “Yeah, she used to work here. Why? What’s up?”

Me: “This is [My Name] from [School]. I don’t suppose she left any contact information?”

Employee: “I couldn’t tell you if she did.”

Me: “I understand that. If she did, could someone ring her and let her know she has left something important at School], and ask her to ring me?” *trying to stress the importance of the matter, without outright saying she forgot her kid*

Employee: “Yeah, I will try.”

(I explain the situation to the teacher, who is cutting up some of her lunch to share with [Brother] as he is moaning he is hungry. It is now nearly an hour after school has finished.)

Me: “Should we be ringing social services?”

Teacher: “Give them a call and see what they think.”

(The phone suddenly rings. It’s [Mother].)

Mother: “I got a call to ring [My Name].”

Me: “Yeah, that’s me. I’m glad you got my message. I am at [School] with [Brother]. Are you on your way back to get him?”

Mother: “What? He’s not in his pushchair?” *noise in background as she checks* “Oh, well, I am in town at the minute with [Student]. I will be there in 10 to 15 minutes.” *hangs up*

(Twenty minutes later, there was still no sign of [Mother], no answer on her phone or [Grandma]’s, and social services advised to just wait for her. Nearly two hours after school has finished, the lights started going off and they began locking the doors. I left a message on [Mother]’s phone explaining the situation, and telling her that the teacher found a car seat and we were going to bring [Brother] to her at home. We reached the address we have on file, and wouldn’t you know, according to the new tenants [Mother] hadn’t lived there for at least two months. Eventually, two-and-a-half hours after school closed, we ended up sat in social services’ reception, waiting for [Mother] and/or the police to collect the child. [Mother] eventually turned up and collected [Brother] without so much as a thank you or explanation, and proceeded to shout at the social workers and storm out when they tried to find out what had happened. I wish I could say that this was the worst family I ever worked with.)

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