This past weekend, we decided to go to church on Sunday morning instead of Saturday night (like we usually do).
Sweetpea was not looking forward to it at first. She really likes church and they have a great time in her classroom.... but there's this boy. Doesn't all trouble usually begin with a boy?!? There is a boy in her class who bothers her. He tries to kiss the girls and takes away the toys that they are playing with. He's already trying to get their attention! And he is succeeding - but my little girl wants nothing to do with him. So much so that she does not want to go anymore.
We thought Sunday would be a nice experiment to see if he was there. The good news about church on Sunday is that he was not there! YES!
By this is where this story goes from being about the typical problems that all parents face to an entirely different, much more serious problem.
The A/C was not working in some of the children's rooms. The 4 yr old/5 yr old class, the K/1st class, and the 2nd /3rd class were all relocated to our small theatre.
(Yes. Our church is HUGE. We have 3 services and our main theatre seats about 1,200-1,400 people.)
This is NOT Sweetpea's idea of a good time. A big room filled with big kids that she does not know is very intimidating to her. But she left us willingly and went off to find something to do before their church service (singing and story time) began.
J and I took on bets on how long it would be before we saw our number flashing on the big screen telling us to come to pick up our child - something was wrong.
When we checked her in and dropped her off, I told the teacher in charge (like I always do) that Sweetpea has diabetes. I mentioned her CGM and told the teacher that if it beeps or she says she's low, to call us.
Well.... we sang. No number. We listened to announcements. A number - but not ours. We listened to the sermon. More numbers... not ours. Time to go... We were shocked! We were surprised and happy that she lasted the entire time!
We stood in line to pick her up. She was waiting for us at the door! She was definitely ready to go but she said that she had a good time! She said that she had played with some nice girls and listened to the story and sang some songs ("You know, about God.").
She said that she had told one of the teachers that she felt low. She said that the teacher said "Low what?". I'm unsure if Sweetpea explained about diabetes. She usually does... but you never know. Sweetpea said that she told the teacher two more times that she felt low and the teacher ignored her.
Now, to be fair, it was a different situation than what they are used to. There were many more kids and many more, different teachers than there usually are.
AND... she was not low. Not even close. She just wanted to leave early!
But the problem remains... My four year child told an adult in charge that she felt low and the adult did nothing. That is not good. What if she really had been low? What if she thinks, "why bother telling a teacher I'm low - they just ignore me?".
It's a tough situation. Should we have told every single teacher in the room about Sweetpea's diabetes? Should we have asked her teacher to make sure the other teachers were aware? Should we make a fact sheet to take with her each week? (for the record, her name tag that she wears each week DOES say that she has diabetes is not to given food) Should we just not leave her in a situation like that?
What's the right thing to do?
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. And hindsight is always 20/20.
This is what we have decided...
* We are going to make a fact sheet (similar to the one I've listed above under the "school stuff" tab - just without all the information church would not need) that we take with us and hand to the teacher every. single. week.
* I am going to contact the director of the children's ministry to let him know what happened. I want to make it clear that we are not upset at a person and realize that last week was a different situation but that we are very concerned that this happened and want to do what we can to make sure it never happens again.
* We will use our discretion at times when the normal routine is thrown off. Maybe we wouldn't send Sweetpea into that situation again - especially knowing that it makes her uncomfortable. Or maybe, like next week when they are having ANOTHER field day full of running, snacks, and teachers that do not know her - we just won't attend.
It's hard to make decisions like these. I never want to do something that is going to make Sweetpea feel "different" or stand out from others... but it's my job to keep her safe.
And it's my job to make sure that nobody ever puts my baby in the corner!
(At least not because of diabetes!)