Frisking and Metal Detectors

I start my morning the same way every day usually. Get up early, enjoy a cup of coffee or a cold glass of water these days since I’m giving coffee up, and watch a show that I missed the night before. I enjoy a couple of hours of quiet blissful peace before the craziness ensues.

Over the years it never occurred to me to ever check pockets or bags. In my hand book that no one ever reads I set a rule that specifically says no outside food and no outside toys. Why? Well, for a number of reasons. Kids bring their own toys and they get super protective and it ends up needing to be put away anyways. Or it gets lost or broken. Not having them in the first place takes care of all of those scenarios. And no one is upset. Expect for maybe mom and dad who God forbid have to say no or take something away from their kid and have to endure a few minutes of temper tantrum. Build a bridge and get over it.

I ask that no outside food be brought mostly because then I have to hear the wailing of 10 other little voices of “Where’s mine”, “Oh I want that”, “Why don’t I get some”.  They sound like those stupid seagulls from Finding Nemo “Mine mine mine mine mine mine” Then I have to put the poor child in a place all by themselves so they don’t have toddler paparazzi ogling over their special McDonald’s hash brown and biscuit. And some have no problem reaching over and just swiping the food like that damn fox. Then even though the other 8 are wanting to do the same thing you hear a chorus of  “Swiper no swiping, swiper no swiping, SWIPER NO SWIPING!” Then the tears come. Damn it. Keep your kid in the car and let them eat the breakfast you rolled through McDonald’s for and for crying out loud rip that stinking toy out of their hand and leave it in the car. Most kids will “Get it” if you tell them you want to protect their precious from the other little hobbits!

This I figured went without saying that anything else that could fit in a hand or a pocket shouldn’t be brought to school. Now look I get it, things are over looked and sometimes kids are sneaky and they will try just about anything to get stuff by the parents and me. I found a bunch of things in kids pockets, bags, and purses. Chip clips, credit cards. This one girl even brought what looked like a handle to an exercise machine. Some U shaped metal thing.  How are kids left alone long enough to get a hold of this stuff? Some of it is innocent enough. It just blows my mind the things parents let kids get away with or how much they don’t watch what they are doing or getting into.

I thought I had it all figured out one day when something got by both of us. We had our normal day, morning activities, outside time, and lunch. Then we were putting out our mats and getting ready for nap time when one of the kids says “My tummy hurts.” I went through the normal barrage of  likely ailments to make him feel better. “Do you need to poop?” “Do you need a drink of water?” “Do you need to throw up?” “Did you get enough to eat?”. Things like that. Every answer was no. Until I simply asked “Whats wrong then?” And without missing a step he says “I ate Money.” …

You can imagine my face probably looked like one of those cartoons where the character is so surprised their jaw drops all the way to floor hitting it, bouncing back up, hitting the top jaw causing the lower to spin around like a cement truck. Dumb founded I asked “Where did you get Money?” Again like he does this every day “In my pocket.” Like duh it was in my pocket and I felt like eating it. *Smacking my forehead* The next thing that rolled through my brain was “Good god this is going to be one hell of a conversation with mom.”

Ok ok don’t get all nuts. That quarter, Oh yeah did I forget to mention it was a quarter that child swallowed?  Yeah a freaking quarter! I can barely swallow a claritin and that kid swallowed a damn quarter. Anyways, that quarter did not come from my house! At the time I was single. So my house stayed relatively clean. No coins laying around, no clothes, no dirty dished forgotten, or trash left on the table. My house was clean! I vacuumed and swept and mopped every stinkin day. Later we found out that kid got it out of his dad’s truck. Needless to say I ran a whole check on that kid and every other kid every day after that when they walked in in the mornings. I’m talking spread eagle frisking and pat downs. I even contemplated installing a metal detector just in case! I should have kept a “Keep sake” box of all the stuff I found in pockets after that. About a week later the same damn kid had a battery in his pocket. Thank goodness I frisked that little juvenile delinquent. If he had swallowed that we would have been in real trouble.

If you were curious, the quarter was found sitting at the base of his esophagus right before the stomach. It sat there for hours. It was scheduled to be extracted the next day. Except they couldn’t find it by then. He eventually passed it I’m guessing. Not at my house thankfully!

So when in doubt fellow providers…Stop and Frisk!

Oh yeah I almost forgot. About 2 weeks later I had a little girl shove little cooked peas and carrots up her nose. This month was just not my month. I tried just about everything to get them out of her nose. They were too soft for tweezers. I tried to squeeze her nose like a tube of toothpaste to get them to squish out. Nope. She tried blowing her nose. I even blew pepper in her face (Per her mother’s request) to try and get her to sneeze. She ended up going to the doctor to get them removed. Sheesh. Up until this moment I had never in all my years of caring for kids have kids swallow foreign objects or shove anything up their nose. Kids have a good way of showing you, you don’t know everything, you will never know anything, and if you think you know it all, you’re in for a rude awakening. Stop and frisk!

Stop-frisk NYCLU-logo

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