A few days ago i had to take my charge to the doctors. In the UK if you don't have an appointment set up but need to see the Dr that day you can go and wait in the Drs office until he/she can fit you in between patients. So we went to wait, knowing it would take anything up to two hours and settled down with our books and toys etc. There was another little boy about three years old doing the same thing, waiting with his nanny.
The waiting room was full of people waiting to be seen and we were sitting directly opposite the boy and nanny. I assumed she was his nanny as he was very dark skinned and she was white. Every time i glanced up from what i was doing the boy was sitting in the same position, hands folded on his lap, not moving or talking or looking at a book or holding a toy. The nanny was sat next to him but was kind of turned away holding a childs backpack in her arms.
As i watched, he started swinging his legs back and forth and she immediately hissed at him to stop it. I was so shocked at her tone of voice and the way he went completely still again. At this point i thought maybe it was the nanny who was ill and waiting to see the Dr and she was just too sick to handle anything. Two minutes later the boy reached up to rub his head and again she told him to stop it. By now he had been sitting for half an hour without moving, with nothing to do or look at or play with.
Next he very timidly touched her leg and asked for his bag..she reacted as if he had burned her, she pulled her leg away from him and glared at him with such anger and contempt, as if she actually hated him, and just said no he couldnt have the bag, which she continued to hold in her arms. I was so concerned about what i was seeing. No three year old can sit still like that for so long unless they are too scared to move and he was obviously scared of her. She sat there for the entire time with a face like thunder.
I was thinking of what i should do when the nannies phone rang. It was the mother checking on if they had seen the doctor yet. She must have asked to speak to her son because the nanny passed the phone to him. He said he wanted to play with his toy car..at which the nanny put the bag onto his lap..he looked at her with such mistrust it was heartbreaking..he started asking his mother to come and pick him up. She must have said she couldn't as he then asked if his daddy could come and pick him up. The nanny took the phone off him and as she was ending the call with the mother the boy started opening his toy bag. As soon as she put the phone away she whipped the bag right out of his hands again and told him to sit still. He had barely unzipped it and again she held it on her lap.
He went back to sitting still, occasionally rubbing at his ears or head and straightaway being told to stop it. I was so upset to think what it must be doing to this child to be left with someone who has zero interest in him and who does nothing but make him feel he disgusts her. Thats the vibe she was giving him. We sat there for two hours and her terrible treatment of him continued the entire time. It was a very hot day and the waiting room was like an oven but she never even offered him a drink of water from the cooler they were sitting next to.
Finally she took him in to see the Dr. I went to speak to the receptionist and said i was very concerned about the little boy and could she please call his mother and give her my number. Fifteen minutes after we left the Doctors office the mother called me. I told her what i had seen and why i was so concerned. She said the nanny had only been with them for ten days and that the little had said he didnt like her and that she was mean to him but they had put it down to the fact she was new and he wasn't used to her. The mother was very upset and said she would deal with it and thanked me profusely for intervening. She called me the next day and said she had spoken to the nanny who had been angry and aggressive. She was fired on the spot when she tried to justify her treatment of him by saying at least she had never beaten him even though thats what he needed. I am so glad this powerless little boy no longer has to put up with being treated so badly by someone who should have been taking good care of him.