MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

What Would You Do?

Posted by mbamommy on September 28, 2010

I recently joined a gym.  There’s a bunch of locations and I can go when Z is in school and/or his social skills group.  So, it’s convenient.  I hired a trainer and he’s good.  We just started and he’s doing what I asked…kicking my butt.  Not quite to the level of Crossfit (more on that in another post) but much more economical and until we sell the house in Raleigh, Crossfit isn’t an option.  So, it’s effective.  They have a Kids Club.  I have S on a monthly unlimited pass for $20/month and I can pay $3 for Z to go if I decided to workout in the afternoons when he’s not at school.  So, it allows me a break from the kiddos for 1-2 hours a day.

Wanna know the best part?  They LOVE going.  New toys, new things to climb on, etc etc.  Which means if I say, “Guys, do you want to go to the Kids Club?”  They actually hustle to the car.  Z even asked me the other day if I was going to the “grown-up club” while he was in the kid’s club.  I said yes and he said when he was a grown up he wanted to go to the grown up club (endorsement for laying the groundwork for healthy, fit kids?  I think so!)

Sounds great, right?  I thought so.  But, of course, nothing in my life is easy-breezy with a kiddo on the spectrum and the snag came yesterday afternoon.  See, there’s two rooms in the kid’s club.  One with toys and one with this really awesome jungle gym.  The rooms are open to each other but the one blind spot happens to be where the emergency exit door is.  Now, there’s an alarm on the exit door that’s supposed to sound if someone tries to open it.  But, yesterday, they had a plumber come in to fix something in the kiddo bathroom and he used the emergency exit door instead of dragging his stuff through the gym.  And, just by chance, someone forgot to re-set the alarm once the plumber was done.

You see where this is going, right?  My little runner…Z…decides to open the door.

There I am, in the last 5 minutes of a fairly grueling training session and I look out the window and see Z & S running around on the sidewalk (that borders a busy parking lot).

WTF?!?!?

My trainer later tried to joke with me that he wished I had that much hustle in our session…we could’ve gotten in a few more rounds (I wasn’t amused).  I ran out and by the time I got outside the staff had already ushered the kids back inside.  So I started (loudly) asking What The Hell?!?  Why Were My Children Outside?!?  How Did That Door Open?!?

The manager came and explained what had happened, reassured me it’s never happened before and promised it would never happen again.  I’m fairly satisfied with the explanation and I plan to go in and talk to them more….find out what measures are being put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen to another kiddo.

But, what do I do?  Do I cancel the entire membership?  Do I cancel the Kid’s Club portion of it?  I REALLY want to be comfortable keeping my kiddos there because of all the aforementioned benefits. But…..I was lucky I saw them, that the staff saw them and that my kiddos didn’t decide to run into the parking lot.

What if there is a next time?  How confident would you be that whatever new safety measures they put in place will be followed by the staff getting paid $10/hour to watch my kids?

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?  Leave a comment and let me know.

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2 Responses to “What Would You Do?”

  1. Frankly, I’m pleased the manager took your concern seriously. Sometimes, it feels like you say the word “autism” to any non-trained caregiver, and they blanch and run for the exits. I would follow up in person with that manager to see what improvements they put in place, but be prepared to walk if that little voice in your head thinks something’s fishy. It makes me squirm to think about 2 little kids running around in a busy parking lot, and “runners” find opportunities, even if they “know” it’s a bad idea. But I also understand the pull of the fitness club. We need the exercise, too. I’ve driven miles out of my way to drop Chris at Club 4 Kids and then head to a yoga class just because I dreaded that much hearing my name called over the PA in the middle of the class: “Kate, please come to the Kids Club. Kate, to the Kids Club” [cringe]. Good luck!

    • mbamommy said

      I agree….I do cringe when I hear the loudspeaker. But, I didn’t even say the word autism. Frankly, it shouldn’t matter. The ONLY thing they need to do is keep the kids contained in the room. That’s it. Z is high functioning enough that most people have no idea he’s on the spectrum, just a little challenging. I didn’t think it necessary to let them know that. Kids hit the emergency exit frequently. It just so happened that this one time the door was unlocked and the alarm off.

      The resolution was good though. I had a very reassuring conversation with the manager and the staff and have felt comfortable enough to bring the kiddos there the last 2 days. In the end, it worked out just fine, thankfully.

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