Apparently, the women's 5-year-old son had hit and kicked the teacher, and in order to restrain him the teacher put him in a high chair. The mother was incensed enough to scream her for it. She was looking pointedly at us and saying "I wonder if all the other parents know that Mona [the director of the day care center] doesn't manage this place. That she has uneducated people like you watching the children." She accused the teacher of abuse and was screaming that the teacher should have called the woman at work and she would have come and picked up her child.
The parent was physically pushing the teacher, who was three or four inches shorter and at least one hundred pounds lighter, across the room. Although my daughter was still smiling and appeared okay (I was holding her), there was another child who came up to me, shaking, and buried her face in my coat.
The Pirate and I didn't say anything for about five minutes. The woman kept yelling at the teacher, saying that she was going to take her children and leave. We waited for her to do just that, but she wouldn't leave, and I didn't want to leave the teacher alone with that awful woman (granted, there was another teacher there too, but the parent looked prepared to take them both on).
I felt rooted to the spot. I didn't know what to say, because the woman was beyond the point where she was listening to reason. Finally the Pirate said "You've said you were going to leave. Why don't you just leave?" And the woman turned on him and screamed "Who the hell are you? Fuck you!" The teacher pointed out that the language wasn't appropriate in a preschool, whereupon the woman screamed "Fuck you!" again and left, slamming the door.
I stayed as the Pirate took the Baby Goddess to the car. I wanted to make sure that the teacher was okay, and get the parent's name so that I could write to the center director.
I'm really torn. My child has been there for a long time and knows and loves her caregivers. On the other hand, the teacher gave me to understand that this is not an uncommon occurence at the school, and I'm not happy about my baby being subjected to abusive, harrassing parents.
I hate being the grownup...