Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bloom (11/22/12)
TITLE: Babies, Bibles and Blooms
By Tim Pickl
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The owner of Quality Child Care met me at the door, which I thought was impressive, because Mrs. Bloom was an extremely busy lady, because Quality Child Care has 14 locations scattered around the city. Perhaps she saw my research paper as an opportunity for more publicity; I suppose that could have been her initial motivation to allow me to gather information at one of her facilities.
“Good morning, you must be Annabelle.”
“Yes—good morning Mrs. Bloom, it is so nice to meet you in person. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about you.”
“All good things, I hope?”
“Oh yes. My Child Psychology professor always speaks highly of you in class.”
“Oh, I bet he does.” Mrs. Bloom replied with a chuckle. “We grew up together and went to the same schools.”
“So, where do you want me to start?”
“I want to start by showing you a video we recently took of one of the toddlers. You can use it if you want to, but I thought it was so cute you’d get a kick out of it. Come this way—my office is in the back of the facility.”
I followed Mrs. Bloom to her office. This was the original Quality Child Care facility and was recently remodeled. The hallway had freshly painted white walls with handprints of every color in the rainbow on the bottom part of the walls; each set of handprints had a name carefully stenciled under them. The top part of the hallway walls was painted with red, blue, yellow and green balloons. Surprisingly to me, Mrs. Bloom’s office had not been remodeled; but was still had its humble small wooden desk and 1990s worn leather chair.
“Go ahead, Annabelle. Have a seat. Is there anything I can get you? Coffee… water?”
“No, thank you. I am good.”
“Okay, just let me know.”
Mrs. Bloom had a laptop on her desk, and spun it around so Annabelle could see it. “Here, watch this—it will only take a couple of minutes.” She pulled up a digital video and clicked the Play button. “This is a video we just had to take. Check this out—one of our teachers took this with her iPhone. They are pulling up at McDonald’s on a field trip. See the golden arches. Okay I’ll be quiet now.”
The video showed the restaurant from the point-of-view from the passenger-side in the front of the Quality Child Care transport van. It was focused first on the McDonald’s sign, then on the front of the store, then on the double entrance doors. In the background, softly at first, but then louder and louder one of the toddlers was crying out, “Bible, bible. I wanna bible!” The video quickly panned over to the toddler, still strapped in her car seat. Over and over again she excitedly said, “Bible, bible, bible!” The teacher taking the video started laughing and soon the driver was laughing with her. The toddler never stopped.
I laughed out loud.
Mrs. Bloom explained. “We finally figured it out later: the precious little girl was saying ‘burger, burger’. Of course we complied.”
“That is so funny—so cute.”
“Wait a sec—I have another one. Is this okay?”
She searched for about a minute and then pulled up another video. This time the children were outside crawling, climbing and jumping on the onsite Quality Child Care playground. It’s autumn and the children were wearing coats. Mrs. Bloom was supervising the children. The camera focused on one giggling child as he climbed up the stairs and careened down the slide, over and over again. Then, it followed him as he climbed on a merry-go-round and spun on that for awhile. One of the teacher’s helpers gently stopped the merry-go-round and encouraged the children to get off. The boy jumped off and as he tried to run toward Mrs. Bloom, he swayed left-and-right and then fell backwards.
Mrs. Bloom rushed to his aid. “Are you okay, honey?”
“Yes’m, I okay. I faw down an’ go bloom.”
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