I was already in a foul mood because of the election results, and when I got to work, I discovered that C had a huge Velcro contraption on her knee - she'd fallen down the stairs at a neighbor's house and broken a small bone. We went about our normal routine, changing, feeding, and playing with the babies. However, four o'clock or so is the worst time to be in the infant room - for some reason, they all have meltdowns around that time. One of the older (very spoiled) babies was screaming because she wanted to be held, one of the very small ones had just woken up and needed a diaper change, and still another tiny one had woken up from the crying of the first two and had begun to fuss. C stepped out for a second to ask another teacher a question, and while I did my level best to quiet all three babies down, S came in. With no preamble whatsoever, she said, "Jess, you know C can't get around too well, so I want to make sure you know you may have to do more than you normally do."
Unsure as to what she meant - more than I normally do? - I stammered something like, "Yeah, of course..." then asked a bit sharply, "What is the problem?" (I think I meant to say 'Is there a problem?', but with one baby screaming in each ear and another in my arms, I got a bit muddled. What exactly was she saying here?
"Well, I just see you sitting a lot, so I want to make sure you're doing your part."
So many comebacks were flashing through my head that I couldn't choose one. First, does she think I'm unfeeling? Sitting on my butt while my friend C limped around with her knee brace? Of course not! And second, sitting on my butt, period? Excuse me? I only sit down when there is nothing to be done at that moment - which, let's face it, sometimes there isn't. Yes, babies are a lot of work, and nine babies are definitely a lot of work, but when the three tiny ones are sleeping and two are at the table drinking their milk and the others are on the floor playing with toys, I don't see any reason why I can't sit down while I watch them instead of standing in the middle of the room or whatever it is she apparently wants me to do. That's just ridiculous.
Anyhow, she left the room, but N came in later on after S had left. She's young, not much older than me, and is the polar opposite of S - she gets along with everyone. She said, "S was like, 'Make sure you're watching Jess on that camera!' and I was just like, 'Whatever, S, whatever.'" She knew perfectly well it was ridiculous, and she and I talked for a while about it ("She told you to watch me?!" "She's been watching you!"), and then S called back later (like I said, she always calls after she leaves, to make sure everything is all right) and she asked, "Is Jess okay?" N said yes and S asked, "She hasn't acted like she's upset about something?" N said no. "Well, because when I went in there earlier, we had a few... choice words."
I told N that if she ever hears anything like that again from S, she should tell her to come to ME about it rather than talk behind my back. But N can't really do anything without admitting that she's told me what S is doing behind my back, so I guess I'm just going to have to go in there prepared tomorrow when I get my check... because I deeply resent the implication that I don't do my job. You can tell me a lot of things, but don't ever tell me I'm irresponsible, because that's one thing I know I am not. It's probably better for me to say something to her first, rather than wait for the other shoe to drop, as the saying goes. I mean, what's the worst-case scenario? We end up fighting and she fires me? Fine, no problem - I've already got that other job lined up which will earn me more money anyway. What do I have to lose?
The only bright spot was talking to the mother of my favorite baby about the election. She thinks exactly like I do and had her own experiences to share. Wonder if she ever uses babysitters?