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Really disappointed with my cm- how do i let her down gently?

(52 Posts)
cheekymonk Mon 25-Mar-13 17:29:43

Have been using cm for 6 months. she does school run with 8 year old ds and has my 2 year dd 3 days a week. I found her great at first, supportive with my dd's speech probs and I liked her less formal approach. However, after pushing for a daily diary I have discovered dd has toast, crisps and fruit flakes for lunch all the time. Sometimes more fruit is offered but that is the general picture. CM never takes her ANYWHERE. Every day its playing inside all day. CM has 1 year old dd of her own plus 2 school age kids also hers. She minds another 1 year old and another school age one. What comes across is that she has far too much on her plate to really give dd much time and attention. DS says he is ignored as are all the older children.My ds has been very vocal, telling me cm shouts at dd, its not a great environment etc and cm has admitted of late that dd has been a handful.
also when i turned on my phone this morning cm hasd text me to say her son was in hospital and she couldn't have dd today. No apology or anything. I understand she was stressed but still...
So I am hunting for other cms right now. i know i prob have to give 1 months notice but when do i tell her- its going to be so awkward and i don't think I can stick another month with her...

malovitt Mon 25-Mar-13 17:50:24

Why would you have to let her down gently?
She sounds rubbish. Toast & crisps for lunch and no outings?

minderjinx Mon 25-Mar-13 18:56:12

It is a difficult situation. Presumably you don't want her to think that you are giving her up because her son was taken ill, but nor do you want to be reeling out a huge list of complaints right at this moment either. Normally I would say it's only fair to raise your issues and give the other person a chance to raise their game to meet your expectations, but if you are determined to move on, I'm not sure there is any point. Plus if you do want her to work out her notice period, you don't want there to be a bad atmosphere for the children. Are you sure she won't in any case get wind of the fact that you are looking elsewhere? It would be very unkind to let her hear it from someone else. In the circumstances I'd probably just say I'd decided to look for someone nearer/with children closer in age to mine or whatever. It might not be the blow you would imagine if she is feeling overstretched herself.

drinkyourmilk Mon 25-Mar-13 18:57:38

I think lack of apology considering circumstances is understandable.
The rest of your post makes me uncomfortable. She seems to have taken on too much. She isn't able to provide the care your children deserve. She isnt doing her job.
You don't need to let her down gently. Just find someone else and then.give notice. If she asks just say you wanted a greater range of activities.
Have you mentioned your concerns to her?

cheekymonk Mon 25-Mar-13 19:01:22

I said I was unahppy at not knowing what dd did in a day hence idea of daily diary. Last week she didn't answer the door, her dd answered door with baby in her arms and shouted to her mum we were there! Sometimes she is on the phone when she answers the door. Lately it seems to have rapidly gone downhill and i think she clearly isn't coping. She's a fiery character and I agree she deserves better than to hear it secondhand but like you say minderjinx timing is lousy.
I just feel she babysits rather than actually CARES.

Laquila Mon 25-Mar-13 19:03:41

I'd say you've got to look out for number 1 in these kind of situations. It might feel a bit awkward telling her you'd like to give her notice, but it sounds as though you've made up your mind (based on some understandable doubts about her suitability for your kids) and so I guess you'll feel much better once it's out in the open. Minderjinx makes a good point about the fact that she might be quite grateful, if she has in fact taken on too much.

cookielove Mon 25-Mar-13 19:24:30

I agree that you are well within your rights to find better childcare however you will have to at least pay the months notice even if your not planning to use it! Lets not forget this is how she makes a living.

cheekymonk Mon 25-Mar-13 21:18:19

yes I know that cookielove- I want to deal with it all properly

SimLondon Mon 25-Mar-13 23:11:51

I would find a good nursery.

cookielove Mon 25-Mar-13 23:15:32

Sorry didn't mean to be patronising blush I read your op wrong and assumed that you meant you wanted to get out of paying it. Which believe it or not I have actually read loads of times on these kinds of threads confused any who apologies.

I suggest a letter stating the facts of why you are removing your children would suffice. It is a shame it has coincided with her own personal problems. However you and your children deserve a certain level of care which you clearly are not receiving.

Good luck in your new Cm Search smile

Dozer Tue 26-Mar-13 14:50:04

Sounds like your DS knows the score, and in your shoes, I would pull both your DC out a.s.a.p.

I also don't see why you should pay her if she is shouting at your 1yo! Surely that is breach of contract, but guess you can't prove it, and it'd leave less bad feeling and avoid legal wrangling to pay the notice.

cheekymonk Tue 26-Mar-13 19:41:59

I am very cross with myself as cm collared me in playground today and seemed to be looking for reassurance i wasn't cross with her and wanting to talk through what had happened with her ds. She did at least ask if dd was ok and what happended. It was the prefect oppto talk about things in a way but wasn't happy to talk- the playground was freezing and i was more concerned about the children really. I want to have some hope of finding a replacement for mentioning anything really. DD goes to nursery 2 days a week but they can't have her fulltime. shame as she adores her keyworker.

Dozer Tue 26-Mar-13 20:50:35

Don't beat yourself up, the playground isn't the ideal location for a tricky conversation!

ReetPetit Tue 26-Mar-13 21:14:54

it wouldn't have been the right time to talk to her op in the playground...

As for letting her down gently - you don't need to, really. Being given and giving notice is par for the course really in this job and not always for bad reasons (moving away, new babies, new jobs etc...) You just give the notice in writing and verbally and if she asks for reasons you can give them if you want to or not if you don't - you don't have to!

if you feel she has actually been neglectful or abusive then you should report her. Do you feel she has treated your dc badly or is she just disinterested?
what examples does your ds give of her shouting at your dd?

cheekymonk Tue 26-Mar-13 21:57:55

Disinterested I think reetpetit. She is finding dd hard to deal with at them moment- she doesn't smile anymore when she talks about her, kind of has this concerned face. I think she always found dd easy before and now we are in the 2s she is not! DS says CM shouts her name, not to touch things. Its just cm told me she ignored negative and focused on positive and Ds passionately disagreed with this and said it was the opposite. DS saw keyworker cuddle dd yesterday and he said ah, clearly taken with how much keyworker loves dd (she tells her this). I asked ds if cm is like this with dd and he said no.

ReetPetit Tue 26-Mar-13 22:03:08

thats a shame cheekymonk - sounds like there is not much interest or bond there which is sad sad i think you are right in moving her - have you got her name down for more days at nursery?
if she doesn't go to any groups she probably doesn't talk to other cms so i wouldn't worry about her finding out you are looking elsewhere - and even if she does, you have perfectly valid reasons for moving her - you can say you want a cm who does groups. I wouldn't want to think of my ds at 2 being cooped up all day in an oppressive environment where he is given no love or attention.

cheekymonk Thu 28-Mar-13 21:25:13

Its strange though, today cm gave me easter eggs for both children! she's not a complete cruella de vil but still not what i would like. She wrote in diary today that dd was 'fighting with her 4 year old' who is off school! DD has a mark under her eye from said fight! Every day cm seems unhappy with dd's behaviour saying she's looking for attention. Nursery say she is good as gold. Spoke to another cm today who goes to groups and she says the ones she knows are full but one is available in Sept!!! Seems a long time to wait!!! I am waiting for one to get back from holiday that i am banking on... Yes will ask at nursery too.

doughnut44 Sat 30-Mar-13 02:13:23

If you are not happy with the care given and yiu feel your children are unhappy then you need to make alternative arrangements for their care. Do you feel that there may be behavioural issues with your daughter or do you think it may be a clash of personality? Does the cm shout at the other children or just your daughter? I have to admit I have minded children in the past that I haven't enjoyed for one reason or another but no one would have known -especially not the child as I made extra effort to cuddle them as it did not come easily.
One of my mindees was aa good as gold for his parents and everyone in the world but for me he was very attention seeking but I put it down to him being only child in his extended family and centre of attention wherever he went whereas with me he was one of 3 so had to share my time.
Whatever the cause of the problem I hope you soon have it sorted x

cheekymonk Tue 02-Apr-13 17:54:20

Interesting doughnut, thank you. I think cm has got so used to dd being easy she seems to struggle with the more demanding 2s from what I can see. DS says he can't remember if cm shouts at other children. Today she said she had done 2 year check but would go through it with me another time as in some areas dd does not read well so that tells me there are some behaviour issues. I have spoken to another cm today who sounds lovely but is not avail the days I need her apart from 1 until Aug/Sept. Nursery can't change days either but we will visit this new cm and take it from there. I really don't want to wait until Sept and I noticed today dd was perfectly happy to go today so it seems problem is more mine! Cm did take her out today too but complained that dd seemed tired...

minderjinx Tue 02-Apr-13 18:12:55

The discussion around the two year old check is an ideal opportunity for you to learn more about what is going on here and judge whether it can be fixed. If there are behavioral issues and you can work together and support each other to address them it could go a long way to making your CM feel more positively about your dd and get their relationship back on track. It is also an ideal opportunity for you to raise the fact that you feel she needs more variety/fresh air/exercise/stimulation and suggest they get out and about more. I would also suggest taking what your older child says with some caution = he may have his own agenda and be enjoying painting a dramatic picture. As you say, your dd doesn't seem unhappy to go, so that would suggest she is unlikely to be being told off all day long.

cheekymonk Thu 04-Apr-13 14:25:49

Talking with cm today about 2 year check. Her responses will dictate what/how much I say. if she is open and I can discuss issues it will be a start. I have butterflies now, I am so lily livered!!!

cheekymonk Thu 04-Apr-13 19:35:58

Well...everyone was in coats when I arrived and it was clear it was going to be a quick chat. She was defensive about what she had written and said that it doesn't emphasise dd's understanding of the world which is very good for her age. DD is meeting most things, delayed in speech and handling her feelings acc to cm. I thinkcm does have affection for dd but I think through inexperience, struggles with her sometimes. It said a few times that dd ignores requests/demands and doesn't follow instruction but doesn't that go for all 2 year olds?? Will have chat with dh tonight. I am thinking about private speech therapy for dd too . Hope to get all these issues sorted...

nannynick Thu 04-Apr-13 23:46:45

Wonder why they picked now to do the 2 year check... Is your DD nearly 3?

HSMMaCM Fri 05-Apr-13 03:36:47

Probably did the 2 yr check coz she's 2 nannynick grin. Not sure why everyone was in coats when the OP went to discuss it though.

nannynick Fri 05-Apr-13 06:27:31

Yes but there can be a lot of difference between a child aged 2:1 and a child 2:11. It is School holidays, CM may be finding the 2 year old hard to deal with, so is now the best time to do the 2 year check, would leaving it to a time when there are less children (due to being at school) and when the child is nearer age 3 not going to give a better result. Why do the check when the child is being a bit of a handful?

minderjinx Fri 05-Apr-13 07:43:24

They are done ideally shortly before the HV's checks at two (which can be any time between 2 and 3 years) and I don't think there is a "better" result - it is a snapshot of the child's development at a particular time, rather than a question of trying to catch them on a good day. A lot of it will be about the child's physical and intellectual attainments and only a bit about behaviour. Professionals using it will be aware that two year old's behaviour can be a bit erratic. They may be interested in whether the reported failure to follow instructions suggests delay in understanding, but they may also conclude that the child is on track and that expectations are set too high.

cheekymonk Fri 05-Apr-13 09:45:03

Interesting you say that, took paperwork to nursery as I want to see how itall compares/do they agree etc and they said it should be done at 2.5! (DD is 26 months this month)

minderjinx Fri 05-Apr-13 10:25:51

The nursery may well have a policy to do them at a particular age, perhaps either because that spreads the work out over the year, or because it makes it easier (all children being at exactly the same stage when they are assessed) but there is nothing in the statutory requirements to say that 24 or 35 months is out of order, or that they should be done at 2.5. Obviously expectations would be different at opposite ends of the age range. Around here HVs are currently seeing children quite early - one of my children had his appointment at 24 months recently. So waiting until 2.5 would miss feeding in to the HV check.

cheekymonk Fri 05-Apr-13 18:16:51

Went in today for meeting at nursery, impromptu, think I just wanted someone to listen to me! they were brilliant, gave me lots of time and they totally disagreed with cm findings and asked whether they were talking about the same child! DD is meeting/exceeding in most areas, only the speech is an issue. They said that cm's next steps they knew dd could already do. They are going to look at numbers for having dd extra days. I have found a new cm that can have dd, just have to juggle days around abit. am still dreading talking to cm as its so hard to pin her down for proper conv. Felt a bit disloyal too today and did say to nursery that I didn't think she was bad but just had too much on her plate. I just hope dd will be ok with all the change but being indoors 3 days a week can't be doing her any good...

cheekymonk Fri 05-Apr-13 18:18:04

What was lovely was when nursery said that having dd is no trouble as she is so good. they said she is one of the better children at sitting for lunch etc.

doughnut44 Sat 06-Apr-13 08:52:10

I am going to be Devils advocate now. You seem to have a lot of faith in the nursery. I hope it isn't because they are telling you what you want to hear as opposed to addressing any issues your daughter may have. I understand you being negative about your minder -it does sound as if she has a lot on her plate and not coping. I am in a similar position s
As I have a 2 year old and 2 younger ones who are not yet walking. It is very hard toget out but if she made the effort she would probably see a difference with the children and also it is bebetter for her as she would have a chance to be around adults which makes a huge difference. The other thing to remember is that the weather has been awful for what seems like forever so if she doesn't drive that would be a factor in her getting out. The two year old I have hates being out for any length of time - even walking to playgroup.
Children do behave differently for different people. The circumstances at your minders does not seem ideal and she may be better off in nursery - do you think it is possible that having more than one carer is having an impact on your daughter? My daughter went to two different settings when she was little and in hindsight I don't think it was the right thing to do. Nursery will be doing t
Things one way and your minder another which may be confusing for a child.
As I have said previously I don't think that this minder is the right one for your child but I have been in a situation where the child has acted one way for me but a different way for everyone else. I broached issues with mum whose reaction was always well be can do it at home, he is only like that here. She did also ask if there was anything positive I could say about him. She really only wanted to hear good. He is at nursery now and is behaving in the same way for them and have also pointed out the things I did but for some reason she believes them.
Finally you say that it can't be good for her to be in all day but she won't be out and about with nursery much x

cheekymonk Sat 06-Apr-13 13:57:44

Hi Doughnut. Thanks for your reply. I do have a lot of faith in nursery but haven't always. originally dd went to nursery 3 days per week then when I increased hours at work I needed cm as nursery couldn't do every day. Around this time dd's behaviour went downhill at nursery and she was on time out a lot! I wasn't happy with nursery but dd seemed to be flourishing under cm who seemed unfazed by dd. Nursery put dd on an IEP and I heard about it secondhand so it was not a great time and I moved dd to cm for 3 days and nursery for 2 as I felt cm was coping better with behaviour and that dd preferred the home from home environment. However there has been a complete turnaround. I am not sure if something has happened in cm homelife as she definitely lacks patience with dd. I do feel nursery have addressed issues with dd and not been afraid to tackle me about it. They know I go to them with concerns and we seem to have a better relationship than we did.
I do understand it must be hard to get out with small ones but cm has pet rabbits and daily diary doesn't even show that dd can play with them or plays outside at all. I know it has been cold but there is still soft play, musuems, free groups at childrens centres.Cm does drive. I just get fed up as dd is forever being dragged to doctors, and stuff for cm and HER children. I know this will still benefit dd but its not ideal.
I really don't know how having more than one carer affects dd. I hope it provides variety and that if one is rubbish then she hopefully enjoys the other. I understand it could be confusing especially as they seem to disagree about so much but as my mum commented this am, dd is a very happy and loving child which tells me nothing is really wrong.
DD has been a monkey at home lately however, pushing boundaries etc and I certainly don't expect everyone to say she is an angel but cm's write up was harsh and she was defensive and embarrassed about it herself. nursery do take dd to local parks, they did a trip to the fish shop to buy fish for nursery which I thought was brilliant plus they have the garden so dd is outside more with nursery than cm. New Cm I have found does lots of trips/activities. Thank you Doughnut though, your post has made me think. I was guilty of being a bit reactionary the 1st time round and don't want to make the same mistake again .

doughnut44 Sat 06-Apr-13 16:16:20

Glad you aren't cross with me then for my post. I have been on both sides on the childcare fence and now I am a minder I can see why my childcare providers did certain things tgat I wasnt happy with. I hope your daughter thrives in her new setting x

danielle1981 Sat 06-Apr-13 17:39:01

Your not being unreasonable I would not be happy, my cm takes my girl out everyday ( even if it's snowing) crisps, biscuits are not allowed, I am a form believer that you can not change people I would start looking for a new cm other wise you will regret in the future.

cheekymonk Wed 10-Apr-13 17:04:34

Well ds has been with cm as well as dd for 2 out of 3 days. he loved his 1st day and asked that we keep her as he was allowed to be on his tablet all day and they didn't go anywhere! He had cheese sandwich, crisps, dunkers for lunch and fruit tray at snack time. I asked a few questions and apparently cm is mostly in another room and on the phone most of the day. I asked how much attention she gives to her little one and ds says she pretty much ignored all of them. DS took a video on his tablet of all of them in lounge dancing, my dd is on settee jumping and dancing and having fun but cm is clearly not in same room sad
2nd day they didn't go out all day again, ds on tablet again most of day. DS said cm told dd more today.
I am gutted and so stressed with it all. New CM I have found can't have dd until mid June (better than Sept that it was originally going to be).
I am considering reporting her I am so annoyed and upset. Kids seem fine bit what if dd had fallen off settee? DS says DD is more naughty at cm and I am sure this is down to lack of attention. He is still happy as she bought him a mcflurry today and they went to park (the day dd isn't with them!).

cheekymonk Wed 10-Apr-13 21:08:50


moogy1a Thu 11-Apr-13 07:46:38

She sounds rubbish. not rubbish enough to be reported tbh but still not good.
Lunch doesn't sound too bad and at some point she WILL fall off the settee, repeatedly at both your house and cm's!!
I also would not be in the least concerned that she's not in the same room as them when the video was filmed. She won't be in the same room as them all the time and it sounds like dd was having fun?
Basically, I would say she's more of a stay in home cm which obviously isn't suiting you, but please don't threaten her livelihood over it when your dd is happy.
I would also ask why your ds was sent with his tablet if you didn't want him playing with it? I don't allow children to bring ds etc. as it's a nightmare to get them off them
Anyway, I would just get through the next few weeks till June then hope the next CM is more your style

ReetPetit Thu 11-Apr-13 08:35:14

I agree with moogy. She doesn't sound awful enough to report but she sounds not great, dis interested and probably a cm so she can stay at home with her dd. I know a couple of cm who don't go out much,personally i would be climbing the walls but their parents seem happy enough , probably because their dc are happy.
I also agree with moogy about the tablet - my dc don't have them!! Don't complain that he's on it, you bought it and sent it with him!!

I would bear with her until new vm cannot start. Im not sure why you are sending ds too tbh - would he not be better off in a playscheme if its as boring there as you say it is?

I do have some sympathy with the vm - hi many mindless does she have? It can be hard to find places to go to suit varying age ranges, especially if you have a double buggy and the weather is rubbish.

ReetPetit Thu 11-Apr-13 08:35:45

Sorry about spelling - on phone

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 11-Apr-13 13:19:31

the food would annoy me, crisps.toast,fruit flakes cheese dunkers hmm are not healthy meals

fine once in a while but not every day

did you not discuss/ask what food she cooks and what she does during the day at the beginning like groups etc?

her dd opening the door is not on - i thought only cm could open and allow people in (something to do with ofsted rules, ) or is that something ive dreamt up?

dont allow your 8yr to take his tablet if you dont want him on it

the cm wont always be in the room but sounds like all was fine, laughter etc, be a very different story if your ds filmed and dd was crying/hurt herself and cm didnt come in

in the end dd seems happy there (minus the food and not going out) and you are going on your eyes and ears( your 8yr ds) who is prob bored and sounds the eldest there

cheekymonk Thu 11-Apr-13 16:08:57

Fair point about the tablet but I partly let him take it because I know they don't do much. He has gone to playschemes but moans about all of them!
I have calmed down now and today has been better, they have been out.
yes dd could fall off settee in my home and i'm glad she is having fun but she was in another room for ages.
Its because dd seems happy I have left it this long but there are just too many issues. CM had 6 children at start of week,her 1 year old, my dd, her 5 year old, my ds 8, her dd also 8 and another 8 year old. I just feel the standard of care/stimulation at nursery is a million times better and dd is very happy there. Yes the food annoys me too, its always the same!
the later comments seems to indicate I am being too critical but at the end of the day I am paying cm to care for my children and I want them cared for. Got visit with potential cm next week. Thanks for your input, good to hear it from your point of view. in hindsight I would not choose acm with a large young family of her own again. Its too much.

cheekymonk Fri 12-Apr-13 16:07:58


Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 12-Apr-13 20:37:47

If you are not happy with her, give her the amount of notice in terms of the contract that is required, and move your children. Things will probably not change with her so waiting for a time to talk things through may not solve your dilemma.

Give notice and move on.

NickNacks Fri 12-Apr-13 21:54:37

Not sure what else you're 'bumping' for?

You clearly don't like her or want to use her services so give written notice and move on. I understand if you can't get someone to take over immediately but that's something you need to decide.

I also don't think these are reportable offences. You just don't like the way she does things, that's fair enough but ofsted are there for serious breaches in registration and safeguarding, of which these are not.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

ReetPetit Sat 13-Apr-13 10:16:04

you have been given opinions op. Clearly you are unhappy with your childminder so you should therefore withdraw your children from her care. There is nothing anyone else here can say to you really....

And please don't tar all childminders with young families with the same brush. Many manage just fine. And she doesn't seem awful - just does things differently to you. But clearly she's not right for you/you for her, so move on.

moogy1a Sat 13-Apr-13 12:08:48

If it's any help, it can work fantastically choosing a CM with her own young fa,mily. I have 3 dc, 6 yo, 2 yo and 4 month and my mindees are given oodles of attention , love, trips out every day. It just means we are a "family" of 7 kids some days, not 3.
Don't assume that cm's can't handle lots of children including their own.
Good luck in finding someone who suits your needs better.

cheekymonk Mon 15-Apr-13 16:20:45

It seems my bumping annoys you nicknacks and reetpetit- just interested in peoples opionions that's all. Sorry if it annoys you ;)
I think my standards are too high by the seems of things and some of the cm here seem defensive. My direct experience has been that a young family has caused my dd to be given less attention but I agree that may not be the norm. Appt booked with other cm this week so will be withdrawing soon if all goes ok. I do agree with the post about discussing parenting styles at the start, that just wasn't done. So onward and upward and no more bumping, lol!

cheekymonk Sat 20-Apr-13 13:49:32

Have been to see another cm and love her. More of a nan figure and just lovely, lovely. I have apt to sign contracts next thurs but still haven't told current cm. am dreading this conv. I plan to say that we are changing due to current one having so much on her plate and being unable to do the trips I would like for dd and that dd's needs have changed during the last 6 months,no offence meant etc. There is no point criticising her to death and I don't want a nasty ending seeing as we will be bumping into each other for years to come. Does this sound ok?

cheekymonk Sat 20-Apr-13 13:49:46

Have been to see another cm and love her. More of a nan figure and just lovely, lovely. I have apt to sign contracts next thurs but still haven't told current cm. am dreading this conv. I plan to say that we are changing due to current one having so much on her plate and being unable to do the trips I would like for dd and that dd's needs have changed during the last 6 months,no offence meant etc. There is no point criticising her to death and I don't want a nasty ending seeing as we will be bumping into each other for years to come. Does this sound ok?

ReetPetit Sat 20-Apr-13 16:48:49

it sounds like the cm is not really wanting to look after your dd any more imo op for whatever reasons.

Just give your required notice and if she asks for reasons just tell her you have found a cm who's routine fits better with your dd and you.

Does the new cm know the old one? If so, be careful what you say to the new cm as cms do tend to talk to each other at groups etc so if you want to stay on friendly terms with old cm and been seen as a nice/fair person by your new cm, I would just stick with feeling that the old cm isn't a good fit for you personally and/or dd.

ReetPetit Sat 20-Apr-13 16:50:10

i also don't think you need to have a 'got too much on your plate' conversation with your cm. I'm sure she knows what she's got on her plate and if it's too much for her!! hmm

cheekymonk Wed 24-Apr-13 16:14:17

Cm now knows. Had to do it by text in the end as she said she had prospective parents coming around and I didn't want her to lose business but again in the middle of the playground was not a great place to do it but neither was texting. she seems quiet and hurt. Just asked for it in writing and no more has been said apart from her saying she had just got a bigger car to do more trips and new children would never compromise current ones. I feel terrible but hopefully will all be ok in long run. Thanks everyone for your input.

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