Tori recently started at a new daycare center. An expensive daycare center. One stuffed with toys, doting teachers and kids her own age to play with. It’s a fantastic place for her to learn and grow and laugh.
She’s happy there – or so they tell us. In fact, her teacher informed me Tori’s just about the happiest kid she’s ever seen.
I’m glad. But I sure wish she’d turn some of those smiles our way.
Because ever since she started there? She’s been a monster at home.
First, she decided she would no longer take baths. At all. When we dip her feet in the water, she screams like it’s filled with hydrochloric acid and struggles with all her might to get out. We’ve done everything we can think of to reassure her. We’ve let her play in the tub with no water, bought new tub toys, even let her watch us in the tub.
But she prefers to remain dirty. I’m thinking of telling people we’ve decided to make her hair into dreadlocks.
And then there’ s the temper tantrums. Good lord, are there temper tantrums.
She screams when we want her to come inside.
She screams when we put her in her highchair to eat dinner.
She screams when we try to feed her.
She screams when we let her feed herself.
She screams when we take forbidden items ( like steak knives and razor blades) away.
She screams when we give her toys to play with.
She screams and she screams and she screams.
And when she’s done screaming, it’s time for bed. Which also makes her scream.
Until, that is, I gather her up in my arms like I did when she was an itty bitty baby and rock her to sleep. Then she’s my sweet, snuggly little girl again.
Those moments are enough to get me through the screams of the next morning and off to the daycare center.
And then there’s the worst moment of all – the moment I have to pry her nervous body off me and hand her over to her teacher (a dear sweet lady). The moment she reaches for me and in a sad little voice says, “Nooo, mommy.”
Those are the words that echo in my head. All. Day. Long.
Change is hard. For all of us. Tell me it will get better soon?