Posts Tagged ‘daycare drama’

Too Young For Heartbreak.

People leave. It’s a fact of life. They move away, or die, or get new jobs. Whatever the reason, people we care about fade out of our lives—and there’s not much we can do about it.

It’s a lesson everyone has to learn. But not at age two.

Nevertheless, my Tori’s learning it now. See, she has a favorite teacher at daycare. A woman she loves to the bottom of her little heart. In fact, she’s been known to call me Mimi (her teacher’s name), breaking my heart ever so slowly (but that’s another story).

Last week, Mimi quit. She’s gone. And Tori doesn’t understand why.

All she knows is that her Mimi isn’t there in the morning. She’s not there to read her books, and fix her hair, and rub her back as she’s going down for her nap. No matter where Tori looks, she’s just not there.

She’s been asking for her. All week. In the morning when we get to school, she looks up and says “Mimi here?” And I have to shake my head no.

Last night, I could tell she was trying to make sense of it. “Mimi h-house?” she asked. “Yes, honey. Mimi’s at her house.”

“Mimi here?”

“No, Mimi doesn’t live here.”

“No Mimi?” She asked sadly.

“No Mimi,” I said and hugged her tight.

Then last night she woke up crying, calling for Mimi. That hurts on a number of different levels (I’d rather she call for me, after all), but mostly I just feel sad for her.

Her little heart is breaking, and I can’t explain to her why. I can’t tell her that Mimi cared about her, but had to move on. She just thinks she’s been abandoned.

And that? Sucks.

I had hoped we’d at least get to her teenage years before her heart needed patching.

Top Five Daycare Induced Insecurities

When I switched Tori to a big daycare center, I expected to worry about the quality of care she was getting. I knew I’d worry that she wasn’t getting enough attention. I thought I’d have to work to erase bad habits she picked up there.

But I didn’t think I’d worry about being judged. But you know what? I do. By the teachers, the other moms, even the front desk staff. It’s silly, I know. But here are five things I worry about nonetheless.

Tori’s appearance. Tori has plenty of cute clothes. Tons of adorable dresses. But at 7:30 in the morning? Her outfit usually ends up being whatever  is closest. Her clothes match…usually. But her socks? Almost never do. Which wouldn’t bother me if it weren’t for the immaculately dressed baby doll that shares her room. The moment I see that kid’s shiny shoes and starched shirt, I shrink inside.

Tori’s temper. Just about every other day, I get a call from the daycare center that goes something like this: “Hi. Just wanted to let you know Tori threw a temper tantrum and hit her head on the floor so hard that she got a little bump. We put ice on it, and she’s fine, but we just wanted to let you know.”  But you know what I hear? “Ummm, yeah. I don’t know what you’re doing wrong, but your daughter has some serious anger management issues. Keep it up and she’s bound to become a serial killer.”

Tori’s bruises. My daughter? Runs first, looks later (much like her mama). As a result, she often has colorful bruises—most of which have unknown origins. In fact , she currently has a black eye. I have no idea why. But I’m sure that the daycare people are evaluating those bruises and slowly building a case against us. If I suddenly get arrested? It’s not because I’m a child abuser—it’s because my daughter is a klutz.

My disorganization. Everything Tori brings to school is supposed to be neatly labeled with her initials. But I? Almost never remember—until I’m stashing things in her cubby. Then I realize her favorite blankie is in danger of getting put in the wasteland of unclaimed items. When the horror of this eventuality sets in, I start rooting through my purse, looking for some kind of writing utensil.This sometimes ends up being a half dried up pen, or a pencil, or worst of all, an eye liner pencil. I’m sure her teachers roll their eyes when they see Tori’s latest set of smeared initials.

My parenting style. Should I let her walk, or carry her on the way in? Should I hurry off or wait to see her settled? Do I say good bye correctly? Do I talk for her too much? These are just a few of the questions that go through my head every morning. Which the independent woman of the world in me knows is just a bunch of B.S. But the insecure mama? Worries,nonetheless.

I think I’d better toughen up before she hits kindergarten. Otherwise, we’re both in for a rough twelve years.

Change is Hard.

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?