Thursday, July 28, 2011

Help This Woman: This Bites

You know the phone call. We've ALL gotten it..."Ummm, hello Mrs. BadMommy [Editor's Note: OK, so they don't actually call us Mrs. BadMommy, but they don't have to say it. Their voices just drip with it. Right? Kate] "You're going to need to come pick up your little one from school. Right now. He decided that he wanted to hit/bite/punch/kick/spit/Chuck Norris another child today. Oh, and he can't come back. Ever."

And somewhere between the pit in your stomach and rage and wondering whuck just happened, you meet the evil twins of motherhood: The Shame and The Guilt.

MB wrote us yesterday. She had THAT DAY. She needs the awesome power of MommyLand to help her throat punch The Shame and The Guilt. So grab your capes and tiaras ladies. There's a Mom who needs your help. [Editor's Note: Kate, please leave your whip and stilettos -- OK that is just wrong. Go change. This is a rescue mission; not a...a...whatever it is where you wear that. Gah. -Lydia]


Dearest Ladies,

I am so mired in The Shame and The Guilt today I think I will never get out.  I thought maybe if I wrote it all out I would feel better.  So, ignore this email, or answer it, or put it in the pile of crazy letters.  I don't care.  The catharsis is in the writing.

My not-quite-15-month-old Devil Cupcake just got kicked out of daycare for biting.  He just started this new daycare 2 weeks ago because the new place has more flexible hours and is both less expensive and less snooty than the old place.  He was the youngest in his class by a month or so.  And, it seems he was dealing with his frustration by biting.

Yesterday was the fourth time he's bitten in two weeks.  And they apparently have a 3-bite limit.  Which I did not know about, BTW, until this morning.

Intellectually, I know that biting is a very common, normal thing for Devil Cupcakes to do.  But, besides that very small, rational part of my brain, every other internal message is telling me that I've done something awful to raise an aggressive, mean kid.  Why couldn't I help him control his impulses?  Or, that I've damaged him in some way by switching daycares (out of my selfish need for just a little more kid-free time everyday).  What kind of mother lets her kid go to a place that makes him so stressed that he bites other kids?

I'm not terribly impressed with how the daycare dealt with the issue (for example, his teacher told my husband that DC was sort of a crybaby!!).  He's an active kid who seems to need a lot of structure - and that didn't seem to be happening in the new school.  But, somehow, even the rational explanation that this was not a good fit for him does not override the horrible Shame and Guilt.  I feel like I should wear a big red B on my shirt - or maybe MB for Mother-of-Biter.

Our friends and work colleagues go to this daycare.  How am I going to explain why we're gone after only 2 weeks?

Plus, there's the whole how-the-heck-are-we-supposed-to-find-a-new-daycare-on really-short-notice problem.  Or, maybe I just go back to the old place, where he seemed happy. I was miserable with the schedule, but what the heck.

Thank you for listening,
xo, MB  (Mother of Biter)

p.s.  I also feel completely awful about my kid hurting another kid. Like truly sick about it.

And one more, p.p.s  I'm a little afraid all of this might be because I re-watched all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I was home with the DC last summer.


So, MommyLand...send MB your best ideas, your creative solutions, and your big puffy hearts of support and girl-we-totally-been-there-too's. We all know the suck suck suckitty part of this is when we think we're the only ones in the whole history of ever that feel like this. If you remember, Kate's charming little man, Happy, also loves to nosh on other children, and Lydia's boy Hawk came thisclose to getting booted from school. So we've definitely been there before.

And it bites.

xoxo Kate and Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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