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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday was a hard day. I took DC (DD-almost 2 YO and DS 5 MO) to visit the day care center that we are considering enrolling them in. DH had to work and so I took them alone. I don't have much experience traveling alone with my DC because they are so young and are a handful, DD is especially because she wants to be independent, be free to explore and walk alone. But she is 2 and doesn't have good judgement yet. I was visualize a good trip, hoping that DD did not bite DS's fingers while in the double stroller as she has done on ocassion.<br><br>
We took the subway. On the way there, I was totally ready. We sang Com'on Ride the Train, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Elmo's Song. We went fast across the streets and had a nice 20 min walk. They were fascinated with the elevators and a little afraid of the fast drops. We got there in one piece feeling happy.<br><br>
Then we had to wait 10 mins to be let into the building because of security. DS was getting fussy and too hot, so I took him out of the stroller to take off his coat. I asked DD if she wanted to take off her coat, but she said no. She wanted to walk. We needed to stay near the guard and not wonder off until our chaperone came to get us. She was getting antsy.<br><br>
Finally we got down to the center and I needed to fill out some papers. DD was playing out in the entry which was fine with me, but the teacher wanted her to come away from the elevator. I knew that she would not get on it, but I guess it was another security thing. DD got restless. She scratched DS on the head. The teacher started saying how that would be an immediate call to us if she behaved that way at the center, blah blah blah. I told her that it was a good thing because she has never behaved that way with children other than her brother. I know that's not good, I feel like I'm admitting that we are an awful family where our kids beat each other up. I started to feel judged and so I picked up DS and calmed him. I kissed his head and put him back in the stroller. DD wanted my attention, which is why she scratched DS in the first place, so I put the forms away. DH was trying to call my cell, but I had bad reception. I was getting really annoyed with him for not being there to help me with the forms because I didn't have his SSN or work address. And he kept calling to see how it was going. The teacher kept asking about DS's head. There was a little blood. DD was becoming completely defiant, leaving the room and not responding to my requests to come back. I was feeling to teachers suck their teeth at me not being able to handle my DC, but I kept calm and tried to get DD in a place where she could explore.<br><br>
I asked to just go around to the classroom that DD would be in, and we got to go there. The other children were in the bathroom, so she explored the room happily. Then the guide led us to the bathroom. The kids all seemed to be in a bad mood because they wanted to go back to play. The teachers were calm and respectful, but they didn't want to be there. DD started clinging to me. I took her back into the classroom, but on the way back, a bunch of classes were coming down the hall and DD got scared. She started crying and reaching for me. I took her hand and got her back into the room, but by then, she was did not want to leave my side. I sat on the floor with the other kids and tried to encourage her to read with them. During this whole time, the adults and kids were very interested in DS who was kicking his legs and smiling in the Bjorn.<br><br>
There was some confusion about which class DD would be in, so we had to go to a bigger room with 13 kids. She was intimidated, but she played with the instruments that we sat down beside. A couple of kids came over to say hi and they wanted to talk to DS. DD started talking to DS, too. I thought she was starting to warm up, but out of the blue, she hit him. By then, I was coming undone. I told her to be nice to her brother to show the other kids how to be with gentle with the baby. I was worried that they would want to hit him, too.<br><br>
DS wasn't too phased. He was still smiling. The kids sat down for lunch and they invited DD to join them. She didn't want to go to the table, but it was her lunch time and I know that she was hungry. I decided to leave so that we could get some food.<br><br>
On the way out, the guide asked me for the papers. I had to sit down to fill them out before we left. I was tired. DS was crying to be nursed. DD was crying to be nursed. I didn't have a place to sit and get comfortable. I needed to change DS's diaper. I didn't have all of the info for the forms. DD was leaving the room again and I was trying to get her back. She wasn't listening. She tried to hit DS again, and the teacher from before said that she was a handful. I agreed. She is, but she's also a great kid.<br><br>
By then I lost my perspective and I hissed at DD to stop it. I just ignored the crying kids to try to finish the paperwork. As soon as we could go, I strapped DD into the stroller and left. When I got upstairs, I found a corner and nursed DS while DD got herself some water. She was still in the stroller that I had pushed up to the fountain, standing up. I knew it wasn't safe, so I tried to get her to sit back down. Of course she wanted to climb on the fountain and splash in the water after being constrained for so long. I put DS back in the stroller and bent for a second to slip the bjorn in the basket. Then it happened, DD bit him. He started wailing. I picked him up and carried him out of the building pushing the stroller with one hand. People were nice. They opened doors for us.<br><br>
I must have looked like I was as miserable as the kids. I kissed them both and told them that I loved them.<br><br>
Finally we got to the cafe and had some pizza and fruit. DD ate happily. DS fell asleep. I told DD that we were going to have lunch then go home for a nap. We left feeling a little better. I decided to walk home instead of dealing with the trains and elevators. I was in a bad mood, but I started singing thinking that we could make a fun trip of the walk. DD started swatting at DS's head again. I can't walk a mile with him on my chest, so I asked her what she needed. She wanted his blanket. I put him in the bjorn and gave it to her. She played with it for a while. It started to rain. I put him back in the stroller and tucked him in with the blanket so that I could go faster and hopefully get a bus. I sat down for a moment and told her that she was going to practice hands-on-lap and hands-and-teeth-to-self then fall asleep. I was angry with her and I showed it. She tried to laugh at my angry face and mean voice, but I know that it scared her. I consider that the lowest point of the day. I wanted to punish her for her behavior and I didn't even want to consider what might have triggered it.<br><br>
She fell asleep. Then DS started crying again. He wanted to get out of the stroller. When we got home, I took him out so that he would not wake DD. When we got on our floor, I was ready to punch my neighbor who wanted to say hi. I just whispered hello and walked past her. DD slept and DS wanted to play. I calmed down and had something to eat. I put some EBM on his scratch.<br><br>
When DD woke up, I apologized for not recognizing that she was afraid at the new school and for not being able to comfort her when she needed me. She nursed and was happy. She made a mess with her snack, but the rest of the evening, she was completely agreeable. She played with DS without a single hit or scratch. She tickled him until she snorted with laughter. I stayed close, but she was not interested in hitting him.<br><br>
I am annoyed with myself for getting frazzled and for reacting to the judgement I felt at the school. I didn't feel comfortable enough to nurse DD while there and I think that would have saved DS some trouble. I would like some advice on how to keep my focus next time to understand what DD needs at the time. I need some strategies for finding a place to sit and take care of the kids when we are away from home and don't have the shelter of the car.<br><br>
Thanks for reading this far!<br><br>
Mo
 

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I think you did the best you could under the circumstances and shame on the teachers there for making you feel bad. Surely they can regonize that kids have their "moments" and that their behavior is based on how "bored" they are etc Did you ask them about how they handle situations like hitting and biting? I would have been interested to hear how they handle those incidents....<br><br>
Anyway, I have *SO* had those days and to be honest, I just have really, really low expectations anytime I have to take both kids to a place that I know older DD will not have freedom to roam. I expect crying, misbehavior, etc and just try to endure it and get whatever the chore is done as quickly as possible....I find that if I have low expectation and expect them to give me a hard time, then I'm pleasantly surprised if things go well! LOL<br><br>
Don't worry about it, you did the best you could and the situation was a hard one....<br>
peace,<br>
robyn
 

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What the teacher said to you is unacceptable! he just met your dd! what was she thinking? any teacher who would say that my child was a handfull, would get an earfull from me!<br><br>
I think you handled the whole thing very well. on a fitst visit to a daycare, there shouldn't be alot of paperwork....more information than anything, and lots of observing.
 

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Oh gosh, what a rotten day for you and your kiddos. I'm so sorry! You did nothing wrong at all... it was just one of those days. They happen.<br><br>
I also think the adults at the daycare sound a little whacked. Sorry -- but they should know enough about child development to understand that sibling rivalry is a whole different ballgame than behavior between peers at school. They should have recognized that instead of threatening you over the scratch, and they also should have been sensitive to the fact that they needed to focus attention on the students and on the prospective student, and NOT her baby brother. Seriously. They were making things worse for her by doting on him.<br><br>
And -- they should have offered you a place to change the baby and nurse them both. Good grief. I work in an infant/toddler room at a montesorri school. I would totally notice the signs of a stressed out mom, and try to my best to figure out what you need in the moment. The last thing I would have done was demand paperwork! Why could you not take it home and mail it back? For heaven's sake. Its not like they don't do this with parents ALL THE TIME. I seriously doubt you were the first mom they've had visit with her hands full.<br><br>
I'm so sorry about your crappy day. Please allow yourself to have had a bad day, without self-recriminations or feeling like a failure. Every single one of us has had days like you had, where things just come unravelled. Its okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for your sympathy, mamas. I was feeling pretty down about it. I really want to help DD learn how to cope in stressful situations, and I feel that I did do such a good job coping after a while.<br><br>
I also think the adults at the daycare sound a little whacked. Sorry -- but they should know enough about child development to understand that sibling rivalry is a whole different ballgame than behavior between peers at school. They should have recognized that instead of threatening you over the scratch, and they also should have been sensitive to the fact that they needed to focus attention on the students and on the prospective student, and NOT her baby brother. Seriously. They were making things worse for her by doting on him.<br><br>
And -- they should have offered you a place to change the baby and nurse them both. Good grief. I work in an infant/toddler room at a montesorri school. I would totally notice the signs of a stressed out mom, and try to my best to figure out what you need in the moment. The last thing I would have done was demand paperwork! Why could you not take it home and mail it back? For heaven's sake. Its not like they don't do this with parents ALL THE TIME. I seriously doubt you were the first mom they've had visit with her hands full.<br>
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Thanks for pointing this out, Mamaduck. You are right. I think it was a lack of communication that lead to this experience. My DH was planning to go to fill out the application. There is a 2 month waitlist for DD and 6-8 months for DS. We wanted to get the application done and pay the fee so that we could get DD on asap. But I wanted to take her to see it before we committed the $150. There is such a high demand for decent day care here that they can charge these prices and still have long waits. The Director was out and she had the tots teacher sitting in for her. I don't think she was prepared for me to come in with the kids, but I still think she should have been more helpful. She didn't do much to make me feel at home. Now I'm wondering if it's going to be a good fit afterall. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Bless your heart!<br><br>
Why on earth wouldn't the teacher/substitute director offer your child some toys or paper and pens or *something* to do while you were filling out paperwork? What kind of dodo doesn't get that 2 yr. olds often can't stand still in one place for minutes on end? Especially dodos who work with 2 yr. olds for a living??<br><br>
I hate to say this, but I might look elsewhere. I think you've just gotten a glimpse of the writing on the wall. At a minimum, I would call the Director and express my surprise at how mediocre her staff seemed at dealing with children in an age appropriate way. Bleh. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that, and then walk away thinking it was YOU! It wasn't!!
 

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i think you coped amazingly well and deserve a medal - and i would definitely think again about the school, i cannot believe that they didnt see what a difficult time you were all having and either offer to help, or tell you it was ok and that you could fill the forms in whenever you had time and drop them in later.<br><br>
i would have completely irrupted with all that stress, i think you handled it amazingly.
 

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Whew. Just reading your post made me feel stressed out. Taking two little kids on a long outing like that, where your dd had to wait a lot in an unfamiliar environment, it was hard to find a place to nurse and change diapers, much less being judged by snooty adults...ugh, and having to fill out forms while your kids are losing it! I think you did fine considering the circumstances!<br><br>
I know how you feel, though. I end up hissing at dd when I'm stressed and she's acting out and I feel very un-GD. I'm trying to be an unconditional parent also, but it is hard to always know the right thing to do or say under pressure. My only suggestion would be to try to completely prepare your dd before going on a trip like that again. Talk a lot about what it will be like and how you expect her to behave. Maybe make sure you've got stuff to occupy her and a variety of snacks. Just take a second when dd is getting wild and get down on her level and look her right in the eye and ask her kindly what she needs. She may not even know at her age, but you might make some suggestions of things to calm her down. I've got two little ones (almost 3 and 5 months) and I have been in your shoes. It's hard, mama!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>monkey's mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912598"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Bless your heart!<br><br>
Why on earth wouldn't the teacher/substitute director offer your child some toys or paper and pens or *something* to do while you were filling out paperwork? What kind of dodo doesn't get that 2 yr. olds often can't stand still in one place for minutes on end? Especially dodos who work with 2 yr. olds for a living??<br><br>
I hate to say this, but I might look elsewhere. I think you've just gotten a glimpse of the writing on the wall. At a minimum, I would call the Director and express my surprise at how mediocre her staff seemed at dealing with children in an age appropriate way. Bleh. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that, and then walk away thinking it was YOU! It wasn't!!</div>
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Yeah,that. Are there other daycare centers you are also considering? I think I'd shop around a little more,kwim?
 

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Can I just say that even though I come from a very punitive background and am new to the idea of UP, everything that happened sounded very normal for a tired, over-stimulated 2 year old?<br><br>
And that I was feeling tired and stressed just reading your post, and I'm not two years old? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I'm wondering if you could give your 2 year old a simpler explanation next time... something like, "That was really stressful, wasn't it? I felt scared and tired, too. I'm sorry I spoke meanly to you. That wasn't very nice of me."<br><br>
You can always validate her feelings by telling her you are feeling similar things, and she'll learn in the process that when you do react badly to a situation, it's important to apologize to whomever you hurt. Hopefully she'll apply the same kind of thinking toward lashing out at your little guy!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mowilli3</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7903644"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am annoyed with myself for getting frazzled and for reacting to the judgement I felt at the school. I didn't feel comfortable enough to nurse DD while there and I think that would have saved DS some trouble. I would like some advice on how to keep my focus next time to understand what DD needs at the time. I need some strategies for finding a place to sit and take care of the kids when we are away from home and don't have the shelter of the car.<br><br>
Thanks for reading this far!<br><br>
Mo</div>
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Wow! What a day! Unless you were being less-than-honest with your rendition of the story, I really don't think you need to be so hard on yourself. Honestly. I think that PARTICULARLY in a school setting, instead of the potential teachers, whom you're thinking of HIRING, clucking at you, they should have DEMONSTRATED what they do - which is supposedly care for children - and helped you out by distracting your DD - offering to play with her, color with her, anything, when they noticed that you were trying to get the paperwork done, but couldn't because of having two babies with you! Sounds like a trip to visit my mother. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
As far as strategies...<br><br>
If you're self-conscious about nursing in public, bring along a shirt or sheet or whatever you can to help you feel more comfortable... but remember that you are ALLOWED to nurse wherever you are, so if you need to, just do it. Sitting down on the floor even works.<br><br>
It takes a lot of focus, and awareness, and practice, and I'm not very good at it... but try to be the eye in the storm. If you feel the storm building up around you, stop what you're doing - say whatever you need to say to whomever you're currently engaged with (doesn't need to be an apology - actually, probably SHOULDN'T be - there's nothing to apologize for in putting your childrens' needs first), and find a place to calm down. I've stopped in the middle of frazzling conversations, said, "Excuse me", and found a bench/couch/chair to sit & cuddle or nurse DD. Always centers me as well as her.<br><br>
Talking to DD at the time about what she's feeling, what you're feeling, and just aknowledging whatever you can observe at the time (even if it doesn't feel like what you want to do - often just description of what you're observing works well in my experience to diffuse difficult times, i.e. "I hear there are a lot of loud kids here" or "Your brother is crying and you are upset" helps. You can analyze later - sometimes just the validation that you see what's going on too helps give my 2yo a little peace, and gives something to focus on instead of feelings of being overwhelmed and perhaps embarrassed.<br><br>
Remember always, you do NOT have to be embarrassed by your children's behavior. They are CHILDREN. It is what they are, what they do. They don't have social awareness at that age, nor should they. And anyone who makes comments about "misbehaving children" either doesn't have them, doesn't remember what its like to have them, or is living in a fantasy world, or is just in the habit of trying to make themselves feel better by pointing out what they think are flaws in other peoples' lives. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> IMO, your children behaved NORMALLY in a difficult situation. It was the teachers that didn't behave corrrectly. Perhaps you should consider a different daycare? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for your suggestions, Mamas. We tried it again today, except that DH met us at the train station near the school. I told DD that we were going back to that school so that she could see it again, and she remembered that they had offered her lunch. She asked if she could eat the chicken. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
This time I put DS in the backpack carrier and DD in the stroller. I'm glad I did because one of the elevators was out. We had to take the escalator down to our train. I had to fold the stroller and hold DD's hand. She's getting good at escalators, so it wasn't as frightening as I anticipated. But she did not want to get back in the stroller once we got on the train, so I let her stand beside me. The train jerked and she fell. A woman came over to me and asked if I wanted her to put DD in the stroller. I said that she didn't want to go in the stroller and turned back to DD to make sure she was ok. The woman started lecturing me on how "YOu have to MAKE HER..." I turned to her with the meanest eyes and said, "I said NO THANK YOU. I GOT IT!!!" She backed way off. I picked up DD, asked her to climb in the stroller. She did happily, and we got off at our stop.<br><br>
DH helped me calm down before we got there, but I was so angry at this woman for being intrusive when I clearly needed to focus. This time I felt much better about my response. I didn't turn controlling on DD just because I was being judged.<br><br>
DD had a good time at the center, but I am looking at other places. I think that teacher should have been more helpful, too. It's not a hospitable environment. I don't think they host many families. One woman came in to enroll her son and he had never even seen the place. Then again, a couple of years ago, people here were buying houses without seeing them. That's what high demand gets you.
 
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