Last week, when I arrived at daycare to pick up LD (who had spent his first day in the kinder room):
Little LD: Mumma!
Little Mumma: Hi, honey! (Kneeling beside him) Did you have a good day?
Little Shit (appearing from nowhere to butt in): HE ripped a book!
Little Mumma: Oh. Did you rip a book, LD?
Little Shit: Yes, he did! And he was naughty ALL DAY.
Little Mumma: Oh. (mentally karate chopping Little Shit in the kneecaps) Well, I'm sure he didn't mean it.
Today, dropping LD off at daycare, again in the kinder room:
Little Sweetie: Hi, LD! (putting arm around LD) I've been talking about you with my mummy.
Little Mumma: (blinking back tears of delight – what a darling little girl!)
Little Sweetie: I told my mummy how you ripped that book.
Little Mumma: (!?#%*?@?!)
Little Sweetie Lucifer: That was very naughty. But you're not going to be naughty ever again, are you?
Little LD: (Nodding passively)
Little Mumma: (mentally drop-punting Little Lucifer across the room)
This is hard work. HARD work. I love my kid. I get that he's not perfect and that this is all a part of life and an important lesson in socialisation but fuck me, I just wanted to bundle him up in my arms and run for the hills. Grow dreadlocks, home school the kids and just drop out of life – that place where I can't protect my children from getting hurt.
This is a minor incident. A mere blip on a childhood radar. I know that. And the children I was mentally annihilating were being just that – children. Totally age-appropriate as a good friend reminded me today – these are four- and five- year-olds whose understanding of right and wrong is coming into sharper focus but still remains very black and white.
So there will be no karate chopping or drop-punting. Or going feral in the hills.
By the end of the day, it was obvious that LD was settling into his new room. As I knew he would. The staff were very reassuring. As they always are.
And apparently, he had made it through the day without ripping a book.
But sweet jesus, it's hard to watch your kid navigating the bumpier roads.