Little LD has been dealing with lots of change lately.
In the last week, I made the decision to begin him in a 3-year-old kindergarten program. Previously, he'd been in daycare and since he has been settled and happy there, I figured he could stay there until it was time to start 4-year-old kindergarten next year.
A recent room change at daycare had been a rocky road for LD and after six weeks, it seemed like he was never going to settle into the new room.
I suspected one of the biggest issues was that he was in a room where the alpha boys were all a year older and disinclined to play with a baby - and of course, LD only wanted to hang with the alpha boys and resented being called a baby.
My little fella was not himself and little me was worrying myself sick. And when it comes to LD, worrying about him adjusting and settling has never really been necessary. I escaped his babyhood with seriously zero separation anxiety issues. He is the kid you drop off and receive barely a backwards glance of farewell.
So after much agonising, I enrolled him in kinder for the term. And prayed he would manage to settle in there. Daycare was to be phased out over two weeks.
Yesterday I picked LD up from daycare and witnessed, firsthand, what I now believe to be the major instigator of the angst. Physically the largest in the room and a good-looking kid who is probably the number one alpha, this boy ain't got no love for my boy. I think possibly this is because LD stands up to him. Which is hilarious because this kid towers over mine.
I noted that there was some physical tussling but more than that, it was insidious little things like refusing to play hide and seek when it was LD's turn and when all the kids are asked to chant "Goodbye LD" turning his name into a silly, made-up word instead. Petty shit? Yeah. But did my kid notice that petty shit? Ummm, hell yeah, he did!
So, he only has one more week at daycare (a place I have truly loved for the almost two years LD has been there) and I was all set to write a carthartic post about the 'bad seed' and how I hope he gets nits. You know, hilarious stuff.
But it turns out John Lennon totally knew about karma.
Picking up LD from this morning's session at kinder, the teacher pulled me aside "for a quick chat" – fuck.
Today, she told me, she caught LD hitting people. Three times. Once so hard it required a cold facewasher on the poor little girl's nose.
I thought I was going to be physically ill.
Now I can reason that LD is still very unsettled, still finding his way at this new place. I could also argue that he may have been acting out some of the frustrations he has been feeling at daycare lately.
But none of that helps.
I still feel sick.
And sad. My poor little guy. That poor little girl.
I wish I knew which little girl it was. I want to write her mum a letter promising that I am not a bad person, that my kid is not the bad seed.
Oh god, we're going to be the gossip of the kinder – "Have you seen that new kid in 3-year-olds? Oh my god, what a violent little boy! What's wrong with that mother? I hope he gets nits"
So yeah, feeling pretty disillusioned about my parenting skills right about now.
I don’t think it has anything to do with you or your parenting. Of course I’m questioning my decision because since starting at a particular daycare Kai’s started saying things like “I’m going to kill you” and punching (but he only punches his dad when they are playing). Things he’s never done at home before. We often see a new behavior everyone Monday night or Tuesday.
Obviously LD is reacting to the environment. I know this sounds bad but my question would have been “what happened before LD hit?” I don’t think its always as clear cut as “your kid hit, so is a bad seed!” What led up to him hitting? I know I’d be horrified if I was told either of my kids were hit, but I’d also be questioning what happened leading up to it…
Definitely not bad parenting…
From what the teacher observed, LD is unsure how to approach a group who are playing and so will snatch a toy in an attempt to join in. This is not normal behaviour for him and I think is largely borne out of being the ‘new kid in the room’ – I think he has felt this way for the last two months to be honest, at daycare and now at kinder.
My hope is that things will settle down when LD is attending the kinder program only and feels like he has a place. He is constantly lamenting not having a ‘best friend’ ever since leaving his little buddy in the old daycare room. Fucking kills me.
It does sound like classic transition/settling in type of behaviour doesn’t it. All kids have the potential to hit or lash out at times and change makes them anxious. Hard as it is to watch now, just remember he will be okay and things will settle down. I totally understand the worry though.
I was so ready to string this little fucker at daycare up! Reality delivered a crushing blow just in time…..
Thanks, Mel. Although this wasn’t as funny as I’d hoped. Just saying…..
Yeah, I forgot to add “Sorry for the lack of larf in this reply”.
Its refreshing to see your journey of daycare and changing rooms. I had a horrible time with my daughter when we lived in Sydney the pre-school would ring be everyday she was there, and wanting me to pick her up, because she would comply with their demands, it was always something wrong, to the point they wanted me to get her “checked out” because they believed she wasnt up to the standard of other kids. Then we moved interstate to VIC and its the total opposite, she only had 3 days between finishing one and starting the new one, and I constantly ask them, and they cant find any issues (SO im blaming the other facility). But back to you…It sounds like you’ve has a few bumps, and makes me feel greatful seeing what “could” have happened when we moved. If anything im lucky my daughter has fitted in perfectly, too perfectly that she is the leader and if she says “jump”, they say “how high”. Im sure it will settle down for you. (well I hope it does)
Oh honey, sending big cyber hugs your way 🙁 Aidan had huge issues tranisitoning at the start of this year due to him repeating 3 year old kinder & no longer having his best mates with him…it took time but he has settled right in, as will LD. Try not to beat yourself up too much, this kind of thing does happen & I can promise you it won’t label LD as the “kid who hits”. Once he finds his place he’ll be right back to his gorgeous self xo
Ah shit. That’s a crappy position for you to be in, and I can understand why you’d be upset and feel bad – but anyone who knows you, knows that you ain’t the kind of parent to let that kind of shit fly at home. No way. It’s hard, though, wanting to convince practical strangers that that’s the case. Sounds to me like classic transitioning behaviour too, and I’m sure it won’t last. x
PS – Hello, total mini-Angie in the photo!
Awe that sucks. No kids so I have no real advice. My thoughts are that maybe he is trying to find his own way to show his power since the other boy in day care used his size. Don’t most kids act out like that at least once???