Friday, March 03, 2006

Baby Lock In Daycare

Baby Lock starts daycare today for the first time. She's never really been anywhere around a group of kids other than the store or mall and certainly not anywhere without our presence since she was born.

It's tough for any parent to willingly do something to make their kid more independent. And I hate to recap the parental cliche 'You'll understand when you have kids' but it's true. As a kid, I couldn't wait to be free of my family and didn't understand their meddling. Now, as a parent, I have an instinct to not let my kid be independent. Everything she should need she can get from us. Fortunately, my sensibility and my want for her to be well adjusted in a society that she needs to learn to deal with is much stronger than that instinct. But I am aware of it.

So Mrs. Lock dropped Baby Lock off at the daycare this morning. When she got home, here was our IM conversation.

Mrs.Lock: Well, she's there
Mrs.Lock: There is a big, chubby little girl in there that seems like a bit of a bully
Mr.Lock: I'm sure it's fine
Mr.Lock: So no probs dropping her off?
Mrs.Lock: Nope... she seemed Ok
Mrs.Lock: I was filling out a form and heard her start crying, and the daycare lady said "No, Merrick! Be nice to Baby Lock!"
Mr.Lock: uh oh
Mr.Lock: Probably took something
Mrs.Lock: Yeah, I let her take the little lamb, but I don't think I'll let her take toys with her in the future
Mr.Lock: She's growing up!
Mrs.Lock: The daycare lady has a speech impediment
Mrs.Lock: I didn't notice before
Mrs.Lock: She can't say her R's
Mr.Lock: You gonna get any work done?
Mrs.Lock: I don't know... I have to take a shower still
Mrs.Lock: And I'm sad, but I'm not crying
Mrs.Lock: It's so quiet in here
Mrs.Lock: And all these toys are on the floor, but no one is playing with them
Mr.Lock: She's got a whole new set to check out now. She'll be thrilled
Mrs.Lock: I'm going to pick her up at 11:30, that way she'll get to eat lunch there
Mr.Lock: ok
Mrs.Lock: I feel weird... I miss my baby
Mr.Lock: It's normal
Mr.Lock: For over a year you've always had her right there even if you weren't consciously thinking of her. That's why I was asking if you were going to get any work done.
Mr.Lock: It'll get easier and pretty quick
Mrs.Lock: Ok, I cried a little... I think I'm OK, but I have to pick up these toys
Mr.Lock: k
Mr.Lock: The right decision is usually the hardest one to make
Mr.Lock: She's developing into something I'm very much looking forward to and can't wait for her to get here
Mrs.Lock: Yeah, she is... she is an awesome kid
Mr.Lock: The best one we've got!
Mrs.Lock: Cute, sweet, and smart...
Mrs.Lock: With the right amount of sass

I should preface this event with a story that happened a couple of weeks ago and one we worry about now that she's in daycare. The family and I were out at a restaurant having dinner. Baby Lock was in the high chair at our table. In the restaurant there was a three year old girl running around being friendly with everyone. All smiles. She ran up to me as soon as we entered the restaurant and was asking me a bunch of questions, in Spanish. I didn't answer because I didn't understand. The combination of the foreign language and a toddler's underdeveloped pronunciations made it difficult. I just smiled and walked to the counter to order.

When the little girl and her family were leaving, she walked up to Baby Lock with big smiles. Put her face to my daughter's face, hands on her cheeks, nose to nose then something happened that put us into a state of shock. So much that we couldn't respond right away. Baby Lock pulled back her arm and took a swing at the three year old in her face. The first strike was a miss. WHIFF! When we witnessed that, we froze, desperately trying to calculate what we just saw.

The second attempt though connected and pretty solidly, smacking the girl across her cheek. We were still frozen at this point, in block of ice, jaws on the table. An incredible sight to see your offspring engaged in combat for the first time.

When we finally recovered our sense of speech I just started apologizing profusely. Over and over. The little girl victim started crying. The parents seemed very understandable and forgiving and bless them for not coming down on us in public about our child's actions. We were very embarrassed and had no idea how to react to this situation. It was our first embarrassing incident as a result of our child in a public place and I'm sure there are many more to come. Ugh.

A coworker of mine asked me what's better, having your kid be the bully or be the victim. I reluctantly agreed the bully is better but both are very very bad.

So now my bully kid is in a room with a dozen other kids. I'm looking forward to see how her day went.