Friday, November 4, 2011

Why exactly do you fear my 25-pound baby?

I got a phone call on Wednesday that I had to come and pick my 2 year old up from her daycare because she had bitten another child. This is the first such call I've received because apparently it was the first such one they had made. I wasn't thrilled.

The zombie baby resting after her cannibalistic tirade.
Since the caller opted to receive their earful when I got there as opposed to on the phone, I arrived pretty upset. Why have they created a new policy that a child must go home for the day if they bite twice? They already have policies that kids must go home if they have a fever or if they have two scooty poos. I'm gonna have a hard time paying for daycare if I get fired for leaving work every day before lunch until those molars come in because my baby is teething, which coincidentally has symptoms like biting, fever, and scooty poos. 

Adding to my frustration is that my daycare should share responsibility for behavioral issues (if there is one)  because they spend more time with her than I do. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, she spends about 50 waking hours with them every week, and a shade under 40 at home (and half of that time is spent locked into her car seat). Part of what I pay for (beyond the whole "making sure I can reliably stay at work") is them making sure she grows up having reasonable boundaries during the day. If she can't behave, they should have to take her home.

As it turns out, this sudden change in policy is due to pressure from the state to crack down on biting. Why, you ask (and I certainly did)? Because some parents view biting as a form of bullying and abuse and so they've lobbied the state to start cracking down on daycare centers. That's our tax dollars at work preventing my child from going through a perfectly normal developmental phase. 

I want to be perfectly clear that I don't condone bullying or child abuse in any way. [Note: In a fit of horrible parenting a few years ago, when one of my children was being bullied, I gave his little brother (by far the craziest of the bunch) permission to rip the head off of any kid who messed with his family, and I warned his daycare that I had given such a greenlight. We never ended up needing to deploy young Mr. Wolf, and we had no further issues.] At the same time, I don't condone a government entity trying to prevent baby on baby violence. As with many government attempts to protect us from babies, it is both well-intentioned and destined to fail. The only centers that will pay any attention are the ones that were already responsibly handling biting and other behaviors while the centers that were shady will continue to be shady. 

And if you happen to be one of the parents who is standing up and protecting the right of your child (who is no doubt a hair-pulling eye-gouger) to not be bitten, please assume that I mean no offense when I say "just shut the hell up already." My two year old biting your two year old isn't abusing your baby. She isn't taking their lunch money or making them feel insecure about themselves. They aren't going to grow up to being a fraction of their potential for any reason beyond your complete inability to let them grow up. 

Your children would be far better served by learning how to handle themselves than by you trying to legislate me out of a job. I encourage you to invest your time into protecting your kids from the real monsters out there. Things like drugs, obesity, a sense of entitlement, and Justin Bieber. 

If this is the biggest threat your child faces, consider yourself lucky.

5 comments:

  1. @Dayngr you are too sweet. Your tweet is possible the nicest thing anyone not living in my house has ever said about me. #sadly http://twitter.com/#!/Dayngr/status/132446743383113728

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  2. Amen! My daughter was kicked out of a fancy pants daycare for crying too much. She did not adjust well the first month to daycare (she was 15 mo old)and did not want to participate with the other kids. I'm with you - for the money I was paying, they could have helped me out a bit but instead they kissed my $1200 a month goodbye.

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  3. @Anjanette We've been through that, too, but not so dramatically. I can't help it that those other stupid kids aren't engaging.

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  4. If my child's daycare called me at work to come and get her because she bit somebody, I would bite the director when I got there. Everyone should be bitten at least twice in their lives. It builds character and makes you a better person. If you're on "Team Edward" you should be bitten more because you're an asshole. Just saying.

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