I could not have felt more humiliated and sheepish had I been cut down to the ground with accusations and words spoken in anger.
What cut so deep?
A meaningful and heartfelt compliment which I was not worthy of receiving.
All week, I have been honing in on the "source" of my challenges during my daycare days. One little two year old who needs constant monitoring has depleted me.
He hits, pushes, kicks and overpowers the others on an ongoing basis. All day, every day.
I have done absolutely everything I know how to do.
I catch him in the act so he knows exactly what the offending behaviour is. I have timed him out. I have held onto him and not let him join in on the play. I have grabbed the offending hand, foot or whatever limb has connected with another child, held onto it and told him he must be "gentle and kind and caring".
There is a disconnect between what I am communicating and what he hears. He knows he is doing something wrong but he doesn't understand. He is becoming more and more frustrated (as am I).
I have been spinning my wheels and at a loss.
I know I should talk to his mom about his behaviour but yesterday was not the day.
She came home from a tough day at the office feeling absolutely awful. Her little bundle of joy and energy ran up to her and gave her the biggest hug. He then grabbed her face in a loving manner and I didn't really fully understand what transpired between them until she explained.
Every time he is rough with her, she gets down on his level and holds onto his cheeks while looking directly into his eyes and talks to him. It ends up with him lovingly holding onto her cheeks and reciprocating the gesture.
Her method of teaching him is not working any better than mine but at least I know she is aware of his rough and tumble behaviour.
Then (this it the tough part) she just about melted into a puddle on the floor when she told me how grateful she was to have found "me" and my daycare.
She said she has heard horror stories from other moms about their daycare situation and she is over the moon grateful she has "me".
"Me???", with all of my imperfections, who has been bad mouthing her child in my head (and out loud) all week? Me?!!!?
I try. Each and every morning I wake up, ready to face a new day and start with a fresh slate. If that doesn't work, we reboot and restart the day. All day long. After breakfast, we will start anew! If that doesn't work, then after nap time. Or tomorrow.
It is never too late to try again.
That is exactly what I will do. Today, tomorrow, next week and for as long as I am entrusted with these little people.
I'm as stubborn as an ox. I will not be outsmarted by a two year old and perhaps that is exactly why I feel so frustrated. It is a whole new world of children out there and I need a whole new book of tricks to find my way through.
It is time to live up to the reputation I have worked so hard to build.