Posted by: DD | July 21, 2007

A Heavy Load for Small Shoulders

X started at the new day care Wednesday. It’s a larger day care – not an out-of-the-home place. We had planned on getting him enrolled in an after-school care program at this very place once he went back to school. In some ways, things worked out, just earlier and not according to plan. I could accept it if it wasn’t for one little thing:

X is miserable.

Many of you asked if he makes friends easily. Yes and no. Yes in that he loves to share. He loves to be accepted. No in that he is terribly shy and expects everyone to welcome him into the fold.

When I picked him up on the first day, he was rather upset and told me no one wanted to be his friend. He said the other kids didn’t want him around. It was really hard to hear.

Thursday was infinitely worse.

He told us that morning that the other kids were allowed to bring toys. Mr. DD verified that it was OK when he took X to drop him off so X took with him one of his small die-cast trucks. When I picked him up that afternoon, the truck was gone. He said one of the bigger kids took it and no one would do anything about it. He again told me that no one wanted to be friends with him. He was tired. He was hot from playing outside. It was all too much and he completely lost it as we drove home.

I didn’t know what to do. My little boy was in the backseat crying inconsolably. He had no friends and no one liked him. He didn’t want to go back. He wanted me to stay home with him and not go to work. It tore my heart from my chest.

I had to pull over into a parking lot and get in the back with him and just hold him as he cried and cried. I cried with him.

And while he cried and wiped his nose on my shoulder, my sadness was mixed with anger about the whole situation and especially towards Krstn. I told X that we, his father and I, knew that it wasn’t his fault and that having to change day cares wasn’t a punishment for what had happened to M-ali. I told him that I was upset that Krstn wasn’t there to make sure M-ali wasn’t getting into his face as she is wont to do because her brother was playing with X instead of her.

I want him so much to understand that he is not to blame, but who wouldn’t feel as if they weren’t being punished if in a similar situation? Now try explaining something like blame and guilt to a five year old.

When we got home, he broke down again into one of the angriest tantrums I have ever seen: kicking and punching the couch while he screamed and screamed. Usually Mr. DD has no tolerance for any yelling or screaming, but he knew that X was just mentally shot. He picked him up and put X over his shoulder while X continued to kick, punch and scream, and took him outside.

I couldn’t bear to watch, but could hear his screaming. Loud at first, but after several minutes it turned into sobs and when I eventually looked out the window, X was pulled in close to Mr. DD and they were both quiet, sitting on the steps looking out onto the front yard. When they finally came back in, X was calm but tired. Fried doesn’t even come close to describing his mental state by then.

So the transition, as you can see, has not been easy or smooth. Friday’s pickup did go much better and he actually didn’t want to leave. He was playing with another boy on the slide instead of by himself like he had been on both Wednesday and Thursday when I had arrived.

I don’t think I can convey the level of animosity I have right now towards Krstn. I would love nothing more than to send her a scathing email that would detail her failings not just to us, but to X, someone she said she loved and cared about. How does one abonden a child, especially a child that had been part of one’s daily life for over 4 years?? I just can’t imagine a mindset like that.

However, I will not be contacting her in any form. I have witnessed her stress out in the past over similar situations when she has “fired” other families and I know that for several days she will suffer migranes. The other children will be asking about him. Each time his name is mentioned I know that she will feel that guilt over her failings as a “care giver”. I wish I could post this over on my public blog so the coworker who still has her children at Krstn’s can see that it is her child and Krstn that I blame for X’s current state of misery.

I won’t because I want them both to believe that X is happier now and that the decision was made without remorse by us. Give it time and the coworker will find out eventually that Krstn’s standard of care is anything but.

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Responses

  1. Oh I have tears in my eyes.

    My son had a meltdown on Tuesday just because he was tired and wanted me to go with him to his last day at nursery/fun day. It broke my heart. I managed to get a day off work at short notice, luckily.

    He also is very sensitive and wants to be friends but doesn’t always find it easy to make them.

    And he has a minder who has had him since he was 7m, and I couldn’t imagine abandoning him.

    So I really feel for you. But it’s done, you can all move on. Sounds like X has learned some important things too. Sometimes shit things happen, but it’s OK to scream and rage and those who love you will help to get you through, and you’re strong enough to face it.

    A lesson for us all, in fact.

    You’ve done the best thing for him.

  2. Oh, that poor little man – my eyes welled up with tears reading this post….

    Please give him much chocolate this weekend, k? And ice cream. And lollies (candy)….

  3. I recognise myself in X, I absolutely hated transition, i was very shy, I found it hard to get people to like me etc. Poor little boy. I’m glad friday was better, hopefully he has turned a corner.

  4. Oh DD… I can relate to X… I’m shy even though others see me as otherwise. I hate making new friends and I hate feeling like an outcast. I’m so sorry for the turmoil that coworker and Krstn have put X and Mr. DD and you through. It just sucks. I too shed some tears for X as it sounds like it’s been a rough week. I’m glad Mr. DD held X during his tantrum and that Friday went better. I agree that not talking to her sounds like the best alternative and I will send some positive migraine vibes her way… GRRR

  5. Ugh. Everyone says children are resilient, and I know it’s true – they will survive. But it’s so hard to sit on the sidelines and watch while they struggle to survive the change. I’m sorry for X.

  6. Oh DD, poor X. He is such a sweet and nice boy–the thought of him being so miserable is breaking my heart. I can only imagine how it must be for all of you. The fact that the teachers at his new place don’t seem to be stepping in and helping him find a place is terrible–maybe address that with them? I know that’s probably the least helpful assvice ever, I just want to help X somehow. Tell him that P really liked playing with him and knows he’s a wonderful person. I’m so sorry that this is so hard on all of you. Poor baby.

  7. That is so sad. It is one of the wonderful things about having twins, I know they will always have each other.

  8. This IS the worst part, and luckily it’s turned a corner. Would you understand if I said that it would’ve happened the same in September, and it’s better it happen now so he won’t associate it with school?
    Yeah, not much help, but in a few days he’ll do better, and in a few weeks, he’ll be the king of the class.

    Really.

    I swear.

  9. Oh DD and your poor little guy and Mr. DD. I’m hoping he continues to do well. I just caught up on what has been going on and am so sorry to hear it 😦

    Hugs to you all.

  10. Awww…poor little guy!

  11. Oh, DD, I’m crying too. How awful it must have been for you to see X so incredibly unhappy. I am glad that it was better on Friday, and I hope that it just keeps getting better.

  12. Oh poor little darling. What an awful week for all of you. I’m glad to hear things were looking a little brighter by the end of the week, though xxx

  13. Great. Now I’m crying. at work.
    Poor poor baby!
    I think it’s great that you guys let him vent. Mr DD deserves many kudos for letting X cry scream, & kick his frustrations out. Then making sure that he knows how deeply he is loved by just sitting with him & holding him. What a good guy you have there DD.

    Change sucks. Kristn sucks even harder.
    You are a better person than I am, cause I SO would have posted this on the public site.

  14. Well, it’s good he’s adjusting. Kelsey had to switch daycares a few times, and she was always such a quiet, non-assertive kid, I was afraid she’d just get lost. Is it too big of a place to take candy to celebrate his “weekiversary”? Kelsey’s old daycare allowed the kids to give out candy to other kids as they left to celebrate birthdays or special events. And I, straight up, am NOT above bribery to make friends. So…maybe see if they’ll let him do that? Cupcakes or candy or whatever.

  15. I’m sorry, but I’m glad things look like they are getting better. :)Hugs to you both.

  16. Oh no, that’s awful! Poor little guy!

    I really, really hope that things improve at the new daycare for him soon. It’s probably especially difficult for a child to move to a traditional daycare situation when they don’t know anyone to start with or in the middle of a term. Kind of like changing schools in the middle of the year; groups have already formed and it can be hard to break in.

    Your former ‘friend’ sucks.

  17. Poor little X. This really sucks. I hope things get much better for him soon. How very stressful for all of you.


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