My Family

Where Did I Fail?

Yesterday when I went to pick up Alex at daycare, I had to sign an “Incident Report.” (Sounds like something the police would be involved in…)

I immediately looked at Alex’s face to see where the bruise or scratch was – he is pretty active and likes to climb and also likes to throw himself on the ground in a mock fall, then look up at me – or Bill – with a half tragic/half comic look on his face, whine dramatically, and when we ask – in mock concern – “Are you okay???” he springs to his feet and says, bravely, “yeah…”

But there was no scratch, no bruise. On him.

Alex bit a kid yesterday.

On the back of the shoulder. If I remember correctly (I’m still reeling from the shock and horror of my little thug-to-be’s first step on the road to the slammer) he was in line behind this other kid (they wouldn’t tell me who it was – but I figured out it was another boy, and I think this morning I figured out which one) waiting to use the little sink in their bathroom…and…perhaps impatient for his turn or worried that the other kid would use up all the water, he bit the kid on the back of his shoulder.

He also likes to pull the cat’s tail…I am waiting for him to start setting fires….he’s too little to wet the bed, or, rather, if he were to do it, the little diapers on his 21 month old bum hide the evidence from me.

I think about all the tragedies in the world…all the violence…all the cruelty of man toward man…I had hoped perhaps my child might be one of the peacemakers in the world…but now…

Oh, woe is me!!!

Now, I realize biting is normal in a child his age. He doesn’t quite have the vocabulary to say “hurry up! it’s my turn to splash water everywhere!” Or maybe the other kid said some horrible toddler curse word like “poo poo head”, which the daycare teacher didn’t hear, and Alex, who will never swear until he’s 21, was trying to show the other child the error of his ways….or something like that.

I’m not worried, really, that he will become the next (fill in your favorite serial killer’s name here). But still, there is a part of me, underneath the calm exterior that I presented to the daycare police, that wonders – what am I doing wrong? I don’t bite Alex. Bill doesn’t bite Alex. Does he consume too much sugar? Is Finding Nemo just too violent for a child under two? Maybe he thinks he’s a shark…

I don’t know.

Gotta go. Time to wake up my little thug.

6 thoughts on “Where Did I Fail?

  1. I will never forget Chelsea getting “written up” for not listening to the bus driver in Kindergarten. The bottom line was that she had no idea what “written up” meant so the words from the driver meant nothing to her as she jumped from seat to seat. She had to “see the principal” – her father went with her as she was 5 at the time. I imagine one or both of us will accompany her to prison in the future. Perhaps we could time our visits to Chelsea and Alex so that we have enough time to grab a bit to eat…

  2. Well, folks, Conor will be joining the other inmates. In first grade, I recieved a letter from Conor that read, “Dear Mom, It’s about the pea. It flung from my fork across the cafeteria.” or something to that effect. But it was definitely about the pea. And not his hands, which had flung the pea across the cafeteria. It was all the pea. Goddamn peas. So, I had him write a letter to his teacher, “Dear Mrs. Simmons, It’s about the computer. I can’t use it for a week.” Life is good.

  3. Betsy, Beth – I look forward to seeing you both during visiting hours – lunch afterward sounds good…we can commiserate and perhaps sigh and say, “well, at least _______ turned out okay.”

    And Red – me too…though I also wanted to shove THAT WOMAN in his other daycare class, so I suppose he has inherited his violent tendancies from me.

  4. The toddler room at the day-care/Montessori school my sons currently attend (until the end of May, when Sue quits her job–gasp and also yay) is one big bite-fest, one hears. Even though Gavin is walking now, the school agreed to keep him with the “senior infants” 🙂 because he’s so close to leaving anyway.

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