I need some advice. Like actual advice. Like don't sugar-coat this advice.
Today when I arrived to pick up Claire, I was greeted by an Incident Report. She had pushed and scratched two children.
As this was explained to me several feelings washed over me. First, embarrassment. Second, sadness. Third, fear. I was embarrassed because it seems like this is something I should be able to deal with. I shouldn't have the kid that pushes people. I'm not violent. My husband isn't violent. I felt like a failure as a parent. I was sad because I don't want Claire to be marked by teachers and other parents as "that kid" and become the outcast. I don't want people to think that she's anything other than the loving, caring, friendly kid that she is. I was afraid because what if this is an emotional problem that is going to only get more difficult from here? Do I need to have her evaluated? What do I do?
On the way home, I cried on the phone to my husband who is out of town on business this week. I wanted him to give me the answers. I wanted someone to tell me, "oh, all you have to do is _____." This is not reality.
When we pulled into the garage, I turned to Claire, sitting in her seat enjoying her bunny crackers, and said with tears streaming down my face, "it makes Mommy sad when you hurt people at school." She said, in response, "Mommy crying?" Then we talked about how hands don't hurt, they help and that we give hugs and kisses with hands. She will tell you adamantly, "No pushing! No scratching!" She'll even show you what to do with hands. She'll stroke the baby's back and say, "sweet hands."
So, how do I solve this Rubik's Cub of child development? I've done my research, I know this is normal 2-year-old behavior. That doesn't mean I'm just going to stand by while she's becoming the class bully.
It broke my heart today to see her sitting at a table by herself eating her lunch because she was in trouble. I don't want her to have another day like today. I certainly don't want her to have a life of isolation.
We do "time out." We re-direct. We pay attention when she's playing with other kids (as much as possible) to try to catch the behavior before it starts. But I'm not Super Mom. I don't have psychic abilities and I can't predict how things will make her react.
So, any suggestions are welcomed. If any part of you just smiled a smug smile of congratulations because your kid never hit, pushed, or bit, get off my blog. You're an asshole.
While writing this, Pusherman is playing in my head. But it's not Curtis Mayfield singing it. It's my brother-in-law, Ryan. If you know him, he's now singing in your head, too. You're welcome.