I am not big on confrontation and I tend to freeze when hit with something unexpected. I stew after the fact thinking about the conversation and situation. I occasionally rarely practically never let my feelings be known in person or even over the phone. My words are my defense and weapon of choice. To me, a well-constructed and succinctly written piece is as powerful as a moving speech or passionate engagement. Oh, and, I like writing.
Well, the bomb got dropped on Jacob and I a few weeks ago.
We have been struggling (to say the least) with ginormous temper tantrums from Beckett. They are all consuming, knock down drag-outs that go on for hours, literally. The big ones are interspersed with a general obstinace and lack of willingness to follow directions, obey the rules, etc… I could spend an entire post talking about how we handle this, what we’ve tried, what methods we do/don’t use, but the simple fact is that this behavior is not acceptable in our household. These situations are usually exacerbated, and quite often brought on, by Beckett’s desire to avoid a nap at all costs. Sleep deprivation only makes things worse.
With Jacob back to work full-time (can I get yay for full-time employment!!??), it meant that Beckett was back to daycare full-time. Four to five days a week from 7:00am to 4:00pm. Monday was rough – it was a no nap day and filled with temper tantrums. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were “eh” – neither here nor there and the nap time was replaced with quiet time where she was on her cot reading for the allotted time. And, Friday, the s*&% hit the fan. Jacob got a phone call at ten minutes to four o’clock that Beckett was 45-minutes into a tantrum and refusing quiet time. Daycare demanded that he come pick her up because she wouldn’t stop arguing, crying, fighting, etc. Jacob left work right away and picked up our ragamuffin, who had calmed down by the time he got there (go figure!). As he was leaving, he was informed that Beckett was no longer welcome at daycare and that we needed to find new place.
Oh, and it was 4:30.
On a Friday.
And, we had to work on Monday.
And, I am ready to have a baby any day now.
My normally never-at-a-loss-for-words-and-loves-to-get-his-point-across husband was shell-shocked. He loaded Beckett up and headed out without a second glance or word. My reaction when I heard the news had the same gaped mouth expression, but was quickly followed by a stream of tears.
We had that child. Beckett never got any closure – no good-byes to her teacher or friends. And, I had 48 hours over the weekend to find suitable, temporary childcare (as maternity leave loomed on the near horizon). I spent the weekend dealing with questions from a toddler who understood what had happened, but also didn’t grasp the extent of the situation. She knew that her choices and the tantrums she threw were the reason she couldn’t go to daycare anymore, but she asked heartbreaking questions like: “Why doesn’t daycare love me?” and “Can I ask them for a second chance?” She got hit with an adult lesson at the young age of three. And, the questions haven’t stopped. Just yesterday she asked me if daycare had found her missing headband yet and I told her yes. She said we’d need to pick it up, but that she wasn’t allowed in there, so she’d have to sit in the car while I went inside. *Sniff*
Well, my heart was breaking on so many levels and I wasn’t about to stand to the side and just roll with it. We had a balance owing and I decided to enclose a letter with the final payment. It was long and wordy, but hit home with a punch. And, I’m proud to say this mama bear reared her claws, protected my child and pointed out the complete mismanagement for how the entire situation was handled.
Dear Pseudonym Daycare,
Enclosed is a check for $140. This covers all of the unpaid days that Beckett attended Pseudonym Daycare before we were told she was no longer welcome at the school.
As a parent who is fully aware of her toddler’s behavior and the struggle that Beckett is having to maintain her calm and follow directions, I find it utterly shocking how this situation has been handled by Pseudonym Daycare. Jacob and I have both been taking a very active role in finding out what tools we need to give Beckett so that she can maintain her emotional stability and begin to fully understand the consequences of her bad decisions. This is not a situation that we are taking lightly.
When we returned to Pseudonym Daycare after summer break, we were shocked by the drastic changes. The school was in a major state of flux with an extremely low number of students, the abrupt departure of “the director”, the shifts in scheduling and the phenomenal teachers that were allowed to go. It came as quite a shock that so much had changed over such a short period of time.
As a parent, I had already expressed my discontent and concern over how Beckett’s placement was handled the previous school year. In a single nine-month period, she had five different teachers and shifted remarkably well in a very unstable environment. The majority of the teachers the school lost during this time period were exceptional and the current loss of “the director” only adds to this problem.
Beckett deserves an advocate who fully believes in her potential and can handle the ups and downs that come with the development stage she is at. She is a magical child who brings light and joy into this world. She had these advocates at different times during her care at Pseudonym Daycare.
Pseudonym Daycare gave no indication to Jacob or I that the situation was nearing a point that warranted immediate dismissal. I spoke to “the director” on Thursday, September 8th, and she explained the struggles Beckett had been having and I talked about what we were doing and that the same struggles are mirrored at home with us. The closure was completely unacceptable.
As a parent, I deserve to have more than 60 minutes notice that I no longer have childcare. As a child, Beckett deserves a chance to say good-bye to her friends and teachers, a decent and age-appropriate explanation for why daycare no longer wants her to attend and a certain level of understanding for a rough patch of development.
It is seriously unfortunate that Pseudonym Daycare could not offer the stability that my child required and children, in general, depend on and could not offer an amenable and respectable closure for any of the Ferry family members for this major transition.