Posted by: Hannah | 04/21/2011

today’s tweets – long version

So, it’s naptime. My own Thing #2 is out in the backyard blissfully stomping in puddles, Pudding Pop is crawling around delighted that there is no one he needs to share toys with, and everyone else is asleep.

Oh, except for New Kid, who went home about a half hour ago.

Poor New Kid. My ears are still ringing from the epic meltdown at drop off time this morning. My feet hurt from not sitting down once, all day. My “mindful eating” plan is kind of a mess on the days when he’s here, because as soon as I sit and try to eat lunch, he bursts into tears and tries to climb into my lap, so I inhaled my food without chewing and now feel downright snacky, even though I know I have had enough to eat.

Ah, New Kid. You are my challenge.

He’s a sweet kid, which is a good thing. I think once he gets over the separation anxiety and learns how to socialize with the other kids he will be a delightful addition to our tribe. But in the meantime, man oh man. Thank god for the internet and its wisdom, is all I have to say.

New Kid will be three next month. Since infancy, he has been at home – first with both his parents during mat leave, then with his dad. He has never been in care. He has not taken part in anything that required him to be away from his dad. And his older brother is so much older (seven years) that learning how to share and interact with small persons his own age has just never come up.

He’s trying, I think. I’m trying. His mom is great, very supportive of everything I’m suggesting and how I’m approaching his anxieties, and totally on board with the idea that this too shall pass – and her son will be a happier & more well-rounded kid because of it.

His dad? is a hot mess. The poor thing.

Drop off this morning was 8:45. Dad made it all the way to 9:30 before he called. “Is he alright? Do you need me to come pick him up? No, don’t put him down for a nap, he needs to be cuddled to sleep. He’s not sleeping because of this. He’s upset. I don’t know if we’re doing the right thing.” Poor dad, he’s taking this harder than New Kid.

Had a long chat with mom at pickup time. Showed her some resources I found online for dealing with separation anxiety in older kids. Suggested that they talk about coming here as a very matter-of-fact, no big deal kind of thing. Found out this morning dad followed them out to the car, hangdog expression, telling the poor little man with both words & body language that he is right to be afraid, that possibly I eat small children and certainly I lock them up in the basement and never let them see their parents again.

Mom is in agreement with the plan. She’s going to spend the weekend trying to get dad to buy in. And we start again on Tuesday.

I know some of you have experience with separation anxiety in older kids (and I don’t think, by the way, that he has it to an extreme degree – I just think he’s going through a very normal reaction to a big transition). Any suggestions are welcomed. Yes, I am asking the internet for assvice. Hit me with your best shot.

***

I am fully aware that I am blogging about one of the kids in my care again. I took down the last post I did about my job because someone I don’t know wrote a rather scathing comment about the ethics of me blogging about someone else’s kid. First I wrote a response, then I took it down altogether. And wish I hadn’t. I will say now what I should have said then: my blog is anonymous enough that no one would ever be able to identify me or the kids from it. And this is MY JOB. Everyone blogs about their job sometimes. I will be no different.

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Responses

  1. gah. SOme people are just jerks. I bitch about cable customers all the time, but you can’t tell who they are.

    The Dad needs to stop that crap, period. I’ve rarely had many issues with the girls because WE don’t get all worked about about it. They take our cues, and as adults, we need to control that stuff.

  2. I’m trying to be as sympathetic as I can, but it’s SO HARD. I’ve got two kids here who have one helicopter parent and it’s really sad to see how hard it is for them to just relax and have fun. Oddly, they each have one parent who is much more on the “kids need to develop independence” part of the scale. I think the push-and-pull between parents is perhaps the worst thing – certainly it’s got to be tough on the kids.

    And oh man, when I worked at the internet provider? Yeah, it’s lucky I didn’t have a blog then. The screen would have caught fire from some of the things I would have said. As it was, we just used to go out once a week after evening shift, get plastered, and bitch about every jackass we had to deal with all week long.

  3. Anxious parents make for anxious kids. It’s proven. The more of a big deal the parents make about leaving him in care, the bigger a deal it’ll seem to him. He’s three. He’ll be going to school soon. It has to happen some time!

    Establishing a good routine, especially for drop-offs, will probably help. In the meantime, have fun with the adjustment!

  4. This is one of those times where really, it’s the parent who’s the problem, not the child. I had a super-anxious three-year-old once, who only ended up being in my care for three weeks because the mom couldn’t handle it. I hear she did the same the next year with junior kindergarten. I don’t know what happened to the poor kid after that. And this is preparing him for life, how, exactly?

    Here’s hoping the sensible mom wins the day!


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