Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

November 01, 2006

terrible twos daycare drama

After two years of being a stay at home mom Goldie went stir crazy and decided it was time to return to work. Putting her 'terrible twos' daughter into daycare was a dramatic and traumatic experience for both of them.

"I'm glad I didn't have a job lined up," says Goldie, "because there's no way I could have coped with a job on top of the daily stress Little Miss Twos put me through."

"I don't plan on having another child but if I do I'll be putting it into daycare at three months - if not earlier - because the older the child the more difficult it is to get them settled into daycare."

"My daughter was two years and three months old when I prepared her for daycare," says Goldie. "For a few weeks I walked past the daycare center with her - pointing out the playground equipment she'll be playing on and the children she'll be playing with - and when the day came for her to spent a few hours there alone I was as satisfied as I could be that she was as excited as I was to be starting a new life."

"As soon as I walked into the daycare center with her she started screaming," says Goldie. "Her screams were so blood curdling that you'd think she was being murdered or something - and I was still holding her hand!"

"The daycare assistant did her best to calm down Little Miss Twos - but she just clung to my legs and wouldn't let the assistant come near her."

"I had expected a few tears but I wasn't prepared for this."

"The assistant told me to leave and not to worry - reassuring me that they all calm down as zoon as mom leaves - and with Little Miss Twos screams breaking my heart I gave her a kiss and told her I would be back zoon."

"I don't know how the assistant managed to pull her away from my legs," sighs Goldie, "but as zoon as she did I made a run for it!"

"I went home in a state of sheer shock - shaking like a leaf from the trauma I had experienced."

"I spent my first two hours of freedom going over all the reasons why I needed to return to work - reassuring myself that what I planned on doing was going to be good for everyone - including my husband."

"Determined to make this work I sat out the entire three hours 'orientation' period and resisted the temptation to turn up early to ease my little girl's misery."

"When I returned to the daycare center to pick her up I could hear her screams before I entered the grounds."

"She stopped screaming as zoon as she saw me - but I nearly started screaming myself when I saw her. Her face was red and puffed from crying and her eyes were wild."

"The assistant confessed that she had been unable to calm my daughter - but assured me that things will be easier tomorrow."

"Well," sighs Goldie, "things weren't easier the next day - or the next - or two weeks later."

"Finally I had to make a cold, hard-hearted decision," says Goldie. "It was a battle of wills and I just wasn't prepared to put up with being manipulated any more."

"I signed up for full-time daycare and just left Little Miss Twos there one day - for a full eight hours - and didn't bat an eyelid when she threw her characteristic screaming tantrum."

"I just kissed her goodbye, wished her a good day and went on my way," laughs Goldie. "And that did the trick. As soon as she realized that I just didn't care - and frankly by that stage I really didn't give a damn - she settled down very well to daycare life."

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