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As If The Guilt Wasn't Bad Enough Already

As a working parent, I think one of the things I dread the most is to hear my phone ring and see the day care number flash up on my caller ID.  That number means that something is wrong because if everything was right there would be no reason to call.  When that number shows up it means that someone is sick or someone is hurt and neither one of those is a good thing.

Today I got the call.  Zach was bitten four times on his face by another little boy that just started day care there today.  Not only was he bitten, but the little boy was sitting on his chest holding him down while he leaned over and chomped on Zach’s precious little cheeks.  While I haven’t seen the damage yet, I was told that he bit hard enough to break through the skin a couple of times.

His day care provider was even more shaken up than I was about the whole situation.  She has cared for him since he was 6 weeks old and loves him just about as much as her own kids.  When the biting happened she was in the middle of nursing her 4-month-old and couldn’t jump up right away.  The kids were all in the playroom where she couldn’t see them.  I’m not angry at her because Zach has gotten hurt plenty of times at home when I’ve walked out of the room for a few minutes.

I do have to wonder though, if he was in a bigger day care center–with more teachers around–would something like this have happened or would it have been stopped before my child was hurt?  If he was at home with me, this most definitely would not have happened.  I hate it when I have to question my parenting decisions.  I chose home day care because it was the closest I could get to having him home with me.  I chose a provider that I trusted and had full confidence in.  I wanted him in a relaxed setting for the first few years of his life.  I wanted someone that would care for him with as much love as I would and I do believe that is what he gets there.  On most days he thrives there.  In fact, he rarely wants to leave when I get there to pick him up because he is having so much fun with the other kids.

The worst part of all of this is that I desperately want to be at home with him.  As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  I have written about it over and over again on this blog.  Most days I try to avoid thinking about it but it is always there.  No matter how I figure it, there is just no way we can manage without me working.  My past financial mistakes have caught up with me and there is no way out of it.  I have to work or we don’t eat.

I just wish there was a way to make all of the guilty feelings go away.  I want to hold my son and hug him and tell him that everything will be okay.  I know that I can’t protect him forever from the harshness of this world, but he is still so little.  This is the first time that anyone has intentionally hurt him.   Even though he is probably too young to really understand it, I have a feeling that this experience will change him in some way and it breaks my heart to know that I wasn’t there to help protect him when he needed me.  I just wish he could be unaware and innocent a little longer.

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  1. The parent guilt or self-doubt is completely normal and I know what you’re going through. I’m just struck by your last sentence where you said, “I wasn’t there to protect him when he needed me to.”

    We aren’t going to be able to protect our Zac(h)’s from every injury or illness. The best thing to do would be to see if she could nurse in the playroom from now on so she can keep an eye on the kids, either that or separate them while she can’t keep supervise their play.

    Just suggestions. You know in your heart what is best. I just hate to see you putting that heart through the wringer!

  2. dee dee

    I know you are right. She and I were actually just talking this morning (before the incident) about how she wants to re-arrange the house so that the day care area is back downstairs in a big open room. Currently the kid’s play area is in a bedroom upstairs and while they do have free roam, they stay in there most of the time where the toys are. She has only had Zach and one other little girl for the last few months so the arrangement worked well but now she is adding a few more kids into the mix. If they are downstairs in the larger room she should be able to sit and nurse the baby there while watching the kids.

  3. Whoa.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. I do stay at home and my kid has already been hurt before by another kid IN MY OWN HOME. Regardless of the situation, when your kid gets hurt intentionally by another kid, it makes you want to throw up.

    Hang in there.

  4. There was a kid at Amber’s school (she was 2 yrs old)that bite everyone at least once. I was so angry, at the kid, when he got around to biting Amber. This is a big school and there were 2 teachers in the room at all times. It happens and it could have easily have happened if he was with you at the playground. Yeah, been there, too.

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