Thursday, August 30, 2012

Daycare Bad-faces and Biting

Jr. has been really pumped about going back to daycare.  He seems happy to arrive, happy to see his teachers, displays appropriate anxiety upon separation from mommy, and appears to be well taken care of when I pick him up.  In a city where waitlists are over a year long and you really must get yourself on the lists of your chosen facility even pre-conception, we really hit the jackpot.   Our daycare shares our values, has excellent staff, and a great new director.  How blessed we are!  But, two things have happened this week that have summoned my inner momma-bear and given me pause regarding this daycare from on-high.

As the teachers have been readying their classrooms for the new "school" year, they have been posting pictures of all the little angels in the hallways and in the classroom.  Little baby faces are surrounded by flower petals, farm animals have our cute little babies superimposed on their faces, and babies are smiling from every bulletin board.  "Well, isn't that cute!" I exclaimed to myself when I noticed the new decorations.  I immediately searched for Jr.'s face on a lion or a dandelion.  Here is the picture I found (minus the daisy around his face).

This is not a good face.  In simple language, this is a bad face.  Every other little face was smiling and laughing -absolutely pleased as punch to be photographed.  Not, Jr.  But, I wonder, why would they choose to display such an unflattering picture?  Regular readers of my blog know that Jr. can be quite smiley and photogenic.  Not only did I worry that he looked so angry at daycare (Is he not happy?!), but I began to worry that the teachers don't like him (Why else would they post such a picture for all to see?!)  It took all that was in me to not raise a complete ruckus for displaying this bad-face picture of my beautiful baby.  I did, however, jokingly confront his new teacher and show her just about a million smiley-faced pictures on my phone.  "He really DOES smile!" I tried to convince her.  I left announcing that I would just print off a smiling picture myself and bring it the next day.

I got home and calmed my nerves with baby hugs and kisses.  The next day, the picture incident was long forgotten (ok, maybe not long forgotten, I had already ordered several prints of more flattering pictures to bring next week.).  But, when I picked him up that evening, I found two incident reports in his cubby.  Apparently, Jr. had been bitten by a classmate twice on his back.  Well, that's fine.  I understand children that age sometimes bite due to frustration with communication.  It wasn't until bath time,when I discovered this mark, that I almost lost my mommy-mind:
Ahhhh!  That rotten vampire child actually left a bite mark on my baby!!!  I was ready to attack that bully of a toddler and the parents that made him.  I went right up to the daycare this morning and had a word with the teacher and the director.  Well, actually, as is my nature, I jokingly commented, "So, we have a bully in the room? Hehe!"  The teacher just looked at me a bit strange and said, "I can't give you any details about that."  Really?!

"Well, I didn't think much of it, but then I saw the BITE MARKS on his back last night." I retorted.

"Oh, didn't you see the incident report?" teacher asked me with a patronizing tone.

I think I may have rolled my eyes.  Of course I saw the report.  And, now I'm asking about it.  What the heck happened to my baby!!!

As I stumbled over my words and my frustration, the director must have sensed my motherly anxiety.  She assured me that Jr. had not acted provokingly, but that another child has taken to biting and even bit her son (who is in Jr.'s class as well).  Apparently, they are on top of this little issue.  I felt a bit better.  But not a lot.  And hubby is pretty outraged.  I remind myself there is good reason for the policy to not disclose the name of the child and that this type of behavior is pretty typical of the age.  I'm trying to not be a belligerent, difficult parent.  But, this is unacceptable!!  And, which of those little brats is responsible?  I'm guessing this one:
I mean, look at that crazy, angry face?  (no offense to this child and her parents, whoever they may be).

Everything I know as a professional tells me this is normal par-for-the-course and that I must be calm.  Babies who can't talk, bite.  Babies don't mean harm to their friends when they bite.  It isn't a personal assault against Jr.  It's a phase.  Calm.  Peace.  Pray.

But, really, this is unacceptable! That yuck-face picture is now the furthest thing from my mind.


  1. I would TOTALLY feel the same way if something like this happened!! They should've kept trying to get a better picture of your sweet baby..At least your son has a cute bad face ;)

  2. Totally understand!

    I'd love for you to come check out the Weekend Blog Walk at At Home Take 2. Lots of great bloggers linking up.

    Jessica @ At Home Take 2


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