Policies that expel an 18 month old: Because really, they’re just like a 4 year old. Or an 8 year old. Why bother adding staff when you can get rid of them?
Thursday was my Zumba class day. I LOVE this Zumba class. Not only is the teacher fabulous and energetic, but I get to dance while consistently burning between 500-600 calories (so, you know, I can eat chocolate).
Thursday is supposed to be my “easy” day – the Tackler off at his Mother’s Day Out program so I only have to wrangle a single child on my visit.
Imagine my surprise, when twenty minutes into my class, one of the child care workers summoned me.
“Dirty diaper?” I asked, because they do not change those.
“You have to pick her up. She won’t stop tackling other kids and putting them into headlocks.”
I was dumbfounded.
Yes, I was aware of my Tacklerette (aka Lil Diva), but she’s easily distracted, only of average size for her age, and “loving” as opposed to malicious in her headlock hugging affections.
I left my class, and checked on the situation myself. Sure enough, she was infatuated with another little boy, wanting to hug, tackle, or point out his nose and eyes on his face. Injury was easily avoided by giving her something else interesting to do.
“She’s doing OK right now. Can I shower at least?” I asked.
I set a land speed record for a shower and returned.
An “Incident Report” waited for me.
As I read through the familiar jargon – already well acquainted with it following The Tackler’s expulsions earlier this year – I fought to control my temper.
“Are you seriously writing her up for this? She doesn’t even understand the concept of a time out yet. I can understand removing her on a day where you’re short staffed and she’s more than a handful, but holding her up to the standards of a child that actually knows what is right and wrong, when all she’s trying to do is love on them is ridiculous!”
“It’s our policy.”
“Your policy needs to be revised for younger kids. She’s EIGHTEEN MONTHS.”
“We have to protect the other kids.”
“Then watch her. Sit her in your lap with the child she wants to love on so she can get it out of her system in a supervised, behaviorally corrected way. Kicking her out will do nothing.”
Except punish me, because it certainly isn’t her fault she equates headlocks, overzealous hugs, and pushing with showing her affection. She’s had a year tolerating such things from her brother.
She’s stronger because of it.
Except for now fearing expulsions and loss of my beloved gym workout and uninterrupted hot shower, I’m rather fond of my Tacklerette – I know she won’t take crap from other kids as she gets older and will dish it right back.
She isn’t cruel in her actions, she’s just an 18 month old who loves babies and doesn’t understand why she can’t “play” with them.
This is a normal stage for kids. Why the frak does a child care system not understand this and have an area safe for those kids to play, with perhaps a smaller adult to child ratio?
Why the frak do they punish her with the same standards as a child old enough to comprehend what they’re doing is “not nice” or wrong?
If she consistently does it again, I’m told the same rules apply as with the Tackler: next time she will be expelled for three days, not just one. Then a week.
You have to frakking be kidding me.*
Am I alone in this?
Did you have a “What the frak?” moment this week?