The time had come. I walked into daycare at about 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and my baby girl was crying. This is never a good sight to see...especially when you feel horrible all day for having her in daycare in the first place.
So, I quickly ask what happened, and I was told that Noelle had to be scolded today. SCOLDED! As Noelle was sniffling hard and had tears streaming down her cheeks, I asked what she did. They said that she walked across the room and smacked one of the workers in the face for no reason! Now, I wasn't totally shocked because Noelle does have a "heavy hand" when it comes to hitting. She has been known to hit me on the arm and sometimes the mouth but she usually is giggling and not realizing that hitting is bad. We always take her hands and tell her a stern "no," but we haven't gone much further than that with discipline. I am a really big believer in discipline, but I also really believe in age-appropriate discipline. Children have to understand that what they are doing is wrong for the discipline/punishment to mean anything. And I am not, nor will I ever be, a spanker. Never, ever. Why would I teach my child that hitting is wrong through hitting her?
They didn't do anything inappropriate, but they wanted her to say she was sorry. This is a pretty huge concept for a little girl to understand. Because Noelle says any and every word in the dictionary, she did say she was sorry and gave the girl a hug. I then scooped her in my arms and held her, and as she was still sniffling into my shoulder, she kept uttering "sorry....sorry..." Oh, it was the WORST! So painful and heartbreaking to hear your little baby girl crying sorry into your shoulder.
The whole way home she continued to sniffle and say "sorry" every few minutes. I couldn't help but in those moments feel an extreme amount of love and defensiveness for my daughter. I kept telling her how good of a girl she is and how much I love her. I told her hitting isn't nice and it hurts people, but she's not a bad girl.
And then my guilt turned on full blast. I went through all the ways that this incident was my fault. First and foremost, if I didn't choose/have to work, then she wouldn't have been in daycare to begin with. She would have only hit me in the face and I could have dealt with it in my own way. Second of all, if I would have left school early like I wanted to, then I would have been there before the assault was committed. I got there too late, and too late it was.
If Noelle truly understood the word "sorry," then I would tell her I'm sorry for not being the most perfect mommy on Earth. I'm sorry you have to get up at 6:00 a.m. and go to daycare all day for 9-10 hours. I'm sorry that things are hectic and crazy sometimes and you don't get all of our attention. I'm sorry that you might think I don't love you as much as the mothers who stay at home love their kids, but Heaven knows that's not the case.
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