Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The no excuse zone

Today it hit me (with the force of a deranged two-year-old-toddler running full tilt into my knees) why daycare is better than keeping your kids home with you.

IT GIVES YOU SOMEONE TO BLAME FOR EVERY BAD THING THEY DO.

Seriously.

When I witnessed my beloved bobble-headed child smack another kid at the beach yesterday when he didn't get the toy he wanted, I wondered how fast I could dig a sand hole and bury myself in it. I remembered at the last second that it would be irresponsible parenting and so I said, "Baby G, no! no! Say you're sorry!" He did, although his expression clearly communicated the following message simultaneously: THIS song and dance, Mom? Can you turn your back for a second so I can get another whack in? I promise to say sorry again after.

I fretted about it all day. I finally emailed the mom last night with another apology. "Sorry my kid hit your kid. Blah blah blah, please don't ban me from the play group or blacklist him in nursery." Her response? "I don't remember Baby G doing that."

Well...good.

Nonetheless, it got me thinking. My first kid was of necessity a daycare kid several days a week and I wished I could stay at home with him. But any hitting, spitting, or other bad behavior was so easy to palm off. "Oh, he must have learned that at daycare." (All right, him saying "Damn" was my fault but "s***" was TOTALLY daycare as was the time he peed in the giant ceramic pumpkin on the playground and I have since repented and NEVER said that word again. When he was listening.) He threw a tantrum? Darn those other kids at daycare. He wouldn't share? Daycare's fault.

Of course, now I stay home and Baby G (#2) has revved up for age two. Even though we're a couple of months away from his birthday, he's getting a running start at the Terribles. As my MIL says, "God makes this age the cutest so you don't kill him." Amen.

Anyway, I now have nothing to blame his naughtiness on. He yells when he doesn't get his way? Well, surely that has nothing to do with the many times I shriek with increasing hysteria, "Baby G! No! No!" He has developed the obnoxious overuse of the pronoun "mine"? It didn't come from the fifty things I pull out of his hands a day and explain, "That's mine." You know, kind of loudly. He hits kids? It's definitely not because I lose my mind and my temper and sometimes deliver a smack on his hand when he wrestles all of the spoons out of the silverware drawer for the tenth time in an afternoon.

I'm thinking of putting him in daycare a couple of times a week just so I can get my excuses back.

24 comments:

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

you are hilarious!!!

and your kids sound like carbon copies of mine!

Josi said...

Where do they learn 'mine' from anyway? It's not like we go around all day pulling stuff from them and shouting 'mine' in their faces. I've never figured that one out.

Debbie said...

I do love your sense of humor! And I always hated it when my little darlings did something like that. I realize now it was your kids rubbing off on mine:)

Lara said...

Sigh.

I can tell you that I'm right there with you.

We still have nursery to blame a few things on. Right?

Don said...

TV! Blame TV!

And if you want to get political, throw in the Left Wing Communist Conspiracy of PBS, or the Right Wing Capitalist Conspiracy of Nickelodeon.

Kristina P. said...

Maybe you can call it preschool and feel better about it.

MommyJ said...

I'm with Kristina P. Preschool all the way. :) Or nursery!! He goes to nursery once a week, doesn't he? There's got to be a few more kids in there teaching him horrible, annoying things!

charrette said...

All three of my kids went to preschool. (note euphemism) Starting at 18 months. I was a working mom all those years, and it was a necessity.

Sadly, I never learned to blame any of their childish behavior on daycare. I totally still blamed myself. Still do.

This made me chuckle. And pound my fist into my head...Why didn't I think of that?!

And today, when Mr. Cool was late for school, and it's only the third week in...there's nobody to blame but yours truly.

Becca said...

Blame? What blame? He's a free agent, baby. :)

Jan said...

Just had to put my kids in daycare last month. I was feeling a bit guilty about it, but you've helped me find the silver lining! Thanks!!

DeNae said...

Do you love the seagulls in "Nemo" and their "mine, mine" lingo??

Far as I'm concerned, you can STILL blame daycare. And the economy. Oh, and every US president since Lincoln. And maybe even post-nasal drip.

I know that always makes ME act out.

There you go. Complete absolution.

Kimberly said...

Since my kids are about to go into daycare for the first time I'm really hoping their behaviour worsens. Seriously. I mean, what if they actually IMPROVE while under someone else's care? I'd never live it down...

Stephanie Faris said...

Good point! I guess if they didn't go to day care you could at least have them in a mother's day out program...or even Sunday school at church. You know if you tell people, "He must have picked it up at Sunday school" they can't fault you!

Jessica G. said...

The kids may have their father's eyes, but that raging temper comes directly from me.

Tracy said...

I only take credit for the good behaviour. All the other stuff obviously comes from their father's side of the family. :)

wonder woman said...

I think I'm gonna steal your MIL's quote. That's hilarious.

I blame TV and neighbor kids for all the bad things my kids say.

WILLOW TREE said...

I'm a single mom of 3, have to use daycare, but I blame myself for everything they do wrong.

Of course I have been known to say, "wheeeeere is YOUR mother?" in the cereal isle of the grocery store when they lose their minds. Just sayin.

Blessings,
Carolynn

April said...

I'm sure he's getting all of his behaviors from his father.

Kazzy said...

Yeah, that "mine" wprd will about kill ya by the time he is done saying it.

Emily said...

Ha Ha! My sentiments exactly! Thanks for the laugh, and putting it into words!

annie valentine said...

I like using the "I'm a minority" approach to everything. The house is overrun with children, I'm the minority and therefore am not responsible. For anything.

L.T. Elliot said...

My dad says the same thing as your mom. He says, "God made baby [insert any creature on the planet] cute so they'd survive to adulthood." He also says that you have a chance to drown them at age 8 (baptism for my religion) and they'll go straight to heaven but that he could never manage to hold us down long enough. We were "too cute."

Eowyn said...

I was laughing two lines in. I've never had the daycare excuse, but I will have the pre-school excuse starting Tuesday!

Kaylie said...

You need to invent a few more excuses. It's not hard. Older siblings (who picked it up from preschool of course), kids walking by on their way home from school, the crusty nasty lady at the mall who hates children...