My Kid was THAT Kid

We chose to hire a nanny versus putting Charlotte in day care because it’s what I was most comfortable with for my 4 month old baby after exploring the day care centers in our area that had space for her.

Having a nanny has been a blessing in a lot of ways. Charlotte gets the kind of one-on-one attention that she’d get from us. They play and sing, and the whole day revolves around Charlotte. I don’t have to pack a lunch or send bottles or anything else that would make our mornings more hectic than they are. Plus, the dogs have company all day, and they love being home with their baby. It’s been great.

The down side to the nanny scenario is that Charlotte is the only kid. She doesn’t have to share. She hasn’t watched much social interaction between kids. It’s literally her own little planet.

Once Charlotte got stable on her feet, we started spending weekends at the park. It’s great for our high-energy little one, and we figured it would be good for her to be around other kids. It turns out that the park isn’t the best place to meet other kids, though. At least not in our neighborhood. There aren’t very many little ones her age when we go, and she can’t keep up with the bigger kids.

This is all part of the reason why I decided to take her to a kid gym class when I was off with her on Thursday. I wanted to see how she’d do in a room full of kids that were in her age range. (And you know—the play part was a factor too!)

So we show up for class, and Charlotte’s eyes practically bugged out of her head when she saw the play space. BALLS EVERYWHERE. Yoga balls, playground balls, ball pit… holy crap, the kid was in HEAVEN. I’m trying to get her shoes off and she’s just pointing and saying “Ball, ball, ball, ball…”

She got to run around the play space for a few minutes before class started, and it was awesome. She was so happy running from one thing to the next.

Until circle time happened. Picture a big circle filled with about a dozen toddlers each with an adult. Eleven of those toddlers are going with the program, happily enjoying the song/stretches/etc. One toddler is screaming and writhing out of her mom’s arms and pitching an absolute fit.

Guess which one was Charlotte?

If you guessed the screaming one, you are correct.

I had to get up and remove her form the circle so I could try to talk her down. While I was talking to her, circle time ended and they started some free play, so she went straight from tantrum to her happy place. BALLS.

Except it turns out that other kids like balls, too. Imagine that.

Well, my kid couldn’t imagine why another kid would want to play with a ball, and was intent on ripping balls out of their hands no matter how many other balls were currently available to her. And when I would stop and tell her that she needs to share and give the ball back to the poor shocked child standing there with outstretched arms, Charlotte would MELT. DOWN.

It wasn’t pretty, folks. Not pretty at all.

I’m not saying it was ALL bad. She had SO MUCH FUN playing. She was bouncing on anything that could bounce and gleefully running through the space squealing. She climbed and swung and tumbled her heart out. That part was great.

She’s just SO LACKING social skills. She has no idea how to be around other children. #momfail

It’s hard because our nanny doesn’t drive, so the most they can do is walk to the park during the day. That means it’s on us (with our very limited time with her) to make sure she’s getting some solid social time.

I don’t want my kid to be the pain in the ass scream-y kid in the play group! I’m grateful that I took that time with her on Thursday because otherwise I would have remained pleasantly oblivious to all of this for a while longer. Better to know now so we can start working on it!

This weekend, we’re going to decide which of two kid gym groups we’re going to join so we can start paying through the nose to get her an hour of social play time each week. (This shit is so damn expensive!)

Also, it is painfully obvious that we need more friends with kids. Because I have so much free time to devote to trying to make mom friends. Is there a match.mom?

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23 thoughts on “My Kid was THAT Kid

  1. Oh me gee, match.mom is brilliant.

    I so wish we lived closer. Charlotte and Julia would love each other, I think. Well, once they figured out how to share balls, I mean. Lime took J to her first gymnastics session of her own last week (after MONTHS of coveting her sister’s class) and she LOVED it. Balls, balance beams, trampolines? The BEST.

  2. Not a #momfail, more like #averageparentingproblems (great Instagram account to follow). Every kid develops different skills at different times, and Charlotte’s social skills are soon to come I’m sure! Also, I STILL hate sharing, and my parents tried like hell to train that out of me. It seems pretty natural for me to want the cool stuff for myself, rather than a bunch of strangers :p sure, it’s not totally social accepted, but it’s natural!

  3. Evelyn and Henry have spent EVERY day of their lives together. Every. Day. And you know what? At Charlotte’s age (and for about a year after), they fought, screamed, grabbed from each other like it was their JOB. Charlotte is totally normal!

    • Thank you. I needed to hear that. All of the other parents were looking at me like they felt sorry for me, and I really felt like it was just us dealing with this.

      • Yup! My boys too! They have LITERALLY been together since implantation and they LIVE for fighting…all damn day! We get 2 of EVERYTHING to avoid fighting and thjey still fight for the SAME DAMN ONE! It’s unreal…totally age appropriate friend…

  4. Have you considered turning your nanny into a nanny share? Maybe even just a part time share? We share a nanny with friends who have a daughter the same age as Mabel. A great bonus: it makes the nanny more affordable!

  5. Look for library story times! Our library does reading of one book (short attention spans) and then puts out toys for playtime. They all fight and don’t share but hey, it’s free. 🙂 Also, not a mom fail because us SAHMs have the same struggle. We do Music Together once a week and that helps because there are lots of props and instruments and ALWAYS fights over the drums. 🙄

  6. I think she’ll pick it up pretty fast. Charlie does storytime just once a week and it’s made a huge difference I think. This month we’ve barely been and it has me stressing about how she’ll act when we go back, which we are doing, THIS COMING THURSDAY COME HELL OR HIGHWATER.

  7. Hehe, Ali has been THAT kid many times before, I feel ya.
    If you happen to come across a mom friend or two to have play dates with that would be awesome, but I wouldn’t stress about it. She will be in daycare/preschool soon enough and will learn social skills there. The learning curve for her may be a little steeper than other kids who have gone to daycare, but after a couple months you would never be able to pick out the stay at home kids from the daycare kids 🙂

  8. Yeah, B is with his grandparents all day. We did the Gymboree thing, I guess it kind of helped, but he still struggles and is too rough with other kids. He is starting preschool part-time in a few weeks so I’m interested to see how he does. Most young toddlers don’t seem to be that good with sharing or interacting. I’m always relieved when another kid lashes out at mine (and my silly kid just thinks it’s funny since he likes playing rough)

  9. I think that Charlotte’s behaviour sounds totally normal. We go to ‘story time’ once a week, and it’s a free-for-all; all of the toddlers are unaware of other’s needs and wants, they grab, they knock each other over, they hoard toys. And it isn’t just the only children, it’s all of them! They’re wild. A four year old ploughed J over and didn’t even notice. Social skills take a long time.
    That said, I definitely worry about J not getting enough contact with other kids as well. Wish we were close enough for a play date!

  10. I will say that this is one of the perks of daycare. Sure, he comes home with colds and the occasional bite mark (jk), but Chick is pretty good playing with other kids his age. The flip side is that he doesn’t get the same level of one-on-one care– I think he would likely have been walking sooner had someone be focusing on that skill with him more consistently. Ah well… you take the good, you take the bad…

    As for meeting mom friends, there are apps for this. Yes, I said it- APPS! http://hellomamas.com
    http://momcoapp.com

    I have not used either, but perhaps you can give ’em a test run and let us know how well they work! I see an app review post in your future. 😉

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