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?