Who hasn’t heard this phrase before? It’s the key to our diets, our livelihood, our spending habits, and our indulgences. This week, however, it also the key to caring for multiple children. Allow me to explain.
My daughter attends daycare a few days per week. While I work for Motherhood Inc., I also choose to teach two days per week as well. While I am teaching, my daughter attends a lovely little daycare/school that is responsible for helping her socialize faster, learn to feed herself sooner, and even help her begin using the sign language we started teaching so long ago. For the first month that I dropped my daughter off at daycare, I cried the entire way to school. After that period, however, I began to adjust to my new routine. Daycare is good for her, and it’s good for me too. Until, of course, last week.
Last week I picked my daughter up like any other time. I gathered her bag and sweater, looked over her record of eating, drinking, and diapers, and scooped up my baby. As I prepared to leave, however, my eye caught a sheet of paper on the counter, “Incident Report.” As I surreptitiously tried to discover what purpose this unfamiliar document served, my daughter’s room teacher handed it to me along with a pen. Upon closer reading, I realized my daughter had been bitten by a little boy-identity unrevealed-at school that day, and I was required to proffer my signature as a sign that I was aware of this brutal and vicious attack against my innocent child.
Cue the torrential downpour of emotions. My baby? Bitten? Attacked? Assaulted while under the watchful eye of drastically underpaid people in an overpriced institute? This is unheard of! This is unacceptable! Call the police. Wire the National Guard. Who is the devil who dared to puncture the flesh of my precious little angel?
Then, of course, I got over it. Kids play, and this happens. Her skin was not actually broken, so I can cease watching her for signs of rabies, gangrene, and the host of other illnesses which may have otherwise prevailed. The teachers can’t tell me who bit her for a variety of reasons, and I understand. I can be a completely calm and rational person when it comes to incidents with my child (the first time, anyway).
However, this was still a learning experience for me. It is very important to me that a teacher be hands-on constantly with these children. They are fighting over a toy? Teach them to share and offer an alternative. They are fighting because they are tired? Separate and soothe. Hungry and uncomfortable? High chairs make excellent feeding decvices/separation apparatus. For any problem among babies, the key is moderation. Make sure someone is always available to separate them if the babies are having a disagreement, and make sure you do it before my child gets injured. The result will be a room full of happy children, relatively relaxed teachers, and one less Mama Bear on a rampage because of a repeat assault.
Trust me. If we all used moderation as key, the world would be a better place.