Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The trials of a 4 year old

In a previous post about the YMCA I mentioned the issues a certain member of our family has with the nursery. I will elaborate on that today. When I first found out that there was a nursery I could hardly contain my excitement! I had become an avid gym member at our local gym 3-4 nights a week a couple years ago and really got in to it. Jon was a sweetie to take the bath/bedtime shift so I could go after supper. Then I got pregnant with Olivia and all desires of exercising or exerting myself more than was necessary went out the window. Period. During my pregnancy Jon decided to go back to school and get his master’s degree so after Olivia was born the night time routine was all me and at the end of that the last thing I wanted to do was go run a few miles. So when I discovered the nursery at a place that had far more weights and exercise equipment than our local gym has ever dreamed of providing and where I was definitely going to be coming at least 2 times a week I said “Where’s the dotted line?”

When I first explained to the twins what we were going to do they weren’t quite sure of it. After all, this would be the closest they’ve been to day care! They had been seeing the play ground and that intrigued them slightly. Then when we got in there and they saw all the toys they were even more intrigued. But even though I had been talking it up for a day or two and made sure they understood that I was coming back and that all the grownups that worked there were nice or I wouldn’t leave them in their care, James started to cry a little. I reminded him he was going to get to swim afterwards and that helped. It also helped that he had Audrey by his side who seemed untouched by the fact that I was leaving them in a strange place with lots of strangers.

After about a week or so of going he started to complain when I’d say they were going. Here’s how that first investigative conversation went and many more after that:
James: Mama!!! I don’t want to go to the nursery!!!
Me: Why not????
James: Because I don’t like it there!!!
Me: Why not?
James: Because it’s not fun there!!
Me: But I thought you liked it??
James: No. I don’t like it.
Me: Well, you have to give me a reason
James: That mean boy said we were babies
Audrey: Yeah!!!! He said we were babies and we’re not!!!!
Me: Well, when he starts to tease you just go play somewhere else

A couple visits later.....
James: I don’t want to go to the nursery!!
Me: Why not???
James: Because it’s not fun there
Me: Why not? There’s tons of toys and a play ground
James: But that mean baby pinched me on the face!!!!!
Audrey: Yeah!!! And that mean kid called us babies!!
Me: He called you babies again???
James: No.

A couple visits later......
James: I don’t want to go to the nursery!!!
Me: Why not????
James: Because it’s not fun there!!!
Me: But every time I come pick you up you are always having fun. I can see you!!!
James: There’s nothing but baby toys there and it’s not fun!! And that baby pinched me.
Audrey: Yeah!!! And that mean kid called us babies!!!

A couple visits later....
James: I don’t want to go to the nursery!!!!
Me: Well, you are going. End of story.
James: But it’s not fun there!! (crying now) It’s all baby toys!! No big kid toys!!!
Audrey: But James, I like the nursery.
Me: Rolling my eyes and seriously tired of the same argument every single time

A couple visits later....
James: I don’t want to go to the nursery!!!
Audrey: But James it’s fun there!!
James: No it’s not
Me: James, has the big kids picked on you any more?
James: No
Me: James, has the baby pinched you any more?
James: No
Me: James, do the grownups let you watch t.v., give you snacks, do arts and crafts with you and let you go outside most of the time?
James: Yes
Me: Well, you need to forgot about the “bad” things that happened to you and just enjoy all the fun things that you get to do. Can you do this for me? I really like to workout.
James: OK

Every single time I say we are going we have pretty much the same conversations. Audrey likes it and James does not. James got a bad taste in his mouth those first few times and now it’s just a stigma he has. However, now that the weather is always pleasant at the end of the day and since we have changed times they are always out on the play ground when we get there. This has seemed to help a little perhaps. He left a toy there on Monday and is so excited to be going today so he can get his toy! Even though it’s been rather tiresome having to have the same conversation and hear the same whiney complaints time after time, I’m glad we have encountered this experience at this point in his life. And I feel like I have to say that all the ladies that work in the nursery that oversee the care of James and Audrey (and Olivia too) are wonderful ladies. Any parent can “sneak up” at any point and time to “watch” how their children are being treated and I have never once encountered a child being mistreated or seen someone turn a blind eye to inappropriate behavior (such as big kids picking on little kids). I feel very confident in this and if I for a moment thought James had been or was being improperly taken care of for the short hour I leave them there, I wouldn’t leave them. Seriously, James just doesn’t forget things and takes things very personal!!


melliehodges said...

Girl, I feel your pain, except, my nursery experience with the Y was that Bethany did not want to be without me. Finally I told her she could take ONE of her favorite animals with her and if they didn't cry or fuss so that the nursery had to come and get me that I would give them a sucker on the way home. I haven't had a problem since. Now they beg me to go to the Y! I do have a problem with some of the staff and have refused to leave them at times, and I have reported several things I have seen that disturbed me. At one point, we went to leave the kids, and I wouldn't sign them in and leave them unless they had someone else come and work in the room. They had 23 kids [from ages infant to six] to one nursery worker and it was the girls second day on the job. I went and complained and told them not only was it not acceptable, but it was against the they can only have a ratio of 10 kids to 1 person. They were upset with me, but I can't believe people were leaving their kids in that situation! Anyway, have fun working out!

Amanda said...

Oh no!! I don’t blame you for refusing to leave!! At any given time there is at least 4 girls working in our nursery. Glad you got it worked out!

Emily said...

Aw, poor James! At least he's got his cheery sister to encourage him! :)

I remember being concerned how Gabriela would do the first time I took her to the daycare at our Y. She ran in, started playing, and never looked back. I can't even get a goodbye hug and kiss from her. And she gets so upset when I come back to pick her up! Lilian, on the other hand, screams when I leave and pretty much demands to be cuddled the whole time I'm gone. (Never mind she won't cuddle 2 seconds with anyone at home!)

There is no doubt in my mind kids are born with their very own personalities! haha

the ladner family said...

I agree 100% emily ! But there personalities strangely resemble the parents ...
Poor james ! Isabella is that way , she will bring stuff up from when she was 2 !

clinch64 said...

You cannot realize how depressing this is to read about spouse, children, family, etc., given the fact i am 47 years of age, and no lady has ever wanted anything to do with me. They always refuse an offering of Christian love and outreach. this whole issue is not about myself, but of wanting to pass something along to someone else, and to be able to give back.

I believe the Lord impressed upon me to get in touch with you, for i feel you may know of someone out there who has experienced a similar situation, and is looking for the same things. The location matters not. God Bless

Becky said...

hope you're ok with spending your final days in a nursing home

Dianne said...


Glad you partially worked through James' angst in this. This is a good foundational steps. I agree it's great he has Audrey and, there'll probably be times, down the road, where James will be an encourager to her. I love the concept of twins in getting to passively participate (via this blog) in the 'raisin' of these two cherubs. P.S. I came to see if the password would be a problem...I'm in. God bless.