Category Archives: the dutch files

children make life so…interesting! read on.

daycare drama? don’t start none, won’t be none…

two years old is such an interesting age. dutch has an entire vocabulary of words. some are made up (i like to think of him as like an e-40), some are dead on correct and clear and some of it still a bunch of mush that no one can really distinguish.

he started out with the basics: mama, dada, dutch (yes, his own name was actually one of his first words, go figure…), bird, woof-woof and so on and so forth. then he started to string them and form sentences. how exciting!! that brings me to last tuesday morning. we were heading out the door on our way to daycare. late as usual. he was searching for a last minute toy to grab (a little car ride entertainment) and i was searching for my keys (again, as usual) and trying to make sure that i had everything we needed when dutch stood firmly in front of me, looked up, and said, “i don’t wanna go eva’s…”

eva is his daycare provider. a kind and loving woman from ghana who has done daycare for over 12 years and who loves our son to pieces. she always called him the “prince” and it’s something i think we’re paying for today, but more on that later.

“you don’t want to go?? why?”

as if my child could actually articulate a “why” i asked over and over… “but why, dutchie, why?? did something happen at eva’s? tell mommy.”

of course he didn’t go into a long explanation of why he just kept repeating “i don’t wanna go eva’s.” the whole way to eva’s he repeated, “i don’t wanna go, eva’s… i don’t wanna go, eva’s… and he was still saying it as we pulled into her driveway and around to her front door. i explained to him that i had to go to work and that i’d be back to get him as soon as i could. and he responded with his usual, “o-tay, mama…” sounding sad and the whole nine.

the more and more i thought about dutch saying he didn’t want to go the more and more concerned i got. i’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories and crazy things that happen at some daycare centers. the abuse that sometimes happens. the lack of attention. the intense punishments. the yelling and cursing. all that. so i decided that when i got to work i’d give eva a call to find out just what happened on monday that made dutch not want to come back. but first i emailed my husband.

if you know my husband, you’d be surprised at how cool he was when i first explained how the morning went. he figured that it was all a part of dutch working out his new vocab and that everything was probably fine.

then i called eva and she assured me that dutch’s day had gone swell and that he didn’t want to leave when his daddy came to pick him up the day before.

so why’d he say he didn’t want to go? well, i figure that he probably just thinks we ditch him at daycare so we can come back home and watch tv all day and eat popsicles. i mean, who wouldn’t want to stay home and watch “hip hop harry” and “calliou” all day? not to mention we keep a stock of popsicles and eva doesn’t.

i’m sure a lot of words like “work” get lost in translation when you’re talking to a 2-year-old. i remember distinctly when i was in the 2nd grade and my teacher said that she was going on a diet. i was horrified. not because she didn’t need to lose the weight, but i truly had no clue of what a diet was. i thought a diet meant going on a cruise vacation. i can recall picturing her on a huge white ship that looked much like the love boat. and the worse thing about this “diet” was that i thought it meant we’d have to have a substitute teacher and being the little nerd that i was, i hated subs. so you just never know what a child is thinking.

after work i went to pick up dutch and he was his normal, cheery self. it was if he had totally forgotten that he had been stuck at the one place he didn’t want to be all day. once we got situated in the car and were on our way home i asked him how his day went and he said, “mama, i wan go to eva’s…”

late nights and diego to boot!

i kinda had a hunch it was all a bit too good to be true.

my almost 2-year-old son’s bedtime was 8 o’clock on the nose and for about a year and oh, what joy!! after middle of the night wake ups to nurse and early morning rises, my boy had fallen into a great routine. dinner, bath, bed at 8. my husband and i bragged to friends and neighbors…

“oh, he’s in bed at 8 o’clock EVERY night…”

“never fails, he’s yawning by 7:45 EVERY night…”

“your child isn’t in bed until 11 (hee-hee…) i don’t know WHAT i’d do if that were me!!”

something told me that my husband and i shouldn’t have taken so much pleasure in listening to other parents’ bedtime stories. but we did. and now we’re paying for it.

my son first climbed out of the crib about two and half months ago. my husband and i were lounging on the couch, watchin’ a little tv and all of a sudden we heard the doorknob to our bedroom turn. we looked at each other in horror as if we thought some evil spirit had invaded our space and was walking around twisting knobs for the fun of it. but nope. no ghost. it was something much, much worse… an escaped toddler!!

he tried climbing out of the crib once again, but the second time wasn’t as successful. all we heard was a huge BOOM! and then the wailing that ensued afterwards and i knew it was time to lower the crib to last level. if that didn’t work i knew it’d be time to make his go-go gadget crib do what it was meant to do… transform into a toddler bed.

neither my husband or i were exactly excited about our son having freedom. you know, the kind of freedom that you have when you sleep in a bed without railings. it was just too much for my mind to process. it was bad enough that he had outgrown his bouncy seat, then his swing, then his walker… he never cared too much for his playpen so there were only a few places left where i could secure him for a few minutes-his highchair and his crib.

amazingly either lowering the crib worked or he was just so darn tramatized by his fall that he didn’t make another attempt at climbing out of the crib.

“YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! we’ve still got time,” my husband and i thought.

then it happened. my son got sick. if you’re a parent then you know that the one thing that can totally break your heart is seeing your child ill. my son had a cold, but colds usually trigger his wheezing and then there’s the whole nebulizer treatment thing and it’s just icky and i feel so bad for my baby that i tend to spoil him just a wee bit more. so what i did-and trust me, i’m paying big time for it now-is i let him sleep in the bed with us.

oh, silly, silly mama…

it’s been about two months now and getting him out of our bed has been the hardest thing i think i’ve ever had to do. i put him in the crib and then the crying starts. i mean, how long do you let your child cry?? i’m new at this so usually around 15-20 minutes i’m a sucker for the tears and i rescue him. sure, it’s the wrong thing to do. i know. but i do it anyway. and i’ve been doing it. like i said, silly, silly mama…

but then i ran to target about a week ago to buy him some diapers and it hit me!! toddler bedding!! that’ll do it. if his bed looks like a big boy bed (as if he really knows what THAT is) then maybe he’ll want to sleep in it.

and that’s what bring me do this wacko-diego-dom. diego’s a cool character. i guess he’s teaching some great skills and all that. honestly, i don’t know what the heck he’s teaching because i usually tune him out. i find him to be one totally boring kid. but my son lovessssssssssssss diego. and he doesn’t even watch the show that much. i think he just likes the idea of diego. whenever he sees a product with diego on it and he loses his little mind.

“mommy, go-die…” he doesn’t pronounce diego’s name like dee-a-go, it’s more like “day” and i’m pretty sure he believes that “go” is the first part of his name as well. but it’s cool. like i said, he’s almost two so he doesn’t lose any cool points for enunciation yet.

so anyway, back to target. the only toddler bedding they had was this diego stuff. now granted, it was a good idea for me to get it since my son loves diego so much, but i honestly had something totally different in mind for his first “real” bedding set. you know, something like this never mind the fact that it’s $150, i’m just telling you what i had in mind.

but i was desperate. and my mind was running wild. “if i get this diego bed in a bag thing then maybe son will go to sleep in his own bed… i bet it’ll work!!! ibetibetibet!!!” i was so freakin’ excited about my purchase that i drove home like a madwoman. i snuck into the bedroom and got the bedding all situated and then came the unveiling of his “big boy bed”!! yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

or at least that’s what we thought.

my son wasn’t very impressed by the whole thing. sure it was diego. sure jaguar was there too… sure, sure, sure, mommy.

so now we’re quietly placing him in his bed once he’s fallen asleep.

sure he likes to jump on his new big boy bed.

sure he likes to point out the monkeys and the birds on the comforter.

but he sure isn’t going to bed at 8 anymore.

be quiet!!

that’s what i hear the most from my not quite 2-year-old son lately. and just how do you respond to a toddler who doesn’t seem to like the sound of your voice?

haven’t quite figured that out yet.

it all started out as a nice shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… we’d be in the car and i’d be singing the “abc song” and then all of a sudden i’d hear, “shhhhhhhhhhhh mommy” coming from the back seat. talk about a blow to your ego. i mean, i know i don’t have the vocal capabilities of beyonce, but geesh, it’s the freakin’ “song”!!! give me a break.

then his shhhhhhhhhhhhh… graduated to shut up. i think he overheard me and his daddy exchange those two words a few too many times and decided to add it to his repertoire. the funny thing is that my husband thought he was saying wassup since “shut up” sounded more like “shup”. but he’s gone from “shup” to straight up “shut up” now so there’s no confusion.

next came “close your mouth” (along with pinching lips together) and once i started telling him to “zip it” with the hand motions and all, of course nothing became too complicated for him. my son now has at least a hundred ways to tell us to shut up and i think i may be to blame for it. as soon as he catches on i switch. now he has a vast array of “shut up” words complete with hand signals.

i think he just really digs the power he thinks it gives him. half the time when he’s telling us to be quiet or shut up or shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… we’re not even saying anything anyway so i’m assuming that in his mind he’s thinking, “yeah, i told them and now look… they’re not saying nothin’! yesssssss!! i’m the man!!”