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…”