This morning’s topic on our walk and bus ride was what to say when someone is being mean. It didn’t take long before Cameron was firmly saying, “No! That’s mean,” followed by, “I won’t play with you until you’re nice.” We got through the doors at daycare, and I crouched down to help get shoes off. We rehearsed (without keeping voices down) what to say two more times. “What do you say when someone says something mean, Cameron,” I asked? “I say NO to Ethan, Mommy!” I gently corrected him, saying that this could be anyone, but that couldn’t have been better if it had been scripted. So I’m a little passive-aggressive.
On the way to pick Cameron up after daycare I met Rosalyn’s mother, and I decided to ask her about how Ethan has been behaving. She said that Rosie will often say that Ethan hates her or Cameron, and that Ethan hits Cameron.
I didn’t talk with Lori about it, not yet. I know I need to, but today was not the right time. I got Cameron ready to go, and as we were getting ready, Lori’s current assistant Nadia (not the one I mentioned before who indicated I shouldn’t speak with Lori, a different one) was ready as well. So as she and I walked, with Cameron running ahead, I asked her if she could tell me what was going on. “Well, I didn’t see anything this afternoon,” she stressed the word this.
I very much like Nadia and her effect on the daycare. Before she arrived, Cameron never brought home art work from daycare. She also speaks to Cameron in French, and helps me out with my vocabulary too. Unfortunately, she has a good deal of Early Childhood education and experience, and so is too expensive for Lori to keep on. This is her last week. But … she’s mentioned that she will be starting her own daycare. I have her phone number. I’ll talk rates, times, and other things with her and keep that in mind, though it’s likely still several months away. I agree, though, moving him isn’t a solution really, as he will encounter bullies later in life as well.
Cameron and I also did some role-playing with his WOW toy ‘men’ while he was in the tub. I used them to act out a little scene where two friends are playing, and one says something mean. Cameron helped by telling me what the picked-on one should say. This went well for a couple of variations, but then Cameron grabbed the toys and started acting out his own scene … where the bully wouldn’t leave the other alone until the picked-on one beat the crap out of the other one. Is it wrong of me to wish that Cameron would lash out? Judy, you’ve told me about what happened with Daniel over Christmas, and I agree that there are big problems with that technique … but I’m close to thinking that the repercussions are something that could be dealt with.
So, we’re working through this. I can’t handle feeling like I’m playing victim here, and I don’t want Cameron to spend any time getting used to victim-ish behaviour. There isn’t an immediate solution, but in the meantime I can treat this like a learning opportunity and teach Cameron how to deal with bullies. I would really like it, Joanne, if you would watch then and tell me what you think. I agree with you, that Ethan probably is having a really hard time sharing his mom, and some of his aggressive nature is possibly due to this. Soon I will need to talk to Lori about this, as gently and non-confrontationally as I can, whether or not it’s a productive discussion.
… and I cuddled Cameron tonight, his little arms tight around my neck, until he fell asleep. That much I can do, at least.