The title of this post comes from a Daniel Tiger episode. Daniel Tiger is Julia’s new favorite show to watch. I like this show much better than her previous favorite, Bubble Guppies. Each episode of Daniel Tiger talks about a feeling and there’s a little song that goes along with each one. One of them talks about how if something bad happens, you should try to look on the bright side and find the positive aspects that can come about from a negative situation.
“When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good.”
Yesterday was a very bad day but I’m trying to keep that little song in mind and look on the bright side of things. Yesterday, around 11:30, I got a call from Julia’s daycare that she had bitten yet again. The director asked us to come in to speak to her in person. So around 4:30, Ken and I went to meet with her and she informed us that she’s made the decision that things just aren’t working out anymore and she asked us to find another child care arrangement. (Less than a half hour later, when we were leaving the daycare, we were rear-ended in a hit-and-run accident. The driver of the car got out to look at the damage, got back in his car and then drove away. When the police looked up the plate number that Ken read them from the other car, it was registered to a truck, which means we’re dealing with stolen plates or something… and probably an uninsured motorist.)
Luckily, I had been anticipating this very thing happening so I had already been in touch with another daycare director. He’s aware of the situation and basically already had a spot open for Julia. We just had to fill out some paperwork to put things into motion. So today is Julia’s last day at the daycare s she’s been at since she was 10 months old. I figured she would want one last day to say goodbye to the friends and teachers she’s had. I’ll be home with Julia the rest of this week (I have an appointment tomorrow morning and Thursday and Friday both daycares are closed for Rosh Hashana) and then Monday morning she’ll be starting at her new daycare.
Even though Julia is not yet 2, I think she understands a lot more than we sometimes give her credit for and I’m afraid for her that she’s going to feel like she did something bad. I’m afraid she’ll be sad that she won’t get to see her friends anymore. She was very close with the other two girls in her class and I’m sad for her that she won’t be seeing them every day. But at the same time I feel relieved that Julia won’t be in a stressful environment anymore. I think that the more Julia bit, the more the teachers felt helpless and unable to control her behavior. They started to get anxious and feel guilty about the whole situation and I think that stress was palpable in the classroom and probably caused Julia some anxiety herself. That, in turn, probably contributed to the biting problem.
At the same time, I’m excited about Julia’s new daycare. I have no doubt that she is resilient, as children tend to be, and that she will make new friends. She will have new wonderful teachers, and she will make new memories in her new school. I have a lot of hope and optimism right now that the simple change of scenery will be good for Julia. She’ll be going into a new school where she doesn’t have a reputation for being a biter. The teachers do not have anxiety about her being there, and they will treat her like they treat all the other kids, not as the “biter” in the classroom. Parents will not have preconceived notions about her being a bad kid and she will hopefully start fresh, with a clean slate.
Another little “golden nugget” from Daniel Tiger is the little song “When you do something new, let’s talk about what we’ll do.” This morning I tried to give Julia a little bit of warning about what’s about to happen. We can’t really sit down and have a heart-to-heart with her but I tried to explain that today would be her last day at her school with her friends but that on Monday she’s going to go to a new school that will be so much fun, with new toys and a new playground, new friends and new teachers. Her answer? “No.” That stung a little… but hopefully after a few days at home, Monday morning will go smoothly!
This morning when I brought Julia into her classroom, one of her teachers, who’s been with Julia from the beginning, started to tear up. They’ve all seen Julia’s good side and I think they really love her and her good qualities and they’ve felt so guilty this whole time about not being able to stop her when she does bite. I think they will miss her and her spunky personality a lot, but hopefully we will stay in touch with the ones Julia’s become close with. They can still babysit and see her periodically.