How To Make a Mother Mad

I know a lot of mommas read this, so any feedback would be appreciated.  I'm sure many will think I'm overreacting, but please keep in mind this is my first and only child (at the moment).

For the past (almost) 2 years little G has been home with me. He does not go to daycare. The only babysitters we have are family (we are so lucky that they are all within 5 minutes).  I openly admit that I am a paranoid mother.  I have watched too many news and Oprah specials to even consider having a stranger babysit my child.

Today was a big day for me.  I decided I would take G to the little drop-in daycare at our YMCA while I worked out (aka did my pregnancy waddle on the treadmill). I see moms do it all the time. The kids seem to have fun. What could be the worst that could happen?

So we get all ready, head to the gym.  I walk him to the little daycare down the hall and sign him in. I'm a little disappointed that signing in involves me simply stating our names and where in the building I'll be. No showing I.D. or anything.  To pick him up all I do is walk up to the door and tell them the name of the kid I'm getting and initial next to it.  I feel like anyone could just walk up, look at the sign in sheet, and say a name.  Therefore, I position myself on a treadmill right at the window so I can see every kid that leaves the building. You know, just in case someone tries to swipe him.

I peek in on him after 20 minutes, fearful he will not be handling it well since he's with a bunch of strange kids and adults.  He is sitting playing by himself, all seems well.  I go back to working out for another 20 minutes.  When I go to get him he is standing at the plexiglass window(before he even sees me) saying 'Mama, mama, mama, all done, all done' and starting to cry. My heart is breaking. His chubby little hands pressed on the glass looking frantically around was the saddest thing I've seen in a while.

I 'sign him out' amidst a stream of chaos at the daycare door (kids running in and out, parents yelling, etc.), and head to the car.  I lay him down in the backseat to check his diaper when I notice a big red mark on his arm.  I look at it....

It's a bite mark. Some stinky little brat bit my child. Not only that, but no one told me. I picked up G and headed back into the Y to ask what the heck. The worst part was that when we approached the door for the daycare G grabbed onto me for dear life and said "All done all done!". Poor kid seemed a bit traumatized. Upon further inspection with the 3 employees that were 'watching him' he also had bite marks all over his finger.  I did a good job of keeping myself together. The look on my face and tone of my voice was frightening I'm sure, somewhere between trying not to scream and trying not to cry.

 I know stuff like this happens, but I think I was so upset because they had no idea what happened. The best they could tell me was, "We don't know, we didn't hear him cry...sorry".   I imagine stuff like this happens at daycare frequently.  I expect someone who is watching my kid to be a little observant.  The bite just about broke the skin (definitely will leave a mark for a few days and it's already bruised), so I'm going to go with G probably cried or made some sort of noise indicated distress when it happened.

I was so upset when I left and got in the car. I called the husband on the verge of hysterical crying(pregnancy hormones don't help the cause).  My first time I try, and this is what I get. Seriously not doing anything to help me be less overbearing. I know he thought I was overreacting about how bad the mark was, so he asked me to meet him at a Wendy's near his work (he was out to lunch, so fancy!) to see for himself.  He asked me for the phone number for the Y, and left a message for the director of the babysitting stuff. Nothing mean, just letting her know what happened and that we were disappointed with our first experience.

Now, I am perfectly aware G could have done something to provoke a bite. Maybe he took a toy, or tried to play 'tackle' like he does with Daddy. Who knows. Honestly, I feel like the people watching my kid should know.  If he did do something, let me know so I can talk to him (not like talking to a 2 year old well after the fact accomplishes a whole lot). My instincts doubt he did anything seeing as how he is  shy when in a new place with new people.

We are going to try again on Friday when husband as off. It was hopefully just some freak thing and won't happen again. I really enjoyed having the little bit of time to myself, and I do need to get comfortable with the idea of someone else caring for him (aka preschool in a little over a year). But I just don't have the strength to send him in there again by myself.


  1. Breath ...... we have the same system at our "club" for signing in and out but I will say that I know the girls in the club and to get to know them I would sit and chat and talk to them and engage my kiddies with them so they kinda get use to them. In the beginning they were the same way because I had only had family watching them as well but once they started to know the girls in the club it was fine. Ava would probably punch someone if they tried to bite her, she is 2 but does not take any non sense LOL . In our club you have to have one "teacher" for 8 children so you cannot have more then 24 at a time if you have 3 people in there to help with these kind of situations. When you go on Friday remind them what happened this week and tell them your situation as a mom and not really leaving him with anyone before now and for them to please come get you if someone is giving him a hard time again....... hopefully they will not come get you but the mother of the other child being a brat!!! It takes time but you will be okay and so will he. You have to have this time for yourself ..... it makes you a better mom. Make him feel like it will be okay when you go with a smile on your face and spring in your step. Let me know how it goes :)

  2. Oh my word. What a traumatic experience for BOTH of you. I'm so sorry this happened.
    I personally am NOT a paranoid mama and my youngest has been to lots of daycares, but NONE of them would just let a child go without ID/matching bracelets/etc if they did not know me.
    When I grocery shop (Wegmans) I drop him into the kid's center of the store. He and I both get matching ID bracelets and I get an electronic device that lights up or beeps if there is a problem or if I try to leave the store.
    When I return to get him, they are diligent about checking the bracelets to make sure they match.

    I cannot believe they didn't notice another child actually biting him! What were they doing that they were so absorbed? I would have raised a ruckus.

    Good luck. Hang in there, and be sure to reassure HIM so he won't be miserable in the future when he's away from you with strangers.

  3. This is my first visit to your blog (via the PTI forum).

    I just had to tell you how bad I feel that you had such a horrible first experience with a daycare. It's tough to turn off the mama bear instinct, but I wanted to encourage you to give the center and their staff a chance to address your concerns. Even in an accredited center where every little bump and bruise gets an incident report, in a room full of toddlers, with just four kids to each teacher, some bites do go unnoticed. Even the kind that leave ugly marks and result in tears. My 2-year-old has been on the receiving and, unfortunately, the giving end of plenty mystery bites. But until he had enough words to tell his teachers and I what happened (I love this age when they tattle on themselves), we missed some.

    If the staff is good, they should be able to talk to you about your concerns and show you how they prevent and address physical altercations between children instead of brushing you off. Bites happen, but it's how the staff handle it that's important. I hope that they step up and give you a little more peace of mind.

  4. Okay, I've read the story and the other 3 comments.

    My kids have been in daycare since they were babies. I've worked in daycare. Daycare isn't the Y (as it relates to security)... so signing in and out is really okay. (I live in a major metropolitan area and that is what the Y did here when we were members)

    I would have preferred the add'l step of a NAMETAG label on G with a # and you to receive the #. Easy to set up and manage. Especially for all kids too young to talk and for any kids who come from separated/divorced parents.

    Biting and how it was handled. They did not handle it properly. I do not know what state you are in, but there are regulations (even when they are not a daycare) for incident reports - when it is brought to their attention (yes, kids come home with things that the school didn't know about b/c the kid didn't cry or make a fuss). However, you have the picture (you showed it on the other post)... make an actual copy of it and take it to a supervisor there and request an incident report to be made and filed. If they refuse, let them know you will call the corporate office. Then, do it.

    All Y's are required to have a certain # of children/adult ratio in that room (based on age of kids). If it was exceeded- and how would you know- then it could have happened w/o them knowing.

    Now... G *could have been bitten* and not cried. Really. I worked in daycare in college. Baby through toddler. I have 2 kids with LOTS of friends and lots of playdates, etc. Things happen (getting hit, etc- even accidentally really not on purpose). And I have watched it happen and seen a child NOT cry. When I thought they should have. Or would have. Even when it left a mark. G could have been shocked someone did such a thing to him. So shocked he just got up and walked away and over to the window and just waited for you.

    Not that it makes it okay or makes you feel better, but it may make more sense if the Y DID do everything right and STILL didn't have a clue.

  5. I have the cutest, sweetest, most sensitive and I would say "spiritual" little grand daughter who is now 8 years old. However, when she was nearly 2 and her mommy was in the gym working out, 'mommy' got called to the day care THREE times because our sweet little one had bitten a child. The third time, she was kicked out for a couple of months. We gave her the nickname "baby T" (for the T-rex dino!!) It was NOT a funny matter at all, and of course she was too young to talk to us, and we tried talking to her, but it was really about "outgrowing" it. A director of a private preschool told us that it is a very common thing for a young child to do...they have no language to tell someone something, so they bite. It was very frustrating for our family. I remember my daughter being beside herself about this...just giving you the flip side of your situation. It is rather heartbreaking for the receiver of the bite, but trust me, it is just as humiliating and annoying to be the giver of that bite. I hope the day care will be more diligent in watching the children, but as you know, things can happen in a blink of an eye. Good luck and I hope it doesn't happen again.

  6. Oh my! What I find so disturbing is that the day care people had no idea. None? Really? Makes me think they weren't really watching the kids. My kids have been in day care (both big centers like Kindercare, and the home of my good friend, and also my gym) and never have I had one of mine get hurt without receiving an incident report. Also even at the gym we have to have matching stickers so the sign in and out is a wee bit lax in my opinion- not so much as a stranger taking a child but I could see a parent with custody dispute doing it. Anyway big hugs, hope your little guys arm heals up fast.


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