nobody puts baby in the corner

I picked M up from daycare the other day and her teacher took me aside. There's a bit of an issue, she said. M's friend K has been expressing her love for M in inappropriate ways. But not to worry, we are working on it.

I always appreciate the way the mighty women of daycare try and handle me. I understand it completely; they never know which parent is going to go ballistic over what issue. Careful dancing and prancing with Positive Adjectives is important. I get it. I don't need it, but I get it.

It turns out that M and K have started spending a lot of time together, and K is a martial arts karate chopping hair pulling death stomping little girl. And she's showing her love for M in all kinds of ways. In fact, I am gazing out into the group of kids while the teacher is talking to me and I see K grab M by the hair and take her down.


M starts crying, sees me, and cries some more. I thought she did an especially nice job of throwing herself in my arms in hysterics. Nice touch, baby. Way to drive the point home.

So My Inside Voice says keep that kid the hell away from M or there won't be a lot of Positive Adjectives in my future. See, M doesn't hit. We have a philosophy of kindess in our home and I've worked hard at this (stop laughing. It's my fantasy world and I am still living in it). My Outside Voice says all the appropriate things about developmental changes and toddler interactions and of course, group love. You know the bullshit I speak of.

M and I are driving home and I ask her about K. She tells me that K hits and pulls her hair and it makes her sad. I asked her what she does when it happens and she said I cry, mommy. Ok, I think, baby's done crying. Baby's going on defense.

So M and I talk about how precious and powerful and amazing she is, and about how she has every right to stand up for herself if she's being hurt. And how it doesn't matter who is hurting her, she has the right to tell them to stop, but she should use her words instead of hitting or pushing back (remember, I have a PHILOSOPHY, people). So we practiced yelling STOP! at the top of our lungs and M was laughing hysterically and screeching NO, K! STOP! all the way home. When we got home we talked to J about it and he reinforced what we'd talked about and we all practiced yelling a few more STOPS! Our neighbors probably thought we were nuts, or at the very least a bit afraid.

The next day I picked M up from school and one of her teachers said Wow, M really stuck up for herself today. Whenever K tried to pull her hair, she would hold her hand in front of her and yell STOP, K, NO! She was never aggressive, but she sure held her ground, and it worked out really well. My Outside Voice said all the appropriate things. My Inside Voice was cheering her ass off.

We celebrated the whole way home. See, mum, I am trying to raise a warrior in training, too.

And for other M related news, check out my latest review. It's all about diapers, the agony and the ecstasy both.