Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Three-Year-Old Making Babysitter Cry
Even though I have a shitload of work-related things going on right now, I need to take a break from it to blog about the following situation I'm finding myself in. I just got back from a lunch meeting where I was asked to start taking on a new business opportunity that I'm really excited/scared-in-a-good-way about. Of course it will require me to make sure I have adequately backed-up childcare, because unlike some of my other work, I can't rely upon being able to do most of it from home. I'm also pretty sure our regular babysitter is at the end of her rope when it comes to our charming 3.5-year-old DS.
Isn't that how life works? You get a great professional opportunity, and the very same day your babysitter tells you how unhappy some little one is all of the sudden making her. "I was crying in bed last night and my husband asked me what was wrong...." Noooooo!!!
Sitter approached me just a few minutes ago with tears in her eyes telling me she believes that DS really does not like her at all. The last 3 times she's watched him he has been a holy terror towards her because he misses his mama. I've had to leave my house with DS kicking and screaming. (Side note: I'm guessing at least a part of this is a developmentally-normal 3.5 year-old thing, because a lot of friends with same-aged kids have reported the same fits of Erratic, Sudden-Onset Clinginess). We've been down this road before with Sitter whenever DS has been in one of his phases. Talking through it with him has sometimes helped. Today she insinuated that she thinks DS would be happier without her - I had to ask if she was quitting. She said "No way." Whew.
DH feels that Sitter needs to develop a thicker skin and stop taking a 3-year-old's pissed-off protestations that he "hates you" because his mama just left for work as Gospel truth. I tend to agree. Sitter takes what DS says to her very, very personally. On the one hand she says she understands it, "He's only 3, I know that's how 3-year-olds are, but the way he talks it is like talking to a grown-up. He's just different than all of my 3 daughters and DD." Yeah, he's one special snowflake alright.
I asked her "so what do you want me and DH to do about it" - three times.
"I don't know."
"Do you want us to keep talking to him and letting him know what our expectations are?"
"What else do you think would help?"
"I really don't know."
"Does he need more discipline?'
"No, I just think he hates me, and I'm sad..."