For many of the months in his first year of life, if you had asked me (and sometimes people did) what our son’s personality was like, I would have answered (and sometimes did) that he was very Type-A, demanding, sensitive…”spirited” if you will. Surprisingly, though I still agree that he is somewhat sensitive, nowadays I find myself saying he is more passive, distractable, even happy-go-lucky. He is “slow-to-warm-up” which is very similar to how I, the non-bio mom, am, so I totally get it. When confronted with groups of people, he is an observer and it takes a while for him to feel comfortable enough to join in, even when it is a situation with which he is familiar. For example, Ima and I (mommy) brought him into his daycare this morning and noticed all the toddlers were in the 2’s room. So we took off his coat in his empty room and walked over there together. When the kids and teachers saw him enter, they lit up and happily said his name. His reaction was to step backwards, grab my legs and hide his face. A couple minutes later he quietly joined the nearest group of kids to eat his first snack.
He is good-humored and easy to make laugh. He is also innocent and unfortunately naive (as far as a nearly 2 year old can be). This means he takes no precaution when The Biter in his class approaches him, ready to attack (although sometimes he honestly doesn’t see her coming). So when we were notified that he was bitten for the 5th time last week, we were not only frustrated with The Biter, but also with him for not protecting himself a little better. Not that he should have to of course, but we do think he would benefit from not being quite so trusting sometimes.
While meeting with his teachers to discuss The Biter, we touched a little upon that. Sometimes when they sit for circle time, another kid nearby may kick at his feet and instead of getting up or telling that child ‘No’, he will simply sit there and take it and sadly look to a teacher for help. While we are delighted that he is generally not aggressive, it does hurt to think that your child may be an easy target for bullies. Luckily the teachers suggest ways for him to cope without always rescuing him, and we’ll try to work on that as well (although short of sticking our fingers in his ears waiting for him to tell us to stop or push our hands away, we’re not entirely sure what to do, nor do we want to lessen his trust in us as his parents).
All this to say:
1. Your toddler may be very different from your baby personality-wise
2. The Biter is still a problem at our daycare and this apparently will not stop until she can control herself because they have no real policy in place except to keep trying new tactics
3. Curly needs to learn how to better stand up for himself
4. Curly is not yet able to say “Lay off, bitch!”