My day was packed and busy. Deadlines at work were upon me, and even if I was exhausted, the stress I was experiencing was the “good” kind. I was being productive and being in my element made me happy. My son was doing well in daycare and hubby was fulfilled at work. I mean, everything was going great for our family. Or so I thought.
Mrs. Smith, director of the daycare center where I bring little Mikey, rang my phone. I furrowed my eyebrows in surprise which then turned into fear in a split second. Is something wrong with Little Mikey??? Why is Mrs. Smith calling me? I had to excuse myself from the team meeting and went out the conference room.
“Hello, Ms. Taylor. I’m sorry for calling you at work. I know you’re busy, but this is important.” Mrs. Smith said. My heart beat faster than before. There is something wrong with my son. And why is she so calm? Is this the peaceful moment before the storm?
“Everything ok, Mrs. Smith? Is Mikey ok?” I asked in a panic.
“Mikey is fine. I’m sorry for making you worry. But there was an incident.” She said.
“What incident? What do you mean?” That was my reply.
“Mikey was involved in an altercation with another boy. It was on CCTV, he initiated aggressiveness and punched the other child.” She said sadly.
“Oh, my good lord! Is the other boy ok?” I asked with tears slowly forming in my eyes.
“Yes, yes he is. Just a bit shook up. I called because we need to talk about this in my office. Are you free now?” Mrs. Smith said.
I didn’t say I’m busy. How could I when my son’s behavior was unusual and appalling? Now, I’m stressed. And it’s not the “good” kind.
As I enter Mrs. Smith’s office, the children were there and so was the mother of the other boy. She looked pissed, and of course, I understand her fully. I waited for Mrs. Smith to facilitate and start the meeting.
She started with “Kids can be very heavy-handed or that their acts can be too aggressive while they play. While it’s not their intention to hurt playmates, sometimes, it can happen. They would hit other kids, slap them, pinch, scratch, poke, bite, pull girls hair, kick while playing and shoving. At times, there is punching and knocking down. It doesn’t mean the other child is bad or a bully, but we need to curb this behavior because we want them to grow up as loving, caring and responsible adults.”
“I am so sorry for my son’s behavior and action,” I told the boy’s mother.
“Rest assured that this will not happen again and that I will bring Mikey to a therapist.” This time, I turned to Mrs. Smith. I said that because I can’t find an available center for Mikey at short notice and if his action would merit suspension from the center, my schedule would be compromised. But of course, the underlying issue here is for Mikey to learn that violence is never a solution to anything.
After I said all of that, the mother of the other child seems appeased, and she said that it was child’s play and can be let go. She left with her child, and Mrs. Smith told me to stay.
“Ms. Taylor, I’m an OT or an occupational therapist. I’m not saying that Mikey is a naughty boy. He’s just a boy who’s curious and experimenting. But we need to focus on this and recondition his mind. We have to instill in him that hurting other is not good. DO NOT HIT. HITTING OTHERS WILL HURT THEM, AND IT’S A BAD THING TO DO. Every time he does that, we supplement with these words.” Mrs. Smith said.
“If Mikey continues with this behavior and we don’t teach him what’s right and wrong, he will grow up to be a bully. We cannot ignore this, and we also have to monitor his acts. Are we on the same page with this? I want to help Mikey.”
“I agree.” That was all I could say.
And so, I book an appointment with a child therapist to see what’s up with Mikey. I also took time off from work because I want my son to feel that I am “there” for him. Money is nothing compared to my son. If he grows up to be a young offender because I didn’t take the time to help him while he was young, then, it’s my fault.