By June Mathews
My little friend Lucy got kicked out of daycare the other day. Not literally kicked, of course, and not for long, although it may have seemed like an eternity to her weary parents. Daycare administration decided three days of suspension was fitting for her crime, and so it went.
You see, Lucy is in the throes of what is commonly referred to as the Terrible Twos, and her parents, while far from ancient, are older than they were when Lucy’s two brothers were toddlers. Add to that her whirlwind personality, and keeping pace can become a challenge.
Lucy is also a chronic biter, and daycares tend to take a dim view of such habits in 2-year-olds; thus her recent brush with authority. Policy at her preschool establishes a quota for the number of bites one can inflict within a particular time frame before being shown the door, and Lucy heedlessly exceeded her allotted share.
She either didn’t realize she was breaking the rules or just plain didn’t care. When one kid too many failed to see things her way last Wednesday, Lucy took matters into her own hands – um, mouth – and chomped down on the nearest available piece of flesh that wasn’t hers.
Soon thereafter, Lucy’s parents received one of those bothersome “Come get your child NOW!” phone calls from the daycare director, forcing them to retrieve a recalcitrant preschooler on a day they probably had enough to do already. When you’ve got three kids, seldom a day goes by without something on the agenda.
Since Mommy and Daddy likely had to rearrange their routines to accommodate their wayward daughter’s temporary expulsion, poor Lucy no doubt endured a fair share of grumbling, if not outright accusations of willful disobedience, during her school-free days.
Rumor has it her father even packed a bag for her and posted a “Free Child to Good Home, Available for Pickup Immediately” notice on his Facebook page
. By then, though, word of Lucy’s transgression had gotten around, and no one took him up on the offer.
But anyone who’s ever parented a teenager will say this little preschool incident is nothing compared to what a resourceful girl like Lucy will probably get into 12 or 15 years from now. So her parents might as well keep her around and enjoy this relatively benign biting phase while they can.
In the meantime, Lucy is liable to get an occasional timeout from daycare until she develops more socially acceptable ways of expressing herself. And if she enjoys the unscheduled school breaks and eventually connects them to her biting episodes, all the other kids in her class better learn to steer clear of Lucy’s choppers.
I have to admit, though, if getting a break in the adult world were as simple as taking a plug out of somebody’s arm, I’d be willing to give it a try. The list of people I’d gladly bite, some harder than others, is growing daily. The only thing stopping me is the certainty that most of them would bite back. So for the time being at least, I’ll be keeping my teeth to myself.
And I could be wrong – you never know about some folks – but I’m pretty sure Lucy’s parents are hoping she’ll be doing the same.