At this point, I am so flabbergasted and upset, I don’t really know what to do.  When Woob turned two, we switched him from an in-home daycare to a larger, more structured daycare/preschool on Papa2Roo’s worksite.  Prior to that we had him with the same caregiver, JuJu, since he was 8 weeks old.  JuJu, though in a smaller home, always had her act together, was friendly, and showed a love for all the kids in her care.  She was licensed, and rated a level 3 out of 4 on a certain daycare rating scale that helps parents decide/assess quality childcare (at that time, very few childcare centers, much less in home caregivers had even attempted to work at the rating).  Top notch.  But we knew it was time to make that switch and we felt REALLY bad about it, wrestled with it, and felt guilty that her feelings would be hurt.  We even heard back from others that she wondered why we pulled Woob, even though we explained our reasons.  Since that time, I have always recommended her to others when it seemed an appropriate place. 

Fast forward 2 years.  We were driving down the road, just Woob and I, to go pick up my nephew.  We hadn’t been having any specific discussion, when Woob pipes up from the back seat.

“This is the road to JuJu’s house.” 

Yes sweetie, it is.  You have a good memory! 

“She used to spank me.  All the time.”

She used to spank you?  JuJu?

(mumbles) “Yeah, I didn’t want to tell you.”

Oh, Sweetie, why not?

“Cause she really hurt my feelings.”

For the record, I 100% believe him because I have no reason not to.  The kid’s memory is rock solid.  He has never said anything like this before.  He had nothing to gain by telling me this now.  I am livid.  I am sad.  I am speechless.  The person I trusted with my baby when I couldn’t be there.  The person I referred other parents to. 

I guess I should also say here that we don’t spank in my house.  We don’t spank, swat, smack, pop, tap, hit or strike–whatever you want to call it, we don’t do it.  JuJu was aware of this and we had this discussion, probably more than once, about our parenting.  Do I think she beat him mercilessly?  Absolutely not.  But I believe that she in some way struck my child and I feel betrayed as a parent and angry for my kiddo.  For goodness sakes, he was less than two years old, what could possibly warrant a spanking at that age anyway?

So, I sit here angry and wonder what is it that I should do, if anything?



Filed under adoption, parenthood, toddler safety, vent

14 responses to “Speechless

  1. Coming out of lurkdom (hey there!) to say that I used to work as a pre-k teacher and transitional kindergarten teacher. Most states have laws on the books that prohibit spanking in home day care and day care centers. With so much time having past, it’s doubtful that anything can be done in terms of this specific case, but you might still want to consider contacting your state’s CPS office. You could simply report what your child said, how much time has elapsed and explain to them that you do not spank in your home, so you are unsure where your child learned this language. That may be enough to spur them to investigate to see if there are any current concerns.

  2. I’m so sorry that this happened but so glad he said something. I’m with Tonggu Momma. I also think that if you call, you can let Woob know that you are following up because you take this seriously. If he’s worried that she will get in trouble, you can tell him that people will help her find other ways of disciplining, which is likely true. When we had an incident happen at the daycare where I worked, we all ended up getting extra workshops in discipline/child development (even though it was just one person). Licensing check up on us more and then the extra training. Hugs to you both!!

  3. I would absolutely call CPS. That is illegal for one and highly unethical and disgusting for two. I would also let Woob know that you are calling to reassure him that Mommy and Daddy take these matters very seriously and that they will defend and protect him, even if they find out something years later. This will go a LONG way in insuring that he is more open with you in the future. If he has a secretive nature, which it sounds like he might have if he didn’t want to tell you, then he needs to be made to feel safe if anything else ever comes up in his life. To know that HE won’t be judged by mommy and daddy, but always protected.

  4. M.

    Well, it is done. I called. I feel so conflicted. As a mom and a social worker, I know in my HEAD what is right to do, but when its people you know it still complicates things. When peoples’ livelihoods are at stake. But you know, it has to do with my kid’s livelihood, first and foremost. If nothing happened, great. If something did, then its out there. Still makes me a little queasy inside.

  5. You aren’t just protecting your son, you are protecting other children who are in her care. Yes her livelihood is going to go away, but frankly IT SHOULD. You don’t abuse children. You especially don’t hit children that aren’t YOURS.

    But the most important thing is that Woob knows you are willing to stand up for him and protect him and keep him safe. This is terribly important for a child to know.

  6. Wow! I am glad that you called.

  7. susiebook

    I’m glad you called—how horrible.

  8. Lia

    Wow. That’s scary. I guess that’s a fear that all parents face – can I trust other people with my child? Anywhere? Ever? I guess it would be easier to just lock the cutie in the highest room of the tallest tower and never ever ever let anybody else see it.

    So as much as you trusted JuJu and as much as she was trustworthy, you find out two years later she did something you consider awful. Well I love the adoptive parents I chose for my unborn baby and as awesome as they seem (and as against corporal punishment as they are) will they change when they become parents? Will I ever know if I’m choosing the right people before it’s too late? Probably not. Scary stuff.

  9. Oh my! I’m just reading this now–so glad you called, I can’t imagine how you feel! Very, very, unnerving to say the least. ((hugs))

  10. Maureen Horan Benes

    I’ve never left a comment but this post hit me hard. I’m so sorry this happened to you and your little one. I had a caregiver who abused me when I was a baby/toddler, and to this day I wish my parents had done something about it. I’m glad you called.

  11. I’m glad you made the call as well. Did CPS take you seriously when you called? Please tell us how it all ends up.

    • M.

      Well, I think they took me seriously, and were very kind over the phone. Interesting, my state is going through a change in the way they take CPS reports. Used to be you call a local number and talk to someone you essentially know (because I work in the social services realm). So when I called, I did speak to a local person. She said that being it happened two years ago, that perhaps nothing could be proven, but if nothing else a visit to the caregiver would send her a message, so to speak, that people were paying attention. Told me to prepare that someone would be calling me and likely coming to my home to speak with Woob. Well, between then and now the new system happened, where initial calls to cps go to someone in our state capital DCS and trickle down from there. don’t know if that is one reason why I never heard back from them again? Or that it was so long ago? Or? Who knows. but nothing has happened as a result of that call that I am aware of.

  12. KimKim

    I am glad you called. I’d also be glad if you went and spanked her too but I am probably asking too much here! What a terrible sneak of a woman doing that especially when she knew you were against it but really what she was doing is child abuse. She should not be working as a child care person.

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