I Feel Like I Failed My Baby

Filed Under: Life

“I have something to confess: my clip hasn’t moved up to the top every day.”

That was Friday pickup.

The way class discipline goes is Cara has a clothes pin that starts out on “Ready To Learn.” Her clip can move up two spaces and down two spaces. There’s nothing wrong–in our eyes–with her clip staying at Ready to Learn. Down one means she loses five minutes of recess and down two means her teacher contacts me to talk.

Ready To Learn is fantabulous. I’ve stressed that. I feel like I need to stress that I’ve stressed it’s AWESOME to stay at Ready To Learn because of what happened tonight.

Saturday greeted me with Ollie waking me up with, “Cara’s crying. She’s really crying.”

I’m finally getting what everyone else has had for the past two weeks and I croaked out, “Tell her to come in here.”

Cara came streaming into the room with a Hello Kitty and a ton of tears.

She had dreamt Tucker and I got a divorce and then he died and she had one picture of him. The one picture I demanded she throw away because I didn’t like Daddy very much.

“He was dead and you kept telling me to throw his picture away and I kept telling you no but you were so angry I still had the picture. Why were you so mad, Mommy?”

Tucker dying is one my “things.” Maybe I’m too dependent on his constant presence and maybe I don’t care. I thought he was dead once. Not something I want to think about again.

I calmed Cara down, got breakfast for both kids, coughed my lungs out and felt like crap and dealt with the day.

We ended up heading to Hobby Lobby for Halloween wreath making supplies–I have so much black spray paint on my hands right now.–and did “crafts” until Tucker got home from school.

The kids went to bed with their Innotabs since it isn’t a school night and eventually, I had to go in and tell them to get their butts to bed.

Ollie wandered his goofiness to our room and I started sorting Cara’s messed up sheets and such.

“I’m scared to go to sleep. I don’t want to have another dream like last night.”

Tucker and I stopped laying down with the kids at night a while back since it had become apparent the only way they were able to fall asleep was with us in bed with them and we felt they needed to learn to fall asleep without us.

I was determined to not lay down with Cara. I covered her up to her chin, kissed her forehead and told her to sleep tight.

“I’m so sorry I lied to you about moving my clip up. I wanted you to be proud of me.”

That stopped me in my tracks.

“Baby, you make me proud every day.”

Cara started crying.

“It scares me so much when I get threatened about my clip moving down. I don’t want you to be disappointed. I try my hardest. I want my clip to move up. I want you to be proud of me.”

Tears started in my eyes. What in the holy hell had I done to my kid?!

Look, I have a smart kid. I/we expect a lot of her. She expects a lot of herself. But girl has never been in daycare. She’s never been to preschool. This is her first time of having to deal with anyone–other than her family–disciplining her.

Everyday when I pick her up I ask, “What did your clip do today?” That’s the way I gauge her day; if it went up then she had a good day, if it went down then there’s an issue.

Apparently her biggest issue right now is nap time.

Cara’s mentioned a couple of times she’s been “threatened” with her clip moving down if she doesn’t quit playing during nap time. Cara swears she isn’t playing and that her teacher thinks she is but she isn’t. She brought that up tonight.

“It scares me so much that my clip will move down. I’m not playing! I promise. It’s not me! I want to cry when I’m threatened with my clip moving down. There are other kids who have their clips moved down and I’m not it!”

The tears–mine–really started then.

She sounded so damn helpless. My baby is dealing with all of this on her own and I have NO DOUBT she’s being a good girl and she’s so scared…I didn’t realize how scared she is.

I didn’t realize she felt threatened by the clip moving down. I didn’t realize she worries about this a lot.

I feel like I’ve failed my baby.

Apparently she doesn’t want to go to school because she’s scared about the possibility of her clip moving down.

I’ve been dreading Parent-Teacher conferences because of my own insecurities but now I’m relieved we have them on Monday.

Cara–my learner–doesn’t want to learn because she’s scared she’s going to screw up.

I have to fix this.