Recently you may have read all about the day that Bubba broke me after a huge tantrum (click here if you missed it). In the post I explained how hard the day was but something else happened that day that was ten times harder. Last week I was too full of emotion to talk about it. Now, almost a week after it happen, I am calm enough to share my experience.
So, this major melt down Bubba had was at one of our local childrens centers. We have been going to this particular center since about October time so they have known me and Bubba for about 8 months or so and I used to love taking Bubba there. After last week, I will not be returning again and some may see it as over reacting but others may agree..here's what happened.
I got home on the major melt down day at about 12 after we had popped for a coffee with our friend and the little ones had their snack etc. As soon as we had left the children's center and got in the car bubba was like a different child and the huge tantrum that he had been having as he wanted a different snack out of the bag had stopped. Typical toddler with the attention span of a fish! I had 2 missed calls on the land line which is strange as no one ever really calls that number unless it's an emergency so I checked to see if we had any messages, and we didn't so I checked who the number was and it was the children's center. I called them straight back and after a little bit of faffing the lady told me that the person I needed to speak to (who was the lady that runs the session we go to) was on lunch so would call me back.
I spent the next hour and a bit worrying over what it could be...had I left something there? Was they calling to almost tell me off because of bubbas behaviour and how it had distrupted her session? Where they just calling to see how he was after the tantrum? I couldn't work out what the call could have been about.
A little while later whilst bubba was napping I got a phone call back. She asked how Bubba was after we left as she didn't get a chance to speak to me before we went (which she did as she came out into the lobby to us). I told her that he was fine once we had left and I think it had happened because he was tired and had just had a week off with me and Hubby so was probably a little spoilt so it was just getting back into the swing of things. Then came the part that caused all the next 2 hours of tears..
''How would you feel about us doing some observations on you and Bubba to see if we can help with his behavioural issues?''
My head started to whirl...
Behavioural issues?? I thought that bubba was just having a bad day and that all toddlers have tantrums? Did I not manage it right? Is it not normal for him to be having tantrums like that? Did he have underlying problems? Was I failing as a mother to him? Was I causing this? Should I have just given in and given him another snack out of the bag? Was I being too harsh on him? Was this going to go further and were they going to call social services on me because I was a bad mother who couldn't deal with bubbas issues??? These were all running around my head but I was so shocked by what she had just said that I could only mutter ''Oh..okay''.
She then went on to tell me about how they had another lady there who was really good with dealing with behaviour and could give me some tips and how they could give me some suggestions on what might help us manage it until I finally managed to stop her and ask ''Sorry, so are you saying that Bubba has problems or that it is me that isn't doing something right?'. She then went on to say that it wasn't that but there was just different way to manage this kind of thing and maybe they could suggest some different methods.
I was honestly shocked. I didn't know what to say and I was so busy holding back tears and trying not to cry that I just agreed and got off the phone as soon as I could. I was so upset thinking that I was doing so wrong by my little boy that I promptly called hubby and my Mum. Hubby's reaction was a little less constructive than my Mum's...his response was ''let me sit on the floor and scream for 30 minutes and then see what she does!! He was fuming to say the least and was even talking about complaints and the like which I said may be a bit strong. My Mum on the other had was a lot more reassuring. She is a childminder so therefore knows a lot about development and childhood problems and she reassured me that I did everything right in that situation and that Bubba didn't have 'behavioural issues'. She calmed me down and told me to stop being upset as I was doing everything
that I should be, telling me that Bubba is just strong willed and being a typical toddler.
After speaking to them and my lovely friend who was there to witness the tantrum and is also in child care herself, I felt a bit better about everything and decided I would call the center back and politely decline their offer. When I called I explained to the lady they I had been really upset by the previous call and that I would come to them if I did need any help but for now I was going to continue with the way I was managing them and I did't even get so much as an apology for the upset.
This was when the tears turned to anger. I thought about all of the failing that the children's services had made in past years where they didn't pick up child abuse like in the case of Baby P and I found myself questioning why they can't pick up obvious child abuse yet they can call a parent who loves their child more than anything in this world and would do anything for them and make them feel like the worst mother going. By declining their offer of observations it even made me scared they they could go further with it and call social services or something. My Mum and hubby told me not to be so stupid but it seriously worried me for a while. I was even scared to go to a different group we go to incase Bubba had a tantrum there and I ended up being pulled up on my management of it. I didn't let the fear get the better of me though and I went which I am glad about as they reassured me that I was a great Mum and the other center shouldn't have acted in the way that they did.
So yes..children's services should by all means intervene but calling a mother who son has had a tantrum and offering assistance with their behavioural issues? I think that your time could be better spent elsewhere rather than making me feel like the worst mother in the world because my 20 month old had a melt down!
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