This morning when I dropped JJ off at childcare one of the childcare workers asked me to come and have a talk. I thought oh oh, this must be serious if we have to move away and have a talk as usually they will just talk about stuff whereever they catch you.
We went and sat down and she started telling me how JJ was seen trying to choke another child yesterday. Apparently this has happened once or twice before but wasn’t witnessed by any adults. It was a friend he tried to choke and it was hard enough that this child gagged and was left with a red mark on her neck.
I was devastated. I couldn’t think of any times he’s seen people try to choke each other. I’m pretty strict about what I let him watch – no Simpsons for him – just ABC Kids and tame kiddy videos. I have also never witnessed him do this to any other kids and I haven’t seen any other kids do the same sort of thing.
After a bit of a chat I left childcare and walked down the street while thinking that I’m raising a potential child murderer and thinking what an awful parent I must be. Totally worst case scenario stuff, but he is a big boy for his age and stronger than many of his peers so has no concept of his own strength.
I rang the Parent Helpline after I got to work and they suggested I find out more about the context of what happened and do some pretend play with my son so he learns more about what is and is not acceptable. Of course choking other kids is not acceptable not that I want to pretend play choking. Apparently childcare hasn’t seen this happen before. There’s plenty of biting, hitting and kicking, but not choking.
It was an awful way to start the day and when I got into work a meeting reminder came up. I was supposed to be helping out at a training session and I just couldn’t go. The choking incident on top of a blister on my toe making it hard to walk wasn’t conducive to sitting down with a bunch of people helping them to logon to websites.