I arrive to pick up ZGirl from daycare. At the end of the day with just a hand-full of kids left, they are all together in the big room. I peek around the corner on the way past to get her bag and caught her eye. She doesn’t smile back. I continue on figuring once she notices I’m no longer at the door, she’ll come looking for me.

I gather her things and return to the doorway. One of the caregivers has picked her up and is standing there. ZGirl is still somber, quiet. I reach for her, but she doesn’t reach back. I gently peel her away from the woman holding her and just as I have her rested on my hip, she begins to cry and wail and reach out…

…for the caregiver.

I hand her back, smiling, wounded. ZGirl stops crying. We talk about her day. Everything’s been fine.

I reach out again thinking this time she’ll reach back. She doesn’t.

Again, I take her back into my arms and she cries and reaches forcefully away from me. I hand her back, not wanting her to be upset when we leave and watch as she not only stops crying but curls up in the arms of the caregiver and averts her face.

I still smile, hiding the hurt as I pretend to look at her journal entry for the day, blinking back tears.

23 thoughts on “REJECTION”

  1. I actually was the caregiver in a situation like this. I felt awful and tried so hard to reassure the mom that it was normal.

    Sometimes when the little ones have a good day, they just don’t want it to end.

    The very next day the little one toddled to the door and wouldn’t let go of moms leg. It comes and goes.

  2. Oh man… I hate those days. There was a stretch there where every day I would walk into his room, look at the “teacher” and go:

    One, two… WAHHHHH!!!

    Without fail… talk about making me feel loved!! 😦

  3. We start daycare in a few weeks and this thought scares me almost as much as the thought of them crying and clinging at drop off. I suppose I should just plan on an experience like yours. I already have 2 that cry when I go to pick them up from my parents.

  4. Ah DD.

    I shall probably have a moment like you describe when my kids go into care when I return to full time hell, I mean work,



  5. Okay DD, I came back to write a little something about the Z-Girl issue (about bonding with primary care-givers being enormously important and all that ) but really, that will all keep.

    But what the hell is up with the latest post? You need to send me an email or I will be forced to hunt you down (and you know I can). And embarrassing procedures? My dad had colo-rectal cancer last year (seems to have beaten it) so I am waiting for my appointment time for a colonoscopy – fun times but I figure my kids might need me for a while yet.

    Subtle I know, that’s me.

    Get your head straight girl.


  6. When P told me (repeatedly) that I got to daycare too early, that he wanted to stay longer and play with his friends, it hurt tremendously. It’s a different kind of hurt than what ZGirl is doing since he wasn’t rejecting me in favor of another adult, but it still hurt a lot.

    Hugs to you.

  7. My kids do that and they are not in day care: 1 is 6 months and wants grandma, one is 2 and wants his grandad. I think it’s the interrupted expectations and attempt to control the environment. Still hurts tho. Sorry.

  8. You know, I always feel horrible when Bridget does this to her dad. She’ll physically push him away and say “Go away Daddy. Mommy read me books.” I know he knows that it can’t be taken personally but I’m sure it still hurts. Anytime I am around she just wants me. I know I’d feel badly if the situation were reversed.

  9. that would absolutely kill me. We have had similar experiences with our nanny -not the same, but similar, and it’s been devastating every time. Oh the guilt of the working mother!

    Of course you know what everyone else has said is true, it was just a moment. She knows who her mummy is.

  10. Sorry that happened. That hurts… alot. Kirsten did that once or twice when she was around Z Girls age. A friend of mine also went through this except her daughter didn’t look for the caregiver as she was leaving but rather called out the caregivers name looking for the caregiver when she woke up at night… ouch.

    It’s a fleeting thing, but it hurts all the same.

  11. I used to have the same problem – my in laws watched the kids and they catered to their every whim and desire. My kids at times actually cried when I picked them up. It’s heartbreaking and I hated it. I did, however, find comfort in the fact that the kids were with people that loved them and I never had to wonder if they were having a good time. It sucks to go through it though. You want them to miss you as much as you miss them – but far too often that’s not the case. At least she’s happy DD, take stock in that.

  12. {{hugs}}

    As I travel down this path called motherhood, I’m beginning to understand how mothers are the best at laying guilt trips on us as adults. It’s to make up for the ones we layed on them as children!

  13. That was one of THE worst days of my life as a Mom

    Maggie did the same thing for a week straight. She was having so much fun playing, she didn’t want to leave.

    I knew that’s what it was, but knowing it to be true didn’t take the sting out of it.

    So far, Will is still happy to see me at the end of the day. Maybe I won’t have to deal with it again? Pretty please?

  14. This is very normal, and it will change, and go back and forth.

    My kids have done this, and also done the freak out and go crazy about me leaving the daycare, and now that they are older I get the bitter comments about how I have left them there too long.

    It happens, and it hurts, but it will pass, I swear.

  15. So sorry, DD. Try not to take it personally. Toddlers live in the moment, and at that moment she was enjoying where she was. It is so hard when they do that, though!!!

  16. Babies and Toddlers are so moody. One minute they adore you and the next they’d rather not be bothered.

    My son use throw a fit everytime we would leave the daycare. I still have to coax him home. I guess you can say that’s a good sign too. He at least enjoys himself there.

  17. Oh. Ouch. I’m so sorry. Isn’t that your greatest daycare fear realized? I know that I can tell you it doesn’t mean anything other than she was having a good time and you interrupted it, but it still hurts.

    My daughter used to do the I-will-not-leave thing daily – and she didn’t even like going to daycare.

You can say it here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s