I'm looking into daycare for my oldest. He's three years old, and he's a brat. I know that sounds like I just repeated myself, but seriously. He is mean, he thinks he's #1, and he won't stop talking. EVER. If he is awake, you can hear his constant chatter. He doesn't listen, and he only tries to be a good boy for about 2 hours after being spanked. I don't like to spank him, but it's the ONLY thing that's worked. I've tried time outs, sending him to his room, making him clean up his mess, taking him out of the situation... shit I've even tried praising him for every "good boy behavior." ex. 1 he goes to the potty and only washes his hands once, I give him a big hug and tell him how proud I am and describe what I'm proud of. ex. 2 he stays in his playroom even though he can get out on his own while I get my chores done, I tell him how very good that was, and helpful. Reward: getting to play Mario Party with me.
Nothing has worked. Sure time outs work in that way that he cries, but sits still, he apologizes for the behavior in a way that sounds convincing, "Mommy, I'm sorry I made a mess in the bathroom, I won't do it again." The very next time he goes to the potty? He has soapy water all over the counter, the floor, and obviously - himself.
Pete and I took the kids to the mall the other day. The mall has a cute little park in it. It's all soft plastic stuff to climb on, and it's enclosed so the kids can run around and have a good time. Lucian felt the desire to not only push other kids off of what he wanted to climb on, but he also felt the desire to jump on top of other kids, with his knees! I'm at my wits end here. I don't think I'm a terrible mom, but I do think that I'm failing at teaching my child that he's not a prince, he can't treat other people, be they kids or adults, like whipping boys/slaves/toys/trash. He also, has an uncany ability to break his toys. It's almost as if that is what the toys are for, to be broken. Not played with, not shared, just destroyed.
And what's even worse? He's turning Val into the type of 1 yrd who bites, fights, and growls. Well, Val always growled. We've always thought it was cute, but now he growls at people.
Seriously folks, I'm at my wits' end. I don't think I've spoken to my children in a normal tone of voice in like 48 hours. Do you know what that's like? Do you know what it's like to feel like all you do is yell at your kids? I believe that I am a good mother. I also believe that I'm not the best for them 24/7. I think they, right now, especially Lucian, need to be in daycare. He needs to feel like 'just another kid.' He needs to learn how to treat others. I've been taking the boys to parks, playgroups, out in smaller social situations. I've tried. I've tried, and tried and tried, and I'm tired.
So, while I will of course accept advice (even from non-parents) on what else I could do to help my kids be the sweet angels that they were, I'm really asking for advice on daycares. I don't have an unlimited supply of cash. (I know, right?) So I can't afford much. Should I go with a church based daycare? They tend to be cheaper, but we're not christians, and we don't intend to be.
Do I go with a local private business, or should I be looking at chains? Lucian used to be in Tutor Time and Kinder Care, which were both chains, but he was under two at the time, and I wasn't terribly concerned with him being taught anything. I just wanted him safe and fed until I finished work. Now, I don't even know what I'm looking for.
Is there boot camp for three-year-olds? Is it wrong that I want to find one?
If you happen to live in the Sarasota area, do you know of good daycare options?
Well, I've had enough of writing about it. I'm going to call around.