Telling Tales

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As I approached the kindergarten I had no idea about the drama that had happened inside. No sooner had I walked inside when I heard “Katja’s Mummy!” from one of the little boys and found a group of small people rushing up to me. They were all desperate to tell me the news – “A**** bit Katja!” “A was naughty!” “No biting!”

So I asked Katja for confirmation which she gave me most emphatically then turned around to A**** and said loudly “A**** is naughty, no bite!”. (Apparently the staff are not allowed to call a child naughty, but that doesn’t stop the kids from doing so!.) In the few seconds all of this took I could see out of the corner of my eye Katja’s key worker all but falling over her feet to try to get to me before the kids blurted out the news, but no adult can hope to compete with a toddler who has quality gossip to impart.

And so the full story came out. Katja and A**** were playing with a doll. A**** snatched the doll, Katja snatched it back then A**** bit – hard. I was given the incident report and could tell that there was an air of slight alarm.

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Perhaps I’m doing this mummy thing wrong. I found the kids all rushing to dob in the criminal, A**** keeping to herself – clearly shunned from play circles and the rush by the staff to get to me first rather amusing.

The truth is that I’m actually quite impressed that there have been so few incidents in the time that Katja has been there. I fully expect toddlers to bite, pinch, push and more. It’s what they do. It’s part of growing up and learning what’s right and what’s wrong.

I’m also relieved that it wasn’t Katja doing the biting. And it means that she’s learnt a valuable lesson about how much biting can hurt. But I get the feeling that many mothers would react differently.