Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Things My Son Learns at Daycare

WARNING: this post may be viewed by some as offensive, due to the topic. If you are this type, don't read this post today. Also, don't read this during breakfast. Or lunch. Or afternoon snack. Pretty much any sort of eating. Actually, this post might make a great diet aid, since it might make you lose your appetite and not eat that giant piece of yummy cake that's sitting on the counter in the kitchen.

Zane and I are heading to the grocery store.

"We don't eat poop, Mama," Zane announces.

"Uh...okay. Good to know." What else was I supposed to say?

At first I thought that I would talk to his teacher, maybe get some context for that comment. Was this a playground conversation? If so, ick.

There's probably a perfectly logical explanation as to why my son would hear that sentence during his time at daycare. And polite society frowns upon poop eating, at least in this part of the world, so this little gem is definitely a good piece of knowledge to acquire. We don't eat poop*.

But a significant pillar of childhood involves exploration. Kids, even kids with special needs, have to be able to look with wonder at what is around their house, their yard, their community, and the world. They must experience the world with their five senses, including taste. Children learn their world during those first critical years by sailing into what is for them uncharted waters. Part of that exploration involves risk.

If you pick up that bug, it will sting you.

Eating that green apple may make you sick.

Poking your sister with a cattle prod will get you sent to bed with no dinner.

Many children have anxious parents(*raises hand*) who want to shield their kids from risk, if they can. This is understandable. Risks hurt sometimes. But risks can also reap some pretty badass rewards, too.

Riding a bike.

Writing an essay that wins a contest.

Hitting a home run.

Raising a hand in class and getting the correct answer.

Scoring a goal.

Parents want the good stuff for their kids, but there needs to be a balance--kids have to learn to problem solve so they can use those skills when they are not with adults. This may mean that your child experiences something that you may find undesirable or inappropriate or just plain weird.

That's when a parent may need to take a deep breath, and roll with it. After all, there will be lots of moments, when the child becomes and adult, when they will encounter people, places, or things that are undesirable, inappropriate, or just plain weird. Sometimes MY child might be the one who fits these descriptions.

It will be better for my son that he is not blindsided by these situations, that he is willing to take some risks and explore the world. It may kill me to watch him climb to the top of the playground equipment or get his heart broken by a girl, but I have to let him do this. I have to let him find his own way. I know all this, I believe all this, but...

I really hope that he didn't eat any poop at daycare, that he acquired the knowledge that "we don't eat poop" vicariously. I don't think this makes me a bad person.

*Unless you're talking about that extremely expensive coffee that is made from beans that have been eaten by a particular type of cat and then pooped out. Well, in that case, poop-eating is okay. For those people. Not for me.


  1. Well, hopefully he saw or heard something about poop instead of being, you know, personally involved. :D

    Though I do know a kid who had a go at it and grew to be a really smart and beautiful girl (not me!). So there!

  2. Wait, you have a cattle prod?!? LOL

    And I saw that same episode of the cat defecating coffee bean episode. I watched with my hand covering my mouth the whole time. Ewww.

    I'm glad Zane is only saying we don't eat poop and leaving it at that. ;)

  3. I have two boys of my own so I can relate.
    Btw, I'm your newest follower.
    Have a great weekend!
    ~ Mona : )


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