There is a new teacher at my kids' daycare that started in late October. I will call her Ms. T. She is not my daughter's primary teacher, but does spend time with her on occasion throughout the day. I liked her when I first met her because she remembered my kids' names immediately, was very friendly, and complimented my daughter's memory. The kid has a memory like a steel trap. She gets it from me, it is a blessing and a curse at times. Not long after Ms. T. started my daughter came home one day with this tidbit:
"Dying is when you go to sleep and you never wake up."
"Ummm, who told you that?"
"Ms. T. Ms.T doesn't have a mommy. Her mommy is dead. She went to sleep in the hospital and didn't wake up."
We have been fortunate enough that we have not had to explain dying to her yet. As far as she knows, hospitals are places to go to have babies and to get better if you are sick. I was thrown off guard so I changed the subject as quickly as I could. It may have not been the best tactic, but it happened. As I was finishing up the dishes, she calls to me from the couch.
"Mommy, I am dying."
I walk around to find her lying on the couch with her eyes tightly squeezed shut. I tell her that it is time to take a bath, get up and off of the couch.
"I am going to sleep and will never wake up."
"Come on, let's go, seriously, it is bath time. I am going upstairs."
"I can't. I am dying."
I start to walk up the stairs and she says in a sing-song voice, not moving from the couch,
"I'mmmmm stiiiiilllll DYYYY-ING!"
I have to pick her up off the couch and carry her upstairs, because you know, she is asleep and will never wake up.
Fast forward to Halloween.
"Ms. T. says you have to go trick-or-treating with your mommy or daddy because a bad man will try to take you and if he does you say NO as loud as you can."
This is good advice, but I don't think any three year olds would be going from house to house without an adult. This leads to my daughter getting scared and only wanting Daddy to take her trick-or -treating.
Fast forward to Christmas.
"Santa can be your mommy or your daddy or a man in a red suit."
"Who told you that?" I asked nonchalantly as I mentally faced palmed my forehead.
I already knew the answer. Ms.T.
I talked to the daycare Director about Ms.T. I do really like her. She taught my daughter about verbs and compound words. I didn't want her to get in trouble, but I felt like I had to say something. I told the Director about the conversations that were had, and she said "Of all the kids it had to be your girl." They all know my daughter remembers anything and everything. The Director assured me she would talk to the staff as a whole and not single out Ms. T.
I thought we were in the clear. Then, last Thursday as we are getting in the car after pick-up, this happens.
"Mommy, where is gel?"
"Gel? What do you mean gel?"
"Ms. T. says if you run around in the street the police will come and take you to gel."
Silent groan on my part..."Oh, you mean jail!"
"Yeah, jail. Where is jail?"
Soooooo, we aren't in the clear after all...