So something bad happened with the kids on the playground yesterday. I was at the bottom of the slide to catch the two year old boy I nanny. He likes to take the slide by himself and have me catch him at the bottom. He was at the top of the slide, and he flipped over on his stomach to slide down feet first. Idk why this is sometimes his preferred way to come down the slide; I think maybe he sometimes feels scared looking down the slide so coming down on his front feels more secure?

Anyway, this total brat of a kid came up and kicked him in the face and down the slide. It was clearly deliberate, and happened so fast I had no time to stop it, especially since I have never seen a child intentionally kick a toddler in the face before and was not expecting it.

There aren’t really words for how I felt in that moment. Another nanny I know was with me, as her young charge was playing nearby and she has had trouble with this particular little boy bullying the kids she takes care of many times before. The two of us summoned him down the slide, found his nanny, and made the situation clear to her. I made that horrible little fuckwad of a boy apologize (he didn’t seem especially remorseful, however) and farbade him from coming near the toddler ever again. The toddler now has a bruise on his cheekbone, directly below his eye, and just looking at it I want to scream at that boy! How could he deliberately kick a small child in the face?? What the hell is wrong with him?? There is clearly something deeply wrong with him or his home life, because that is fucked up.

Anyway, the mom I work for now says I shouldn’t let him up on the play structure without me with him, and I feel like shit. I was just at the bottom to catch him coming down the slide! I was never inattentive. It is no trouble for me to go up with him of course and I often do, but I have been letting him come down the slide alone with me at the bottom because it has worked so far. I don’t see how anyone could predict that another child would be so intentionally violent. I have never seen anything like it happen before. It’s just really stressful because it seems like playgrounds are horribly unsafe places—it seems that I can’t let the kids have fun without also letting them risk injury, and the correct balancing act of what to let them do and what to not let them do is hard to determine. I already follow the toddler about everywhere and stop him from doing many things. And since they aren’t my kids, the guilt I feel when something goes wrong is really intense.

She said she knows it was a fluke, but I feel like such a failure for letting it happen. He is so small and I let him get hurt.

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And that other kid! He is only five or six years old, but after seeing him intentionally shove another girl to the ground ten minutes after kicking my toddler in the face yesterday, I absolutely hate him. It may be horrible of me to hate a child, but it’s true. If I seem him lay so much as a finger on my toddler again, there will be hell to pay.

The toddler seems fine today. He is expounding upon his great love for Corduroy the bear at the moment, in fact! But I still feel pretty bad. :( Comfort me?