There isn’t a single thing in this world a parent wouldn’t do for the well-being of their children. That is why moms and dads out there are real-life superheroes.
Marla Evans, a mom of a three-year-old boy named Johnny signed that morning when she heard her son saying, “No, mommy, no!” when the time came for him to go to the daycare.
This wasn’t the first tantrum he threw in recent days. It wasn’t like that before. Johnny enjoyed going to daycare. What’s most, he was looking forward to it, but something changed and Marla didn’t know what it was.
He begged her to stay home. So, not knowing what to do, she took him to the pediatrician to seek advice and was told that most toddlers go through the ‘terrible threes.’ But Marla could sense there was more to it than just a period children Johnny’s age go through.
Whenever she would ask him why he didn’t like daycare, the boy would simply answer, “I don’t,” and that was it.
“But why, sweetie?” Marla asked again one morning. “Are the other kids mean?” but the boy still wouldn’t answer. “Baby, mommy needs to go to work, but I tell you what… I’m going to come and get you from daycare early today, OK?”
Johnny then asked if she would pick him up before lunch. “No lunch?” he said as he looked up at her anxiously. “No lunch, mommy?”
This made Marla suspicious.
That day, she asked her boss if she could leave work early to deal with personal issues. Being a mom herself, the boss gave Marla the permission she asked for.
Once at the daycare, Marla asked if she could enter, but she was told parents weren’t allowed inside and that the children had lunch. At that moment, she walked to the dining room and peered in through the glass. The children were all sat and there were teachers at each table, supervising the little ones.
Marla then spotted Johnny and what she saw broke her heart into a million pieces.
A woman sitting next to her son picked up Johnny’s spoon, scooped up a portion of mashed potatoes, and pressed it against his lips, yelling at him to eat.
“Open your mouth and eat!” she could be heard saying as she forcefully put the food into the boy’s mouth. “You are going to sit here until you clear your plate!” the woman yelled.
Marla had it enough. She stormed inside the daycare’s kitchen and told the woman to get away from her son.
The woman looked at Marla and told her parents weren’t allowed inside to what Marla replied, “Then they should be.”
Marla then said, “Can’t you see Johnny’s had enough? He’s a healthy boy, but he is not a big eater. As an educator, you should know how traumatic force-feeding a child can be.
“Being forced to clean up the plate is an old-fashioned notion. You should be aware of the statistics and the causes of obesity and eating disorders in children.
“And one of them is making food an issue! My little boy is an active child, and if he feels he’s had enough, you need to respect that and not force him to eat.
“As for shoving food into a child’s mouth in that way, it is reprehensible! You should certainly know better. These children are not puppets for you to manipulate at will!
“They are little people with needs and a will of their own. If you don’t respect their boundaries, you teach them they don’t deserve respect. I don’t think that is a message you want to pass on!”
The next morning, Johnny said he would go to the daycare because he knew his mom had his back.