Tuesday, September 17, 2013

School to School

I am an imperfect mother.

I'm guilt ridden with totally losing my temper the morning after my last post.  At first the morning started just as the other mornings of the week, with The Firstborn in a terrible state of irritation, slamming doors, throwing things, hurling verbal insults, treating us terribly in her agitation.  And a line was crossed.  

The discussions about schooling her had already begun.  The appointments were already on the calendar, the paper work already begun.  But nothing happens without some undefined Divine Ultimate Purpose, I struggle with the guilt of my behavior regardless.

And so here we are.  My Miss Monkey started at her Waldorf (inspired) charter school today.  I was a hot mess of emotion all day.  Sending my Little Girl off into a class room with many other kids, and one Really Great Teacher---that, truly a serendipitous connection.  At this moment, I'm wondering how people do this same thing over and over again every single day.  I am wading into the fray.

I'm in mourning for our loss of freedom, though I'm grateful we've the freedom to choose what kind of school she attends.  What time it would appear I gained has been supplanted with drive time and pick-up/drop-off lines...I think it's actually a loss.

I wince inwardly every time I see the curriculum around the house.  Every time I look at my calendar with the neat-o things we were planning to attend, it pains me.  I love the Enki curriculum, and I had high hopes and plans for our year together.

I feel like a failure on so many levels, if I let it get too low I feel nauseous.

Some recent observations:

  • A leader cannot exercise her leadership skills, learn to work with others, when she's the only one in the room besides the teacher (if we totally let her run the show I'm certain she would in true dictator fashion)
  • It's near impossible to teach selfless, unity, and oneness with human community without a community to work within (not one 2nd grade Enki homeschooler in the area??)
  • it's not supposed to be so difficult, I'm aware that when things are right, everything falls into place (the very fact that there are so many Mile Hi'ers in her class is part'n' parcel to the rightness)
  • unacceptable behavior is unacceptable no matter who it's coming from
  • when asking for help, and the answer is undeniably clear, it would be an affront to divine nature to ignore such a gift no matter how uncomfortable the change may be
It's late, I'm sleepy, and sad, and scared, and anxious, and pensive....and reaching yet another, new level of acceptance and surrendering my will.

2nd grade, second First Day of School

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We're doing something wrong, or by wrong I mean not enough of some thing that would support this little girl. 

And I'm at a loss.  I feel depleted and wonder if I've failed her some how, effed up the groundwork in her early years to have created these problems myself.  49-51% nurture v. nature on any given day, or at any given moment.  

When she and I do connect it's with a weird oppositional intensity that I don't really like participating with, and so recently have made progress at not participating.  But then I'm challenged redefining our connection 'cause I barely know what it should look and feel like. Firstborns really get the crap end of the stick, no?

While our lessons are thus far moving easily, it's only been a week, I suspect it's quite possibly solely because once she's completed it she gets to move on to whatever she likes, and lately I'm worthless in enforcing natural consequences much much later---and she knows I'm impotent as far as consequences.  Other than keeping her in indefinitely (punishing myself), I really have none.  I'm certainly not about to start beating her into submission.

I'm weary of being her target for insults and whatever she wants to physically hurl at me (yesterday it was a shredded tortilla, it's been a turtle, a book, anything within reach and within her momentarily limited reason). I really dislike hate her behavior, and feel that whatever consequences do crop up aren't enough 'cause the behaviors only seem to have patterned out.  There's little to no respect of my simple requests, and she'll effectively ignore me unless there's something in it for her.

So, is there something amiss with her functionality?  we wouldn't know as we've never had her assessed by  trained professionals.  This is a big concern if she's in a federally funded school, I don't want her intensity and big energy mistaken for some affliction-of-the-moment.  And I certainly don't want these attributes "educated" out of her.

I know I've got rose colored lenses on what we could  do with homeschooling, how rainbow mermaids, starry unicorns, and magical butterflies simply flock to our lovely soft-glowing house where gnomes and fairies reside and we leap and dance through a garden of mystical wildflowers....ppffffttt.

I peruse the possibilities, the questions and answers on the Enki support page. All the available information and I'm overwhelmed, feeling that I can't give her enough to fully support her development at this stage.  My energies are too divided.  I feel like if I'm struggling then I must be doing it wrong, it shouldn't be so emotionally draining.  It feels to me that with her behaviors she's asking for more.  More of what though?

It is possible that my discomfort is due to some inward shift, or combination of shifts hormonal (hair falling out) and otherwise.  I'm again at a loss as to how to sort my self out lacking time and solitude required.

Some kids go in and out of school, home schooling off and on as their needs change. It's not really fair to her siblings as she dominates time and energy, keeping us all guessing at what her next freak-out will be.  It's exhausting and we, I, need to widen the circle, get more support.

We're meeting with our L&L guru and Reverend this week. The only school I'd consider sending her into has an opening in 2nd grade classroom, and it's the only opening they have (local Waldorf charter).

I refuse to spend time in "what if" zone, it's a waste of precious resources, not to mention useless and pointless.  
In tears, I pray to listen, pray to hear, and pray for guidance.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Backyard Squirrel Nut Zapper

Sometime post lunch with taquito in hand, Miss Monkey tosses an experimental bit on the patio for Sir Squirrels.  Finding that Sir Squirrels apparently enjoys said taquito (weird), she ventures inside for more options, thinking to bait him even closer to the house.  These squirrels I'm already aware are too comfortable around the patio, one in particular venturing up to the window screen itself on more than one occasion.  Either they've been fed here before, or they're doing recon as the previous inhabitant's dog moved with them.

Mommin'tuition sets me upstairs as she's making her way outside with three fresh apples.  "Um, no, sweetheart, we're not feeding the squirrels fresh food meant for us. I'm not comfortable with them that close to the house anyway, love."  Of course, there's a "Why?" and I render a short explanation of rodent cousins and disease.

She finds some stale something or other and ventures back outside.  A little while later though I hear a vehement, "NO!  STOP IT!!" as if she's speaking to a person.  Glancing outside I spy her looking up into the nearest tree with desperation, "GIVE IT BACK!  Stop!!"  A long streamer of red sparkle yanks up into the tree as she reaches for it.  She hops a little in her frustration and confounded with her options.  "MOM!  The squirrel has my streamer ribbon!"

At first, I'm not really sure what to do, I've no inclination to chase a squirrel to retrieve a dollar store toy, and these are truly natural consequences.  (acknowledging gratitude for base of knowledge not to rescue her)

Eventually, after having the streamer revoked Sir Squirrels gnaws other random kid-detritus then retreats.  Miss Monkey returns concerned she's contracted some disease having touched what Sir Squirrels mouthed.  She takes direction cleaning herself thoroughly and sets about creating a squirrel trap.

The following morning a few hours were totally dedicated to trapping Sir Squirrels.  A wire filing rack was converted with mini bungees and fake flower bait, and a rubber duck dog toy (??) for good measure.  It was such a great simulation a dear friend actually asked to borrow it!

Always an adventure.
"We be the best we can be in the moment. And we live with grace." 

Post-Kenpo, soccer uniform pick up, a line of people in the waning heat of late summer, mostly accompanied by children, who, given the hour, may or may not have eaten dinner.  The kids group about, two games of tag are being played, then one Duck-Duck-Goose! and one Tag.  Chatting amicably with a young nanny, baby's falling asleep in the sling.  My turn at the table, I call my child over to try on a jersey, at first there's a lite resistance as she was playing intently...then IT begins, because there are only 10 girls on her team, and her only choice is between number 23 or number 12.
We'd had a discussion about color, team colors are green and white, only green and white.  There had been a brief discussion about numbers, that she wouldn't get to pick a number as we hadn't pre-ordered.

Apparently it wasn't enough.  

But really, who would predict that a discrepancy of numbers would send a 7 year old into a raging fit?

I can't even remember everything that was said.  The hate-filled ugliness screeching from her mouth, confusion about how team uniforms are numbered exacerbated by lack of food, and a long active day.  I eventually ran out of verbal tools, gratefully it was the same time I completed writing out the check, I called the Second Born and we moved First Born drama short distance to the parking lot.

I am grateful I didn't do anything to feel ashamed.  For me, her behavior was somewhat embarrassing, though I've come to care less and less about what others think.  At some point I mentioned she was embarrassing herself---a flicker of doubt crossed her face, but then I guess she figured she'd already committed to the tantrum so publicly, she may as well go all in.  And I do mean all in.  

"I will not speak to you again until you've eaten something and you're calm."

After moving her seat back between the younger two (as I can't be expected to drive safely while there's anyone fr-eak-ing the eff out in my passenger seat) I had to buckle her in.  She woke her brother with her shrieking and caterwauling though eventually helped him with his paci.

"I think you shouldn't speak again either, until you've eaten and  you're calm."

We made it home.  With a call ahead The Man had prepped simple dinner for them.  They got fed and then even had story at bedtime.

I'm completely wrung out.  We had such a good week, to end with such crap...it's just really really disappointing.  I've sadness, anger, and feeling weary.  It's these behaviors that 'cause me to think she should be in brick & mortar school, or that there's something amiss with her functionality.  But I know that giving in to her crazed states would only create more tantrums in the future.  Now delayed consequences loom in the coming week, because my energy has been completely drained.

All this after a standard three year old tantrum 'cause I wanted to listen to the Broncos game recap/analysis instead of Wheels On The Bus.

So, aforementioned Ms. Martin is dead on---Carry on Brave Mother.