Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I am not wearing pink today.

Today someone somewhere decided that we need to bring Awareness to bullying by all wearing pink t-shirts today.  I am not doing it.  Miraculously, Char is not wearing pink today either, despite the fact that at least 85% of her wardrobe consists of that colour.  Awareness.  What does that even mean anymore?  Yes, we can all go around today and tell the world Bullying is Bad and We Shouldn't Do It, but what will that accomplish?  I don't believe it will do anything.  Bullies will still bully.  Kids will and still do suffer.

I have been bullied and am the parent of a child who has been bullied.  I am also the mom of a kid who was doing the bullying.  In my own experience with bullies I found that my parents were the ones who were most helpful.  They let me skip school sometimes. They berated the principal of the school and made sure the bullies were suspended after one particularly awful incident.   They kept me busy with piano lessons, Girl Guides and swimming lessons.  They sent me to summer camp in a place where the kids didn't know they were supposed to bully me.  The other thing that helped me was time.  In time, I grew up, moved away and let my growing up and turning out OK be my personal victory over the bullies.

 I considered homeschooling my own kids as a way to protect them from the awful world and the assholes in it.  When my child was bullied, we called the school.  It continued.  We had to go over and knock on the bully's door and talk to the parents directly.  Among my friends, I have also found that it is the parents that are the ones that seem to have the most impact on dealing with bullies.  When I was told by another parent that her child and mine were caught picking on a kid on the playground at school I was mortified.  I made my child apologize to the child that was picked on and re-enforced over and over that it is inappropriate behaviour. 

So, let's take this anti-bullying campaign out of the schools.  How about we agree that raising kids is really hard and that as parents, it should be our goal to not raise assholes.  If someone knocks on your door and tells you your kid was a jerk to theirs, it is OK to be mortified and shocked.  At that point, don't deny the incident happened or accuse the accuser of lying.  Open up a line of communication, no matter how hard that could be, and get to the bottom of things.  Deal with it.  Deal with your child.  Don't take it personally. Keep talking.  Ignoring the problem won't make it go away.  Hoping the school will deal with it so you don't have to will not help.

You can wear whatever colour shirt you want.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blast From the Past.

Once Upon a Time, there was a little girl named Jennifer who had to dress up like a Pioneer Woman for her Figure Skating Carnival.  She found out how hard it is to skate in a long dress.  She loved it though as it reminded her of Laura Ingalls and she was a huge fan of Laura Ingalls (and still is).

Time passed.  The little girl named Jennifer grew out of the dress.  The dress and bonnet were used to dress a Betsy McCall doll that the little girl's mom sewed.
Even more time passed.  The little girl named Jennifer grew up, got married and had a little girl of her own. This little girl was named Charlotte.

One weekend Jennifer's little girl spent the weekend with her Grandma.  She phoned her mom and excitedly told her to check her email.  This is what Jennifer found:
The now grown up little girl named Jennifer realized how fast time really flies.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Struggling

My last couple of posts have been rather light and fluffy.  I have been glossing over life lately because facing it parts of it head-on hurts my brain too much.

Charlotte is not the only one testing me.  Matthew is having the eerily similar potty issues to Emmett.  I didn't cope well with Emmett's potty issues and my coping skills are no better and are probably worse this time around.  I feel like I am under the gun as I don't have a diagnosis and an EA assigned to Matthew in Kindergarten this fall.  I just have the months of the calendar ticking away as I struggle to get his issues under control before he becomes That Kid Who Poops His Pants at school.  I am faced with the thought that I may have to homeschool him if I can't get him figured out and I am not sure I have the strength for that.  I will NOT willfully put him into a position where he could be ridiculed and singled out so unless he is reliably potty trained by September I will withdraw his school registration.  I really hope it doesn't come to this.  I know that homeschooling is becoming more widely accepted and that many families do it with great success.  I just don't think I have it in me.

In other news, Emmett has been flying under the radar lately, but some new issues have come to light.  He said No to the Scouts Sleepover because he has anxiety about sleeping in an unfamiliar environment with people he doesn't know very well.  It is Winter Camp time and he would like to participate. His Grandma would like to help him out by letting him sleep at her cabin at night so he can still participate during the day. (Her cabin is very close to where Winter Camp is being held.)  I am trying to figure out the line with him--should I request these special accommodations or make him participate in camp fully?  I like the idea of letting him stay with Grandma at night, but will that single him out and make him the butt of jokes as much as he would be if he had a meltdown from overstimulation or if he had an accident in his sleeping bag at night?  I have purposefully kept the Scout leaders on a Need to Know basis with Emmett and his quirks as I wanted them to treat him like they would treat any other Scout, so am I asking too much now?

Clearly I have more questions than answers right now.  I guess I just have to keep bumbling along.

I promise there will be more cutesy pictures and stories soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Who knew I was a church snob?

It will soon be February 22.  That means nothing to you unless you are in Guiding or Scouting.  If you are a member of either organization, I don't need to tell you that is our founder's birthday.  This has nothing to do with what comes next, but now you know what Baden-Powell Sunday is.

I took Emmett to Baden-Powell Sunday at the church that hosts his meetings today.  It was a service unlike any other I have been to.  This was a Christian Church where it seemed The Bible was for display purposes only.  Emmett participated in an interactive Bible story, but there was no reference to the chapters and verses that were being acted out for the congregation. (I did some digging online and figured out we were learning the story of 2 Kings 5)  There was no lesson or analysis of the story after the telling of it.  Halfway through the service the Pastor stepped out from behind the pulpit and sat down on a chair next to a woman who gave a presentation and took questions from the congregation, Oprah Winfrey-style.  He addressed God as "Divine Mystery" in his prayers.

My Spiritual Cup was not filled by this service, which felt so hollow and superficial to me.  I came away from this morning wanting more.  It felt like church with training wheels.


My faith waxes and wanes but I think that part of what brings me closer to God is listening to the priest at my own church talk about an analyze the Scripture that is read every week.  I like coming away from a service with something to think about for the rest of the day.  I realized today how much I missed that.  I also found I missed the interactivity of the calling and answering and the familiar prayers and Nicene and Apostle's Creeds.  I missed the rafter-rattling pipe organ and the ancient hymns that while challenging to sing, sound so beautiful.

I guess part of being on a Spiritual Journey is knowing what you need personally to feel fulfilled and enriched.  My writing may sound elitist and snobby today, but I am not for one second telling you, my readers that what fills my cup should also fill yours.  That is for you and you alone to figure out.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Testing, Testing

My Charlotte is growing up and it is proving to be rather stressful for her.  She is testing me every day.  For example, last week she asked what would happen if she missed the bus and then she missed it.(Jury is still out on whether this was on purpose or an unfortunate coincidence).  It happened again  when she brought the kid home from school whom I had banned from our house.  Twice.

She makes everyone around her responsible for her feelings and nothing is her fault.

Her fuse is so short that even getting through challenging homework is an exercise in patience for everyone involved.  Her meltdowns are spectacular and always at the same volume so I don't know when to take her complaints seriously or not.  This bites me in the ass when I shove her out the door to school as she is crying and begging to stay home and then I get a call later saying she has gotten sick on the bus and needs a ride home.  It has become impossible to tell when she is serious about something and embellishing for dramatic effect.  Last night she had a meltdown at Sparks when she tried to tell me I needed to make a snack for her class at school the next day and I said No.  (If she wants me to make treats for her class I need more notice than 7:00 PM the night before please.)

My mom tells me that I was as impulsive and spirited as Charlotte was when I was little.  I guess Karma is coming back to bite me in the bottom.

I really want to do what is best for Charlotte and raise her to be the best Charlotte she can be, but I am not sure I am going to make it out of this alive.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The upside of being the youngest...

When you're the youngest and Mom makes cookies on a weekday, no one fights you for spoon-licking privileges.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Overheard in the backseat of Grandma's Car

A play in one act.

C: When I grow up I'm not going to get married. I'm going to move out of home to a big city.
E. I'm just going to stay home and live with mom and dad.
C. Well you'll have to look after them, wash their clothes and bring them soup.
E. I won't do that.
C. Old people really like soup, you'll have to do it.
E. Okay, I guess I can.
C. (about all the grandparents will be dead) etc. etc.

Fin