Monday, October 22

her first 2 weeks

I wish I could record here that it's been fantastic. That all has gone smoothly and it's been all smiles.

But I can't.

The great stuff...

She loved school from day 1, and even better, she still loves school now.

The challenge...

A little boy in her class has been physically hurting her. I can't say bullying, because he's only 4, and he's not making a point to find and attack her. Rather, he's provoked by Miss4 correcting his 'naughty' behaviour, or getting into his space when he's said a firm, 'no'.

Miss4 has a need for order and correctness, as well as a need to communicate all that. She believes she's been helpful. Technically has been so, such as when he almost closed a door on a smaller child. With this kid, he ain't taking it. She also has a belief that we should always share. However, many times, you have to give people the right to their space.

I had a very bleak week, with one night of dark dark thoughts. Including thinking perhaps I ought to pull her out of school (for those who don't know, I had originally hoped to homeschool her, and the only reason she's in school at age 4.5 yrs, is because it was supposed to provide a gentle home-like environment, as Steiner schools do). I questioned everything. A night where I crawled into bed with her because of a primal need to hold and protect my 'baby'. I felt I had let her down.

The good stuff...

Both teacher, the parent of the boy, and myself, are working together to solve this issue. The teacher is very pro-active.

Also, on the other side of the dark thoughts now, I can accept that Miss4 is dealing with it really well. Both in how she responds to the boy - doesn't retaliate but is very firm about what's not okay, saying, no, stop, stop that - and although there have been signs of stress, she's otherwise really okay. I think I'm the one emotionally scarred!

And finally, it's given her a chance to deal with adversity, as well as us a chance to talk through some social issues. For her part, understanding other people's boundaries, and letting go of worrying about other children's behaviour. We chatted together, and decided together, that her 'job' at school was to have fun, be helpful, be kind, and have more fun. And the teacher can take care of the children. In a way, I believe that this also frees her of some anxiety, as she feels she ought to be taking care of bad behaviour. Too much of a burden on a small child, even if she wants to do it.

And building compassion. Talking about how that little boy is frightened about so many new children and such, and that's why he's hurting her and shouting in class. And that she can help him by not making him more scared, such as listening when he doesn't want her to play near him.

So... I'm accepting all this as an experience that will make her emotionally stronger and yet also a more other-aware person.

Oh how reasonable and positive I am! But 2 days ago you would have found me in a puddle of my own tears.


  1. Monica, this is so heartfelt and my heart goes out to you. So many adjustments to make in such a short period of time that you've been there. Although I never had children, I *know* I would have been totally neurotic trying to raise one - constantly vigilant and worried, wanting to protect and curl up in a ball at the same time. Miss4 sounds like a delightful, well-adjusted child, learning to socialize - and cute as a button too. I love how you are handling the situation with these lovely conversations with her - even if it feels messy and dark inside for you... Heart Hugs, Christine

  2. For what it's worth, sounds like you are both adapting brilliantly to a difficult transition. Although its rough and (as a mother of a child who was bullied) there is so much to be learned from these situations, provided the school are on board which yours sounds like it is (ours flat denied the issue, even when he was showing them the bite marks! ) Hopefully both children will learn & grow & who knows may end up best of friends! Don't think anything ever stops that "mama lioness" protecting her cub gut feeling though

  3. Hello Mon,

    I find it very natural that you go through such emotional stress when something involves your child. I do like the conclution you have come with. All children need to learn through experiences. Our job is to quide them and comfort them. Lots of love to both of you

  4. although i am not a mother, i can understand the need to hold and protect your baby. these lessons miss4 is learning are tough for both mom and child. i can't even imagine how i'd begin to explain all of this to a child.

    by the by, now that my boyfriend and i are seriously discussing the next steps in our relationship and putting a bit of a timeline to things, i find myself peeking in on your wonderful mama blog more and more. :)
    there's so much to learn and to think about here. good stuff!

  5. I ache for you. This was me one month ago. I was an emotional wreck, coming home from dropping my 6 year old at school shaking and in tears. He, of course, was/is dealing with things much better than his frazzled Mom. I had those thoughts..the "What have I done to him?" thoughts. It's so hard taking steps back, not being physically present, having to endure their hurt and confusion. It gets better on many levels but I'm afraid it's just the first in a long series of hurts we parents will have for our children. You can do this! You both can. Lots of love from a Mom who knows almost exactly what you're going through...xo

  6. you know, I don't know why so many parents go into panic mode when their child enters their teens/puberty.
    It is soooo much more difficult starting school and placing them in social situations at such a young and vulnerable age.
    It's when our little ones come face to face with other children, some who weren't raised in solid loving homes.
    And they find themselves in social situations that we as adults, would find difficult to feel our way through.
    ((( hugs Mon )))'re doing great, and it will all shine through as your little miss grows through challenges like this.
    Kudos to you for being an aware and proactive mamma!

  7. Sorry to hear of your struggles with school. Don't know if you've been following our "to school or not?" adventures, but our high spirited, very emotional 4 1/2 year old girl started this September too. It has been heart wrenching at times (we seem to be having the opposite journey to you - nightmare start, but getting better) - sharing links, you know I'm not a spammer!

    Also, Mon, on another note, I would love to restart Joy Pockets over at Dreaming Aloud, I still do them and a number of others want to get involved. Obviously your call - we can 1) rename it and do our own version 2)do Joy Pockets, but create a different image/ logo 3) Continue it as it was with same name and logo. I did ask about this a couple of months back but got no response. Would love to know how to proceed in a way that honours you and keeps the tradition alive for those who want it. Please let me know on my blog, or by email lucy AT thehappywomb DOT com.

    Mama love to you xx

  8. I can relate. I had second thoughts about Michael in preschool, too. It's so hard to let them be exposed. I ended up taking him back to "homeschool" after a year. But I can't deny the experience was good for him.

    By the way, Michael is like that, too, the orderly thing. I have to remind him to let it go, stop worrying what the other kids are doing.


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