Monday, May 14, 2012

The Price of Being Amazing

Its been a rough two weeks as a parent for both of us. Clearly, its been nothing compared to what my daughter has been dealing with daily for over 2 months. So many times the desire to write out these latest developments have been quelled by the emotional roller-coaster currently my family is engaged in. Simply put, my daughter is 3 years old and she is brilliant! Always petite in her stature, she is the true personification of her name, which in Japanese means "Happy Person". We have taught her many things and so much more to come. She has enjoyed innumerable educational, cultural and social experiences for such a short time on this Earth. Started school very early and always excelling academically, without a doubt I am extremely proud of her development.

Apparently, the act of bullying can begin as early as 4 years old. When a smart, friendly, expressive (yet somewhat timid) 3 year old is immersed in a group of 4 years olds, if she is not careful her self esteem and future confidence could be swallowed up in the constant taunting, childish meanness and social ostracizing of her peers.  My daughter currently is that "different" child in her class. I have to admit I hate it on so many levels. Initially, it dampens my glow of the innocence of children. And for that I am extremely saddened.  Several posts back I talked about watching my child be "treated" a certain way and reconciling that she had some hard and fast lessons to be learned. Social lessons. That would help her grow and learn, There would be no way for me to know that I was just witnessing a window into future events. 

At this point, a once very anxious and excited child to attend school is daily reluctant and apprehensive. She comes up with different attempts to stall going to school daily. In the past she would be jubilant about spending the day with "friends". Secondly, my trepidation about having to confront  the teachers, administration and possibly the parents became a source of internal conflict. I am clear that I am a distinct protagonist. My admiration for the loud brash purveyor of all that is right and just is evident. However, it is not my style. Very much the strategist and insidious attacker, I have been compiling mental "data" since we started at this school. Many days lurking around to witness various interactions and unseen behaviors. I saw my share, my mistake was thinking the teachers saw as much as I.

Bottom-line my child has been identified as the smallest, most immature (compared to the 4s), "baby" of the class. In order to survive she has adapted to some very unlikely behavior that gets her in trouble at home. Now I have realized that she is figuring out her adapting mechanisms. A great deal of this seems almost innate to both the children who antagonize her and my daughter who navigates this daily maze. That's the Sociologist in me, studying the group dynamic!

Here is the irony, last week I had enough and decided to communicate with the school director. It was an awesome meeting where we dialogued about creative solutions to teach the children in the class to better coexist and that the current behaviors will not serve them well in the future. Our daughter expressed her concern not only for her own safety but that of other classmates and that genuinely made me proud of her as a human being. We all left feeling hopeful that this situation would be a lesson for all involved and we would grow while working together, That was last Thursday...on Friday one of her classmates bit my daughter and left an incredible set of  teeth (yes I said TEETH) impressions in her back. The best way to express how I felt when I found out was Seething Fury! I was so quiet with my fury I scared myself a little. Her teacher looked for a reaction while apologizing profusely. She got nothing except "its time we go" in a very stern calm voice.  My main thought was "why would a person think its okay to bite my amazing child". And where is this child/parent for me to totally incinerate with my $25 words I learned in all them schools I have gone to!

When you have idle conversation we say things quite flippantly without much regard. Occasionally words may resonate but for the most part folks are not listening to one another. My daughter's teacher was livid, embarrassed, ashamed, and so very empathetic. I heard none of it! She knew that somehow she had dropped the ball and now this deed was magnified by the dialogue we just had the very day before. What was even more horrifying was that the offending child's parent never stayed around to apologize or discuss the incident when I came to pick up my daughter.

Here is where I go dark....for many years I really had no desire to have children. I find this world to be a very cruel and harsh experience at times. It was much safer for me not to partake in life's endeavors and just observe from the sidelines, that hurt that fellow human beings incessantly were causing one another. Always understanding that children keep the species going and that hope always remains in the heart of a child. For my 20s and the majority of my 30s I had reconciled it wasn't for me. There would be no need for me to deal with the pain and worry of children because I didn't have the emotional bandwidth. This merciless act committed by a child onto my child just brought all those feelings back. The fact that the parent would disregard the pain of a child, not just mine but any child made me livid. 

Then Mother's Day came, and I spent the weekend truly enjoying my daughter. Her laughter, her incredible sense of humor, and her wisdom. You see these children call her "baby" which in turn she has turned into a song and it makes her laugh hysterically. They tell her they don't want to play with her and so she has no problem playing by herself and making something interesting enough that they want to join. On the day of our meeting with the school's director, I picked my daughter up and she ran over to the main bullies and said "Okay my Mommy is here, I am going and you be careful in the park, Okay?" They all held hands and said good bye. Is that resilience or is it brilliance? Really I don't know, but I am grateful that her heart and soul are so magnanimous. In the meantime, I am looking for a Karate or Tae Kwon Do class!!It is more clear to me than ever before that she chose me because she knew I would see that in her, and give my last breath to nurture and protect the fine spirit that she always will be!!!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Busy Thursdays

"Mommy Mommy Mommy, what are we gonna do? And then what are we gonna do? What are we gonna do after that?" Those are daily questions in my house! Our children have grown accustom to ALWAYS being on the move. Going to play dates since infancy. School, extra circular activities, friends, family.. the park playground you name it. Honestly I don't remember being THIS busy as a child. They have seriously intense schedules!

As a parent guilty of this same circumstance I figure why not be yet another resource for parents to find creative ways to grow and cultivate your child's time. Okay yes, I am trying to keep them busy as well! Yeesh!!!

Great resources if you are here in NYC are:


Look for local resources in your area and feel free to share with us here! Happy Busy!!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Mothering of The Mother

How many times have you found the love and compassion you need from your child? My daughter is 3 years old and without pause she is always saying, "don't worry Mommy, don't worry"...So now I wonder (and worry) what has she learned about me that requires her to make sure I don't go overboard on the worry? Is she parroting or am I projecting? These are the burning questions.

Oftentimes, parents feel like their children cant handle the burden of emotional outlet. In my extremely limited experience as a mother I am finding quite the contrary to be true. The unconditional love, constant observation process and expressed intuition of a child is amazing. There have been numerous times when a child has tapped right into my emotional state of being and their capacity to clue in is overwhelming. More so, I have learned to respect that it is possible that a child's gift is to be able to sense whats going on with the adults around them. Dare I say as a coping mechanism. "Mommy is really happy" so the child then acts accordingly. For me its when I am trying to camouflage a deeper issue and my daughter says, "Mommy you want me to hug you?". All I can think is "dude, you are tight with your intuituon, I DIG THAT ABOUT YOU!!!" Is that primal instinct?

It is their innocence that allows them to be so well tuned? Clearly its not learned because then more adults would have the ability for incredible compassion. If you are spiritual, its possible that angels or some unseen force require the child to listen with more than just ears. Really I do not know!

This may be the utter ramblings of a very tired Mommy but this space if my outlet for all things in my head. Lately, I have chosen to respect my child's intuition and ability to sense exactly what I need. Its to be enjoyed now because soon external factors may filter that special quality down. Lets hope not!

Check out this article and hopefully some clarity will be gained. Cheers!