I hope you don't mind, but I have some thoughts. I'm throwing them out in the hope that it may give me some clarity of vision. I can't guarantee that it will make any sense once I get going. I'm processing on the page here. It's what I do in times of stress. You may wonder why I don't just jot it down in a notebook. I have. And then some. But for some reason it isn't making me feel any better. So I turn to you. My blog. My scrapbook of stuff.
I'm often worried that I sit on the fence. I worry that my opinions aren't firmly rooted on one side of the divide or the other. I can't help that. It's who I am. I always see things from both sides. I can often flip sides during a conversation about most things, and then back again. It's not that I don't have strong personal opinions and convictions, but I sometimes wonder whether my counselling training honed in on that aspect of my character, refined it, and then sent me off with a desire to understand how it may be for someone else. Try going into your living room, and sitting somewhere other than the place you usually sit. Then look at your surroundings from that place. You may notice things differently. You may see different aspects of light and shade to the room that weren't apparent before. You may even like it better there. Now go and sit where you usually do. Does it still look the same, after having sat somewhere else?
When I look at my three children, I see the light and the shade. I see the good and the bad. I peel back their layers. There are many, and they are complex. If I peel back Olly's, I see a little boy who is bright and articulate. He is feisty and quick tempered. He can do and say unpleasant things at times, but is also caring and loving. He loves to create, and has a wonderful imagination. He displays top dog behaviour, and revels in being the centre of attention. He is funny and cheeky, but can also be rude and rather cruel. He is fizzing with energy and has an unbridled enthusiasm for adventure. He is demanding, and exhausting. I may not like some of these traits, but I love the whole that they make up. I love him completely.
So to be told that he is sometimes behaving in a way that only shows those dark layers upsets me. I want Olly to be a likeable member of the class, to get on well with his peers, to be respectful and behave appropriately. I don't want Olly to be excluded from activities, to be rude to his teachers and unpleasant to his friends. I'm wondering whether this attention seeking and rule breaking is a "notice me" call. I'm wondering just how much his little self is struggling to cope with school life. I'm wondering whether he is simply being unpleasant, and there's no real or adequate explanation for why.
You may have had or have 'breezy' children. Those children that seem to cruise through their school years with no trials and tribulations whatsoever. You may be the kind of person who wouldn't be able to see or confront the dark side of your own child. You may have had terrible difficulties with your children, who then grew into wonderful adults. None of my children have been 'breezy.' And I have been guilty of only seeing the not so pleasant traits of their characters at times. Sometimes it's because that's all they present for a while. But often it's because I lose my own sense of seeing them completely. I forget to go sit in another part of the room, and look at them from there.
I fear that this week I've started to do that with Pops. If his teacher feels that he needs a little extra support I should embrace it. I should wholeheartedly support it for his well being and happiness. If it helps him to cope with the complicated place that is school, then I should say 'go for it.' So what's holding me back? Why am I so stuck? Why am I replaying that conversation? Why am I so worried about talking to Marc when he returns from the States tomorrow? Why am I fearing the worse? Why do I worry that something low level may escalate into something all consuming?
I think I'm worried about the labelling that goes on in schools. Maybe not by the teachers (although I have had plenty of experience of that too), but by his peers and their mothers. And my biggest fear is of negative consequences that can come from intervention. Again I'm speaking from personal experience. And let's be fair, he is only four for goodness sake. He is absolutely shattered after a day at school. A lot of the behaviour he seems to be displaying at school, he rarely displays at home.
But I'm still stuck. And I'm still worried. And yes I did tell him off when we got home from school yesterday. And yes I rattled on for far longer than I should. And yes in the end he was upset and confused. And I was upset and felt guilty. But I was also cross. And tense and so, so fraught with the anxiety that surrounds it all. I stood and cried silently in the kitchen. I felt terribly sorry for myself, as I thought that I'd have to go through all those trials and tribulations of school again. At that moment I could have quite easily got in the car and driven away from it all.
I made the tea instead. And after that Olly and me played Connect Four. And we cuddled. It was lovely.
I still don't know how I feel about it all.
But I feel a little better for writing some of it down.
And I shall stop now for fear of regurgitating the same stuff over and over again. I do that really well.
Bloody hell, Today's Stuff is rather fraught at the moment.
Thank you for that. And although you may have regretted it, hello to new followers. You are most welcome here. And Chickpea, I can never seem to leave a reply on your blog. It just won't let me! I have really enjoyed your blog of late. Hope you read this ;)
Have a great weekend one and all, and please don't tell me if you have perfect kids. Save it for another time. Or maybe pay a visit to the other side of the room.
With much love,