Monday, December 10, 2012

Asking for it

Lily had a bad day at school. Not as in the day happened to her, but as in she happened to the day. And it was rough. Really, rough.

The word "tantrums" (yes, plural) was used when I picked her up this afternoon.. as I got in trouble too. Because it was her worst yet day. To the extent that they were on the verge of calling me.


But- let me explain. She's not a bad kid. She's not rotten, awful, mean, etc. The opposite in fact. She's who she is. And she knows what she wants to do when she wants to do it. Aaand that doesn't go over especially well in a traditional school setting. Which was one of my concerns. She's smart, well-spoken, compassionate, etc. But she's also free-spirited, stubborn, strong-willed, etc.

We've had a hundred talks, she and I, about being a good listener. She will agree with me eventually, usually. But you can tell she thinks it's a bunch of crap. In a lot of ways it is, but 10 to 20 kids can't all do whatever they feel like at the same time. It's not fair. Which is my latest way to try to get through to her.

Because I don't want to tell her that she has to do whatever her teacher tells her. I watch the news- there are a million and a half ways that can go horribly, so horribly.. evil. And it's not a bad thing that she has her own drummer. I don't want to squash that.

She is not going to do something just because you say so. She needs to know why. It needs to make sense to her. It needs to interest her. It needs to be in line with what she thinks are good ideas (and there are many, so many, things she thinks are not good ideas). I don't know if that's typical for a 4 year old, but I don't think so.

As her mom, I've had 24 hours a day.. 7 days a week.. for the last 50 months.. to figure out ways to get her to be on her best behavior for as much of the day as I can squeeze out of her. Her teachers are just getting dropped into the middle of the chaos that is Lily.

Are they going to have time to treat her a little different, a little special? Because she is? She's not going to switch activities just because a teacher tells her to. Is it a valid switch? It is something interesting? Is it something she wants to do? Is there something in it for her? It's a logical approach.

But when her answers are no, no, no, and no.. and they push her into it anyway? Because that's the way a traditional school is run.. it's a problem. She doesn't take it well. She gets upset. She yells. She kicks and swings. Then she gets it out of her system and she's fine. And sweet and lovely again. Which is, I think, why they haven't booted her "free-spirited" little butt out yet.

I'm just sick of getting in trouble every time she does too. Cus I am doing something. I am holding her accountable for her behavior. I am trying for her to do the right thing. You just wouldn't know it, at school.

[Then I actually write this. And she has to run around the house acting like a crazy person. And scream. And not listen to a single thing I say. And.. force me to make another cup of coffee. While I kind of.. push the hard alcohol a little further back in the cabinet. Because it's only 2 o'clock. On Monday.]

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