Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mama bear

I have interspersed this post with lots of beautiful mama bear prints I found on ETSY.  
Click any of the links to look at some very cool artwork:-)
So, by nature I am a bit feisty.  When I don't like something, I will be the first to tell you.  I have a strong sense of justice- and don't like it when people are treated unfairly.  I probably write at least one letter a week to some lawmaker about something that is irritating me.  I am the one who is constantly posting links on my facebook page to one petition or another.  I teach a class about unlearning racism.  I don't like authority figures.  I don't believe in complaining without action.  I have been this way since I was a little girl.  So- how might this translate into being a mom?

Okay.  I think in the two and a half years Caya was in daycare, I wrote a total of about seven angry letters.  Angry because they give toddlers stickers- and then take them away when a child misbehaves (a no-no for any behavior management system), a letter because they did a project with what looked like India Ink and didn't use smocks for any of the children, a letter  because they didn't give my daughter or the other children much structure, and became angry when the children rebelled.   Lots of reasons.   At the last parent/ teacher meeting- I became so angry that I pulled my daughter out of daycare.  I felt that the caregivers were so animated and excited when talking about my daughter's faults- but lacked any enthusiasm when discussing her strengths.  When they became insulting because she likes princesses- I had no other choice but to remove her. 

Maybe I want too much.  In my professional life, I work with extremely difficult children- but not a day goes by that they don't know how much I care about them.  I can tell a parent something heartbreaking about their child (like that I fear the child might be psychotic) and at the same time help a parent find hope.  It is something that is important to me.  I guess I want the same from those people who I ask to take care of my children.

   So, this week I looked at numerous different day cares.  Some were full of play with no focus on academics- others were too focused on academics with no play - some were a bit shady - some didn't feel very safe- and some were extremely expensive.  Is it too hard to find something that encourages children to learn, is fun, safe, and affordable?  I finally settled on one- to find out today, that they are at full enrollment.  So, I will begin looking at more preschools tomorrow.

Okay... sorry for the rant.  Life just feels complicated. I think I have talked about my daughter many times before on this blog.   As someone who diagnoses children for a living, I am constantly looking at my daughter and trying to figure out who she is.  Too focused to be ADHD.  Too attached to people and attention to be Autistic or Aspergers.  No real history of a mood disorder.  But what I do have is an extremely sensitive, bright, willful, independent little girl who is not always very compliant.  When I am focused and teaching her, she is amazing.  She will sit for hours listening to me read to her.  She is already sounding out words.  Her language skills are incredible- words like ridiculous, hilarious, and exquisite are common.  She also can throw a tantrum because she doesn't like the feel of her socks.  She cried and became very angry when  I tried to watch the news because she can't stand to hear about the oil spill.  "Too many animals are being hurt!"  She fills my psyche.

   Sorry for the long tirade.  I am just really struggling.  She really is a lot like me growing up.  Where do I send her?  Will I be writing letters to caregivers forever?  Is this normal?   Will I ever calm down?
Thanks for listening.


Marisa and Creative Thursday said...

I can only imagine how you feel. I've always thought I would be a parent who would stick up for my child and the kind of education and care I expect for them. For this reason I admire you very much for your willingness to share all of this so openly, and to seek out a true understanding of your daughter, what she needs, as well as what you need. And from what I've heard from other parents, you are not alone, especially when it comes to looking for a school that "encourages children to learn, is fun, safe, and affordable" You will find one!

Elizabeth Barczynski said...

:) you're a good mom. Never settle for mediocre for your little cub

Caya-Papaya said...

thanks Marisa and Elizabeth:-)

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