Thursday, January 12, 2012

Two Strikes

It's been a day, one where energy was high in anticipation of a successful outcome. Remember about a month ago I wrote a post about a big milestone coming for Munchkin? It was time for his Kindergarten assessment & I just knew that my child who is "a perfect student", "a joy to have" in his teacher's class, who is so eager to be a Kindergartener & who asks to do "homework" in the evenings would have no issues with a silly little assessment.

Yes, well that day didn't go so well. I wrote a post then too. So we said whatever, that was a fluke & promptly reschedule for today - different day of the week, different time of day - no problem, right?! Wrong. Two strikes. Unfortunately, today did not go well either.

I had contacted someone from the district about suggestions to smooth this over for Munchkin, unfortunately she didn't return my call until 2 days ago - which gave us no time to constructively work on some solutions for this anxiety initial distrust for new people when in new situations.

Once the assessor decided to "call the game", she said perhaps we attempted this too quickly, that Munchkin needed time to forget the negative experience from the prior visit & a month wasn't long enough to heal the scars. (Scars, so my kid has scars now too - lovely.) She also suggested to me that Type A children can sometimes have a fear of not doing some things perfectly. They don't want to be disappointed, so they do nothing instead. They reassured me that the end of May would be a good time to try for hopefully the last time.  Many parents think the assessment has to be done by Kindergarten class registration, but we theoretically have up until the start of school in the fall.

As a parent, this has been hands down the most difficult thing to deal with - feeling like a failure & not knowing what to do to make things easier for my child.  We have golf lessons starting in a few weeks.  Swimming & T-ball are on deck.  Will a few more months of maturity really help make a difference?!

Once again I'm trying to hide my feelings of failure as a parent from my child, trying not to make him feel bad for being unsuccessful in his second attempt to "do it right" as he told his teacher the last time that he did not do. 

On the ride home, I offered a Root Beer float for dessert, probably not the best thing to do, but Munchkin is a rail - a skinny minny - he can use a few extra calories on a special occasion.  Munchkin wanted to go to Target. Right - that was a no ;  ) Not a battle I wanted to wage. I was not in the mood for a tantrum over NOT getting a new toy on this particular day. 

I don't have the answer & praying earlier today didn't help, but all I can do is trust that things will work out in their own time. I should know by now that being Catholic doesn't mean God grants wishes on demand - Father Curt would second that if he knew.  As a Type A Mom with a seemingly Type A child, this should all be so easy - except for the 1/2 Type B Munchkin gets from his father.  No matter how much I want to see myself in my child at his age, it's not there. He is his own person, carving his own path, with his own distinct personality. 

All I can do is have more patience and take things one day at a time. That is about all I know for sure. And now I'm off to make that Root Beer float I promised.


Jayne said...

Glad I popped over to read this.
Hang in there! Your little buddy is awesome!! 3rd time is the charm. ;)

Kakie said...

Hi Monika, Great post. Oh how I remember being in that place with my little man who is now 11. As a parent, it is so normal to have that anxiety. We are all just trying to figure it out. I remember pacing and being so nervous because I couldn’t be in the room with him.

In my case, our conversation for prep was light and excited "Aren't you so excited? They get to see what a good listener you are. Just listen, follow directions and have fun!" (Marketing execs, positioning right? It’s all in how you spin it. )

One of my sister’s is a teacher at a school in the Northern Subs (Masters degree in Catholic School education vi St. Mary’s and BA in elementary education St. Kate’s, 2nd grade teacher) She might be a great person to talk to and could have info/tips about specific methodologies they use. Let me know if you are interested, I would be happy to connect you.

Kids develop differently and he is exactly where he needs to be. (So are you) You are a terrific mom and it is normal to worry. We want to protect them, but there are times we have to step back and let them figure it out, even when we might not be ready to let go.

I think parenting is a journey of learning to let go in little steps and celebrating their independence in each phase. It reminds me of the scene in Finding Nemo when Marlin says; “How do you know when to let them go.” To which Mr. Turtle says; “Dude, when they know, you’ll know.”

Monika said...

Thank you ladies for those encouraging words. I really needed to hear them.