Tuesday, September 29, 2009

 In which I realize that my kid has qualities of an average 6 year old *gasp*

Why is it so hard sometimes to accept that our kids will be kids? Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's our unique circumstances. But I realized (a little bit more) last week that my expectations for myself and my family are just a slight bit ridiculous. I'm specifically thinking of K and a little trouble that popped up at school last Thursday. K was born with a fighting spirit that kept him going through months of the NICU, 8 surgeries, and more poking and prodding than most of us will go through in a life time. When he was a tiny baby I wondered how that might affect his personality. Would it make him fussy, insecure, difficult? Ends up none of the above - in the beginning any way. As an infant and toddler he had such a sweet, and extremely laid back disposition. The physical therapists that began working with him at 6 months of age were even a little bit concerned that he was too laid back. They wanted to see more of that fighting spirit. I'll never forget the first time he threw a fit, He was some where between 18 months and 2 years of age and he wanted a toy out of his reach. His PT was here and she was over joyed. She kept saying how wonderful it was that he was reaching this milestone! I had to laugh that it was this big exciting thing he was throwing a fit... Still, even though he had acquired the skill of fit throwing his mellow personality continued to be prominent. And then there was the time when K's shunt malfunctioned a couple of years ago. I hear that isn't the most comfortable feeling in the world. Lots of pressure builds up in the brain and causes a pretty hefty headache. As he lay on the couch, holding his head and wincing I asked him how he was feeling. In a weak little voice he said, "I'm good". He was NOT good. He was having brain surgery a few hours later. That is not the good kind of mellow and laid back. After that we began to really work with him on being an advocate for himself. It took a while, but he began to get the concept of saying "no" to things he didn't want and being honest when he didn't feel well. And then I started wondering why I ever taught my child to say no... :) We had gotten so used our easy going little guy who pretty much did whatever was expected and rarely complained. Enter year 6. Oh my. Mellow? Laid back? Easy going? Who? Where? No one in this house! Certainly not our little K. And it is taking some time to get used to this new strong willed, defiant, wants his own way, contrary K. It's not the K we were used to! Oh, he definitely retains his innocent sweetness, but sometimes you have to search for it. I guess it's a part of growing up. And learning and maturing. He's entered a whole new world of more independence, less mommy time, mainstreaming in school and leaving alot of his special needs programs behind. I got a note home from his kindergarten teacher on Thursday that sent me on an emotional trip. "K got two yellow lights today" (Their system of discipline. 3 yellow lights gets you sent to the principals office) "He was disruptive in class, was giggling and being silly when it was time to work, and would not participate in required activities. Please talk to him about what is expected of him. He has demonstrated some of this behavior each day, but today really pushed it." Um, can you say freaking out? Cause that's what this mama did upon reading the note. Not MY child! Not my sweet little K!! - Oh wait, sweet was so last year. He may walk with a walker and think a bit out side of the box - but he is being held to the exact same standard as any other child in that class. And that is exactly what we want. So, he was spoken to, by mommy and daddy, and a few things were changed around here to tighten up some structure and discipline for the child who I never thought would need such a firm hand. The little preemie boy. The child who didn't even know how to throw a fit. The one some said would never understand or speak - well he is speaking his mind and showing his opinions. So, my kid is normal (relatively speaking of course). Why is it so hard for me to accept normal? Why must I put the expectation around myself, my husband, my boys to be better than every one else? Hello normal. Let's get to know each other. I know yellow lights in kindergarten are only the very tip of the iceberg. And Mommy is getting a dose of reality.

12 comments:

BaronessBlack said...

Ha!
This really made me laugh. And think!
It like the old adage that says 'be careful what you wish for!'
But it's great to hear how well K's coping with kindergarten, and how well you're all coping as a family.
More changes coming soon!

Kari Dawson said...

Bless is little heart and his many achievements. Congratulations Mama! I've been away too long, just a few weeks left to go. May the Lord's faithfulness continue to be evident in your life!

Jasmine said...

Oh K - you are growing and learning so much! And this counts! Wendi, I'm praying for you as you figure out how to parent in the midst of this! Love you girly!

Barbie said...

I will never forget the day the principal called me to tell me that my Kindergartner would have "in-room suspension" the next day for acting up in class. So the next day he spent the entire 3 hours in the principals office. Not fun. There were continual acting outs last year (as he is somewhat aggressive by nature), but this year he's been a dream boy! It will get better. Welcome to normal!

{Jodie} said...

It's not just you.

"Why is it so hard sometimes to accept that our kids will be kids?.....Why must I put the expectation around myself, my husband, my boys to be better than every one else?"

It's me, too. I've struggled with my kids being kids, especially when that means being noisy, disruptive, defiant, embarrassing, rude, etc.

I want that part of me to go away. Evaporate. Vanish. I hate that expectation and the pressure that comes with it.

Great post. Makes me think...

Dawna said...

You are such a wise and wonderful mommy! It took me much longer than it took you to realize that my expectations were the issue... not my kids' behavior. I do recall inquiring as to whether there was a 'kindergartener recycling program' to trade in my sweet Rachel when she decided to assert herself around that age. Of course she was sweet as pie and ever-so-obedient at school... it was my buttons she enjoyed pushing! As with all stages, it passed. Enjoy the ride! :-)

Rachel @ Future Pastor's Wife said...

Wendi, you have the best posts. Seriously.

And I'm glad for you, and for K, that normal has come around. His life is going to be very exciting. :)

Amy@My Front Porch said...

This is one of the most well written posts I've read in awhile -- and so true!

Kristy said...

Funny how affected we are by a couple of "yellow lights"... Seriously, why do we freak out when its our child... its like being in the grocery store when your child throws a temper tantrum. It has happened to everyone else, but in that moment you feel so lacking... but I love that he knows his mind and is willing to express it. Someday he'll figure out the right time to express the silly side... who would have thought he would be the class clown...

Heather of the EO said...

I'm sure it's tricky to navigate this new terrain, but I'm also cheering for K right with you. :)

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

I think that is really wonderful that he has learned to have a voice. What a difference that must make in his life, clearly, it does in yours too. :)

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

I keep reading your posts. I have an average 5 year old. Mothers are a crazy lot.