Friday, September 21, 2007

Is Nothing Right?

I have been having one of those weeks in which I feel that I am doing nothing, or at least very little, right. Each step that I take, each thought I have is somehow flawed. I do have one exception. I know that hosting Trixie and family while the bureaucrats that be clear all the paperwork so they can go home is the right thing to do. Still, as I said today, the negative energy surrounding me chafes.

I question whether we chose poorly in having our four year-old in pre-K five days a week for the entire day. Is she feeling discarded? Or is it the impending move causing her to build a wall between the school and her? If I begin by fetching her after lunch, am I caving to the fickle demands of a youngster or being a caring, understanding mother? Nearly as important, when I spend the afternoon with her while the two year-old is napping, will she appreciate the effort?

I also struggle with the education of my children, in particular my eldest. Two educators realized that, although she was not yet five, she was ready for kindergarten. (She's now in first grade at the age of five. She'll be six in early December.) This decision has led to a clash with nearly every school in New Orleans due to a August 31st "age by" date. I have heard many cries of "she'll be too young" and "she might not fit in with girls so much older". None have met her. None know how well she learns. I hear a tut tut in the administrators' comments. Are they saying "silly parent" silently as we converse on the phone? Do none of them realize that it would make more sense for her to repeat first grade if this next year proves to be difficult than it would to demote her from first grade back to kindergarten? Am I missing something here?

Today, at the end of this week, I am filled with second thoughts, conflicts, and inaction. Who is this person? I prefer the decisive, confident me. Why don't mothers tell you that being a mother causes you to second guess everything decision? Or, did someone tell me only for me to forget?

What about you? What decisions have you made for your children causing you angst?


turtle toes said...

This has been my complaint for years: Everyone warns you of the sleepless nights you will have when you have a baby. No one warned me of all the second guessing I would do as the children got older.
Another thing that bothers me is when others second guess what we choose. As you know, each of my four are in a different school this year. (Our elementary magnet program is split between two schools, one houses first and second gradea and another building houses third through fifth grade.) When Lake was invited to the magnet program we struggled with the decision. We decided to place him in the program. When Tate was invited, we struggled but decided to place him in the program. At the end of this school year, I don't think we'll have such a struggle with Rosie. We are in our third year of the program and love it. What bothers me is that the parents of children that either were not invited or chose to decline the invitation keep secong guessing me. My answer has been if you haven't tried it, you don't really have a valid opinion. These parents question why I drive all over our small city twice a day taking them to school and then retrieving them in the afternoon.
Am I rambling off the topic? This has been an issue even this week - your question hit the spot with me today!

dragon knitter said...

when my older boy was in first grade the first time around, he did not do well. his math skills were a bit iffy. his teacher said that, while technically, he was able to advance to 2nd grade, his habit of not finishing anything would not serve him well in 2nd grade, and she recommended he repeat 1st grade. as he was one of the youngest kids in his class (his birthday is late august), it just made him one of the older kids in his class instead.

however, i had to buck my husband AND my MIL over this. they both thought i was cracked. but it worked. it gave him confidence, and since he was so young, there was no stigma to behing held back.

now people question why my sons don't go to the local middle school and high school. I know what works for my sons, and those schools are NOT it. So i'm with turtle toes, and drive all over the city for them. I think they're worth it.

molly said...

No one told me about the second guessing either!

gator87 said...

I worry...did I do the right thing by having them at all??? I know I did, where would I be, who would I be without them, is this enough to bring them on this hostile planet. I second guess every day, every hr, it seems especially hard with a child who is not neurotypical and his therapy and treatment is not in any book or at least not set in stone in a could look like anything and the MD's will say, yeah, that might help....very strange, I am to figure out my own child's treatment. I mean, I really wouldn't mind doing that if I was an expert in the field, which I am NOT (Autism for those of you who don't know me) although I have become a pseudo expert because of necessity...would have rather had some autism doctor tell me, well this is exactly what you do and he'll get better. No such animal! It's VERY scary I worry every single day and night if I'm doing everything possible, have I missed something, I scour every possibility wondering. There are alot of things that I cannot try since my husband is a concrete scientist who doesn't believe in things that are not "published in credible journals"...there is a TON of autism treatments that haven't been researched appropriately. I know if I pushed him, he would let me try it but then I wonder, what if something went wrong, the guilt I would feel. Oh yeah...I get it, every day!! I'm with you baby!