Thursday, September 13, 2012

(Worry) Warts and All

I haven't posted anything of SUBSTANCE lately. Weekend activities and remodeling and photos aren't exactly deep subjects, I know. But they are EASY. I don't have to think about what to share, or struggle with wording. Some bloggers, they have this wonderful ability to capture the essence of life (the good and the bad) so perfectly with their words - it can be a bit daunting.

But I don't want to just share glossy events and photos that only scratch at the surface here; I want this site to reflect our lives. So fuck the intimidation of "writing" life - here are some of my thoughts on how things are going lately.

1. Finn. I worry about this kid EVERY DAY. I worry he isn't fitting in at school. He comes home with all these stories about how the other kids won't throw him the football when he plays with them, that his "best friend" from his class didn't pick him for something special, that our neighbor won't play with him, that other kids won't play with him... just about every day there is a new frustration for him to share. This extends beyond the social realm, to just about EVERYTHING - every time I ask Finn about how his day went, he has a complaint for me. He didn't get to play on the big playground today. He didn't get a chance to use the computers today. He was sad when M. dropped him off in the morning. He wanted to tie-dye a T-shirt at the after school care program but couldn't because Gah, Mom, YOU DIDN'T SEND IN A SHIRT FOR ME. This kid never has anything positive to say, EVER. And he can't be THAT unhappy - he isn't trying to convince me he needs to stay home from school, he's not acting depressed or really any differently than usual. He is just SUCH a complainer. I worry he is destined to be unhappy, because he WANTS to be unhappy. How do you teach a kid to focus on the good stuff in life, rather than the bad? Is this something he has learned from me?

On top of that, I worry that he isn't paying attention at school. Well, I KNOW he isn't paying attention that well at school, so mostly I worry about whether he ever WILL pay attention, or whether he has a lifetime of bad behavior reports coming his way. According to Finn's teacher he "needs a lot of redirection," and "sometimes Finn just does what Finn wants to do." SHE's not concerned, but I AM. She thinks he is just bored because they spend a lot of time setting the stage and reiterating rules at the beginning of the year, and that it will get better for him as things get more challenging. And he TELLS me that he thinks everything is boring, so maybe there's some truth to that. But I know him - there have always been things that interest him, and he pays attention/does what he's told because he WANTS to. And there are other things that interest him less, or times when he thinks he has a better idea of what to do. And that's when he does whatever he damn well pleases. And I don't think that is going to change (maybe ever? I write despairingly?). There will always be things that he doesn't want to do, or things that he REALLY wants to do even though he SHOULDN'T, and good luck to the grown-up that tries to get him to tow the line. It just doesn't happen. My child appears to be missing that "fear of authority/respect for people in positions of authority" character trait. There are other kids who have never gotten worse than a "green" on the behavior chart, or easily win a blue every day (this Kindergarten follows a blue-green-yellow-red behavior rating system, where blue is akin to "exceeded expectations", green is "good", yellow is "warning", and red is... I don't know what, but something bad). My kid has had a red, two yellows, and just one green this week alone (so far).

He probably will never be the child that gets a "blue" every day. And I think the problem is that I WANT him to be the child that gets a blue every day. I see it as a flaw that he can't. And that bothers me. Who wants to think of their child as flawed? Or unfixable?

Or maybe he doesn't need to be fixed, and this is all "normal." And I just worry too much.

But at least now you know what I'm worrying about.

2. Lucy. I don't have any worries about Lucy. She occasionally throws a fit, but is generally easily distracted from it. Her most annoying traits are: A. a reluctance to let me brush her hair, and B. her insistence that she wear "swirly" dresses and skirts every day (a "swirly" dress will billow out when she spins around). Which eliminates most of her adorable, fashionable wardrobe. She is three, but a fairly mild three.

Though sometimes I worry that she's getting the short end of the stick, because her brother ends up grabbing more of my mental attention (though not physical - I do still spend more time with her, because she still has some "Mommy" preferences).

3. Siblings. Another thing I don't have to worry about. My kids generally get along (with minor squabbles), and genuinely seem to enjoy each other's company. So much so that they have devised a plan to marry each other when they are older. It involves a mythical situation where Lucy will be in a line of girls looking to get married (at the mall, of course), and Finn is there, and secretly they will have arranged that Finn will pick HER for his bride. Because bachelorettes often line up at the mall and wait for potential suitors to propose, right? But SHHH, this is a secret plan, don't tell Finn and Lucy I told you.

We've gently tried explaining that brothers and sisters can't marry each other, but it hasn't gone over terribly well. We'll wait until their a bit older to tell them about the mal effects of inbreeding in genetic terms.

4. Fitness. Blah. This I worry about. I am not happy with either my fitness (as in, it is quite poor these days) or my weight. It is affecting some of my general happiness/positive outlook, and probably making me over-react in other areas of life (see: Finn, above). I'm bored with running, and haven't been doing it, but still eating like I am. It hasn't been good for the waistline. And I hate that it bothers me, but it does. So.

Hmmm. Pretty sure Finn comes by all his complaining honestly.

I'm just going to end it there, so I can spend a few moments focusing my attention on my beleaguered husband, who has to put up with all my worrying, which he does WELL.


  1. On the Finn front, the Ames books say this disequilibrium phase is one of the longest, ranging from age 5.5 to 7. I know EXACTLY what you mean about the negativity. I've got that times two, just two different manifestations.

    Nate in particular is super negative. It's the way he phrases everything. "You didn't send in the paperwork." instead of "I need my paperwork." Honestly, age 5.5-7 they are such DICKS.

    As for the "doing your own thing" - that is Nate. Actually when going through all this ADHD stuff with Alex, I was talking to one of my friends who is a gifted teacher and she asked if they were gifted symptoms instead, bc they are similar to one another. It's a fine difference between Alex and Nate's behavior but I would sum it up this way.

    Alex is easily distracted because he has attention and hyperactivity issues. He can NOT control this.

    Nate is easily distracted because he is so smart that things quickly bore him. He CAN control this.

    Anyway I thought this quote from her was a good reference point to think about Nate as compared to Alex:

    " It turns out that many kids who are gifted are being over diagnosed for traits that are common to this [ADHD] label: excitability, sensitivity, intensity, and impatience."

    Sorry again for the long comment. I hope it is helpful and not assvicey. I had the same kinds of worries about my boys and going through a whole year of kindergarten was helpful.

  2. I think it was decided that all moms are the worriers, its in our nature.

  3. You seem to be focusing on the negatives as well Allie ;) cheer up, he'll be fine. He has strong genes. Maybe try and ask him about his favorite part of the day was instead of how it went. but I am no parent so take what I say with a 'bag' of salt.


  4. We're having big adjustment issues with kindergarten too. It is so frustrating because I know Charlie and I know how smart he is (I'm not just saying that! He asked me if raindrops get hot as they fall because of friction with the atmosphere!), but he is really struggling to finish work in school. His teacher and I are at a total loss and he is beyond frustrated (he says he tries so hard to finish work but he can't and I believe him about the trying). I hope Finn settles in soon!