January 29, 2013

The real world starts in Kindergarten.

Do you rember Kindergarten?  Kindergarten meant learning colors and letters, writing your name, helping feed the class pet, going to get the milk from the cafeteria to bring back to class, show and tell, easel painting.  Half way through a day one of your parents came to pick you up to go home and have lunch and you would be sent off to take a nap. The good old days of Kindergarten, I remember those days fondly and often think "If only work was like Kindergarten, I need a snack and a nap right about now".  Well...that is NOT, I repeat NOT the Kindergarten of today.

My dearest Thing One will be completing 100 days of Kindergarten tomorrow.  It's been blood, sweat, and tears for 100 days.  There, I said it.  It is the hardest thing since, well since I went to college! No wait, I enjoyed college. Nothing about Kindergarten is easy.  The kids are in school all day, no naps allowed. NO SIR! No time for napping.  There is numbers to be counted by 100 and done by groups of 10.  There are sentences to be formed and read.  Alphabet...pfffshh if you didn't get it the first two weeks of school you surely were lost.  Frequently used words have replaced phonics.  Just learn it kid.  Get on it or get out.  Did I mention homework?  I don't think I ever saw homework until 4th grade. I feel like I am school too as we sit and go over homework day in and day out.

I feel as overwhelmed as my handsome Thing One.  There was so much for him to learn in the begining.  I am not just talking academically there was the whole social system.  There are not 12 other individuals to deal with, there are 20 plus children in your class plus the teacher and volunteers.  There are also the other kids and teachers from other classrooms that go out to recess with you.  Then there is falling into a routine and finding your way around school. Remembering jackets and lunch bags before going home along with that glorious homework packet.   Did I mention that Thing One had just turned five two days before Kindergarten started?  He also is learning in a Dual language classroom which is more things he needs to learn in a different language than he is use to. 

I have had two parent-teacher conferences with Thing One's teacher and many letters back and forth about my genuine concern about how he is doing in class.  He is my distracted little fellow.  I observed him in class once and it just broke my heart to see him struggle with the language and with paying attention in class.  There is so much that he is dealing with.  I don't know what to make of it.  The teacher in the last conference had some concerns with him.  She confessed to me that he tends to take longer with his work and that other children tease him and make fun of him.  It saddened me to hear that.  No one wants to hear or see there child struggle.  It takes on a geniune pain in your heart like nothing you have ever felt before. It sinks in and you are angry, sad, desperate. 

Today in our daily conversation I asked if he played with his friend Jordan.  He said Jordan was not in school.  So then I asked if he played with anyone else.  The words that came out of his mouth next broke my heart.  "Mommy no one elsewants to play with me.  They say I am different."  I stopped what I was doing and asked him "How does that make you feel?".  His response was a daggar "I get sad Mommy". 

It may be just a phase and it's all a learning process but this whole 100 days of Kindergarten has taken my breath away. I know that I just have to give Thing One more time to learn and pick up the pace.  It is similar to being new on the job.  You just have to keep doing it and eventually all things fall into place.  We have our successful days and then the not so successful days.  There will be people that will not like you and you will always have one good friend.  Life lessons truly start in Kindergarten these day.  I just hope that he knows that no matter what or who he is  I will love him as an individual.

Oh and can I get a gold shiny metal star sticker now???!!!! *sigh*

January 14, 2013

Dearest Baby Girl...

Dearest Daughter, Baby girl, Thing Two...
I cannot believe you have turned four years old today!  It seems just like yesterday that I stared sitting in disbelief at the home pregnancy test while holding your 8 month old brother.  I was scared and happy all at once. You came during a time when everything in my life was in a big mess. I was still learning to be a mommy to one, my relationship with your daddy was difficult, and your Abi had been told she had breast cancer.
Many times while you were in my belly I cried and broke down from the stress. Your Abi would tell me not to cry and try to think of you and what you were feeling when I was crying. Little did either of us know of the type of person you were. Right you were born you cried for 3 hours. Not of hunger, being wet, or tired, you were mad!  You were not having anything to do with the whole poking and prodding and cleaning.  I knew then that I had a little fighter on my hands.
You have always been that way since before you were born. Fighting against all odds to make yourself known.  When anyone is sad you are the first to ask if everything is okay. Whether it is someone you know or a complete stranger. Your heart is larger than the little body it occupies. You have strong convictions and will stand up for what you think is right and just. It is natural to you. I sometimes have to tame your attacks on what you think is wrong just because some adults are not ready to hear what you have to say. Society is like that, but it doesn't mean I do not believe in your reason to stand up and say something when you see it is wrong.
My little fierce warrior is who you are. In just four years YOU have shown me to never forget your inner being, the person you are at the core. I love you even when you stand your ground and I want to pull my hair out because you have decided that you want to wear your hair in a ponytail and not down. We may not always agree, but I am in awe of how fiercely you defend your rights to do things.  Never lose that part of you my love.
We will always butt heads, it is just what we do. Do know this, I will always love you and I will always be YOUR fiercest defendant.
Thank you for bringing all that and dolls, unicorns, and princess dreams to our lives. We are complete with you in our world. Your brother may not think so right at this moment, but he loves that you will always have his back. Trust me.
Happy fourth birthday baby girl! Lets to have cake.
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