Sunday, October 10, 2010

Keep Your Head Up

This blog has never been about my marriage, and it won’t be about my divorce. At least, not specifically. As much as I am tempted at moments to unleash a few words on the subject, I will save it for my semi-volunteer support group, whether they like it or not.

In a lot of ways, life continues as normal. The other day was Bike-to-School Day for Daisy’s school. I told the kids they could take their scooters. We have never done Bike-to-School Day before, and Daisy was all about it. She loves a school-sponsored event. When I opened my eyes that morning, I realized we needed to leave earlier than normal, so I got straight to making breakfast and lunches. The kids are now very good about getting themselves ready in the morning, but they often need shouts of encouragement to get them through their routine. Not that morning.

They were dressed with combed hair and fresh breath, shoes on, breakfast eaten, hands twitching to grab their scooters before I even had a chance to get dressed. I finished up in the kitchen and went to check on Daisy in the living room.

“Mom! Don’t you know it’s Bike-to-School Day? You have to wear pants!” But why? I had no idea how fun it is to tease your children – and how rule-oriented little girls are. As if. Give me a few minutes. In the meantime, no one take their clothes off – not even a shoe.

I walked alongside the kids as they scootered to school. We were running late, so I spent a lot of time scolding them to “Focus! Focus on your scootering!” It wasn’t a casual ride. But I have to say how proud I am of Daisy. She, like me, isn’t a natural athlete, but I’ve seen her gradually get better on her scooter over the last year. She is gleeful on it now, “Watch me glide!”

The same day happened to be my shift at Violet’s preschool. It’s interesting – and uncomfortable – to see Violet’s developing social skills in action. Last year, the older preschool kids took her under their wing. She would arrive to school to lots of, “Violet, Violet . . . Come over here! Come play with me, Violet!” This year, Violet is one of the older kids, yet she’s on the baby side of preschool. Violet still has her baby belly and her baby cheeks. She sucks her thumb, talks like Baby Bear on Sesame Street, and grabs my chest in front of the other kids.

Violet is challenged in learning how to approach the other kids. In almost every other social situation, she has her big sister for confidence. Not at preschool. There are a couple girls I know Violet wants to be friends with. She tries to play with them. No dice. She tries to talk with them. Not interested. During clean-up time recently, I saw her approach the girls, “It’s cwean up time! Why aren’t you cweaning?”The girls stared at Violet. I happened to be walking by, so I explained, “Those girls already cleaned up.” The girls nodded their heads calmly in unison. Violet stuck her thumb in her mouth, threw herself down on the picnic bench next to her, and exclaimed, “Me no cwean eider.”

I can understand that Violet is the baby of our family and has a few things to work out socially like every other preschooler. I still cringe. I was pushing Violet on the swings at school the other day; one of the aloof girls was being pushed by her own mom on the adjoining swing. Keep in mind, both swings could be categorized as baby swings despite their two distinct styles. Violet made a friendly comment to the aloof girl, and the girl responded, “I’m not a baby. That’s why I’m not using your swing.” Violet put her head down, and my head whipped around to look at the mom who was clearly within hearing distance but choosing not to correct her child. Oh no you didn’t. I told Violet, enunciating loudly and clearly, don’t worry about it. You’re not a baby. The swings are the same. In my mind, it was more like, hey mean girl . . . you’re in a baby swing too AND you’re rude. So is your mama. Violet’s head went back up.

1 comment:

  1. People tend to complain about other people's kids a lot (especially people without children), but for me it's usually the parents that drive me crazy. This situation is a perfect example of what I mean. If I'm at a park and a kid pushes Holden, I want to lose my shit if the parent doesn't say something. I can accept that kids are kids, but the parent knows better.

    Good for Violet for trying though. That's all we can ever do.