You can't go around hitting people. What, were you born in a barn?

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Well, we're in full-on "new school" search for Bean; she hasn't been kicked out, but they do want to cut her back to part-time at her current school. She simply will not nap, and they aren't staffed to accomodate one-on-one levels of care. I know it's not their job to cater to one child, but I also think they've put up barriers to Bean's success by not allowing her a lovey at nap time and by some of the word choices teachers have used with her.

Yesterday Dave again got the call to go pick her up; he got her and took her to his work, and I came and picked her up from him as soon as I could. Today, Dave missed a call and the message said "call me back", so he did and left a message - by the time they had things in hand, but the original intent of the call had been for him to pick her up.

There are two schools that we're most interested in: Sammy's House and The Emerson Academy. Both have indicated an ability to work with SPD kids, so we'll try to knock out visits to both this week.

It's so difficult for me to know my kid isn't happy at school; it totally alters my ability to give 100% at work, as I have to peel her off me in the morning, then get that sick feeling in my stomach once 1:00 or so rolls around, just waiting for the call to get her. Even if Dave picks her up and can keep her for the afternoon, I still have the guilt/anguish/resentment thing going on over all of it.

I get frustrated with Bean, but it's transient. In her heart, she wants to be a "good" kid. She's not doing this stuff just to be a turd. I get more frustrated with her school, but logically understand that they are not a private care facility - they have a bunch of other kids to look after and can't provide 1:1 care.

But they also do things like pretend to call her parents and then tell Bean (directly or indirectly), that we won't come get her unless she naps. When I was driving Bean home Monday, she was all upset saying "Miss Sarah said I didn't know her but I do!" Turns out Miss Sarah threatened to spank Bean, Bean said she wouldn't do it, and Miss Sarah said "you don't know me". Was that a verbatim play-by-play? Not sure, but that's the gist of it from Bean's perspective. When I told the assistant director, she basically dismissed it "that doesn't sound like Miss Sarah". Maybe not, but Bean didn't pull that "you don't know me" verbiage out of thin air - Miss Sarah said it to her. I just don't have exact context.

When Dave was picking her up one day last week, he also heard a teacher (the one that Bean says always talks to her in a mean voice) say to another child "Stop crying; you're four years old, you're too old to cry." Seriously? And she said that in front of a parent, so obviously she thought it was perfectly okay. Now, it's no Miss A from the last school, calling the kid a baby and having all the other kids stare at him when he cried, but it's not *that* far off.

So I don't want Miss O at this school, either. I do, however, either want her in a distinctly different class and area from where Bean is, or in her own school. Bean has become pretty mean, intermittently, to Miss O - she'll hit or kick her if O is bothering her, and hit her in the mouth the other day, hard enough to cut O's lip against her teeth. Bean needs a break from O and, more importantly, O needs a break from Bean.

But even that stuff, I'm not sure how much she intends as mean behavior and how much is just reactive and almost out of her control. I seriously hadn't driven a mile from their school this evening and Bean had already kicked O a few times, been hollered at, and dissolved into self-loathing sobs of "I'm the baddest kid ever! I'm bad 20-hundred. I'm a horrible big sister - I don't take care of my baby sister at all! Mommy doesn't love me!"

My life is such a melodrama sometimes. I feel terrible for Bean, but I sometimes lose my ability to sympathize with her because she can act so horribly toward people. Especially her sister and I.

When your morning starts with her kicking you and screaming at you, then waking her sister, at 5:00 ...

And then proceeds in a fashion you'd expect after a wake-up like that ...

Then you get the call that she is being disruptive at nap ...

Then you pick her up and she screams at you when she gets in the car because she can't have a cookie ...

Then she kicks her sister two or three times ...

It's hard to maintain any level of sympathy for her, and instead I feel the frustration and resentment rise. My reset button is pretty easy to find, and her heart is solid and pure, so we can reestablish good rapport pretty easily, but sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I want to be her advocate and her ally, and not just another one of her detractors.
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5 comments:

Julia said...

Would you be able to at least resolve one of the issues, the Miss O wakings by having O sleep in the peach colored room, with a door closed? Maybe that would muffle Bean's screaming at 5 am, or do you think Bean would still run into O's room and wake her up?

Libby said...

We visited Emerson when M was 2yo. It looked like a great facility but the drive was too far. It is on the smaller size, so I think Miss O would probably prefer a different place all to herself.

Vivian said...

Vick, not all schools are like this. You will find a good place for Bean. Have you considered contacting your local school district for some guidance, especially since Kindergarten registration is in the couple of months? They maybe useless or can give you a lead or two.
Good Luck!

Vivian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jodi said...

The not having a lovey at nap? That's just strikes me as setting her up to not be able to nap! When Arden was having a hard time napping her first few weeks in school back when she was younger, she and her teacher sat down and talked through her fears (she'd never napped away from home before) and they came up with a plan and drew a picture of it--a lovey, a binky (she didn't use either of these at home, but they worked here!) and some gentle scratches, and a reminder that mama would be coming when she woke up. It took a few days, and for most of the year her sweet teacher would sit with her and stroke her arm til she fell asleep. THAT is what Bean deserves.

And I have heard only WONDERFUL things about Sammy's House.

jodi (austinmama connection, blog follower though quiet!)

 
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