Over the weekend I seriously considered quitting my job, growing a garden and homeschooling my kids. I even Googled some simple pants patterns - wondered what could be so hard about sewing the kids’ clothes. My Grizzly Adams moment came after my parent-teacher interview with Deaglan’s teacher.
Sometimes I think our culture has gone to shit.
We’re too quick to push our kids out the door, short-cut them through childhood because it’s convenient for us. I see it all the time when people marvel over a baby who sleeps through the night straight out of the womb and shake their heads wondering what’s wrong with the one who fusses and acts needy. I get sidelong looks when people hear I’m still nursing Naveen – they make the typical jokes about the need to stop when the kid can ask for the breast by name. All of a sudden the needs of the adults have taken precedence. We expect our babies to work around our schedules.
I’m a little bruised from the parent-teacher interview – can you tell?
Deaglan’s teacher suggested that we encourage his independence in order to boost his self-confidence because when he’s sitting in circle, learning his letters and numbers, he never raises his hand to answer questions. She felt strongly that this was directly related to how we were [babying] him at home.*
She asked me if I thought this made sense. I was diplomatic even though my mind had taken the first left to crazy-defensive-mother-ville. I asked her calmly how he was doing in everything else. Oh great, he’s cooperative, sweet and peaceful, we never have to speak to him she raved. I told her that it wasn’t important to us to push him to attain some advanced status; we just wanted him to be happy and well adjusted especially in the face of such a huge change in his little life.
She insisted that we needed to work on building his self-confidence.
I resisted the urge to remind her that he was born on Christmas Eve, most of the kids are at least six months older than him, that he had just spent ten months in my womb not even four years ago, went from being an only child to the one who gets less attention just last year. That this time a year ago he was still two for Chrissake – TWO! That legally he didn’t even have to be in school for two more years. I didn’t scream that we were thrilled he was making it through the days without a nap and a meltdown.
I didn’t say these things to her. I know she was just trying to help. But I did notice that the next time Deaglan asked me to help him put on his shoes, I panicked a little, found myself wondering why he couldn’t figure this simple thing out.
And I hated myself for it.
*She didn't say "babying" but she sure implied it.
Here are the outtakes of our photoshoot with the auto-timer last weekend. We're trying to get just the right one for our Christmas card. Shaune and I couldn't agree on any of these, so we'll try again this weekend coming.