I need to write something about Bug really quick but I only have about thirty-seven minutes of free time before I need to start cooking something dinner-like for the zoo animals around here.
When did Bug get so hungry all the time? She eats all day long. At first I thought she was making up for all the weight she lost while she was puking her guts out but now she’s back to normal and she is still asking for Cheez-Its in ten-minute intervals. Carbs carbs carbs. That all she wants to eat. She eats her chicken and broccoli and fruit so I’m not worried that she isn’t getting all her necessary nutrients. I’m just getting tired of being the all-day-long snack provider. Is this a preview to teenagerhood?
Sorry, had to go pour her a bowl of Pirate Booty. I know I shouldn’t be feeding her puffed rice treats half an hour before dinner but I really really want to finish typing this post. It’s now or never.
Where was I? Eating all the time. What else?
Preschool seems to be going fine. She doesn’t cry when I drop her off anymore but the other day when I picked her up she was crying. She gets really tired around noon so I wasn’t surprised that she was grumpy but I was worried. No one likes to see their child upset when you have no idea what could be wrong. Is it the normal afternoon meltdown or did somebody hurt her?
I swoop in to rescue her and she quiets right down, naturally. Mommy to the rescue as usual. While I’m signing the check-out paperwork, her normal teacher (the one who likes to hold her) told me not to worry, that Bug had only been crying the last fifteen minutes. That seems like a long time to me but it happens. Maybe Bug was just tired, the teacher said.
Then a different teacher, a new teacher, pulled me aside and said she was worried about Bug’s behavior. Immediately all sorts of alarms went off in my head. Is this my first incident where someone pulls me aside and tell me my child is a problem? Am I the mother of the “problem child?” I could feel my throat tightening in panic. Am I an unfit mother? Is this the beginning of a label that she will struggle under for the rest of her life just because she is different?
The teacher told me that Bug had been crying for quite a while and saying over and over, “I can’t stop crying!” This is not anything terribly new to me. Bug has been saying this particular phrase to me for about two weeks now. Every time she has a melt-down over something as silly as not being able to snap a Lego into place or as scary as falling off her tricycle, she’ll cry for about five minutes and when I try to console her she’ll sputter that she “can’t stop crying.” She doesn’t cry for hours or anything. I’ve babysat other kids who have actually started hyperventilating and really did seem like they couldn’t stop. Bug just seems to be more vocal about her feelings. I call her my little drama queen. I haven’t been too worried about it.
But then the teacher said that I really need to “root out this behavior” before Bug learns to act this way for the rest of her life. She asked me why Bug might say something like “she can’t stop crying” and I, like an idiot, volunteered that maybe Bug says this because I’m always shushing her to be quiet so that Toby can work.
What a mistake! Why am I sharing my personal challenges with Toby’s work schedule with Bug’s preschool teacher? Next thing I know the teacher is going to tell me that my husband needs to get an office so that Bug can be as loud as she wants all day long. I have been down this road with so many people and nobody understands that it’s not as simple as just kicking my husband out of the house from 9-5. Nobody understands freelancers! We don’t work from nine to five!
I’m sure that more than one of my readers (and friends and family) could launch into a diatribe about why Toby should not work at home but this is where we are at in our life. This is the choice we have made as a family. I think lots of kids have grown up in way more difficult circumstances. I think Bug can learn to be quiet at home and noisy outside and still be perfectly normal.
Then the teacher launched into a paragraph about how Bug is a smart kid, and I need to take her out of the house so she gets more stimulation, plan more activities etc….And while the teacher is right about this, she does not realize that Bug and I do quite a bit outside already. We have fun trips weekly. We take walks to the beach and the park, the library and of course all the many many errands I have to run to the laundromat and the grocery store. We don’t sit around and watch tv all day.
But I stood there taking this all in. I actually considered that maybe the teacher was right. Maybe I haven’t been doing enough with Bug. Maybe I do ignore her too much while I check my email or write a post (like I am doing right now). Immediately the self-judging wheels started turning and I was examining everything I do with Bug.
And then I called my friends and family and they laughed at me. How silly am I to listen to a teacher who has only observed my child for one day? She has no idea what we do all day long. She has no idea that Bug is an only child and if anything she’s a bit spoiled with too much attention. Bug hates to play by herself because she has me to play with her all day long. I’ve created a little monster.
This is why she is in preschool. So she’ll learn to play by herself without Mommy constantly on call.
Here is where I had to go cook dinner, give the kid a bath and then fell asleep for the night…
So that’s where I’m at. I think I need to take more of an offensive position when preschool teachers approach me. I do think that Bug needs to learn that she can’t cry to get more attention and we will work on that. I wish I could pop out a sibling for Bug and create a little healthy competition for her but life has not dealt me that card yet. And who knows, Bug might be the type of child who would just boss a younger sibling around anyway. I don’t know. I guess that’s what parenthood is right? Just constantly second-guessing yourself.
I meant this post to be about Bug’s Cheez-It breath and all the funny things she does but I guess I’m a little more worried about the preschool incident than I realized.
So let’s end it with something silly Bug does!