Wakey Wakey Eggs And Bakey

You know those moments when you find yourself behaving towards your child in a way that probably makes sense to most other parents around you, but deep down you feel ashamed?

That was me this morning. Becoming impatient with the five-year-old who dawdles. The one who takes 20 minutes to get dressed, brush her teeth, and get her snow stuff on to walk down the driveway and catch the bus.

I hollered.  I felt my neck tightening. She was distracted by everything this morning. And then as we walked down our long driveway, she kept climbing the snow banks with no snow pants on. After I had told her not to. And I growled again.

And you know what? I can see why so many mothers find themselves hating being mothers, and so many people choose not to have children. It’s not because children are irritating. It’s not because children don’t listen. It’s because we as a society–we as parents–have stopped tuning in to who children are. We have stopped allowing them to be who they are, and do what comes naturally to them.

Of course parenting is hard when I am forcing my daughter to tune out all of the amazing things around her that pique her curiosity, such as the fun and wonder of a snow bank to climb when you are FIVE YEARS OLD. Duh…

It wouldn’t have been so hard had I stopped trying to make her do what I wanted her to do because of… externals. Externals that don’t really matter in the long run.

With every impatient word uttered (loudly at times), and every nudge for her to hurry up, I knew in my heart that I was wrong. I was so wrong. And that feeling really kind of sucks…

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My daughter, the thirteen-year-old, has been… ill. “Off” is perhaps a better term. I think it is anaemia  possibly caused by something else. Modern medicine would tell us to treat the symptom. But what is the root? It could be Celiac Disease, which she has a blood test for tomorrow morning. It could go deeper.

She won’t eat while at school. She is a nervous type. She has been teased about the way she eats. Her stomach is always in a knot. So she hardly eats while she’s there, no matter what I put in her lunch, or even when I leave her to make her own lunch and give her the chance to put whatever she wants in it.

Lack of nutrients at thirteen will (obviously) cause nutritional deficiencies. I can’t help but think–to notice–that while she loves her teachers, the staff at the school, and learning in general, the spark she once had when coming home from school is completely gone. She is pale. She fell off a sled and was in essence out of commission for three entire days. I took her in to outpatient’s on Monday and was told that if there was an emergency regarding her blood work I would be contacted that day. I was not, so that’s a good sign. We will get the results tomorrow morning.

She lights up when she is learning about science. She loves to read. She holds free cell and chess competitions with her father. She likes to help out in the kitchen. She likes time alone together, even if we are simply driving.

I think she wants to continue getting good grades and learning what she is learning, and simply deals with the rest of it. But it bothers me. Up until about a week ago, she was adamant about finishing her year at her school regardless of where we moved. And then recently, she simply, quietly stated that she just wants to be homeschooled next year.

The work isn’t hard for her. She struggles a little with math, but is passing. She keeps coming home with 90s & 100s in science, and does well in her other classes. Her teachers sing her praises. So this is not “the homeschooled kid not being able to hack school”.

Maybe she’s bored. Maybe not being the cool chick on the sports teams whose parents buy all the right labelled clothing is taking away from her love of the rest. Yet she is not impressed with those cool chicks and doesn’t particularly want to be like them…

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We move into a rental in three weeks. We move into our new home a month later. Our new home, while still in this county, is in a different school zone for all three children.

We had toyed with renting until the end of June so that they could finish their years at their respective schools. We had toyed with transferring them for the last couple of months of school so as not to leave a gap in their records.

Deep down, if I am honest with myself, I think their records are a load of crap, and just want them to be thriving and learning in the setting that is most likely to foster it without extra junk such as a transfer and the adjustment that comes with it detracting from that.

I had my children back over the Christmas holidays. We went to bed when we were tired (generally around 10:00pm, to allow some Mom & Dad child-free time as well), and rose when we were refreshed. We ate breakfast, did our chores, played, read, watched movies, and went out without rushing around anyone’s schedules. I worked once a week, for about three hours each shift.

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I am doing things that go against my gut, my instincts as a mother. Perhaps I should be grateful that I find myself heading into a situation that leaves me no choice but to put my children first again.
Maybe this is my wake up call.

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7 thoughts on “Wakey Wakey Eggs And Bakey

    1. Hey Hi-d,

      Some days it seems that way. Other days things are fantastic LOL. They do attend wonderful schools where the staff is incredible. But some days it just feels so… unnatural. And I guess realistically it is…

      As far as my daughter goes, we really just want to find out what the root of the sudden health issues are. If my hunch is right and they are caused by anaemia which may be caused by undiagnosed Celiac (this is a frequent complication of the disorder when it remains undiagnosed), then perhaps once her diet has changed and her system given time to heal and return to normal (which can take weeks), she will be her old self at school again.

      What it boils down to is that I am ready to investigate, to not limit our choices, and to do whatever seems like it will benefit each child in their own individual circumstances, as well as think of our family as a whole. And that may very well be homeschooling them again after the move as opposed to transferring them.

      We had to go and pick our daughter up at school today about an hour before it was over this afternoon. Pale, nauseated, and having stomach pains. This from the kid who has attempted to go to school with a fever in the past because she didn’t want to miss anything…

  1. I agree with most of it, and I have a three and a half yr old that is a dawdler too, but you are also frustrated because at their age they don’t understand yet that the school bus won’t sit and wait for you to play in the snow bank and take your time getting ready. If you want to do that, get up earlier. But she is 5!!!!!!!
    There is a time and place for everything, and so we must teach our children that in the morning when it is time to catch the bus, it isn’t time to climb the snowbank, we can do that after school. Sometimes in life we have to do things we don’t want to. Its about teaching them time management, priorities, balancing fun and work. Life is too fast these days, I want to slow down so much with my girls, I hate rushing them in the morning, but sometimes life isn’t fair. We play when we can, as much as we can. And try to keep their funloving side awake and fulfilled as much as possible. It does suck though, I want to play in the snowbank too!

  2. Just because the cool chicks on teh sports teams wear cool clothes doesn’t mean they are causing your daughters issues. Maybe they are, but I was one of them, and if she isn’t impressed with them then forget about them, thicken your skin and do your own thing. Be you and do what you want to do. If they are bullying her than that is another story. Unless they are directly causing her problems, don’t put them on other children. Overall, if she can’t handle regular school life, then keep her home. Sounds like you’re using all these circumstances to support your decision. Just think of their future. You’ll make the right decision, you always have. They just need their highschool diploma to go onto post-ed, so as long as they get that, homeschool and then do what you have to so they get their GED. it will all work out.

  3. Dar, I know you mean well, but realistically having been one of the cool chicks at that age, you have no idea what it is like for those who are not. Sometimes it is easier said than done to thicken your skin and forget about them, no matter how hard you try. I would like to add that I am not “angry typing”, so please read this in my regular voice ;)… It would be like me, the fertile turtle, trying to tell someone who can’t conceive that they should try and get over it and focus on something else. It is a difficult age, and when you are the different one, you have to bide your time to when you become an adult and the rules change, and it is easier to be who you are because you generally find your tribe and the very traits that once made you the outsider are now cherished in you. I am not blaming these girls for my daughter’s troubles, but it would be insensitive of me to dismiss the occasions of mocking and bumping in the hallways as things she should simply shrug off. She is thirteen, and it hurts, no matter how hard she tries not to let it. And she doesn’t want to be like them precisely because they are mean to the kids outside of their group.

    Having them home means I lose my free time. It means less time alone with their father. It means more mess, more chaos, and more to deal with. Homeschooling (even unschooling) has proven itself over the last 30 years, so the academic validity of it is not an issue. It’s not even something I think about, really. I have older friends whose kids had no problem getting their diplomas and being accepted into college and university after being homeschooled. It boils down to whether or not I am willing to sacrifice my own space and freedom so that they can have theirs to learn, grow, and thrive to their personal potential as opposed to the standard society sets for them.

    Basically, it boils down to whether or not I love them enough to give them that more than I love myself.

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