Friday, August 17, 2012

Bullying Starts Young

G is at the end of his 2nd week of preschool.  Drop off and pick ups have gone smoother and I think he is really liking it.  Well, maybe "was" really liking it is more like it.  This week, I saw my first introduction of preschool bullying.  The target:  my son.  One afternoon I was picking him up and he was wound up running around playing with a ball.  He was throwing this ball all over the little indoor area where they have the kids waiting when it's pick up time.  I kept telling him to throw it softer and to wait until people were ready to catch it before throwing it to them.  You know, the usual simple rules of playing with balls that you teach preschoolers.  Well, these 2 little kids wanted that ball and they ganged up on G, ignoring the fact I was right there.  One kid went right up to him and stood shoulder to shoulder facing him and shoved him with both hands.  G fell down.  G kind of laughed thinking maybe they were playing.  That kid turned and looked at me and glared.  What?!  Excuse me?! I gave him the stink eye (I give a really good stink eye, just ask my husband) and stared him down.  Immediately after this, kid #2 goes and starts kicking him!  In the legs. In the back.  Kicking at him after he falls down.  G quickly gets up and runs after the ball.  The teacher comes over and tells this kid not to kick.   However, it was kind of passive so it didn't get the kid's attention at all.   I left that day feeling really bad for G.  Is he the "new" kid that is picked on?  Do they hate him?  Is there anything more being done to show these kids how to treat each other?
The next day, I had a talk with the teacher mentioning I saw all of this and wanted to make sure he was playing well with others.  After our conversation I felt better.  She knew it was a concern of mine and that was my point.
Well, this morning we go to walk into his class and he stops cold at the door.  Doesn't take a step in.  Instead, starts stepping backwards.  I have to coerce him inside.  I stay for a little bit so he can warm up.  We walk over to a table to sit and talk.  He's very clammed up and stressed.  That is kind of normal for drop off times so I just give him time to adjust.  A few minutes later, he goes over to where a kid (kid #3) is playing with Mr. Potato Head and tries to join in playing with that and picks up some pieces of this nearby.   Kid #3 freaks out and instantly pushes him so hard that G falls to the ground.  I say "Whoa" really loudly so the kid knows his reaction caught my attention.  I look down at G and he's sitting there on the ground wide-eyed staring up at me.  Shocked.  Bewildered.  Confusion written across his face.   The worst part?  He doesn't get up.  He just stays there, staring at me with sadness building up.  I help him up and try to roll with this the best I can.  If the roles had been reversed and G had done that with me right there, I would have firmly told him that was wrong and mean and we do not treat people this way.  But, this wasn't my kid and the teacher was with another kid at that moment.  So, I tell G to try asking if he can play with him.  At this point, G is broken.  He just looks down at his shoes.  I hate this.  I wanted to just turn around with him and leave this classroom.  I mean, this is what I see when I'm there for 5 minutes.  What else is going on over there?  Why are these kids so freakin' mean?  I know, I know...these are 2-3 years, all adjusting to a new environment.  Some haven't been in any other situations than home.  At daycare, G was the one that had a hitting problem.   It drove me crazy that he would react with hitting when he was frustrated!  Usually, it was over sharing a toy. Sharing is about the hardest concept ever for a 2/3 yr old.  However, I can guarantee you we didn't put up with it and worked really hard at correcting this behavior. He also had an amazing caretaker that worked with us on this and vice versa.  We finally conquered the hitting phase and had left that behind, however I have a feeling we may re enter this again with how he is being treated by other kids.  It just seems like these kids are pretty harsh, pretty quickly.
I can't seem to shake what I saw this morning.  How can kids this young re act this way already?  I suppose bullying starts in the home.  It starts with parents speaking up about it and teaching their kids what is wrong and what is right.  It starts with teaching kids respect.  Kids at that age have a natural reaction to get angry and frustrated quickly and do not have a lot of other ways to show that besides being physical.  I need to toughen up more and show him how to toughen up more.'s a bit much the first 2 weeks in.  It kills me to see him picked on.  I want to protect him. I want him to protect himself.  I want him to stand up for his friends.  Kindness and respect are so important to us to teach G.  I'm already looking forward to his 2nd preschool he'll attend.  It's a Montessori school and that form of education is very big on respect.  As for this situation...I'm going to focus on showing G how to react and how to treat his classmates, regardless of how he is treated.  I also found these books online that I'm buying so we can read them together.  Still, this morning...I just can't shake the look G gave me when he was pushed down.  It breaks my heart.

by Bob Somson & Maria Dismondy.  Available at Amazon

by Sandy Ragona, Amy Tranel.  Available at: Amazon

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

But, This Morning...

This summer's last leg finds me lost in myself.  Tummy issues.  Lack of staying healthy and doing anything about it.  Off centered and unfocused.  1,001 things bugging me.  I think the drought and months long heat have gotten to me and has withered me up.  With the newfound time I have on my hands I have decided to try my best to steer my ship in the right direction.  

I had a really hard time waking up today, but this morning...
I kissed my best friend farewell for 5 days and bid him safety and good luck on his journey (the journey of rock n' roll that is...we've got some big  shows happening in Omaha and Little Rock and I keep my fingers crossed they go well!)

I was in a brain fog, but this morning...
The rain greeted our world.  The windows came open.  The air conditioner was turned off.  The candles were lit.

I was dreading working out, but this morning...
I was encouraged by the rain and chose to do yoga.  Opening my heart and accepting the challenge was hard, but worth it.

I was cold from the windows open, but this morning...
I remembered this amazing sweater I picked up a few weeks ago (on a blazing hot day).  I found it digging through racks of clothes at a thrift store and instantly thought, "It's my farm sweater!"  I pictured myself wrapped in it walking about a drafty, old farmhouse (yep, still obsessing).  Chai tea in hand in the wee hours of the morning before my boys were awake and amid the heat, purchased it right then and there.  And today, today of all days, I got to wear it!  It's exactly what I needed.  The little bit of tiny goodness on a first day of redirecting.

I thought this morning was going to be just like any other, but this morning...
This morning was better.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ticking Clock

Waiting.  We are stuck waiting.  My evasive post on Giving In or Swimming On, was a glimpse into what's been going on with our house purchase.  We're stalled.  Things were on it's way.  A hiccup here, a trip there.  I had no idea how much goes into buying a rural property, especially one that's built around the turn of the century.  Problems galore. However, we were taking the hits one at a time.  It needs this and that fixed.  It's in a flood zone.  It has some lead paint that needs to be removed.   It needs new heating for the winter unless we want to spend a fortune using the boiler.  It needs a complete cleaning and a ton of tree trimming and the list goes on and on.  We were taking the issues in stride (somewhat) until a few weeks ago when we got hit with the big problem.  No one wants to loan on this property because of the appraisal rules.  So, even though we are approved for a loan, no one is approving to loan to this property.  This beautiful, vintage farm that has SO MUCH potential.  It doesn't have anything around it that's similar to the property to compare it to in the appraisal.   I think good for it!  It's unique.  Apparently, being your own personality isn't so hot in the housing industry.  It makes banks nervous to loan on it.  So, what have we been doing about this issue?  I've been on the phone calling bank after bank asking if they will loan it to us.  Sending paperwork over and over to them so they can see the info about the house.  Getting told, "No, I'm sorry we can't help you, but good luck because the house and property is gorgeous."  I KNOW!!!  Don't tell me this anymore!  It just makes it hurt more to hear no!
A few days ago, I found a possible lead with bank #9.  So, right now we are waiting while they sift through our paperwork.  Waiting for them to determine whether they will work with us and help us move into our dream home.  The most frustrating part is that it doesn't matter how hard we had worked at having good's just about the house at this point.  We are weeks away from our closing date and I'm sure that will have to be pushed back if we do end up landing a deal.  So,  here we are.  Holding our breath.  I'm fortunate to have no urgency to get out of our current house.  Our goal is to turn this one into a rental when we get the farmhouse.  So, we need to remember to be gracious for the roof we have over our heads now.  I just felt us out on the farm.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe I just wanted it so badly that I made it all up.  I have determination, but I'm also disheveled and beat down from this deal.  It's a ticking clock for us at the moment...

  This clock is from Mamaleanne, a vintage Etsy shop.  It has sold, but check out  her great vintage finds here:  Mamaleanne

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Today marks the end of an era for me and my son.  Monday he starts full time preschool.  It's early to start him, I know.  He is just so darn intelligent, curious and busy that we feel he needs so much stimulation outside of our home.  He loves to be at daycare right now 3 days a week (after he gets over the separation anxiety we still go thru each time when he's dropped off).  However, Tuesday and Thursdays are OUR days to spend together.  There's something different about hanging out smack in the middle of the work week.  Whether running errands together or having an indoor picnic, I've fallen in love with this time with him in the middle of the days.  I worry for him.  He's not so good at goodbyes and he takes awhile to warm up to new people, but the moment he is comfortable he shines.  I'm trying to remember with every door closing, one is given the opportunity to open.  This time will become mine again.  To do with it, I'm not quite sure yet. Right now, we are fortunate to not have to push me back to work full time (so thankful!), so I will be working part time still, but for the rest of my I'm peeking into a key hole and wondering what could possibly be on the other side.

Image from Pinterest:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Giving In or Swimming On?

Where do you draw the line of fighting for something you really believe in and the idea if it's not meant to be, it's just not meant to be?  That it is too much work to keep forcing it.    On one hand, things wouldn't always happen if we didn't go after them.  It wouldn't be worth it if it was easy.  On the other hand, sometimes you just can't force things.  Finding that balance between is hard.  How long do you keep not excepting no as an answer or ignoring the 20 other things you are altering to make this one big thing happen?  When do you decide that swimming upstream against the current is a bit too exhausting right now?  Do you stay determined and not get pushed down by the obstacles or do you give in and sink?
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