No, no, no... I know I'm not REALLY a failure as a mother, but I feel like one. Not just because of the meeting with the teachers because that actually reassured me in some ways that I AM a good mom. And that I'm not crazy. Well, I'm crazy yeah but not in the way that makes people talk behind my back and feel sorry for my kids, and not in the way that the teachers can put the blame on my for my kids problems. That was tongue in cheek, BTW.
OK so Juliana has some focusing issues, where she doesn't follow through on tasks. She has to be kept right on top of to finish a task and to finish it appropriately per directions rather than doing it "her own way." She has boundary issues, where she feels she makes better decisions and rules don't apply to her. I have these same issues at home with her, and discipline her as I do, it doesn't always have an impact and in the end, her behavior doesn't change. For instance, yesterday at school she was the last one to the class room to start the day. She had trouble getting her coat off, and asked the teacher for help who responded (appropriately) "You know how to do it, just start over and put your coat in your locker in the hallway." After several minutes, Juliana wasn't back yet, so when the teacher went in the hall to check on her, Juliana was GONE. The teacher got upset, and called the school office to put out an alert on Juliana. Turns out, Juliana had gone to the office without telling anyone so that she could get the school secretary to help her with her coat. When she got back to her classroom and had a talk with her teacher, Juliana didn't understand why it was wrong. I talked with her just now, and she didn't know why it was wrong.
She had ANOTHER incident just today where several of the little girls were in the bathroom cleaning up for snack time. As they were heading back to the classroom, Juliana told a passing teacher that there was a boy in the girls bathroom. There wasn't. So she got in trouble for lying, and when her teacher asked her what happened she said straight out that she had lied. But she couldn't explain why. Even now, she couldn't explain it but she told me on her own what happened. I just sent her to her room to think until I can figure out an appropriate punishment. Lying is never acceptable and she knows it, but did it willfully.
So now I'm expecting a survey to be sent home asking about how she's grown up, when she started talking, what home life it like, etc. And the group at school, teachers, shrink, principal, social workers... they're all going to try to focus their efforts on figuring out the best way to teach Juliana how to focus and follow through. If that doesn't work, then she'll need a formal assessment, but chances are that it's just how she is and she has to adjust and her TEACHERS have to adjust to her as well.
During the meeting, which went about 30 minutes, Grace and Anneliese were in the room next door where they have (free) play groups 2X a week. They didn't even notice I was gone and it was their first time staying with someone who wasn't a friend or family member. They didn't want to leave. Well, Anneliese was willing to leave cuz she was tired but Grace didn't want to go and threw a hissy fit tantrum. She wanted to take toys home with her. But mostly, she didn't want to leave. I had to carry Anneliese out and hold Grace's coat while also holding my purse and mini diaper bag. Grace kept running away and at one point she knocked me off balance and resprained my ankle. I fell on my knees, almost dropping Anneliese and then I did rest/drop her and completely fell myself. Outside on the sidewalk. 3 people saw it happen, and thankfully came to help me out (including the school nurse) but how embarrassing was that??? I must have looked like a completely incompetent, incapable mother. The whole time, Grace is screaming that she doesn't want to leave school, tantruming to the car, in the car, in the driveway, in the house. Nonstop screaming for half an hour or more. she exhausted herself and me and I feel like such a damned failure.
I'm just starting to feel calm now, writing this all out and focusing myself. I really just want to crawl into bed.
Tomorrow I'll be watching Eleanor for Tracy in the morning since Jonyl's FIL passed away over the weekend, and Tracy has to take care of Jonyl's daughter Alison and get her ready for the funeral. So hopefully the kids will cooperate tonight and let me sleep ;-) since Steve will be here at 8:30 with Eleanor.
Phew, I do feel better. Why is it that our children's failures and trials and difficulties can turn us to mush? Make us completely doubt ourselves as parents and as intelligent people? I adore my children and wouldn't ever trade them for anything. I love who they are and I'm proud of them, but at the same time I wonder what ever made me think I'd be good at being a loving mother. What made me think I'd be able to guide 3 little people to grow into good big people? I know that they ARE growing into good people, but I'm not so sure that it's because of me. I'm afraid that it's more IN SPITE OF having me as a mother.
I'm sitting here now with a mug of hot mocha flavored International Delights and a box of Valentine's chocolate, which BTW is STALE and not exceedinly satisfying but I'm eating it anyway. The whole box. With a Xanax as a chaser. As Anneliese sucks on grapes and spits out the skin. The little sweetie doesn't realize you can chew them and swallow them, she thinks you just suck the juice out. Nice. I have a sticky floor to go clean up.