And I don’t know if I can do it
Posted on February 12th, 2013
The next time Pea’s teacher decides to talk to me about how I need to have the archdemon child in her class over for a playdate, I am not going to be as polite as I was today. (I was very polite. I explained why, I explained the history, and I explained that I would not violate any sort of implicit covenant with my child by bringing home her nemesis and forcing that social interaction on her.)
That was twenty minutes of my life gone, twenty minutes when I was sick and tired and cold at the park, sitting on a bench because I was too exhausted to stand, because I’d promised Pea that even though I was sick, if no other parents volunteered, I would go. So I went. All the non-accompanying moms said, “you shouldn’t go!” and I said, “I made a deal with my kid, and so I’m going.” I didn’t say, “Well, if one of you went, I wouldn’t have to,” but I did think it.
The teacher also made a comment about how Pea likes school. I laughed. It was a real laugh, because it just brought home how little she knows Pea. So I didn’t sugar coat it. I said, “No. No, she doesn’t. Every day, it is ‘please don’t make me go to school.’ ‘Please let me stay home with you, Mama.’ ‘I hate school, Mama. The girls are mean.’”
I am tired of having to explain what an introverted gifted kid is. I am sorry she is not a cookie-cutter Waldorf drone. No, I’m not projecting my history or M’s history on Pea. The teacher really does not understand that the package deal includes asynchronous social development. I’m sick of the woo parenting crap (yesterday’s: children can read your mind!) that keeps being left in Pea’s cubby.
I’m going to start photocopying things of my own.
I told the teacher that this child, who she thinks ought to be held back, talked to me on the car ride to school about Einstein (what he did and how he hated school, too, and why he stuck his tongue out in that picture), Vikings (in general), and what type of physics field her great-uncle is in. That her gross motor skills are fine, as witnessed by her progress in dancing and the OMSI balance thing.
I explained that based on their criteria of advancement to first grade: willingness to work in groups, motor skills, drawing ability, it was a miracle I made it to college and graduate school, because I clearly still didn’t qualify for first grade.
I don’t know if it did any good. But I got to say it, so I suppose there’s that. How it gets interpreted is anyone’s guess.
Back at school, there was an annoying little girl who started bugging me about why Pea did certain things. (Pea was teary today. In all honesty, I don’t think my going on the park outings is an overall benefit to Pea, but she wants me there, and it is the least obtrustive way I can be active in the class and observe dynamics.)
I’m not trying to be nice to the mean little girls anymore. Especially since this one is over a year older than Pea, and I’m just sick of the BS. Also, I’m tired of being interrogated about my kid. If they have questions, they can ask her.
MLG: Why is Pea always crying?
Me: She isn’t.
MLG: She cries if you pull on her arm.
Me: Why would you pull on her arm?
MLG: (Pause.) She cries if you tell her to stop touching her hair.
Me: Why are you worried about her hair? Don’t you have anything better to do?
Then I glared at the MLG until she sat down at her cubby.
There was an exchange with the archdemon little child (who splashed water on Pea in the bathroom and then acted VERY guilty when she saw me) where I actually gave her my meanest look and informed her I didn’t ever want to hear about her bothering Pea again. She physically backed away from me. I felt stupid and petty, but I was also relieved. I hear about how that girl hits Pea or calls Pea stupid just about every fucking day. My goal is to induce fear now. I want her to stay away.
Pea is playing more with the boys, which is fine with me, even if they do tell her werewolves and vampires are real. Her interests tend to align more with theirs, and their drama is so much easier to deal with.
I took one of Pea’s (male) friends home with us, and that was delightful — both kids were completely different the moment we pulled away. They chatted in the car about Phineas and Ferb and were so animated that I could hardly believe they were the same kids that had been at the park a couple of hours before.
The playdate lasted until late afternoon. At one point, I was using toothpicks to prop my eyelids open. It was like the Anti-Waldorf playdate: I made them Phineas and Ferb Mac-n-cheese, gave them orange juice and then we made brownies. (I did not let them watch any TV, though. Word might get around.)