Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Parenting books don't prepare you for this kind of stuff!

I’m exhausted today. Kind of like wired, not sure I could sleep but I need to kind of tired. Almost every night, somebody wakes me up. Joe is snoring or digging his elbow into my back. Baxter is barking at who-knows-what in the middle of the night. Emma needs a drink. Luke has a dream about spiders coming out of his ceiling. (Scary since he is about a foot from the ceiling in his loft bed!)

Last night, no one woke up. But I couldn't sleep. I finally had opportunity to - and I had a hard time sleeping. Go figure.

So I was cranky and tired. All day.

I had a conference with Luke’s teacher this afternoon. Just thought I'd check in. She said she has seen Luke mature leaps and bounds this year. She thought at the beginning of the year that he acted much younger than a typical 3rd grader but now he is pretty much on par. She said the girls are even noticing and saying things like, “Luke is actually nice and he doesn’t get in trouble anymore!” I think that was supposed to be a compliment. Oh goodness.

On the flip side, my other one must act much older than her age. I got a call from her kindergarten teacher tonight – from her home phone number on the caller ID! – to tell me that Emma made a “child” (she didn’t tell me who) cry so much that this child had a belly ache so bad that this child didn’t want to go to school and this child was calling this child’s mom at work to beg her not to make this child go to school.

Of course I am mortified and I said, “Oh my gosh, what did she say?” and the teacher said, “She said – little.”

Dead silence.

Me: “Excuse me?”

“She said little. She called this child little and then the child’s name.”

Me: “Like little Amy?”


“Did she say it in a derogatory way?”

“Well, not really... but the mom and the child are very upset and I just got off the phone with the mom and I wanted to call you. This is just so out of character for Emma, is anything going on?”

I mistakenly say, “No, nothing is different, we are not getting divorced, no one has died...” as I am still trying to process what Emma even said.

“Oh”, said the teacher, “Well do you think your divorce is affecting her in a negative way or in a way that you didn’t even realize?”

Me: “Huh?”

Her: “Your divorce, is it affecting her?”

I’m so confused and say: “I’m not getting divorced!”

“Oh, I thought you said you were, I’m glad you’re not!” as she laughs.

“No, I said we weren’t and that no one died. Nevermind. I’m sorry she said that, we certainly don’t want her to be the mean girl!”

“Oh she’s not, I said this is out of character for her, but I didn’t know if something was going on or if this was a cultural thing for her, I mean I’ve never singled her out, and you know I have a very culturally diverse class this year...."

She does, she has Emma, 2 from China and 1 from Bangladesh in a very "blond hair blue eyes" corner of America – but WHAT?!?!

Me: “Um, no, Emma doesn’t worry about that. Actually, my other one does more than her...”

WAIT, WHAT AM I SAYING TO THE TEACHER?!? I stop myself. “Sorry, I’ll talk with Emma.”

“Thank you,” she says, “Please let me know if you find anything out.”

Oh good grief. CHILD!

So I talk with Emma. She tells me it was Riley – a boy – and she just said little Riley like no big deal, like we call her little Emma or how we say little Baxter. I never noticed we said that. But earlier today we were talking about Lilly and Emma said, “Who is Lilly?” and I said, “Lilly, down the street, she rides your bus.” and she said, “Big Lilly or little Lilly?” and I answered, assuming there must be 2 Lillies on her bus or remembering she has a friend Lilly whose brother plays hockey with Luke, “Big Lilly, she is older than Luke.” “Oh yeah, I know who you mean, she has black hair and is tan like me.”

Anyway. I reminded her he is no littler than her and she said she just said it and didn’t mean anything by it – but he did tell her to stop and she didn’t. I asked her when this happened and she told me it was yesterday. I asked, “Was Riley in school today?” and she said, “No.” Oh great. So I talk to her (calmly) about how sometimes you can hurt someone by the things you say, you’ve got to stop when they say stop and how she needs to apologize to him. Then she says, “I wish I was never born because I am so stupid!”

My mouth drops. Holy. Cow. “EMMA! I didn’t say that, you aren’t stupid. Everyone makes mistakes. You just need to fix the mistake, honey. Mommy loves you!” as I reach to give her a hug.

“But I FEEL stupid! And don't touch me! I don't want a hug!” Cry cry cry. It’s all about Emma now. Cry cry cry. Riley who?

I give up. Can I go on strike?!?!? Or maybe I'll just take a really long nap.

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