Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the scoop

Dave and I have taken Andrew out of school. We are looking for another classroom for him, but for now, he is home.

His school year started out fine, but little things, and big things, started adding up and snowballed into a crisis. The week before Thanksgiving his classroom behavior peeked to the worst we have ever seen. That Thursday, when I picked him up from school, he was practically unrecognizable to me. He had been more or less out of control for three hours and no one there was able to help him. He has not been back since.

I wavered between rage and panic, second-guessing my every step, until I met with his pediatrician to form a plan. She affirmed that his present classroom is not a good fit for him and directed me towards resources to use moving forward. I am casting my net wide, contacting all kinds of people about finding another classroom for him. And it seems like this will take time to come together.

In the meanwhile, Andrew is fine. He is relieved to not be going to school. We've started Mommy School again and he absolutely loves it. I really enjoy working with him from home, though I definitely feel conflicted about it. He learns so much in the quiet one-on-one setting at our dining room table. But, it's not helping his social delay. It's not teaching him how to cope with overstimulation and how to make friends. Therefore, I don't think it can be our long term solution. But for now, it's working out fine. And it's giving me time to pull things together.

I've realized that parenting Andrew has made me face things about myself I'd rather not face. I hate conflict. I hate standing up against authority. I don't like needing help. Taking what feels like a giant step, by removing him from school, forces me to face those things about myself. And sometimes I grateful for that opportunity, but often I'm not. On the other hand, there are ways that Andrew was custom-tailored for me. I adore his quirkiness. I love how we can all sink into projects, side by side, quiet for long periods of time as we craft and bake and build and puzzle. And, I imagine, that's a universal parenting experience. There are parts of our kids that push us to change...and parts of our kids that fit like a glove. And I suppose it works out to be a good balance.

School crisis or no, advent is upon us! I finished up our advent calendar by sewing pockets on the back of each number card and making little tags for each pocket. This way I can use this calendar for several years and change the activities for each year. Thank you so much for all of your suggestions about Christmas things to do...I definitely included some!

onward and onward, my friends.


Danielle said...

Thanks for your honesty, Robyn. Sorry things have been so difficult. We are having similar issues with our oldest. Time to suck it up and see a counselor. Blech. Oh, and that's the coolest Advent calendar i've ever seen. You really need to be on Etsy!!!

Ruth said...

Oh, Robyn, I am sorry that things have been so difficult for you all, especially for Andrew. Perhaps Mummy-school could last until the end of the year, with Andrew starting afresh in 2011? Is that a reachable for target for you? I have you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Deb said...

Well, this is certainly a new puzzle piece isn't it? I love the line you wrote that went like this: "There are parts of our kids that push us to change...and parts of our kids that fit like a glove." Nothing could be more true, Robyn. I see this very same thing with my Carrie, and it continues even now that she is an adult. I admire the attitude you have about this, and I think that Mr. Andrew is one lucky little boy. This phase will be good for both of you.

And the advent calendar is awesome! Chin up, my dear. You are worthy and capable. xo

Plume said...

Sorry you're going through this. hope things will get resolved soon.

Anonymous said...

Thinking about you and Andrew. What a tough decision and a tough situation. I'm sure it will all work out in time and I'm so happy you are enjoying your time together! Good luck.


Ladkyis said...

Andrew is so blessed to have amom and dad like you and Dave. It is such a huge thing to decide to do. I don't think you realise just how special you are. There are so many parents that would have blamed the teachers or the other children or the weather for their something that happened in the classroom. To be strong enough to see that this particular classroom is not the right one for Andrew and to be brave enough to take steps to correct it is just wonderful. Good on you girl!

JIW said...

Two things, Robyn. That is just about the best advent calendar I have ever seen! Love it! I'm having a craft day this weekend and just might try to re create my own version.
Secondly, I am sorry that you are dealing with school issues for Andrew -- and sorry for him to have these challenges. Good for you for being brave enough to take him out of a situation that wasn't the best for him! He is a lucky, lucky little boy and I know the right place will open up for him.
I'll be thinking of all of you guys!

Melissa said...

Darn those kids! They are like A Tale of Two Cities!

And don't second guess your decisions. You can never know what will happen, so make the best choices with the information you have, and regardless of what happens, know you did that.

Good luck through this. I'd say you have one lucky and blessed family...all the way around. hey! Just like your super cool advent calendar!

Shannon said...

Oh how hard this must be for you. I'm sorry you have to deal with it but glad your both at an ok place at the moment.

And thank you for the advent idea. I am doing similar with my kids and they are so excited. Of course it is nothing as elaborate as yours!

Tabitha and Larry said...

Oh Robyn, you are so good to take Andrew's well being into your own hands. We are searching for the right schooling equation for Eldon too. You will be in my prayers. Hugs.