There are lots of things I hope my kids inherit from Groom-boy and me. Groom-boy's relaxed attitude, his sense of decency and his ability to imitate any foreign accent you can think of are some examples. I'd love it if they had my sense of humour, my stunning good looks and modesty, and my eagerness to bring out the best in people.
There are lots of things I wish my kids would not inherit, too. While Girlchild looks absolutely gorgeous with those blond locks of hers, I sure hope she has a better time of taming the unruliness of naturally curly hair than I ever did. I hope my kids don't get that annoying red-dotty skin on the backs of their arms like I have. I hope they're not as shy as I am and that they are less likely to let people stomp all over them.
Worrying falls into the latter "omigod please don't inherit this" category. (At this point anyone who has the prefix "psych" in their job title should be prepared to say, "You, my dear, clearly have some unresolved anxiety issues." But we'll get to that in a moment.)
I was the classic Kindergarten Crybaby(TM). Yes, ladies and gentleman, I was "that kid" who blubbered throughout the day for no real discernible reason and probably added more than a few grey hairs to my poor mother's head - not to mention the teacher, who had to send home a little sticker with me every day for a few weeks that had either a happy face or a sad face to let my mom know how my day went.
My mom tells me they could NOT figure out what the heck the problem was and I, of course, don't even remember anything about it, other than waiting around after school for my sticker. Apparently school started out well, but then part way through autumn I hit some sort of snag and suddenly didn't want to go. Since they hadn't invented bullies way back then, at least not until Grade 1, that wasn't the issue. Near as Mom could figure I was convinced I was missing out on some terrific fun at home with her and my baby brother. (Yeah, Mom watched the Y&R while Brother napped.)
Can you guess where this is going? Do we know a child who is in Kindergarten and who has lately shown a distinct distaste for school for no discernible reason? Why, yes! Yes we do.
Day 6 of 7 did not go well. Not only was the 24-hour preamble to the drop off a nightmarish sequence of blubbering and excuses, but the drop off itself very nearly involved a crowbar (not to whack me over the head, which would have been less painful, but to pry my child away from me, silly).
Then Boychild's teacher called at lunch. Still crying (Boychild, not her). Not eating (Boychild, and probably not her, either, since she was on the phone to me). What to do?
Well, we LIE to him, of course! Tell him there's no point in going home because Mommy's not there. She's not watching Y&R while Baby Sister naps, she's at a meeting!
Boychild thrives on routine, and this alternate-day Kindergarten thing interspersed with holidays, vacations and illnesses makes things, well, hellish - I mean difficult. And to make it worse, I know he comes by this naturally. I remember feeling anxious about changes in routine (it still happens). I remember worrying when my parents or another adult weren't around. I remember dwelling on the strangest things. I was a weird little kid. I still am.
Once when I was talking to a friend about Boychild's anxieties she said it must be helpful that I know how it feels. You'd think, but it's not. I didn't know how to deal with my own anxiety then, and I'm still not sure. [Cue the "psych" folks here.] So now I just sit around and worry about worrying, which is very helpful.
Anyhoo, next week we're getting back to a steadier week of school and I'm hoping that will help. Routine, blessed routine. Does anyone else out there have an anxious child? Do you have any tips? Does hitting yourself over the head with the crowbar help at all?
(Incidentally, my own Kindergarten crying ended famously when one day, as the neighbour girl who walked me to school waited at the kitchen door, my mother slammed down a wooden spoon on the counter and hollered something like, "That's enough! I've had it! You're going to school!" Apparently that was all it took. And it probably made the neighbour girl want to get her little butt to school, too.)