Monday, January 9, 2017

The New Rules

Lucy was in day care as an infant/toddler/pre schooler
When Lucy got to DayCare, she, and we learned The Rules
They included, but were not limited to, some variation of the following:
Be kind!
Hands to yourself!
Walking Feet!
Inside voice!
Listening ears!
Have fun!
Be a good friend!
And everything was always about friends...
Be kind to your friends
Share with your friends
Have fun with your friends!
Or some variation thereof
We thought The Rules were brilliant!
We figured Lucy would have no problem following them and were convinced The Rules made the world a better place
And just to make sure, we adopted The Rules in our own home
I even wrote them out on big sheets of paper and decorated them with stickers and glitter and flowers and hung them up at Lucy level so she could see them
We even added a few rules of our own
I was so proud of our progressive and organic parenting
I wish I could say it worked
By the time Lucy was three, she sort of adopted this fuck The Rules attitude
That attitude reached its peak shortly after her 4th birthday and raged for about 2 solid years
Try as we might, we could never quite get her to come around to following The Rules
Don't get me wrong, she's a great kid
I love her with all my heart and soul
But she is not a rule following kind of kid
She will not bend to anyone's will but her own
And even then, I've seen her fight with herself
I consoled myself by saying when she is in her 20s and 30s, this behavior could serve her well
But as a 4, 5 and 6 year old, this behavior, it really friggin sucked
It was the worst
And we clearly had failed miserably at progressive and organic parenting
Reports from day care would usually go like this:
Lucy had a pretty good day, until she hit/punched one of her friends
Lucy was really loud today; does she maybe have an ear ache?
Lucy was very upset with her friends today; did she maybe have a tough night sleeping?
Bless their hearts
See how they would ever so gently try to cushion the blow
And when Lucy had a good day, they would make such a HUGE deal out of it
It was always a bright spot when she had one of those days
And just when we'd think she was coming around....when she'd have two good days in a row that turned into three that turned into four
Lucy would decide she was tired of following The Rules
Lucy thought the rules were silly
And that there were too many of them
She told me that the same day she informed me everybody (at school/day care) was not her friend and why did every keep telling her they were
And we'd be back to trying to figure out how to balance this strong willed spirited little girl with The Rules, her classmates and her parents
The staff at day care was amazing though
And they were with us and Lucy every step of the way
I do not know where we would be without the love and guidance of so many of them
By the time Lucy got to first grade, she was at her worst
I do believe her first grade teacher caught the brunt of it
That was a terrible year
We cried
We fought
We laughed
We yelled
We loved
We swore
We thought it would never get better
We begged and bribed
We tried incentives
We tried taking things away
We cried some more
Fought again
Loved as hard and as much as we could
We swore some more
We read books
We prayed
We laughed again while swearing and crying and fighting all at the same time
It was exhausting
And we wondered if we'd make it - as a couple, as a family, as parents
But we were surrounded by these teachers and staff, first at day care and then at her grade school, who were so supportive and loving
And we had friends and family who though at times were probably scared shitless of the outbursts they witnessed, stuck by us and by Lucy
Lucy's first grade teacher never gave up her
Even when Lucy was at her worst, her teacher would find no less than three wonderful things to say to our daughter on a daily basis
And every day, no matter what Lucy's attitude or behavior was, her teacher never gave up on her
And now her second grade teacher is just as supportive of her (and of us)
And so is the social adjustment counselor and her therapist
Lucy has so many people rooting for her
And its working
She's come so far since last year that it is almost overwhelming
We're so terribly proud of her....and I'm not gonna lie, relieved
Last year, I started putting notes in Lucy's lunchbox every day
She's saved all of them in a shoe box
I end every note the same way:
Have a good day
Don't be a jerk
Do your best
And have fun
Those are The New Rules
4 simple rules.....though number 2 is a pretty weighty one and means so much more than what one would think
And our little strong willed spirited lady is doing her best to not be a jerk
And we're all having way more fun and better days because of it
She's our best girl we love her the most and could not be more proud of her

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.