Sunday, September 18, 2011

Big word for a little girl

The time had come. I walked into daycare at about 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and my baby girl was crying. This is never a good sight to see...especially when you feel horrible all day for having her in daycare in the first place.

So, I quickly ask what happened, and I was told that Noelle had to be scolded today. SCOLDED! As Noelle was sniffling hard and had tears streaming down her cheeks, I asked what she did. They said that she walked across the room and smacked one of the workers in the face for no reason! Now, I wasn't totally shocked because Noelle does have a "heavy hand" when it comes to hitting. She has been known to hit me on the arm and sometimes the mouth but she usually is giggling and not realizing that hitting is bad. We always take her hands and tell her a stern "no," but we haven't gone much further than that with discipline. I am a really big believer in discipline, but I also really believe in age-appropriate discipline. Children have to understand that what they are doing is wrong for the discipline/punishment to mean anything. And I am not, nor will I ever be, a spanker. Never, ever. Why would I teach my child that hitting is wrong through hitting her?

I digress.

They didn't do anything inappropriate, but they wanted her to say she was sorry. This is a pretty huge concept for a little girl to understand. Because Noelle says any and every word in the dictionary, she did say she was sorry and gave the girl a hug. I then scooped her in my arms and held her, and as she was still sniffling into my shoulder, she kept uttering "sorry....sorry..." Oh, it was the WORST! So painful and heartbreaking to hear your little baby girl crying sorry into your shoulder.

The whole way home she continued to sniffle and say "sorry" every few minutes. I couldn't help but in those moments feel an extreme amount of love and defensiveness for my daughter. I kept telling her how good of a girl she is and how much I love her. I told her hitting isn't nice and it hurts people, but she's not a bad girl.

And then my guilt turned on full blast. I went through all the ways that this incident was my fault. First and foremost, if I didn't choose/have to work, then she wouldn't have been in daycare to begin with. She would have only hit me in the face and I could have dealt with it in my own way. Second of all, if I would have left school early like I wanted to, then I would have been there before the assault was committed. I got there too late, and too late it was.




If Noelle truly understood the word "sorry," then I would tell her I'm sorry for not being the most perfect mommy on Earth. I'm sorry you have to get up at 6:00 a.m. and go to daycare all day for 9-10 hours. I'm sorry that things are hectic and crazy sometimes and you don't get all of our attention.  I'm sorry that you might think I don't love you as much as the mothers who stay at home love their kids, but Heaven knows that's not the case.

I'm sorry.

Monday, September 12, 2011

3 Years

It's been 3 years.

Three years ago this day, we were excited to go to our first baby doctor appointment together. We weren't too nervous. We didn't know we had a reason to be. We were just excited and ready to meet our doctor and possibly see the little peanut on the ultrasound screen.

Everything changed so quickly. I still hear the words and see Dr. Ertle's face as she expressed her sympathy and disappointment for us. We lost the baby. haunting.

In some ways, it hurts more now than it did then. Before, I didn't know what I was missing. I had never been a mommy before. Now, I am so aware of the profound love you feel for your child, and my heart aches for the one I never held.

I suppose the biggest lesson I learned throughout the whole process is that time heals all wounds. I'm not saying it doesn't hurt and that there's not a scar...and that a little part of me doesn't die with every story of another woman's miscarriage or pregnancy loss...but I am saying that I am no longer raw with emotion and I can talk openly about the pain I felt then and the peace I feel now. I can thank time and faith....and if I am being honest...I will give about 75% of the credit to time and 25% to faith. I'd be lying if I said my faith wasn't shaken, damaged, and bruised through it all...but I'm working on healing that, too.

So, to our first baby, who we loved before we ever knew we lost...we still think about you all the time. And you have the coolest little sister in the world.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Suck it up, Ashley.

Do you ever just get so sick of yourself that you wish you could just step outside of your body and go be someone else for a while? If so, then you and I should talk.

This start of the school year has NOT been easy, and each day I say to myself that I should just be thankful to have a teaching job and I should embrace the challenges and not obsess over them. Usually by 9:00, my attitude is turned completely upside down, and I am riddled with "Why I am doing this?" "When will this get better?" "I'm just going to leave and pick Noelle up and stay home the rest of the day." Is it really the school year that's getting me or is it, well, me that's getting me?

I have such a problem with expectations. I expect too much out of people, things, events, holidays, meals, etc, etc, etc. If things don't go the way I have choreographed them in my head, I tend to literally WIG out and become completely handicapped for an obscene amount of time. I am getting to the point where I am just trying to accept that this is who I am, and I am no longer trying to change myself, but I am trying to give myself a way to express my disappointment without letting it ruin my whole day, week, month, or year.

I had SUCH high hopes for school this year. I worked in my room religiously during the summer. I have done research, made plans, thought ahead, and after 4 solid years of teaching, I have a pretty good idea of what has been working in my room and what needs to change. I was ready to face this year head on and I declared that it would be the BEST year EVER!

In steps the State of Indiana and the Department of Education. In steps Tony Bennett, not the singer, but quite possibly the biggest douche bag on God's green earth (i.e. State Superintendent) to just ruin all my plans for a good year. (see this extreme disappointment I get?) Merit pay, no seniority, score-based pressure, mandated subject area schedule, and tons and tons and tons of hoops to jump through that require hours upon hours upon hours of work outside the normal school day...I could go on...

However, as I left for the 3 day weekend, I told myself that I would not walk back in those doors on Tuesday with the same shitty attitude I have had for 3 weeks. I have sulked and complained and rolled my eyes and faked a smile and shuffled into school with the same enthusiasm as my kids (which is not a lot)...and it's not working for me. If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. My mom has always said this. It annoys me, but it's true. And that's why it annoys me.

It's so much easier to just sit and be pissed and bitch to anyone who has at least one ear, but it never works out well for you in the end. If I put in the effort to be POSITIVE and happy with the way things are, I might be working harder on the front end, but I feel it will pay dividends in the long run.

So, in essence, I'm done with myself. I'm buying a new version of me this weekend and can't wait to test her out Tuesday.