Monday, October 16, 2006

Off to School

Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
This is what Jack wore to school last Friday. I don't know what he was supposed to be but he was very keen to be photographed wearing his costume. You can't see it well, but there is also a black cape involved. Fortunately, he removed the swim goggles and other accesories before getting out of the car in the school parking lot.

This is just one of Jack's little creative quirks. Another is the continuing imaginary world of Birdington, about which he wrote several "books". There is Birdington, Bird Island, Bird Land. Sometimes, they go to war over things such as a giant peach cobbler. The main characters in the continuing saga are Bird Bird, Birdy Bird, Bird Bird Birdy Bird, the Ostrich (a bad guy) and the Cardinal (another bad guy). He recently built the "Bird Destroyer" (a shadow vehicle to the Star Wars Imperial Destroyer, I believe) out of legos. It is a strange little world, this Bird world.

We just accept his quirkiness and other kids seem to dig it, so I don't worry all that much about him being a bit out of step sometimes with his peers. What I do worry about is what a rotten mother I can be.

I know, your first thought is to spring to your BloomingtonGirl's defense. BloomingtonGirl? A bad mother? NEVER! You cry. Well, loyal readers, I think that it is time for me to come clean. I have a bit of Mommie Dearest in me and I fear that I am going to @#$! Up my kid.

For instance, I don't allow wire hangers in any closet in the house. Just like Joan Crawford. But, more to the point, I have been working Jack over this week on a part of a song he is learning in piano and the whole time he is crying and pleading with me, telling me he doesn't know it, wasn't taught it, didn't learn it, can't do it. I insist that of course his teacher taught it to him, otherwise she wouldn't have required he practice it and I proceeded to force him to play it, kicking and screaming and feeling like a complete failure. It was a disaster, but it never occured to me that maybe, just maybe, I should give the kid the benefit of the doubt.

Today when we did Jack's piano practice, after the same wailing and gnashing of teeth over the piece, it suddenly occured to me that Jack was absolutely right. The teacher was referring to another phrase in the piece which Jack had learned and could play just fine. I am an idiot.

Jack and I have been fighting a lot lately - how grown-up is this on my part? Fighting with a six-year-old? I've been bickering with him and being just an asshole. There, I said it. And all this bickering leads me to wonder whether I am going to screw him up. Nobody sets out to screw their kids up, but let's face it...most people are screwed up and good money says that mothers had big parts to play.

So, I am adopting a two-pronged approach to this problem. First, I am trying to be a better mother - more patient, less bitchy, more consistently disciplining. And, as a back up, I am researching where we should live when Jack is an adolescent. It should have all the good stuff like excellent schools/low crime...all that. But, just as important, it must have a good number of psychologists from whom Jack can pick to help him repair the damage inflicted by his mother. I'm open to making it a three-pronged approach if any loyal readers wants to pass along a suggestion.

In other news, Chris is working the late shift this week and doesn't get home until ten or eleven. It is lots of work for him but at least he has Friday off. I am going to catch up on my chick flicks this week while he is gone.

Off I go to watch one now...


Nancy said...

"good schools, low crime and plenty of psychologists" you asked? Your memory has lapsed, BloomingtonGirl. Fairfield County meets your criteria.

BloomingtonGirl said...

I'd move back in a minute but I am just so intimidated about what to tip to whom!

Perk said...

This is simplistic(and an old cliche to boot)but kids do grow up fine, in spite of their parents.

The less psychologists the better, in my opinion.

I'm assuming that the Amish don't use psychologists and whatever you may think of their religiosity recent events have shown them to be, as a group, about as well-adjusted as human beings can be. Faith? Hard work? Simple lifestyle? Compassion as the basis of all morality? Lots of prayerful reflection? Does that also sound like Buddhism? Just musing here...

BloomingtonGirl said...

I actually agree with you Perk, about psychology and child rearing. And, I do think that the Amish have something good going on. I don't think anything negative at all about their religiosity, especially because they don't try and impose their beliefs on others through political (or military!) action. THAT's my beef.

Anonymous said...

I think children really learn to adapt later in life. For example, a month ago, my stay at home girlfriend insurance did not cover mental health, so of course, my mental health was perfect. Now, my insurance covers these services, and I'm starting to question everything....

how come Jack gets to wear whatever he wants to school and I had to wear a uniform? And Dad reads him three books at night? Three? I'm pretty sure I only got two.

Katelyn rules!!! - Jack wrote this.