Monday, March 3, 2008

Don't feel much like writing today

This week is not shaping up to be a great one so far. We're going through a bit of a backslide with Maya right now, and unfortunately it's come smack dab in the middle of all sorts of periodic evaluations, themselves a source of major stress and frustration - for Maya especially, but for us as well. Things could be better. Just for a bit of added fun I just got a call from her preschool, the director wants a meeting to discuss her behavior, which could be better to say the least. The one constant in all of this used to be that Maya's behavior in school, while symptomatic of the social and emotional difficulties she's having, was never problematic for others. Now that too has changed and I find myself cringing as I enter the door each afternoon, waiting for that day's bad news. Her beloved teacher left to have a baby a month ago and since then Maya's been acting out , aggressively. We're seeing more of it at home too, leaving me feeling frustrated and incompetent. When you combine my own feelings of inadequacy and my guilt and sadness that I can't seem to make things better for my daughter with the already horribly patronizing attitude of the school's director you get a fairly high probability that this meeting is going to be a difficult one. It's on Thursday evening, and I am really not looking forward to it.

How can this beautiful golden child, the one who danced around the house for hours at the sheer joy of having received her heart's desire - a Cinderella costume for Purim - be the same one who shrieks and snarls like a wild animal, to the point of being actually physically unable to speak, when you tell her it's time to get out of bed in the morning?
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I know these downswings happen and that an upswing will eventually follow, perhaps even soon, and I know that we are moving closer to a more optimistic diagnosis, but knowing that doesn't really make coping with the bad days any easier.
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Oh, and Itai is home sick with a fever too. The fun just never stops around here.

The Writers Island prompt for this week was "empower". I wanted to write about how the lactation consulting and support work I do empowers both mothers and babies, but right now I feel so utterly unempowered myself that I just don't have it in me. I'll be sitting this one out.

31 comments:

Janne said...

This is my first visit to your blog, but I just want you to know I understand. (My oldest child has both early-onset bipolar disorder and high-functioning autism). I know all about those dreaded reports from teachers and the "light-switch" behavior (my term for going from a happy little angel, to screaming -- as quick as flipping a light switch).

Sending cyber-hugs your way.

Robin said...

Thank you janne, that means a lot. It's knowing we're not alone in this that makes it bearable.

fearfullymade said...

I hope your meeting with the school director is bearable. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be. Here's hoping Maya finds more reasons (whatever they may be) to be the happy little girl. Am praying for you both. And Itai too, hope he's feeling better.

mother in israel said...

Sending you big, big hugs, and hoping things will get better very soon.

Mel said...

((HUGS)) Robin - I hope the meeting is better than expected. take care dear friend.

poppy fields said...

Hang in there. I wish I could invite you over for a cup of tea...I bet Maya would love to play dress up with my girls.

Janet said...

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. I read an article in People magazine recently about a Mormon couple who had 6 childen...all with varying degrees of autism. The Mom blames herself because she had a child from a previous marriage who is autistic and her husband has a child from a previous marriage who is not.

L the D said...

Aww, Robin, you hang in there! It'll get better soon, but until then, enjoy a nice cup of tea and a big HUG from me!

grace said...

I hope I am near you. You could leave Maya to play with my daughter when you are having a tough time and just need a quiet break, even just a short one.

Hope Itai is back on his feet again soon.

Carol Anne said...

Oh Robin,

You are a great mom! I know how hard it is to remember that though when your sweet child is being not so sweet. There are times when I feel angry, sad, guilty and hopeless all at once with my guy. Add in a difficult relationship with the preschool director and the loss of a beloved teacher and you have a recipe for some very stressful times. I'm sorry you are in a rough phase now. Here's hoping it gets better sooner rather than later.

Wish we lived close enough to go out for a fancy coffee drink and commiserate!

Julia Smith said...

I realize you couldn't write to the 'empower' prompt, but your post today was merely the flipside and still on that wavelength. Hope things stabilize soon for Maya with the loss of her teacher. Some kids find any disruption to their routine traumatic.

angie said...

Robin,
I'm thinking of you. I can't imagine how difficult this must be, but your strength has to be a pillar for your family!

laughingatchaos said...

Oh honey, you're so not alone. I hate that we're a world apart and I can't give you a real life hug. As difficult as A can be and has been, we haven't had a school meeting (knockwoodmylipstoGod'sear). Is there another school for Maya? Any other options? Sigh...hugs to you and once you get sweet Maya in bed, lift a glass. :)

Jo said...

So sorry, Robin, that sounds so tough. Sending you big hugs, xxxxxx

MOM-NOS said...

Thanks so much for your comment on my post today. While I'm sorry that you can relate, I can't tell you how much I appreciate knowing that you're there and that you can.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

It sounds to me like you have identified the problem -- the teacher's maternity leave, and now the evals. Why isn't the school working with you and Maya to help her over this?

I know when #2's preschool teacher left mid-year, #2 didn't handle it great. It was tough for her and even now, two years later, she'll ask if Miss Melissa is coming back.

Change is hard. It's not YOUR mothering that's the issue here.

Preethi said...

Oh she looks so adorable. I hope your meeting went well.. Poor Maya I bet she is going through a lot what with her fav teacher gone. I dread to think of Nantu's favorite teacher going on a break. It seems like a small thing, but it is huge for them. Imagine the teacher is the one they trust in an environment away from their secure home.. so hope the director is not too hard in her judgement!!
Hang in there!! By the way I wrote on personalities on my blog, come read!!

Nancy said...

Beautiful smiles on Maya. You are a great mom to her. I'm hoping for more up days than down. (((hugs)))

Janice said...

Robin, your post brought me to tears. I am so sorry things are so hard right now. I hope your meeting goes better than you expect it to and that you're pleasantly surprised. I really do. Take care, my friend. I am praying for you. Big big hugs...

Space Mom said...

Sending hugs. I can't offer assvice, but I can offer a hug

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Hugs to you and Maya. May you all find peace soon.

Kelley said...

babe I am always here. You know it. You have my email, use it OK?

Wish I could come over there and give you a huge hug. You know it will get better, now sucks, but it will be better until the next sucky time.

Barrel of laughs aren't I?

Lastly, she is acting out because of the changes. She needs things explained to HER not just the class during this transition period. She needs them to cut her some slack and most of all she needs a place to go to decompress. They NEED to provide her with a place to go and teach her to use it when she is starting to feel like she is getting overwhelmed. This is the only thing that will work right now.

Honestly. I have seen this a hundred times. It is expected behaivour especially if it was her favourite teacher.

Just Jen said...

I hear ya! You know I have special needs boys and my eldest dx'd through school. Change is always difficult on a child so switching teachers is probably her first 'have to deal with a lost of someone you love'...that's hard on a kid, any kid....hugs....keep posting about it, it'll help you work through it.

Shannon said...

Robin, I am so sorry that Maya is having a hard time. I love to hear about her good days and the bad ones break my heart for both of you. She is such a beautiful girl and I can feel how very much you love her. I will be hoping and praying for some easier days.

Lis Garrett said...

You know I understand . . .

Pieces of Me said...

Wow! you got so much support and valuable information. You're so lucky to have such a strong fan base. Look at how much love! How lovely.

As one who spent 12 years in the Israeli school system, I can understand the push come to shove nature of principals as part of their nature to calm the peace. I recommend speaking (if you haven't done so already) with the 'yoetzet' who can perhaps work things out on Maya's behalf and possibly act as a intermediary in order to make things become more unstuck. Always clarify your objectives inlight of the prsent scenario. "I want to share this and this..." no yuda, yuda.

Just a few tips. It might just calm the waters, if you know what I mean...

[I wish I could do more to help]

p.s. hugs from Dorit from far-away Pittsburgh

TriciaGomez@comcast.net said...

Robin, remember me? I found your blog a while ago and last month when you had another heartbreaking blog entry about Maya I could have written something similar. My Victoria sounds like she's a similar soul. I had to take her home with me at drop off yesterday because there was no keeping her there. Same thing happened on Friday. It also happens to be evaluation time for Kindergarten readiness. She's "evaluated" out already after this past year's struggles. My appointment at her preschool is tomorrow at 1:15. I'm sure you'll get her sorted out soon but in the meantime, know you're not alone.

Robin said...

Thank you everyone, for the support, the commiseration, the hugs, all of it.

Dorit, she's still in private preschool so the director is an owner, not a principal (and thus with totally different training) and there is no yoetzet (counselor). The tips are good ones though, I'll file them away for later.

Tricia - as MOM-NOS said to me earlier in the comments, "I'm sorry that you can relate, I can't tell you how much I appreciate knowing that you're there and that you can." I'm sorry Victoria's struggling, consider me there holding your hand during your meeting today.

kristi said...

I, too have been there. I just found your blog today, my son was a normal 3 year old, then something happened! He stopped communicating and started changing everyday. Finally, at 5, I got him evaluated (after going through many, many things including therapists, school evaluations, etc..) and he was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, which is mild autism.

Irene said...

I am so sorry you have so much going on right now. I hope everything is quickly resolved and will soon be a distant memory.

Take care.

UL said...

oh Robin, I am just catching up as I was out most of the week.How is Maya doing now? Is she better? How did the meeting go? Some teachers annoy me so much...