Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Unscheduled Meeting...

Last night I was so exhausted that I took myself off to bed at 8pm. The night before Ari had been waking every 1-1.5 hours, argh!

Anyway, he slept 8pm-11pm, 11.30pm-2am, 2.30am-4am, 4.30am-6.30am... That's about 8 hours broken sleep, so I felt a lot better this morning...

Dave to Bryn to creche when he took Luey to school, and Erik and Ari and I went to Jen's at 10am for a BaBs playgroup meeting. I was planning on leaving Jen's at about 11.40am to get back to the creche to pick Bryn up, but then got a phonecall from the school counsellor at 11.30am regarding Erik and wanting to schedule a meeting with her.

I gave her a reader's digest run down of our concerns, and she suggested a meeting for today with Erik's teacher, the vice principal (I definitely didn't want that) and herself. We decided to meeting at 1pm. So, I rang Dave at work and told him he had to get over to the school by 1pm, because I really didn't want to do this meeting on my own.

I picked Bryn up (thank goodness he is REALLY enjoying creche!!!), and we got up to the school at exactly 1pm and met Dave there.

Erik went and played with his school mates (it was lunch break) and we went in with Bryn and Ari for the meeting. LOL, afterwards I realised I was so pre-occupied with the meeting itself I didn't think twice about pulling my boobs out (top down) throughout the meeting to feed Ari, hahaha - I wonder if the other three women were used to seeing breastfeeding, particularly Erik's 24 year old, no-kids, teacher...

Anyway, I can't really say if the meeting was a success or not. I really did feel that the school counsellor understood what we were trying to communicate about Erik acting out when anxious and about how he would be anxious now because he's moving up, and how he needs very strong boundaries, but without causing more anxiety, and how MOST importantly, we can't help the school manage Erik unless they keep up IN THE LOOP at all times, and don't leave things until they've started to snowball.

I also made the point that all the stuff Erik is spouting in terms of sexualised language is being picked up AT SCHOOL, and that he is not bringing it to the school, and so we cannot prevent him learning and spreading this misinformation around.

I said we'd pull him out on Friday to make sure he knew we were serious about him needing to behave at school and resist engaging in wrong behaviour, but also that the escalation of his behaviour over the week - which I was putting down to us not having the information to deal with it sooner - was very stressing to me at just 2-3 weeks post partum, and I was attempting to minimise my own stress as well.

Two things came out of it that I view as favourable.

  1. It soon became clear that their biggest concern was how to appease Dave and I so that we would send Erik back to school asap. They were more concerned about the fact that we'd pulled him out and were willing to keep him out until we were satisfied that this issue was sorted, than in anything else...
  2. They *offered* that really, all the stuff Erik was saying and doing was pretty normal really, and quite common and that it really wasn't a big deal (funny, they always manage to make us feel like somehow our child is some freakazoid who *must be contained*) and that this sort of talk was rampant at the school, so they weren't at all questioning that he'd learned this stuff there...
They also said the boys not doing swimming was not a big deal, lots of kids won't be doing swimming and the boys will just go into peer classes with the other kids - which will also give Erik the opportunity to get to know other kids going into the next level of primary school (which might help alleviate some of his anxiety about not knowing anyone)...

The counsellor tried to suggest that Erik might do well with a male teacher next year (something I feel might help too) but the VP was NOT going to be pinned down on if that might be possible to organise or even if there would be any male teachers for the 3/4 grades next year (there currently is one male teacher at that level, so now I'm wondering if he's leaving or being moved to a different year level???)...

Anyway, so Erik goes back to school tomorrow - and don't you know, after asking yesterday and this morning if he could go to school, he's now claiming he'd rather stay home... Obstinant child!

Gosh, I'd love to be one of those parents who just didn't give a shit and believed the school was overreacting and that it would all blow over if we just ignored it all...

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Teenagers and the failing parent...