Have you guys ever watched the show Wipeout? The kids and Bret love it. They crack up everytime someone bounces off their head or gets sucker punched. I can't help but laugh too when someone is running a long and out of no where gets knock off into the water. I learned this weak that getting wiped out is not so fun.
We had an amazing break (stomach bug aside) and had a lot of fun at the Cotton Bowl (even though our team lost). Coming back was another story. Trying to get all of my Christmas decor put away, laundry caught up, and our family of 5 back into routine was rough.
On Monday one of Bret's partners from work had a National Championship watch party to cheer on her beloved Roll Tide team. The game didn't start until 7:30 and we had very clear intentions of leaving by 8:15 so that our already tired kids would get to bed at a decent time. Instead we left just before half time and the kids got to bed just after nine. Not to bad right? Not so.
The first of my Wipeout experiences felt like getting sucker punched by surprise the next day. I can see myself in slow motion going "nooooo" and falling into the water. I went to pick Palmer up from preschool and it took me a minute to notice that he wasn't running towards me and the car like usual. Instead his head was bowed and he was walking besides his teacher. Not good people not good. His teacher proceeded to explain that Palmer and some other kids were playing tag at recess and things were getting too rough. The teacher asked Palmer and the other kids to stop. She had to ask Palmer a second and third time and told him he was not allowed to play tag anymore. This apparently made Palmer upset so when the teacher asked the kids to line up Palmer refused. The teacher then told Palmer he couldn't be the door holder that day (which was his job for the week) and this upset him even more so he threw down his hat and gloves and begrudgedly went inside.
I know that Palmer was tired and grumpy which made his reasoning skills and temper not a good combo for the day. So knowing that made me feel a little bad for him. On the other hand no mom likes to be "talked to" by the teacher about their child's behavior. Since this was his first infraction and because we knew he was really tired (and it was our fault) we went a little easy on him. He got a stern talking to from both of his parents and grounded from the TV and all other electronics for two days. I think Palmer understands how serious it was. Ironically it wasn't until he told Emily why he couldn't watch TV and he saw her horrified reaction that it really sank in how bad his actions were.
Moving right along this weeks course and I thought the worst was over. Again yesterday I went to the school to pick up my other kid, Emily. Emily has to "flip her card" every now and then but almost always for talking or not listening. Over all she rarely gets into "trouble".
This time my surprise was even more evident like the ones who are running a long and out of no where the wall moves out to knock them into the water. There stands Emily with her teacher. The teacher tells Emily to head to the car..which surprises me even more. The teacher tells me that today at recess Emily paid another girl in her class $2 to play with her. The girl took the money but then refused to play with Emily. Emily got upset and when asked by the teacher what was going on she wanted me to know from her (the teacher) and that she was going to be addressing why anyone would need to pay someone to play with them. I promised to talk about it with Emily.
I asked Emily about what happened and she told me that no wants to play with her and she has no friends. The sadness in her voice and the look in her eyes broke my heart right there in the car sitting next to her. Emily said that everyone has their own friends and that they don't want her as a new friend. She said that the kids are not mean to her but they don't include her either. She said she missed PA and her old friends.
We had no idea. Emily is such an outgoing kid. She loves school, gets invited to birthday parties, and seemed like the move was going great for her. We talked briefly about how paying people to be your friend isn't really a good solution (which she reminded me that she already figured out on her own). She had piano lessons and swimming so we dropped it and decided to talk about it later. I did what I do best and took the boys home and went and cried in my room.
When Bret got home we talked about it some more. Both of us can very clearly remember the struggles in making friends as kids. Bret told me a really sad story about a group of kids who had a club house and secret membership. Trying to buy his way into the group he made secret club flip badges for all of the kids. This plan also backfired when the kids laughed at them and threw them all in the trash.
I know that all kids go through this in some way or another. My first instinct is to fix it. To have more play dates for her and to help her try and make friends. On the other hand I want her to get through this on her own to help her grow and learn how to deal with this in the future. I feel like I don't know what to do. Both of us talked her some more last night. We talked about doing what the other kids want to play instead of what she wants to play all the time. Reminded her not to be bossy and to stop worrying about who was friends with her so much. We talked about doing what she thinks is fun on her own at recess (like the monkey bars) and that if kids see she is having fun they will want to play with her. I felt very unprepared to give advice on making friends when sometimes I feel like it is still hard for me too. We told her that too. Most of all we told her that we loved her and that she was an awesome person who will make friends.
I am so thankful that it is Friday and that I can start with a new week fresh. I am hopeful for no new surprises for a while.