Monday, September 28, 2009

Back to School Freakshow

Is anybody else experiencing a particularly cantankerous back-to-schooler this last couple of weeks? It's the beginning of Second Grade and we're witnessing a mixture of terror, anger, helplessness, toddler-envy (brother's 2 and stays home), defiance, meltdowns and Mood Indigo every day. "School sucks the whole six hours!! I'm gonna get the swine flu on PURPOSE! Wraggghhhhhh!! "
He has one of the softest, nicest teachers in the whole school and is still scared. He thinks he's going to get separated from the herd, wind up lost on the way to music class and get his ass kicked for it. Thinks the mean teacher in the next class is going to burst through the connecting door and traumatize them. The other day he admitted he spent the whole morning crying and didn't get his printing done because he couldn't remember whether he was going to be picked up at lunch. Has this kid got an anxiety disorder or what? Whatever the label, I want to wave a wand and disappear it. Instead I'm reading books, calling meetings within the school, giving hubby reflux, losing some hair myself. We're even going to try ditching dairy (noooo........mama and her babies loves cheese!) for three weeks. Maybe he'll be transformed.
It's hard to relate to this freaked out little critter because I was SO excited to go to school. Every year. I was thrilled being part of a group of karmically bound peers and teachers, and as much as some subjects baffled me there was always a sense of being carried along by the collective, gaining confidence through what I did know, what was easy to win at (til it came time to pick teams in PE). Maybe it's harder for little boys...they do say...
Now what? Home schooling ain't an option. You can tell that just by my grammar. O Parenting Gods, Please Guide Us.
Keep it together,

Pretty In Pink

I like to think of myself as a feminist. Not a Birks & socks extremist (because that combination IS extreme, no?), but a modern day egalitarian. So, I was pretty excited to give birth to a little girl. It was ages ago, but I remembered my college Womens Studies course like it was yesterday and here was my opportunity to make some herstory! To rock the next generation!! This little girl would have everything the boys would have plus a pair of boobs! (And minus the penis.) Those lectures left an impact and I was not about to start socializing her into a corner by dressing her in pink. Uh-uh. No way. I would do my instructor proud. So her nursery was Rubber Ducky themed with yellow and white. Totally Neutral. (Granted, her sex was undetermined before birth... but still! The room was Totally Neutral.) We gladly gathered hand-me-downs in preparation. Scraping in a one bedroom rental apartment, we certainly weren't about to turn anything down. And thankfully, our bases were covered. Blues for a girl and pinks for a boy! Ha! Our little girl arrived and she was beautiful... I mean, handsome. S#*t! She was... glorious! Once I could walk (and I mean that), I couldn't wait to take her for her first stroller ride to show her off to the neighbourhood. I chose her green sleeper with stars and it's matching cap along with a brown fleece teddy bear blanket. She cooed away animatedly expressing the thrill of fresh air and open skies. It was exhilarating for both of us to come to this point. And then came the comments. "Awww! He looks just like his daddy!", "What a cutie! What's his name?", "Look at those pipes! He's gonna be a brute!"... It would be one thing if these freaking looky-loos had 50% accuracy! I couldn't stand it! Everybody thought she was a boy. And the question was, why did I care? I have no idea. Call me a lesser womyn, but I just needed some people to see my girl as she was: a girl. I attempted to walk the line. Let her wear puffed sleeves... in blue. Accessorize the jean jacket with a hot pink soother, etc... But it's a slippery slope. I couldn't help it. She looked really GOOD in pink! She's a Spring for crying out loud! It's her colour!! My bar continued to lower. I resisted the Disney Princess Brainwash in a Box-set until it felt like we were running a dictatorship. I so tried to keep a Barbie-free home but those damn dolls, they find their way. And do they ever make her HAPPY! Long story short, it turned out we had a girly-girl on our hands despite my half-assed attempts for otherwise. As all you parents know, we've got to choose our battles and this just seemed like one that wasn't worth fighting. Surely the colours that we wear don't define us. Surely we can't blame Barbie for gatewaying our preschoolers to anorexia. These days as I watch my daughter joyfully flitting around her ballet class, the biggest fruitcake in the room, I breathe a sigh of relief that I gave up the fight years ago. After all, she looks pretty in pink.
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