So a little context. I have been blessed with three beautiful, witty and flipping brilliant children. From the moment that I pee’d on the stick and clung to the toilet every morning to the time that they were placed in my arms, I’ve loved each one of them fiercely.
I knew I’d love them. Wanting kids is my thing yo.
And yes, in some cases the bonding took a little longer than others, but at no point could you doubt my love for them. The thing is that real motherly love is so much more than just this superficial, fluffy kind of love that I used to think it would be. The truth is that sometimes it seems so effortless, other times it’s all consuming, then on other days it takes the form of a desperate concern. Even on the days that they press every single one of my buttons I know that I would still do anything to protect them – despite the fact that I may be raging at them like my head is about to explode.
However none of these things took me by surprise until I experienced that fierce protective “Don’t freaking dare say that about my kid” kind of love. It raised some really unattractive side feelings that I’d really rather do without. Because the thing is, our kids are infallible right? They are just so perfect.
OK, let’s be real here, I know they aren’t perfect. They make a flipping mess, they don’t always say please or thank you, they do stupid things with scissors and a million other things. I’m not talking about kids being kids. The perfect that I’m talking about is in the sense that they are a whole human being. A unique individual with their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s what makes them so wonderful.
Is that enough context?
Let’s recap. My kids are perfect. You tell me they aren’t and you’re about to get a big old can of nothing-while-I-go-hide-in-a-corner-and-internalise-all-the-weird-feelings-I’m-feeling-but-can’t-confront-you-with-because-I-hate-confrontation. Yeah. Take that.
These last few weeks have been report and meet with teachers time and it’s destroying me. I thought I was taking it all well but I’m not. There are various issues at play here and I’ll still address the problem with the girls in another post, but for today I want to focus on Knox.
More context. I love his teacher. I think she is amazing and just what he needs in his life. She understands him. So when she was raising some issues that he has, we were nodding in agreement because we experienced the very same thing at home. I don’t really want to get into the whole issue specifically, but suffice to say he wasn’t/isn’t thriving.
What’s more concerning for me is that I am so torn between this flipping aggressive “my kid is perfect” love and the reality of knowing that we are all human and can’t be good at everything. It’s such a weird feeling because on the one hand I’m like, no, you’re just understanding him wrong. But then on the other side I know that they are right which just brings up these feelings of disappointment, failure at being a parent and let’s not even start on the guilt.
That said we had some key issues to address and in this case the main one was sleep.
Being the third kid he got the best or the worst end of the deal – depending which way you look at it. At his age the girls were in bed by like 6.30 pm and asleep by 7.30 for the latest. But now with the girls only going to sleep later it’s meant that we have been more lax with Knox than we should be. So he’s been going to sleep around 8.30 or sometimes even 9 or 9.30 depending on the day. And for a kid who can easily sleep until 9am on the weekends, he was not coping well. Just generally his whole attitude was one of a tired person that could not care less. Which obvs affected basically everything he did.
So after chatting to his teacher a couple of weeks ago we got our butts in gear and fixed it. Now he’s asleep at 8pm for the latest and sleeps through till 7am. We also made his room much warmer so that his quality of sleep would be better too.
Guys. The change in my child. Wow.
We all noticed it. His speech teacher, his normal school teacher and us at home. It’s like parenting a new child.
So this whole thing was our fault. We were sending him out there tired and expecting him to perform. I feel terrible about it. In effect, I was holding him back from being his best self the whole time.
Look, it’s not a magic fix. There’s still a lot of issues that we still have to address here, but here’s hoping that this will set the tone for the rest of the terms ahead and maybe it won’t be as bad as we initially thought it would be. And you know, even if it is, we’re going to do what’s best for him to ensure that he loves (or at least doesn’t hate) school. And we’ll love him hard through it all.
Also, if you want to see how well his speech therapy is going, here’s his latest “how to video”. My favourite part is the karate chop pat that he does haha.