Thursday, November 18, 2010

Whatever Happened to Construction Paper Turkeys?

This is a post that is primarily about me and Nadi-B. She missed school today because we were supposed to be going to the dentist to have some cavities filled as well as a couple of teeth pulled. However there was some kind of mix-up in the scheduling so what ended up happening is that we got up at 4:30 am and drove for 2 hours to the nearest pediatric dentist to end up rescheduling.

Just to get this out of the way, I feel like a big fat failure as a Mom for NB's teeth having any cavities in the first place. I mean, it's not like we allow the child to consume obscene amounts of sweets or sodas. I would feel pretty confident that she doesn't get any more of those things than any normal kid. In fact, I would feel pretty confident saying that she probably gets less than what is "normal." The only thing I can figure is that we started letting her brush her own teeth a little too early on in the game and she just wasn't prepared to do a good job. I mean, at least these are her baby teeth, but it still makes me feel like when that dentist hygienist is looking at me she just sees words like: "Irresponsible Parent" or "Fail"

In any case, we drove all that way for nothing more than a frustrating hour spent alternating between waiting and explaining over and over again what we were supposed to be there for; followed by a few back and forth phone calls between Tim, myself, and NB's regular dentist. I *think* we finally have it all straightened out, but I'll know for sure when she goes for her cleaning in December.

We are still having issues with Nadia's behavior at school. I don't really know how to explain it. She's not behaving badly really. She just can't focus or be still or stop talking so much. She was doing really awesome for a good while, but all of a sudden over the last month or so, she just can't seem to concentrate on anything. Well... that's not entirely true.. it's like she can only focus on one thing. If she's concentrating on not talking or playing during class time then she isn't doing her work. If she's concentrating on doing her work, she's getting in trouble for silly behavior or playing during class time.

If she comes home from a bad day and we talk about it, the next day she does great, but every day after that she goes back to the same behavior. I am pretty much at my wits' end. I don't know what else to do, having exhausted all parenting things I can come up with, or approve of. It just seems not to sink in. I'm quite frankly, tired of having the same conversations every day.

And while I'm at it, I am also kind of bummed about her school's curriculum. I mean, don't get me wrong, I think it is AWESOME to see NB sounding out and reading words and so forth, but whatever happened to the fun stuff? When I was in kindergarten we were coloring pictures every day. At this time of year we were making construction paper turkeys and hand print turkeys to bring home to our moms. I was so looking forward to NB bringing home a turkey or a Popsicle stick reindeer to hang on the tree or SOMETHING for crying out loud! But all we ever get are worksheets, worksheets, worksheets. Do they even get to do things like that at school anymore? As far as I can tell, no.

I actually think that might be part of the problem with NB's behavior. There doesn't seem to be any time cut out in their day to create anything. She gets to draw on the back of her worksheets if she finishes on time, but other than that they haven't brought home a single art project of any kind. It makes me feel sad and even jipped on her part.

So today, after our nice road trip, and our nice lunch out, just us two; NB and I made a construction paper turkey. I have already started researching any and all holiday art projects I can find for us to do in the afternoons when she is home. I'm hoping that the creative stimulation might help curb her enthusiasm a little at school. I also have ONE more thing I'm going to try with her for behavior, and that's meditation.

I don't mean anything lengthy or structured or anything. Just simple transcendental meditation, which is simply sitting quietly with one's eyes closed for a short amount of time. I am thinking 5 minutes in the morning after waking up and 5 minutes in the evenings before bed. I'm going to do it with her. I think it will help her "practice" being still and calm and quiet, and that it will also teach her to still her constantly turning mind so she can focus better. I am excited to see how this will do with NB and with myself. In the meantime, we are making our own construction paper turkeys and popsicle reindeer.


Aleta said...

You're SO right - we NEED those paper turkeys! You gave me a huge smile, bringing back those fun memories. Art is part of an enjoyable childhood.

I agree with you - schools are more prone to let art go by the wayside. It's all about stern education and not enough about fun. Kids are growing up too quickly and missing out on the joy, which is sad.

I'm glad you did the paper turkey with her - Kudos to you for making those special memories :)

Wiregrass Catholic Mom said...

So sorry for your loss. I will keep you and yours in my prayers - as always.

What happened to school is the tests. There is so much more information to learn and they *need* to know it so much sooner. (Not.) In Opp, k-gardeners no longer have time for naps. All that *fun* stuff happens at head start. K is for real school.

You are not a bad mother because NB has cavities. Some dentists will say there is genetics involved and some will just blame you. We have run the gamut from years of perfect check-ups and a couple with spacers and fillings all over the place. For me, given that we have done pretty similar things about eating and brushing habits for all 7 of them, I'm inclined to think that perhaps not everything was preventable.