I get an email from my ModVive editor that a story I wrote on beer delivery by drones a month or so ago apparently was found by someone and posted on their Facebook site and Twitter account. That someone? PeeWee freaking Herman.
I kid you not. That email made my day. My week. Yeah, it's not an A-list celebrity or something, but as a kid, I LOVED PeeWee. And it's just cool as hell. I've gone viral.
Driving home today, after picking up a happy and excited Aubrey:
"Aubrey, I'm so happy you love your new big girl school. That makes your Mommy happy."
"I too, Mommy."
That. That says it right there. She's happy, and that's all I care about. No incident reports, no biting or hitting. The kid is napping. She hasn't done that in forever. She is excited to go and so excited to tell us what she did that day. And she's more verbal. So did we make the right decision? You tell me - I haven't seen this little girl so happy in forever.
It's kind of hard keeping up with everything these days. With my new job, I have very little to no down time, and with my new schedule to work around Aubrey's daycare, I either work out or work on writing during lunch. I am still writing for several publications and just now starting to study for the Customs Broker Exam in October. Oh, and the personal life - you know, T...Aubrey....family.....friends...
I can't complain because I am more than blessed. I just feel like I have bitten off way way more than I can chew, and sadly this is not the first time I have written about this on my blog. You think I would have learned by now, right? But my very little free time is being spent doing...well...everything but relaxing. Or just spending time with my family.
I'm trying to figure out what exactly I can cut out, and one of the things I know I have neglected is this blog. I'm not sure if I should put this blog to bed or if I should figure out something, some way to juggle it. I don't know. Regardless, I think I need to do some thinking and some prioritizing and get....well....get my shit together.
But, I am super excited about something that isn't going to happen for six months but it is well over two years in the making. T and I, wait for it, will be getting an entire weekend - kid free! Yes, it is true. We have scheduled a vacation early October, and I could not be more ready for it. If we could do it sooner, we would, but with the new job and everything, it's all strategic with the days off. But it does give us something to look forward to, and honestly, it gives us the time we so desperately need to focus on one huge priority that is all too often being neglected - each other.
I can't stand hypocrisy. One of the things that gets to me the most are people who say "I'm Christian" and "I love Jesus and follow His teachings," but in the next breathe are the last to forgive, the first to judge and the most hypocritical of the bunch. It drives me crazy. And you see it all the time, especially with people on Facebook. You know, the kind who post deep quotes and articles about Jesus and the Christian way but who are individuals who do nothing but hold resentment and hate in their heart? Yeah.
I have an extended family member that does that and did so the other day. The person has a grudge against another family member, a close one, and they haven't spoken in almost 20 years. I'm not sure they even remember why. Neither is getting any younger, and neither is willing to back down. What's the point? You just end up carrying that resentment to the grave. All that does is darken your heart, weigh you down and take a piece of happiness from you.
I'm one of those who have been deeply hurt in the past, just like anyone else. For years I carried resentment towards a few people in my life who wronged me. I couldn't get past the hurt and the pain. And all that did was make me miserable. I felt guilty going to church and saying I was practicing the teachings I received in church when I couldn't even get past my own hurt. Was it valid? Yes. Did that other person hurt me? Yes. But would that change anything about the situation by walking around just carrying that hurt and resentment.
So I decided to just let it go. It was hands down the most liberating feeling I have ever experienced. One of the individuals against whom I carried resentment did hurt me, yes, but we were young. And we have both grown up and changed. And none of that matters. It just doesn't. It was actually once T and I met that I realized how much of my life I was wasting holding resentment against this person.
So I forgave. Did I make this big show of it? Nope. Did I tell the other person? I mean in a way, but not really. Because it doesn't really matter. I am sure the other person forgave me long before I forgave them. And if they haven't - who cares? I'm not responsible for their conscience. You are only responsible for yourself.
And they say that forgiving is easier than forgetting. I agree. You cannot truly ever forget but you can move past that so that the hurt doesn't hold power over you and you realize there are more important things in life than holding onto some grudge. It's not worth. And life is just too short.
If you're going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk. End of story.
Today was Aubrey's first day at her new daycare. I think both T and I were on edge about it all weekend. She's gone to the daycare where she was since she was 8 weeks old. She had friends there....granted, friends she would hit and bite but still, she had friends there. But after talking to T's uncle who is a licensed therapist mainly working with children, we were reassured more than we already were before that we were making the best decision for Aubrey by taking her out of that daycare. My big concern was - what if the same thing happened at this daycare? What happened then? Therapy? (T's uncle didn't seem to think so at all, but that is another post for another day.)
We've had to change up our routine a bit to get her to daycare and get Mommy to work on time. It requires getting up normally when I would work out in the morning but getting ready for work instead (thankfully my building offers a gym for lunch time). The new place is just five minutes down the road and on my way to work, so we both headed there this morning to see her off. And she did just fine. And while she didn't nap during the day, the director said she just sat on her cot and rested, reading some books. No biting, no hitting other kids, no tantrums, nothing.
Now, granted, I understand that not every day will be all rainbows and ponies, but it was a great start. She seemed to have so much fun, and I loved the activities they had the kids do. I also loved that they wrote a positive note about her day on the sheet we took home. When we got home, I asked her "Aubrey, do you want to go back to your big girl school tomorrow?" and emphatically, she nodded her head.
She was happy for the rest of the evening. I read her some books and she kept kissing my arm and hugging me. It's almost like she was thankful. I cannot even remember the last time we picked her up from daycare and she had an incident-free day. It's been months at that!
We made the right decision. Seeing a happier Aubrey this evening just made that clearer and clearer. It seems we found (and eliminated) the problem.
It's done. Today was her last day at the daycare. Monday she'll start a new daycare which, I really really hope, goes well for her. She needs it, especially after today.
Today was hell for all of us, I think. But more so for her.
Aubrey had an incident report the other day where she hurt herself and cut herself during her normal nap time struggles where the teachers have been trying to physically keep her on her cot. I did not think anything of it really because it was innocent enough. But at bath time Aubrey made a statement to me that made me believe that while it was an accident, it occurred in a way that shouldn't have happened. From the mouth of a two year old. I asked her to repeat the statement and she diverted. So I let some time passed and I asked her again, and this time she looked me dead in the eyes, babbled, said the statement, said oops, oops and the statement again. As clear as day.
She's two so I know that I can't put too much into her statement. I doubt what she said actually occurred, but I started thinking. She only does this at daycare. She throws these fits at nap time? How hard are they physically trying to keep her on the cot? Did something accidentally happen in the course of that?
Why has she been acting out? The behavior they describe to us is stuff we don't see. That's not our kid. So why is she acting out so aggressively there? It doesn't make sense. The only conclusion we could come to was that it was something about the daycare, specifically something about nap time. She was scared of something and she was acting out. And we weren't paying attention.
Yes, we told the daycare personnel and it is being looked into, but honestly I don't really want to pursue it too much at this point. I just want to move on for her sake. It's over, we're starting over, that's all that matters.
But my heart still hurts. T picked her up early from daycare today, as she was having an extremely bad day, and he walked in to get her from the director's office, and the image he described to me is just something I can't shake. Aubrey sitting on the floor, shaking and crying, clearly having cried quite a bit, and when he tried to pick her up she shook more and said "no, daddy, no." He said it was like something he had never seen. She was scared of everyone and wanted to be alone, like she didn't trust anyone at all. What the hell happened that day?
As soon as they got to the car, he said she was slowly getting back to her normal self, and by the time I got home from work it was night and day. We're going to stop talking about this in front of her because I just want to move on. I think the more we talk about it in front of her, the more it'll hang over her. She's old enough to perceive it. I don't want that.
But you ever have that feeling in your gut where you just know something isn't right?
Yeah, I can't shake it either.
The other day (the day she was sent home from school), I prayed the rosary on my drive to work as I do every day. In fact, I said two rosaries, praying that things would work out and get better for Aubrey. And then we got that call and I was so upset thinking why didn't God listen? Why can't He make this better?
I think He did. Things are going to get better, but we had to get her out first. So now I just pray that our family can move on and let go of this. It's done and it's time to move on.
I often struggle with the whole "am I doing this right?" thing as a parent. I have my days where I really think I'm not. Lately it has become a serious question.
Aubrey has been acting out at daycare. Honestly she has done this for well...awhile now. I think I can pin point it to pretty much the time they fired her teacher and had no permanent replacement for months. The classroom was out of control, incident reports on a daily basis both her as the aggressor and the "victim" or whatever you'd call it. They hired someone and it seemed to be better but Aubrey still would act out, especially at nap time. She'd scream, kick at whomever would try to put her down. It was awful. This has been going on for some time now. Some days she'd nap. Others she wouldn't. I know I wrote around December about how I thought things were related to me and issues I was having, struggles with my depression and maybe she was picking things up at home. So I fixed that behavior, and things seemed to be better. Then I switched jobs and worried she wouldn't adjust. But she totally did.
But apparently she was still acting out, hitting and pushing other kids and still the huge problems at nap. They put her, at the age of 23 months, on an "action" behavior improvement plan. T and I worked hard with the staff to fix things, and I thought things were getting better but it started a couple weeks ago when the phone calls from the daycare resumed. One Friday afternoon I get a call from the center director saying Aubrey would not lay down, scratched her teacher in the eye, and was saying how out of control things were and this needed to get under control at home. (Funny, this behavior didn't really happen at home), so I quickly left work, talked solutions with the director and we went home.
The director said it was a power struggle. Aubrey was trying to get her way, trying to "win." I can see that with how stubborn her parents are. Honestly I can see that. So we started making more rules and restricting her, not giving into her as much and it was somewhat working, but she was still acting up at school. But see, the teachers were not always being 100% honest about it. They'd gloss over her hitting someone or whatever. We had a behavior journal we passed back and forth and they would write down every single incident that happened. So we knew what was going on, but they would make the incidents seem small so we didn't think it was anything beyond 2 year old behavior. The teachers even said as much. But all we heard from the director was how this is a problem, we need to fix it, and if we don't she'll develop issues like high blood pressure, drugs....and she recommended we make HUGE deals when she acts out, talk about it in front of her in front of other people, and make her feel really badly about it.
However, after that phone call, I struggled. I think I beat myself up the entire ride down there about how we were failing as parents, how we had the problem child and couldn't control her. The way we were being talked to you'd think Aubrey was hands down the worst kid at that center. Seriously. So I started calling in daily to check on her. I was worrying constantly at work. It just wasn't healthy.
Last Friday T goes to pick Aubrey up and both he and Aubrey get called into the director's office where the director discusses issues at nap time that day (which by the way the teacher said the day was pretty good for the most part). Patronizing, talking to Aubrey about how bad she was during nap. This Monday Aubrey was even - get this - brought to the director's office herself and talked to because of a tantrum (fit) she threw at nap. Can you imagine a 2 year old being brought into the Principal's office? How do you even reason with a 2 year old?
Today I get a call from T that after 20 minutes of being there she was being sent home after hitting the teacher twice and throwing a toy at a friend's head while the parent was there. Yeah....not good. Not good at all. So T got her, and I went home as well because we needed to figure this out. The decision was kind of made for us as she has now been put on a stricter action plan at school. Any incident of hitting or aggression and T gets called and has to take her home.
So we have put her in a new daycare, something we have been thinking about doing since this all began, but we did not want to move her around. She seemed to like it there. She had friends and she liked the staff. But something was off. There was some reason why she was acting out there. I should have listened to my gut back before it got out of hand, but now I just feel awful, like I let down my kid. Maybe she was trying to tell us something? She is too young to be verbal so it is not like she can say what she is feeling. Her own pediatrician suggested it to us awhile back after we took her in with the first action plan. She refused to look at the plan because she thought the whole thing was way too much for a 2 year old. I should have listened.
She starts a new daycare on Monday. We gave our notice and the director said that the action plan is still in place, that if she does any aggressive behavior she has to go home. Um....yeah, that isn't going to happen. We're lucky we were able to get off today, let alone two more days. Deal with her for just two more days, people, just two more days.
The thing is, she was just fine today. Just fine. We punished her with "no TV" for the entire day, which has become a very effective punishment. She wasn't happy. But no fits, no hitting, she played on her own, and really she had a good day.
I don't know. I can't put my finger on it but something just doesn't seem right. And it has to do with my kid, and that is absolutely killing me.