Mere minutes after I published the fluff that masqueraded as a post yesterday, I got an email from Olivia’s teacher.
She’d (Olivia, not her teacher) had a potty accident at school yesterday. The first of the year. Her teacher asked that we discuss the classroom restroom policy with her. The policy is very lenient. If the kids have to use the bathroom, they don’t have to ask to do so. There is a bathroom attached to the classroom and they can go whenever they need to.
Her teacher also asked that we talk to Olivia about telling a teacher if she does have an accident since yesterday, O stood around in wet shorts for some time before a teacher discovered it. Yikes. And ewwww.
There was a worksheet in her folder last night that Olivia had done at school that day. There was a note from her teacher at the bottom of the page. It read, “I worked one on one with Olivia on the back of this sheet. She did really well at not adding ‘extras’ to the sheet when reminded often of the task at hand.”
It only took four weeks of school for them to learn what I’ve been saying all along. Olivia needs constant reminders of the task at hand. If she doesn’t have those reminders, her mind wanders and her crayon goes crazy on the paper. She can do the work, but she needs someone on hand to keep her on task. I realize how frustrating that must be to her teachers. Hell, I’m her mother, I love this child more than anything in the world (other than her sister, whom I love equally, though perhaps differently) and I get frustrated with her.
This morning, after reminding O yet again that she can go potty any old time she wants, Tom was trying to get her to eat her breakfast. I packed lunches while he cajoled, threatened, pleaded and spooned food into Olivia’s mouth.
When they were almost done, I said to no one in particular, “I think poor Dad had the worst job in the house this morning.”
He muttered, “I’d rather pack the lunches.”
Ha! I am not trading jobs, dude.
Alyssa had no sympathy. “I pack my lunch AND eat my breakfast. You just have to make Olivia eat her breakfast.”
He wants her to eat because we know she probably won’t eat her lunch and so we want her to have as much nutrition and calories first thing in the morning as possible just to get her through the day.
Around noon today when I got back to my desk, there was another ‘Note from Kindergarten’ email message waiting for me.
Another potty accident. Again, she didn’t tell the teacher when it happened. This was discovered right before lunch so her lunch time was shortened because she needed to be cleaned up and changed.
I wonder if this is a control thing. I mean, I think the potty issue and the eating are things Olivia can control and the rest of her life is pretty much dictated to her. When to sleep, when to write her name, what to wear, when to bathe, when she can go to recess, when she is supposed to work on writing her numbers. Her entire life is scheduled for her.
I need to figure this out for her, though because while yes, having potty accidents and not eating her lunch is getting her all kinds of attention, it’s not good attention.
I still read three books to this child every single night. I sit with her hand Alyssa while they eat their dinner, talking to them, asking about their day. I wait with them at the bus stop, discussing their day, asking how they slept.
I help O brush her hair and teeth each morning. I rub her back as she falls asleep each night. I do not know how I can give her more attention than she already gets.
What do I do? How do I get through to her that this is not okay? I don’t want to punish her for something I’m not sure she’s doing on purpose (though she did not have a potty accident at all this past summer, not even one, so…she has complete bladder and bowel control…it makes me wonder.) I just want to figure her out so I can help her and make whatever is stressing her better.
I know this a universal wish among most if not all parents out there. We want to make life easier for our littles. We want to take some of the challenges and smooth the edges. I know we can’t always do this but I have to try.
I have to.