Beyond It
Spazzbaby

Off To a Good Start

While waiting to pick Noah up from his first day of camp, another mother cheerfully cooed to Ezra and asked about my sling and lamented that her son would never let her use one, but sighed and said she hoped her next baby will be more accommodating. She patted her stomach, which did indeed look rather pregnant, but you know, I'm not saying a damn word unless I see some damn placenta on the sidewalk. I nodded and admitted I never had much luck getting Noah to sit in a sling either, but raved about what a lifesaver it's been this time around. Look at us! Two moms, hanging outside of summer camp, just like any two moms outside of any summer camp, with none of the shadowy adjectives that were oddly absent from the camp signage. Little Friends In Motion, it said instead. It's not occupational therapy, it's fucking toddler pilates.

We collected our older boys and continued to chat on the way back to our cars. Noah was wailing because he didn't want to leave and (as I would later learn) because his shoes were full of dried beans and sand from the camp's own shoebox obstacle course. Her son couldn't get out of there fast enough and she struggled to keep a grip on him. ADHD, she told me. He spent his entire year at preschool trying to climb the bookcases.

I nodded. Noah spent most of HIS year hiding under the table in the play kitchen, I told her.

Ooh, yeah, she sighed. Makes writing that tuition check EXTRA fucking fun, right? (God, I like her, I thought.) At least you didn't get expelled?

We almost did, I admitted. Or at least his teacher...well, eh. It's complicated. We won't be going back there.

She nodded. Our school threatened to expel us, too.

God, I said.

I know, she said. Whatever happened to...you know...TEACHERS? My kid is not a Christmas cookie. He's still just dough! Work with him, teach him!

Oooh. Good metaphor, I thought. I should steal that one.

Her son made a break for it and she started to waddle after him, but paused long enough to ask me one last question. What preschool did you guys go to?

I told her, practically spitting out the name.

(Bitter? Me? What?)

(Yes.)

She froze and I saw all the color drain from her face. Bu-but that's where we're sending him next fall!  They told us they were experienced with...that they were fully equipped...that...

I didn't know what else to say. So I said that I was sorry.

(Think she'll still want to be my friend? I could bring her some Christmas cookies on Wednesday? With a note that says, "I'm sorry I just blew all your hopes and dreams to hell, but look! Sprinkles!")

Comments

Megan

While she might be thinking "wth do I do now?" at least you gave her a heads up. I mean, what if she had said 'So, we're sending our son to That School. Know anything about it?' and you didn't say anything to her? If it were me, I'd want to get the lowdown from someone who's BT,DT. It would probably mean going to Plan B, but you probably saved her a lot of grief in the long-run.

lisa marie byrd

Oh. God. Oh.oh.god. It's a Good Thing that you told her. Maybe she'll have a better experience, or maybe she won't. Point is - she now knows to be extra vigilant.

Toddler pilates. Wonderful.

drbolte

she'll be incredibly grateful that you told her, that she doesn't have to endure (without prior warning) what you guys did.

even if right now she wishes she hadn't heard it, she'll be really grateful she did.

someday.

(make the christmas cookies. or make some cookies. or just think about making cookies and give yourself credit for the awesomeness of your intentions.)

jodifur

I think it is better she know. And did Noah have a good day? Next time I want to come meet you so we can hang out. Or come here.

Kathi

It is better for her to know. And I think you made a friend!! One with whom you can commiserate--so that's good, right??

Fi

Eek. It's better that you said though. Give her some cookie dough I say and win her over with your super baby Ezra, who I am pretty sure will be able to sign something appropriate for the occasion?

Suzanne

Many times, I feel that we with kids like this are treading new paths, to make life easier for those who follow.

Look at it this way, you've given her some crumbs along the trail, the hint that she needs to be on top of her son's experience.

Ashley Fitting

Oops. But honestly - it really is better that she knows. I mean honestly, especially with the teacher you guys had... *shudder*

Heidi

Look at the bright side: if you'd said the name and she'd said, "My sister works there!" only to find out it was HER sister that was such a screw up with Noah....

Heidi

BTW you could totally make some nice cookies with a note that says, "Here's to dough being made into wonderful cookies"

The Tutugirl

I agree with everyone- its better that she have the heads up now.

Perhaps Noah needs some velcro shoes he can take off himself when there are offensive beans and pebbles? (I totally feel his pain on that one) Or would that just add a whole new level of chaos that makes you dizzy just thinking about it?

Formerly Gracie

Bringing her cookies would be so AWESOME. Do it!

As for the school... don't sweat it. It's better that she knows what a lousy school it is.

Hopefully, it's not too late to find a new one... right???

Starbuck

Eh, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Every kid is different and every experience is different. She might love it. Cookies are always a good idea!

Kristin

Better that she knows now. If I were in her shoes, I'd be thanking you.

And, I love describing it as Toddler Pilates.

dessessopsid

Give her the cookies! Particularly if there are sprinkles!

KarenG

I'm so glad that Noah had such a good first day that he didn't want to leave!

Take the poor pregnant lady cookies because, well, she's pregnant and the metaphor was awesome. And don't feel bad about outing the school - she asked and she's better off knowing ahead of time.

shriek house

Oh man, but I agree, at least she has a chance to try and scramble to find another place.

And um, what is UP with them saying they're experienced and equipped??

Jen

Now you can become best friends, find a better school together, and send both boys there. With cookies!

Hillary

Oh dear! Definitely make the cookies, and look at it as doing your new friend a favor. Her son might do well at the school -- every kid is different, right? -- especially if she goes in armed with knowledge about the teachers and system, knowledge that you give her.

stacey

I think you just saved their butts. Once she has a little time to think, she'll be glad for the warning.

Ms. Huis Herself

It's good that she knows. Her experience might be better, they might have had more ADHD-type kids, different teacher/staff turn-over whatever. At least she knows to keep her eyes on things.

Plus, you have avoided the, "Hey, what do you know about this school?" problem of "oh gosh, how much do I say?" It's out in the open, baby!

(I think out-of-season homemade Xmas cookies would rock. And if she's cool, she'll think you rock, and yay for a mom-friend!)

Corinne

Totally try to make friends though! She sounds awesome and good mom friends are hard to find!

Corinne

Totally try to make friends though! She sounds awesome and good mom friends are hard to find!

Miss Britt

Oh.

Shit.

/best comment ever

Momsmoo

I agree with most of the other commentors -- you had no idea where she was going and you have given her a heads up. But do you know what teacher he will get? Could her son get someone different? Also, as we both know the spectrum is broad and he may flourish there.

But if not - at least she has 3 months to find a new one.

You could still have a friend. And not for nothing, if she can't deal with brutal honesty from you, she wouldn't have been a very good friend in the long run anyways, right?

Momsmoo

oh - and definitely make the cookies. Hello - pregnant, who wouldn't want the cookies!

Sprite's Keeper

Well, now she knows! It's better this way. Just make sure your consolation cookies have sprinkles. EVERYTHING is better with sprinkles.

liz

Definitely with the cookies. And count me in the "it's a good thing" camp re: her knowing about the school.

Christina

Glad day 1 was a success but seriously, making her cookies would be gay and trying way too hard. She's cool, you'll hang together, no need to over sell

Haley

I totally think cookies would be awesome - or just some really good cookie dough. At least she knows what you really think of the school. That way, if you do become friends, she will know you are telling the truth and not sugar coating it. :)

pam

You two seem like kindred spirits.

But the cookies wouldn't hurt ;)

Plano Mom

Always better to be honest. She'll know now go go in there expecting to raise hell.

beth

Oh just bring her the cookie dough that way she can "mold" it and it will save you time :)

Jenny

OH shit. I can imagine being you and being the other woman. SUCKS! You know she got into the car, called the husband and cried, cause that is what I would have done!

Kendra

I'm glad Noah had such a great first day, even if he did come home with stuff in his shoes. And I would be utterly mortified to have accidentally badmouthed the school she had chosen. However, if I were on the receiving end of the comment, I'd be upset and then extremely grateful. I would know that other parents have had bad experiences at this school so if my kid is going to go there, I'm going to have to be extra vigilant. It's frustrating to learn that your supposed "perfect solution" really isn't, but it's better to learn it early from another parent than when your kid has a meltdown.

I love the cookie dough idea. I don't care if it's trying too hard; I always try too hard. (Which is probably pathetic, but there you go.) Think you could find some cookie cutters in the shape of perfect little children?

Karen

If I was that other mom I would have kissed your feet for saving me the agony of learning this school sucks in a few months and then scrambling to find openings after the new year alreay began. At least now, she may be able to take advantage of a waitlist system and find some last minute slot when another family can't pay or moves or something. I'm so glad you told her! Although, my son's school sucked last year too but he has a new teacher there this summer and she is magnificent. Sometimes it is the teacher and not the facility. So glad Noah loves his OT camp...er Toddler pilates. Hopefully it will teach him to find other outlets for his sensory needs and he'll be able to put some of those stim seeking behaviors aside and catch up on the rest! I see a happy Noah and mommy in the future!

Jessi

Hey, at least you gave her a heads up! I would be kissing the ground you walked on if you saved me another year of preschool misery.

Cat

Oh lord, the poor woman. The poor, poor, pregnant, hormonal woman.

michele

You did the right thing, there is nothing else you could have said, but every child is different, just because that was not the right place for Noah doesn't mean that it won't be the right place for her son.

Of course if I were you I would have gone home and obsessed about what school she had her son at last year - because that is the kind of Karma that I have!

Brie

BTW you could totally make some nice cookies with a note that says, "Here's to dough being made into wonderful cookies" -Heidi

Love this! And agree with others who said you probably totally saved her from a lot of grief. It will be okay.

coffeejitters (Judy Haley)

So nice to connect with someone like that. Maybe they'll get lucky and her kid will fit just fine with that preschool. It could happen.

Jeanette

Are you kidding? If I were the other mom I would buy you a bottle of wine and be grateful that you saved my kid from a preschool that is NOT prepared for him while there is still enough time to find somewhere else.

Jacquie

Oh dear. Awkward. But better that she knows ahead of time, it sure did not sound like the teachers at that school shared the administration's positive position on working with kids who were not created from a cookie cutter.

charlotte

Love the cookie idea. Go for it--maybe Noah can even help?

And yeah, if I were the other mom, riddled with hormones and all that, I'd probably be extra scared now (as opposed to just mildly scared otherwise), but also thankful. I think. But then, you never know what pregnancy hormones do to you ...

Jerri Ann

Hi

I have not read the other replies because one of those jackasses that likes to "make an ass" of herself, then go read how wrong she is for even commenting....

but I digress.....ever so slightly....

Ok, I owned a daycare/preschool and the only kid I ever felt I needed to kick out? My own. Both of my kids were complete heathens while I was there. If they knew I was not in the building, the teachers said you couldn't ask for better kids but when I was there.........not happening, they were bad.

The oldest is 6 now and going into first grade. He is "advanced" or whatever and he is "ADHD" or whatever (he was 3 when they tried to diagnose him).

After seeing what my teachers endured at the hands of my own children, I have yet to hear a parent's story and thought, "yep, I would have kicked him out too". Honestly, I just don't see it. I don't know how we've come to that.

If you are in the profession of daycare/preschool (my degree is in education, masters in counseling), then surely you have the components necessary to deal, cope ,help, mold whatever you want to call it, the children that need our help.

So, to you I say, hats off for not strangling someone over a "nearly expelled" How the hell can daycares/preschools condone this unless there is a serious and I mean way more serious than ADHD and/or Autism.

I am not downplaying the level of ability needed to handle a child with either of these problems, realize I have 6 year old here who probably is ADHD but more so he just finished Kindergarten and he tested out as a reader on a 2nd grade 7 month level, he is doing his multiplication tables through 4, he hooked up the un-hooked computer (electrical sockets be damned) and went to pbskids.org all on his own....but the kid wouldn't speak a word of English til about 3 days after we sought help and intervention...meaning as soon as someone said "I suspect he will have problems with attention"..nothing like having to "write that fucking check" only to have the kid bitch slap you the next week.

Ok, I shouldn't have got so emotional...I just want our daycares and preschools to do what they say the can and will do. We sold ours because I felt like my youngest kid needed me at home and I want to enjoy my oldest child's time by doing field trips and volunteering (grinning a big ass grin of pearly whites in my best tennis outfit -gah I am a sicko today)....

Anyway, do what you do, do what you believe and above all remember, you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, you can pick your toes but you can't pick your friend's nose or toes.

Jerri Ann

Wow, imagine that, I didn't make an ass of myself. Yes, I am in the camp of "if I were you I might feel awkward, but if I were her, I'd be kissing your feet, buying fine wines or making cookies for you"

and yea that cookie thing...sounds like you might have met someone almost as creative as yourself....go for it

Sirena

you guys DO seem like kindred spirits! i'll bet she'd rather know than not know. Now, about the use of the word "waddle," not so sure :-)))

die Frau

I agree with the other posters (so why post? because I'm special, as your comment thingy reads) about the cookies and the good idea to the mom on the heads-up. She'll remember that every kid is different and every child is different, but now she's alerted to what it may be like, so you've saved her potential grief. You don't have anything to apologize for; you didn't do anything wrong.

Cookies are ALWAYS a good idea.

die Frau

I agree with the other posters (so why post? because I'm special, as your comment thingy reads) about the cookies and the good idea to the mom on the heads-up. She'll remember that every kid is different and every child is different, but now she's alerted to what it may be like, so you've saved her potential grief. You don't have anything to apologize for; you didn't do anything wrong.

Cookies are ALWAYS a good idea.

die Frau

I agree with the other posters (so why post? because I'm special, as your comment thingy reads) about the cookies and the good idea to the mom on the heads-up. She'll remember that every kid is different and every child is different, but now she's alerted to what it may be like, so you've saved her potential grief. You don't have anything to apologize for; you didn't do anything wrong.

Cookies are ALWAYS a good idea.

die Frau

I agree with the other posters (so why post? because I'm special, as your comment thingy reads) about the cookies and the good idea to the mom on the heads-up. She'll remember that every kid is different and every child is different, but now she's alerted to what it may be like, so you've saved her potential grief. You don't have anything to apologize for; you didn't do anything wrong.

Cookies are ALWAYS a good idea.

die Frau

I agree with the other posters (so why post? because I'm special, as your comment thingy reads) about the cookies and the good idea to the mom on the heads-up. She'll remember that every kid is different and every child is different, but now she's alerted to what it may be like, so you've saved her potential grief. You don't have anything to apologize for; you didn't do anything wrong.

Cookies are ALWAYS a good idea.

die Frau

I agree with the other posters (so why post? because I'm special, as your comment thingy reads) about the cookies and the good idea to the mom on the heads-up. She'll remember that every kid is different and every child is different, but now she's alerted to what it may be like, so you've saved her potential grief. You don't have anything to apologize for; you didn't do anything wrong.

Cookies are ALWAYS a good idea.

Kim

Absolutely on the cookies and she'll be so thankful in the end to know about the school. I would put my number on the card with the cookies so she can ring you if she wants further details.

AmyC65

oh, you painfully and inadvertently did her a big favor. But ouch! all the same. and remember (and remind her) that her son and Noah are different from each other. each with "differences", but not the same differences. So maybe it will work better for her and him. She has some questions to ask now. and maybe you've helped her dodge a bullet.

Parsing Nonsense

Hey, don't feel bad! You may have given her valuable information just in time!

Also? It's been my experience that cookies go over well, regardless of whatever has been said.

Kristy

Maybe today you are her savior.

Or maybe the cookies need chocolate on them. ;)

Wacky Mommy

I do that to parents all the time, yowch. Sometimes they give me grief about it, that I'm being too... something, I don't know.

Talky. "You! Stop communicating!" Yeah, right.

But mostly they come back later and say thanks for the heads-up, you were right.

Rachel

It really hurts that teachers like me are held to such an impossible standard. As moms we are allowed to have terrible days. We can make awful mistakes and do embarrassingly stupid or even selfish things and we get buckets of sympathy. But teachers are either GOD or THE DEVIL with no room for anything in between. Maybe it's because we have all "been there" as moms, but only someone who has never tried to be a teacher to a challenging kid can really sympathize with how superhuman it is to do it well, while also not ignoring the quiet child who is no challenge at all and doesn't demand any attention (but deserves it just as much as the kid having a meltdown multiple times every day). Why is it we can sympathize with how hard that is on a mother like you (and I do, and am so touched by it), but we can't sympathize with how much harder it is on a teacher with a classroom full of kids? Isn't that hypocritical?

The comments to this entry are closed.