I wrote this post during the tail end of December and have kept it in draft ever since, not sure whether I wanted to post it or not.
Things are infinitely better now and we’re smiling again. But this blog was always a diary of our lives and I never want to pretend everything in the garden is rosy when it’s absolutely not.
So today I’m posting it. And reading it with a wry smile, because we have moved on and my girl has a big smile on her face again.
Circumstances have meant she has moved school midway through Year 3, not because of the below but it was definitely a contributing factor.
And this photo I snapped on my phone as we left for her first day makes my heart swell.
Dec 10, 2013
I’ve sat and wept tonight. Sobbed. Big fat self-pitying tears.
I wrote this post, then I deleted it. Then I started again. Then I left it in draft for a couple of hours.
It’s one of those things I don’t want to talk about; pretend it’s not as bad as I initially thought. Told myself it would go away.
It hasn’t gone away.
Mia is going through a horrible time at school.
Girl stuff. The usual ‘you can’t play with us because . . . ‘ or the whispering a secret to everyone except Mia and then all giggling at her.
But because she is used to hanging around with her older brother and his friends she just doesn’t understand it.
“Why do they behave like that? They’re supposed to be my friends; I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong . . . I’ve tried talking to them about it but they just pull a face and carry on doing it.”
And here’s the killer.
“I hate going to school and having to go through that. There are days when I have no one to play with.”
Stab to my heart.
“I’ve tried all the things you’ve taught me mum. I’ve really tried, but you don’t understand what it’s like. It’s horrible. I hate it.”
Stabby stab stab.
The thing is Mia is 8. Sure I remember going through something very similar at school with girls who wanted to be top dog and ‘rule’ the playground, but I’m pretty sure that was in secondary school. Not when I was 8. Eight is just too young to deal with having to make a stand against someone being mean and turning everyone else against you.
Mia and I talk. A lot. She tells me how it makes her feel and I try to counsel in how to handle it and move forward. And she loves that I’ll listen to every in and out of the story as clearly she never gets to vent at school when the dinner ladies only catch the tail end of an incident and brush it off with a casual eye roll.
But my girl is coming home from school sobbing her heart out. Tears of frustration mainly I think, but tears nonetheless. It’s really not like her.
And as her mother all I want to do is reach right into that playground and sort it out myself. Ask the other girl’s mother if she even knows what her daughter is doing; the upset she’s causing; the influence she’s exerting on other girls.
But I don’t because I don’t know the other mother that well at all and well, I only really have one side of the story don’t I? And I keep telling myself it’s just the playground, it’s something everyone has to learn to deal with because, let’s face it, life is going to be WAY tougher once you’re out in it.
I’ve spoken to her teacher and she’s dealt with it brilliantly. But it’s not going away. And I can see her spark dimming right before my eyes.
Then this week the killer blow. A little note under my pillow as I get in to bed penned by Mia:
‘Mummy I hate it at school. Please help me’.
Please help me . . . This parenting lark, eh? Bloody tough.
I know I’m not really failing her, but it bloody feels like it at the time.