Thursday, January 24, 2008

Who is this child?

Recently, I picked Sweet Pea up from After School. And as always, I asked one of the teachers, "How was her day?"

"Oh, great." She replied. And after a short pause she added, "She always has a great day. I don't think she is the type of person who could have a bad day." So naturally I turn to look over my shoulder to see who she might be talking to. Surely she was not taking to me, about MY child. And yet, she was. I guess my look said it all, because she then said something like, "Oh I know, some times they save it all for home." Oh, you have no idea. If only she had seen this very same child, only moments later as we got in the car, freakin' flip out on me because I had forgotten to bring her a snack . And lord knows the FIVE minute drive home was more than any child should have to endure without a snack.

I have always know this about Sweet Pea but it still never ceases to amaze me. She is a totally different child at home then at school - behaviorally. We got her first "progress report" from kindergarten. And as always, at school, follows directions, first one to clean up, great at transitions from one activity to next. I'm thrilled she does such a great job at school. But why can I not have that same child at home?

I know...they come home, their tired from being "good" all days and they just can't keep it together for us. And sometimes I see glimpses of that child. Like when she decides she will do the dishes tonight. Or, when she tries to help her brother when he is mid-tantrum and doesn't want to get dressed. She will negotiate with him, get his clothes and helps him get dressed, all at her own initiative. I know she is a good kid. This is why it so frustrating to not see more of what, I know, she is capable of.
I feel like I don't know that "easy going" child everyone tells me about.

People also say, "its great she's so comfortable at home that she can fall apart when she needs to." I guess so. But sometime "fall apart" is an understatement. She can be down right mean and nasty.

But she's a perfectionist; spending much of her day, trying to be perfect in so may different ways. And while we know perfection is impossible, she's hasn't quite figured that out yet. Which I guess in a nut shell explains the meltdowns. It's hard work trying to be perfect. I just wish she weren't so hard on herself, or us!

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