Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Summer Camp ain’t a good place for Anxiety

It’s been busy here in my Unseen world.  My kids have been attending summer camp through the local YMCA. They offer lots of different sports camps, science camps, art camps, etc.  Lots of fun, right?  Hmm.

The last two weeks the kids did science camp and had a good time (both said so).  That’s great, esp. for my son who has tons of anxiety and is very introverted – at least until he warms up to you. 🙂  This week my kids had signed up for Archery Camp (my son) and a Junior Chefs/Cooking Camp (my daughter).  The cooking camp is at the downtown Y location, near my office, while the archery camp is at another Y facility that the kids have both been attending the past couple of weeks.  So, there is some juggling around to do this week, but it isn’t too bad.

Robbie’s been looking forward to archery since we signed up for all the camp choices back in MARCH.  He’s been so excited, so I was hoping that yesterday, his first day, was fun and rewarding for him.

Well.  He’d had a decent day yesterday EXCEPT for the actual archery part.  Why?

He was mad/upset that he’d “lost an arrow” during his turn.  I asked what he meant – thinking it may have flown into the woods or something – ut what he meant was he’d lost one of his three arrows as a punishment.  He confessed that he’d shoved a kid who had been repeatedly poking him in the back.  He said he’d asked the kid to leave him alone, first, and when that didn’t happen, Robbie told me he’d then tried to just ignore the kid but that hadn’t worked, either.  So then he shoved him.  *Sigh!*

They were both penalized one arrow from their turn to shoot at the targets (each turn is 3 arrows, it seems).  Robbie then told me he’d been so bothered about it that he’d just sat out the rest of archery time!  ALL of it!

I was very annoyed that the counselors hadn’t stopped the kid.

So then today at drop-off, the archery instructor, an older man, was there and he asked Robbie if he was in a better mood today.  Robbie hung his head.  I was immediately annoyed, because there are ways to ask a kid about his mood and that’s NOT one of them, and more so when the man proceeded to tell me that Robbie had “slugged a kid” yesterday. I replied that it was because the kid had been bothering Robbie when it was his turn, and he’d only pushed him after he’d tried telling him to stop and ignoring him.  The instructor said, “Nope, when they are up for their turn no one does any moving around.  The kid was just trying to ask Robert his name.”

By that point I was mentally even more ticked off, because there is no way to have a real conversation at morning drop-off  (too hectic) and it was obvious, to me, that there still should have been some adult intervention yesterday.  Perhaps Robbie was trying to hear/listen to what the archery instructor was saying, for example.  I agree that he shouldn’t have hit the kid, but he didn’t have to put up with being annoyed, either!

I gave Robbie a hug and whispered to him that it’s okay to be friendly, and to see if he could have a better day today, and he went on his way.

Then I found that he’d forgotten his water bottle in the car when I got to work.  It’s been super-hot, so I went back to camp to make sure he got his water, and tried to talk about it with the female counselor on duty, but she was packing up to head off for the day’s activities and she wasn’t that approachable – not rude, but stand-offish and not engaging.  I understand she was on a schedule, but more than a single syllable or two would have been good.  I wasn’t really impressed.

Most of that is probably my own anxiety kicking in by that point.  I want to be a good mom, I want to help my son, I want him to be able to help himself, I don’t want him to be bullied but I don’t want him to be punished for trying to stand up for himself…

I just… overall I felt a ton of embarrassment and anxiety FOR Robert, and I felt anxiety on my part because I wanted to defend him, and get to the bottom of what had happened, and I wanted to tell them all to pay more attention and to keep their hands to themselves.  And yes, I know the counselors have a lot of kids to watch and can’t be on everyone’s case every minute.

Robbie’s been looking forward to archery all summer, and now I am afraid because of the way he is re: anxiety and so forth, it has possibly been ruined for him.   He’s mostly done it to himself inside his own head (and I know this, as I probably would react in a similar way), but dang it, isn’t camp supposed to be a fun time?

I’m an introverted, anxiety-ridden person too.  And you know what? I freaking hate camp.

— End of brain spillage —!

Tired of Depression – so there!

Okay, today, I’m going to think positive!  🙂

I’m positive my family loves me.

I’m positive I have friends.

I’m positive I’m smart and have a great sense of humor.

I’m positive that I will publish a book this year.

I’m positive that tomorrow is the first day of spring, snowstorms be damned!  🙂

That kid of mine…

this morning, I was helping Robbie with his shoes and socks. I was in a hurry because we had to leave. He had his legs sticking straight up in the air and was wiggling them back and forth, so I said, “Pretend your legs are trees: nice, straight, tall and still.”

“Okay, Mumma!” he said with a grin. He stayed still for about 2 seconds, and then shouted, “Wind! Tornado! HURRICANE!” He then proceeded to thrash his legs and feet around wildly.

Cue hopeless laughter from frazzled mom. 🙂

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I Love GameStop!

I AM GEEKING OUT.  I just traded in the kids’ now-unused  DSi systems and 59 games at GameStop. With our membership discount card, plus their special double credit for systems, and a bonus 30% for trading in more than 7 games, we ended up with enough to completely cover the cost of an iPad2, with almost $60 left over.  W00T!

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Outside the Box Homework Answers

So, as all kids do practically every day, Harriet and Robbie bringg home graded homework papers. They generally get scores in the high 90s to 100.  Very good grades, these kids.

Today, Robbie’s graded math homework was scored 97 – just one problem with a wrong answer.

Except, it wasn’t wrong.

The problem was to read two different clock faces and fill in the blanks.  “Eric goes to work at _____. He comes home at _____. Eric worked _____ hours.”  The two clock faces said 4:00 and 7:00, which Robbie got correct. 

Robbie then said that Eric worked 15 hours.  That part was marked wrong. Apparently Teacher was looking for an answer of 3 hours.

“But,” Robbie said to me, “if Eric went to work at 4am and came home at 7pm, that’s 15 hours.”

He is absolutely right.  These are ‘traditional’ clock faces, not digital.  There is no indication of a.m. or p.m. Robbie’s answer was just as correct as “3” was.

I remember this worksheet and making a mental note to see how his answer of 15 would go over.  Exactly what I thought would happen, happened.

I am meeting w/Teacher tomorrow after school.  I’m taking this sheet as an example of my Outside the Box son’s way of thinking.

I am not angry. Please don’t think I will be yelling and screaming.  I simply want to bring it to Teacher’s attention that Robbie marches to a different drum much of the time.

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Anxiety and Parenting the Anxious Child

I am a total mental ball of anxiety right now b/c Robbie’s teacher left a msg on home answering machine that he has been having daily crying meltdowns, sometimes 2 – 3 a day, some lasting close to an hour.  He apparently doesn’t like working in groups. “It’s becoming disruptive.”   “Please let’s talk.” 

YES! Let’s! I haven’t been told about any of this before and school’s been in session for a month now?!

Shades of his anxiety-ridden, tear-filled kindergarten year are swarming around me. He hates group work? SO DO I!
He worries about being wrong?  SO DO I!

His teacher is probably a v. nice and concerned person. I met her briefly and i had that impression. It does not help me NOT be freaking out.

Gee. I wonder where my son gets it from.

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Words of Wisdom

Me: “Wow, my head aches.”

Eight-year-old Robbie: “Well, stop thinking about so many things, Mumma!”

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