Thursday, September 24, 2009

Perfect Timing.....

I had the great pleasure of attending a talk that Ann Douglas, renowned author, parenting guru and really wonderful gal gave last night titled "The Dirt on Discipline and Other Secrets of Successful Parenting' ..... It could not have come at a better time.

This was Abby's first week of JK - up to this point she had only attended twice - once to meet her teacher and then one full day last week .. they call this staggered start - I mean, I can't understand why her teacher wouldn't want to be bombarded with 20-some 'Abby's' all at once???!! So this week life as I now know it started .. Monday, Wednesday and alternating Friday's I pack her lunch and the twinnies and I walk her to and pick her up from school. I suppose I should say that I will be having Wednesday's 'to myself' .. ahh, I love the sound of that....

I mean, how sad for me that I will have a day to myself that I can go to Starbucks alone and not have to struggle to open the door myself to 'just' get my Stroller through, holding Abby's hand - while everyone else just sits there blissfully ignoring me and my struggles... maybe browse the shoppes, run some errands ... or sit in my creative area (that would be the scrapbook room in my basement...) and perhaps the best of all - - do nothing! Because this is the day that Brent takes Ashlan and Reid to Kimmies (who I am eternally grateful for - she is THE BEST day care lady on the planet.... 'day care lady' does not do her justice..she is an extension of our family...) and Abby is in school all day ... life is good on Wednesday's!!

Well it was until the bell rang at 3:30pm yesterday and there I stood with a smile on my face waiting for my happy, wonderful, {{good}} Abby to come bounding out to tell me all about her day!! Yes... there I stood .. waiting ... waiting... still waiting ... all the other smiling kids came bouncing out to their smiling parents ... then appeared Abby .. and Mrs. F ... waving me over ... 'Great!' I thought - she wants to tell me how awesome Abby is and what a pleasure she is to have in class!! right? - I mean, this is ABBY we are talking about .. had this been Ashlan's first day of JK .. well ... hmmm .. I think I might have some one else do the picking up!! Up the steps I go - smiling - because this is ABBY we are talking about! To hear 'Mrs K .. we've had a few issues with Abby today.........' - Issues? No, not with MY Abby! 'issues? really? what kind of issues?' .. 'well she had a few (A FEW??!) time out's today because she was pushing other children in the dress up area' .... okay - I will give you all a minute to clean your monitor's off as I am sure you've spit out what it was you were drinking....

I can say that before this moment I can't remember a time that I have ever been as mortified .. then I was right then. There have been very few times in my life that I have been speechless (yes, hard to believe - me, speechless....) but there I stood, tears welling up in my eyes - and feeling a thousand eyes on the back of my head (all the other parents with their perfect, happy {{good}} children trying not to listen but silently thanking god it was me and not them no doubt!...) staring at me ... 'pushing??? Abby?? oh....umm..ok... well no not okay..butyouknowwhatimean...stumbling out of my mouth .. I will ..umm .. talk to her ... '

Mrs F is a really great person ... I've been fortunate enough to have several people from different areas in my life speak very highly of her - so when she said to me 'I found that telling Abby if she can't play nice she will not be able to play in the dress up area worked..her face fell and her lips let's hope she had the last of her time outs now that we found her soft spot........' yes.. her soft spot ... like my heart that is now in my stomach... thinking 'great, this is a great, fantastic, superb! start to the year.....'

With reassurances that I would in fact reiterate that this type of behaviour is not acceptable, I turned, put a smile on and faced the sea of judging faces ...

The walk home which really isn't that far - seemed like we were walking uphill - in bare feet or worse high heel shoes, me on the verge of tears. Abby happily running ahead with her little friend, me walking beside mine - I was glad to have her say to me 'well..don't sweat it, she is used to ruling the roost at home, so now she just needs to establish pecking order at school' .... Right .. makes sense .. except for the fact that this is MY ABBY!!!

I began to 'tweet' with Ann on Twitter about 2 months ago - and find all she has to say very funny as well as informative - so when Brent told me about an article in yesterday's Spectator about her being in Dundas giving a talk at the Ontario Early Year's Center, I jumped at the chance to go!!! Imagine - this was before my dreadful 3:30pm bomb went off.... walking home my thoughts all over the place, thinking 'god help me .. oh wait - ANN help me!!!.....'

"The Dirt on Discipline and Other Secrets of Successful Parenting" .. a lot of words that translate into: how to get your happy, wonderful {{good}} Abby back again! Her talk was filled with lots of really great, practical, common-sense tips and techniques...and best of all, listening to her share her life experiences - and those of a room filled with about 100 other parents of perfect children like my Abby, I know that life as I know it - is just about to get a whole lot better.... Right?


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