Tag Archives: kindergarten

Hello, insecurities

As Lane has ventured her way through kindergarten, we’ve had to deal with a handful of social issues that have come up.  None particularly crisis-inducing, but just that stuff that happens with a bunch of kids together in a room.  She got in a fight with her best friend and they weren’t talking for a couple days.  One girl, who she’d never been particularly friendly with but is the only other kid from her class on her bus, made a point to tell her that they were *not* friends and Lane wasn’t sure what to do with it.

And as we muddled through these various little things, I felt all those school-age insecurities get dredged up.  I went through elementary school as, I shall say it, one of the most popular girls.  Until about fourth grade (it seemed in my world) being smart and active and friendly and nice were enough that most girls were friendly to me, and I had a plethora of friends.  Then I hit about seventh grade, and being smart and friendly and nice became the assets that made me a target for the more queen-bee-ish of the friends I’d accumulated.  No time in school was particularly harsh, and I was thankfully wise about judging about who my real friends were.  Getting involved in sports helped a lot, too; I and the other athlete-girl-types mostly were straightforward and avoided the general social pettiness in which the rest of the girl population wallowed/thrived. 

To help better understand the dynamics of the stuff Lane would be faced with, but that I never seemed to understand in school, I read Queen Bees and Wannabes not too long ago, which was incredibly insightful.  I borrowed it from the library but I know it’s a book I’ll want to own a copy of.  Happy to say, while I spent a bit of time as a Target/Torn Bystander type while I was learning to navigate the social circles of junior high, I pretty much evolved into a Floater in the Queen Bee/Wannabe vernacular… comfortable in a number of different groups, confident, keeping myself above the fray, etc.  Turns out I did pretty good for myself after all.  I had always thought of myself as more of the victim, and conflict with other girls — especially those super-cliquey, power-hungry types — would give me a cold sweat just thinking about the possibility. The truth is (which I realized while reading the book) was that I handled them well.  No one ever got a second chance to be entrusted enough to be mean to me.  I think my true test of social endurance and personal fortitude happened in ninth grade.  A true queen bee, this mean, wicked, power-hungry girl who I shall call Samantha found out that a junior football player stud-type (who I shall call George) liked me.  (George didn’t like me in a “wow, you’re amazing and smart and I want to get to know you better!” kind of way, he liked me in a “Wow, you wore leggings the other day and you looked hot and I want to stick my penis in you really bad!” kind of way, so while it was, honestly, a bit of an ego boost to be noticed that way, I was decidedly not responsive to his interest in me.)  However, I didn’t make it widely known that I wasn’t interested, I just sort of shrugged it off.  George, however, did make it pretty widely known that he wanted into my panties.  This was incredibly threatening to Samantha, as George was her well-known target of lust and affection and I assume she had been-there-done-that with him, or had publicly aspired to do so.  Therefore, George’s attention paid in my direction seriously undercut her power accumulation and I was a very serious threat, without doing anything at all.  There were confrontations, and rumors spread, and other lovely things, and I distinctly remember being amused by it and feeling above it.  I shrugged it off, I laughed with my friends about it, and when George (with much fanfare, and for some reason everyone knowing he was going to do it) invited me to be his date to a party, I turned him down privately, though I’m pretty sure Samantha never found out I’d said no until she got to the party and he was there without me – I only told a couple close friends I’d said no, and certainly George didn’t go bragging about it.  It was a fun few days of watching her struggle so strongly to try to tear me down for her own ego.  It was an episode I’d never reflected on an awful lot until I’d read the book, and realized how much more power this girl could have had over me if I’d let her.

But I see the uncertainty and the insecurities I felt rear their ugly head as I am starting to help Lane navigate these new waters.  I’ve also caught myself assuming she might be more apt to be a target/victim than an instigator/manipulator.  I really don’t know why I would make that assumption — can a mom with absolutely no tendencies toward manipulative, power-seeking, queen bee type behavior have a daughter who becomes that stereotypical “mean girl”?  Sure, why not.  I honestly don’t see it in our case, but weirder things have happened… so as I’ve started to give her bits of insight into her own actions and those of others, I’ve started to take into account that she could shape up to be a victim, or a perpetrator… but ideally, neither. 

Luckily she  has at least a couple more years before the girl-cattiness starts showing up in significant amounts.  I hope I can guide her to realize being above the fray is way better than trying to win at it, and the best friends she’ll find are the ones who feel the same.

Ketchup

I’m getting really bad at this, aren’t I?

Anyway, here are my general goings-on:

My photography business is going well.  My last two jobs – a sweet sixteen party and a portrait session with five kids under five – both mentioned wanting me to work for them again in the future.  That makes me so happy, that these people are happy enough with my work (and with me) that they want to give me more of their money to have fun taking pictures.  I can dig it!  I have a wedding to photograph tomorrow, which should be fun and is in a lovely location.  It’s just a touch less pressure because the couple actually is already married – they tied the knot about a month ago for technical reasons.  So tomorrow’s just for fun and show for their friends and family.  The bride and groom are both older, and most of his family won’t be there (he’s from very very far away) so the posed formals of the whole thing (by far my least favorite part of weddings) will be very low-key and relaxed and focused mostly on the bride and groom.  The only thing I’m really not looking forward to is that I’m sick right now.  Not crazy feverish or anything, but feeling kinda stuffy and with a tickly throat and feeling very, very run down.  I foresee fueling myself with cold medicine and coffee tomorrow.

Lane’s doing really well in kindergarten.  We had our first parent-teacher conference and we heard how her skills are all really far along, and (more importantly to me) that she is a real pleasure to have in class.  I can officially say she’s reading.  We laid all the building blocks for her, and something about school just helped her put it all together and she can read straight through some of the simpler Dr. Seuss books now.  She’s started taking *very* informal piano lessons and likes them. 

Jake is just such a boy now.  He was watching Little Bear on Noggin today and just laughing in a very amused way at very appropriate parts and it just struck me that he’s a kid now.  Not my baby anymore!  Though I wish someone would tell that to him when he insists on nursing.  I still mostly don’t mind but where Lane was more laid-back about scaling back or shortening sessions, Jake will have none of it.  Oh well, he’s only little like this once.

Frank and I are talking about another baby.  Gluttons for punishment, no?  😀  It’s funny though… for a long time I’d bring up the subject and he was very noncommittal about talking about a baby.  Very recently though, something’s changed.  He’s more into it now.  I wish he’d be more forthcoming with his affirmation, rather than me having to infer it from his intense concern that I get the H1N1 vaccine in case I get pregnant.  Though it may be a while in coming, as I and my (new, feels like a great fit!) midwife are both pretty sure I’m not ovulating, and we’re trying to figure out why through myriad tests, including an ultrasound of my lady parts that I have to schedule.

Frank, in actuarial matters, took one of the FSA exams a couple weeks ago, and he’ll find out if he passed in January.  In the meantime, he got ahold of the syllabus for the other FSA exam and he’s started studying for that one.  Each of the FSA exams is only offered once a year, but not at the same time.  So the first one was offered in October, and the other one will be offered end of April.  So… you either focus on one and only take an exam once a year (and have to wait a whole year if you don’t pass the first time) or you split your focus on both of them so you’re always working toward an exam that isn’t more than a few months away.  Not to say Frank’s definitely chosen one approach over the other, he’s just in limbo right now, not knowing if he passed, with an exam coming up in April.  So I think he’s optimistically going to start studying for that one, hoping he passed the exam he just took.  If he finds out he failed the exam, I imagine he’ll switch back to studying for that one.  I know this seems a sort of weird subject to dedicate a big ol’ blog paragraph towards, but our lives sort of revolve around exams and the time Frank needs to study for them.  Plans are put on hold in favor of studying.  Our friends have largely forgotten what we look like.  However, we ARE taking two vactions in the next few months!  In addition to the week we’ll spend in Buffalo for the holidays, we are going to Disney world in mid-February, and Aruba in April.   I kind of hope I can make those trips pregnant.  🙂

Cautionary tale

This feels like my life the last few days.  First the unfortunate bologna consumption.  Then today I, like an idiot, touched the flue for my hot water heater.  Those suckers get HOT.  I now have nice 2nd degree burns on the middle and ring finger of my left hand.  Right on the pads of my finger tips.  What was I thinking?  Apparently, not “Hey, I bet this thing is frickin’ hot.”

Lane witnessed the injury.  My reaction to burning my two fingers on a hot flue pipe is, for reasons that are still not entirely clear, is to jump straight up into the air about two feet.  As I fumbled to get my fingers to cold water, Lane called after me, “Mommy, why did you jump SO HIGH like that?  Wow!”

So now I’m a bit disabled.  Ugh.

On a cute note, Lane and I were in the car yesterday… well, Jake was there too but he doesn’t participate in conversations much yet.  She was talking about the random things that enter a four year-old’s mind when she mentioned how she and Elias (our next door neighbor who is also four) would ride the school bus together next year to the flower garden.  “The flower garden?” I ask.  “Yeah,” she says, “the flower garden at our new school.”  It took a second for my brain to process and then I realized she meant kindergarten.