As you all know we have been home ed for a while.
Some of the reason for that were the cuts and bruises that Eldest used to come home with, some of the reason was that Eldest was throwing herself into piles of boxes, not listening and being ‘obstructive’ according to the teachers.
With no cooperation from them on moving forward I pulled her out. She was being hurt by other children and she was hurting them.
After that she seemed to calm down, it was fine. She dug in with education – reading, writing, maths and other fun stuff. It didn’t last for long. She’s always been a little naughty…
In public she took to ignoring me, talking to anyone she felt like. Perhaps she needs more social interaction I thought, more people. So she went to art classes, football schools and kick boxing. Same people every week – just like everyone suggested. In kick boxing she refused to listen and instead did what she liked. Then when taking part in an activity she displayed strange behaviours – such that I can’t even describe. At football, during activities she would stick with one. Just one and repeat it for the whole session.
Art classes are where I died a little inside. When given time to draw freely – she couldn’t. She couldn’t just draw without having instructions.
Each teacher had a comment to make about her listening skills, her behaviour, her fixations. I came away red faced and sweaty at my appalling parenting.
You start to feel like a failure. You start to feel like no matter how hard you try that it doesn’t matter. You start to feel like hiding your child away.
I didn’t, not because I didn’t want to but because I have cried for hours after horrible emotional outbursts, because I have to keep her window locked because she tried to jump out of it after I asked her to tidy up, because on a good day, on that day, she is great. Every day I hope for that day.
I watch her struggle with emotions, her own and other peoples. If she tells me she hates me and wants to leave and I tell her I’m upset – she doesn’t understand why. She doesn’t get it. When she pulled her shelves out of the wall (the day they went up by hanging off them) and I told her no DVD time for a week she asked me ‘why?’. She lives her life in a series of unrelated events. I have to live that with her.
She goes to Brownie’s now. Brown Owl is very good with her. I arrive early sometimes and I see the other girls sitting, colouring in, making their parents lovely cards and I see her red faced, out of puff and loud in the background. For a moment, less than a second I wonder what that must be like. To peak in and see your child sitting contentedly making you a card. She tries to include the other girls but they don’t want to play with her, they don’t want to do what she is doing.
I’m not jealous, I don’t want to swap, I just wonder what it’d be like.
I left the room once to put the kettle on and she put Mojo in a box and tried to shake it. I was gone for about 30 seconds. I ran back in hearing the distressed high-pitched screams from a toddler. I don’t trust her anymore.
You might think she sounds very naughty, she is pushing boundaries but the utter cluelessness on her face implies otherwise.
I fear for other children when she is around. I worry what unsuitable things she might say in public. I worry that one day she will know that I find her the most difficult part of my life.
I spoke to the Health Visitor today and I hadn’t managed to get through a full description of the behaviour and she raised her hand a little, and just said ‘She needs to be seen, now’.
Before I began the description I asked Eldest to play in her room for moment, within seconds she was screaming, barking and jumping. I didn’t want her to hear how difficult I find her, how I really feel and how close to edge I really feel.
I’m ashamed to say that I nearly cried when the Health Visitor said she could help.
We have a holiday coming up. It isn’t a holiday. It’s an exercise in how many times I will need to tell her to calm down, to stop it, to stop shouting, to be careful of the other kids. You might think that I am too harsh, you might think that maybe, just maybe I am too strict.
The truth is I wish I could be strict with her, but I don’t have any control over her or the situation right now.
I feel lost, I feel alone and I feel a little bit broken.