Wednesday, February 02, 2011

My wants/needs vs. my daughters' wants/needs

It is so interesting.

Last night I went on my first school tour in the crazy mess of picking a school for Eloise. It was a lovely school. I think I would be very happy to have Eloise there except for a couple of major things: 28 kids to a classroom and ONE teacher (in contrast, Iris's class has 13 kids and two teachers!) and there is art class offered once per week. So, boo on that.

The crazy thing? I really think Eloise would thrive in the program. She is so little, so young, I want her to be timid and quiet and nervous and want to stay glued to me but she so is NOT any of those things. Every single thing about the giant school (it's a K-8 school) makes her eyes grow as big as saucers.

Once I decided I would let my little one go off in to the big, scary world of public school I put my foot down: it would only be half days. I think this is going to be a battle I will lose quickly. I told Eloise I would pick her up and she would come home for lunch, to which she immediately replied "I want to eat lunch at school!" I guarantee the first time I try to get her to leave after half a day it would be a spectacle of kicking and screaming. Apparently half day kids are a true rarity in public schools with full day classrooms, anyways. Sigh. How could she be gone five full days per week? Excuse me while I grab a tissue.

Then there is the matter of Iris. She will be in second grade next year and I am planning on homeschooling her. I am in a really, really tough space with Iris right now. The sort of space where my dreams revolve around dropping her off in the front of the big, scary public school and waving goodbye as I peel away from the curb. The problem here? You know the kicking and screaming scenario I described in getting Eloise to leave school? That would also be me trying to get Iris in to school.

It's hard, though. I see Iris as a more mature kid. Someone who shouldn't need as much coddling. Someone who should have outgrown crying at school drop-off, oh, about 16 months ago.

Iris cries, kisses me a million times, hugs me, the whole nine yards. Eloise often runs away from me at top speed towards the activity happening in her classroom. I usually only get kisses if I snatch her around the waist and force them out of her.

I guess I don't know exactly where I am going with all of this, except to say, it's a struggle to meet the needs our kids actually have. I suppose it could be just as much of a struggle, if not more, to force them to have the needs we want them to! ha ha.


  1. It's so variable, isn't it? I can look at my brother and me for huuuge differences in personality for kids raised by the same parents. We've considered stopping preschool because we can't. get. past. the crying/howling/negotiating at drop-off. I look at all the other kids, happily transitioning from parent time to school time and wonder sometimes why my kid has to be the oddity. But, then, as with Iris, you do feel loved, don't you?

    Good luck figuring out the schooling situation. And, may I say, kudos to you for dreaming up different scenarios for each girl; a lot of parents would strive for consistency above meeting the kids' individual needs.

  2. I agree with Lauren. It is so commendable that you're willing to do out-of-the-home school & in-home schooling both, as your family may need.

    As for the all-day-gone, just a thought: You and Iris could go have school lunch with her. My daughter always loved it when I'd show up at her elementary school to eat with her. Her friends would all rattle away at me.

    I do NOT like being around that many kids and the noise of it, but it made her SO happy it was worth it!

  3. I love how much you are posting, Sybil!

    We have no way of knowing what challenges lie ahead of us when we're holding our new little babies, do we? I feel confident that you & Matt will make the right choices for each of your very different girls. What perfect compliments they are to each other. Love that.

  4. Thanks ladies! Like I said above, it's hard work helping them each find their separate paths, but ultimately, much more easy than forcing them on the same one, or the one *I* want them to be on.

    And Stephanie, yeah, you were inspiring me to post more :)


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