Thursday, October 14, 2010

Random Ramblings

It's been quite the week and I have had very little down time from the moment I open my eyes to the moment I fall into a coma like sleep at the end of the day.

Monday I spent the morning at the doctor with Kaylen discussing her various issues and plan of action for the time being. I really like her new doctor - and so does Kaylen. He was very relaxed in his approach and really made me feel good about all the work I have done with her and the progress she is making. She, no doubt, has issues but we will have to wait and see how to progresses from here through the next couple of years. He said that she has been through a lot in the past year (we all have!) and he isn't the least bit surprised at how she is handling it and how it is manifesting itself. It was nice to be validated by a medical professional that I am doing what is in Kaylen's best interest. He even said he knew what a sacrifice it is for me to be there as much as she needs me right now but it really is the best thing to give her the confidence and safety to keep moving along.

She also got her flu shot for which she was a trooper.

Tuesday was Kelton's turn. I took him in for a preliminary visit and a flu shot. He gave the new doctor a thumbs up as well.

Wednesday was an early release day which means I didn't really have time to go home during the day. They are long days for me broken up into hour increments. I did work that needed to be done, redid the display case and then sat in the staff room reading whatever I could get my hands on....and yes, that did include some diet pill reviews. The nice thing is, there is a coffee pot in there so I can drink as much as I want in between taking care of Kaylen.

Yesterday I learned something that sent me reeling. Just when I think I have a handle on what is happening with Kaylen, something else is added to the pile. On their own, it's not such a big deal but stacked on top of each other and added to almost daily? Well...the stack threatens to consume me. Her teacher pulled me aside to let me know that Kaylen has a terrible case of test anxiety. A level she hasn't experienced with kindergartners before and for which she is presenting at her certification class this week for input from other teachers. She knows Kaylen knows the answers because she is the first to raise her hand during learning time but when it comes to testing, one on one, she freezes, goes blanks and can't interact. I would say won't except it's more than that. Her teacher says you can tell she wants to but her fear is so great that she can't do more than shrug her shoulders and very quietly say "I don't know." So - now I have to figure out how to best help her cope with test anxiety. I've been reframing the idea of "testing" to "showing off what you know" but she is so afraid of being wrong and/or messing up that she can't bring herself to do it.

This is all so hard and sad for me. My self assured dynamo for a little girl is completely different at school - and in any new situation then she ever has been before. I was talking with Dakota's mom this morning when she and I met for breakfast and even she said "This is not at all what I expected would happen when she started school. She was so ready and so excited. It just breaks my heart to know she is struggling so hard."

Some days I feel so defeated and I have to work so hard not to let it show. I have to stay positive for her and praise her for all she has accomplished. We are up to me leaving 6 minutes early from her second recess which, while it seems like nothing, is a HUGE step. I am so proud of her - she struggles and works so hard to be ok.

She tugs at my heartstrings, that's for sure. I am so lucky to be able to work with her to get her through all this. I don't take that for granted. I have the opportunity to set to stage for a lifelong love of learning as opposed to her being set up to fail. I know how fortunate I am and even though I am emotionally and physically exhausted, there is nothing I see as more important than making sure my kids feel safe, are happy and secure and thrive.


Tanya said...

That's really weird, because didn't you say they tested her before going into K? Maybe the teacher could rephrase it too or find an alternate way around it. What are they testing on right now?

And you're right, you're very lucky. I don't know of any other mom who has the ability(time) to put in as much effort as you have and if they do have the time, not many would choose to do as much. But you are following her cues and that is great. I learned the other night that laying a strong emotional/social foundation effects lifelong learning and without a strong one, learning will be hindered. I hope I am able to provide the same even thought I can not physically be there.

Anonymous said...

Glad that you are getting some support from D's family on all this too, so great that they are local. I think it's common for kids with a lot of anxiety to have issues with tests in particular. Hope the other teachers have some good ideas.

PS How are things with her eyes? I mentioned it before but vision problems really seem to go hand in hand with anxiety in kids I have known.

Mimi said...

So did the doctor tell what is K issues?

Anonymous said...

Casey, I hope you are able to read this. I read your blog and think you are the BEST Mom in the world. You have so much on your plate, you are amazing. I am a 62 year old Grammy and I didn't get to go to kindergarden just first grade. I feel like a little Kaylen when I look back at how scared I was. But in my day the teacher and my Mom just shamed me and scared me more. I struggled getting C's & a few B's in school but it was really hard. Things were different then. I know you must be exhausted but I know you will never give up and I hope you remember to give yourself so much credit and praise. Please forgive my spelling and grammer but this all comes from my heart. I hope it make you feel good to know that a Grammy from Long Beach, CA thinks you should be Mom of the Year. I wish my grandkids Mom's were half as devoted as you. Keep up the Great work! Your kids are so lucky and I know they are very aware of thier Super Mom. Linda Staniger