Saturday, October 16, 2010

Growing Pains

Sophia is sweet, smart, sociable and loves to play. But she is human, and as such, she has foibles. She can be a tad bossy when playing with others, be it adults, or other children, Sophia has a temper (which she usually only displays around people she is close to), and she can be incredibly stubborn.

So far, her teachers adore her because she is bright, helpful and very compliant. In fact, when they split her Kindergarten class because it was too large, the two teachers actually argued over who got to have her in their class.

Sophia looks forward to going to school and seemed to be making friends. But this week, I noticed she seemed a little sad when I took her to school. I asked her if everything was going OK at school or if there was anythings he wanted to talk about, but she just shook her head no. Talking about her feelings does not come easily for Sophia and it takes quite a bit of prodding to get her to discuss what is bothering her. When I noticed the sadness three days in a row, I decided it was time to gently push the issue.

My first concern was that she was perhaps being bullied by one of her classmates. There is a boy in her class that picked on her a lot the first couple weeks of school. I caught it early and had talked to the teachers who seemed quite responsive to the situation. Sophia said the boy no longer picks on her and has actually helped her on occasion. After several minutes of talking to her, she finally gave up what was bothering her. She said that she doesn't feel like she has any friends. The one girl that she had been eating lunch with no longer sits with her and actually moves to eat with another girl. Sophia is feeling confused and lonely and my heart just aches for her.

We are lucky, Sophia's school permits parents to join their children at lunch. I had been doing that once or twice a week since school started. I don't want to go everyday, because I wanted to her to make her own friends. But when she told me how she felt, I told her I would join her for lunch more often and that made her happy.

I'm trying to reach out and arrange 'play dates' for her. That seems to have helped a little, but she is very sensitive and if she feels like the friend is playing with someone else more, her feelings are hurt. One on one play dates seem to work out better but it takes time to get to know people.

I explained that we are new to the neighborhood and that many of the girls went to pre-school together and have known each other for a while and that sometimes it just takes a little time to meet people and make good friends. That seems to make her feel better but there is no getting around that fact that she is melancholy right now. To make matters worse, Keenan and Sophia are fighting like the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat these days. I know the sibling stuff can tough. I naively thought that because they were seeing less of each other, they would be happy to spend time with one another. It doesn't seem to be working out quite that way.

In the meantime, I will keep setting up 'play dates' (I have to admit, I really dislike that phrase). Tomorrow morning, I'm sticking the kids in the jogging stroller and we are going to run to Walgreens to pick up so water color paints. The three of us are going to have a paint party tomorrow morning on the back patio. When I made this suggestion at dinner, her face lit up and she cheered up considerably. I know both kids are missing their Daddy but we are on a 7 day countdown and they can't wait to see him.

Life just gets a little more complicated the older you get. My biggest hope is that Sophia and Keenan have a relatively smooth road because they have already been through so much. But I know that the road of life has bumps and ruts and it seldom leads to where you expect. Mostly I hope they both can find contentment and a few good friends along the way.


At 8:31 PM, Blogger Kimber and Chris said...

ok seriously breaking my heart I cannot stand it!! T went through being in themiddle of two other girls in prek- it was hard too much peer pressure to young. Sometimes scheduling time to play (yes the playdate thing is obnoxious) with more than one kid with parents present is good because you can be present and help them navigate the relationships gently from the sidelines. She is an amazing girl. It will get easier. does she have a loose tooth yet? T has her first very slightly loose on the bottom right- probably the first one she got!! also it breaks my heart to read about howmuch they miss their dad. We went through oonly for one month and it was so hard. T still hss the fear thing. Still have not sat through a single Disney movie. She learned how to navigate the ff button ont he remote before she was 2!

Someone told me recently it was a sign of a photographic memory which my Mom thinks she has. No idea on that one but I know Sophia is incredibly smart too. We can't even go see this chinese dance co she has been talking about because there is a dragon in it. They will get past it- perhaps its old stuff from the past? no idea on this one.
Miss you!


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