Thursday, June 21, 2012

Raising a Sensitive Child

I wonder how many parents out there have children like my older daughter. She was born bright, inquisitive and sensitive. She really did come out looking around and listening and didn't cry. At least, not exactly then. She made up for that later! What I didn't understand at that time and for some time afterward, is that I had given birth to what they call a "high needs" child. I prefer to call her sensitive. It somehow seems less negative. Right off the bat, the nurses called Melissa "fussy" and wanted to give her a soother. I said no because we were battling with a lazy latch and a host of other issues. Breast feeding, while natural, did not come easily to me and my sweet baby. I could see from those early days that this was going to be a child for whom I would be advocating for many years. My doctor saw it too. She was protective of her and didn't particularly care for the way the nurses talked about her. She was small, six and a half pounds, but not overly tiny. She needed more holding and cuddling than many babies and she did not like sleep. Oh yes. Sleep. She will be eighteen this fall and still does not like sleep. So here I was, a single mother of just 22 years (Miss was born a week after my birthday!) with a wee babe who had a hard time nursing and hated to sleep.
Knowing her the way I do now, and after years of being her mom, I can see that the poor child had an easily upset tummy and a nervous personality. This was something she did temporarily outgrow in her preschool years, but the system, a series of teachers who probably should have been retired and the deaths of several close family members took care of that. In her early high school years, my outgoing, artsy, sweet child became a child who did not wear color and was frequently depressed. We loved her through that stage and she has worked hard the last two years at finding out who she is independent of others. She still struggles a little with what people think, but a small group of reliable friends has really helped her there. Fast forward to this year, her grad year. People put an awful lot of pressure on young adults to have their lives figured out. And now, the province of BC has added a program which, in my opinion, does not help children with personalities like my daughter's. If anything, this plan to help them has added tremendous stress to her life. Unfortunately, her response to stress is to hide and so this series of activities had built up until she was overwhelmed by them. Just today I had to go in and explain to a counsellor that my child has lost sleep this year in fear over grad, people's expectations and an uncertain future. I don't know if I know how to help her except by just being here for her. It's a pretty uncertain world out there.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Music is a gift. Open the box!

My poor neglected blog! I really just need to blow the dust off and start posting in here again. My travel agent endeavours have kind of taken over these days. The exciting news is that I am working with a local piano teacher and we are developing some fun classes to pitch to one of the local rec centres. I am really hoping this will go through as it will be a new and fun experience teaching group classes! Time to stretch myself a little bit, I guess! Anyway, my post today is about the gift of music. So often we hear that people are "gifted" or "have the gift" of music. I maintain that every single one of us has been given music as a gift. Sure, we may not all be concert singers, or even really comfortable with singing anywhere outside of the shower, but that does not mean that music cannot bless us daily, or that we should not explore and revel in the gift that is music. It saddens me to see the school system in Canada being so quick to pitch out programs which are arts related. Particularly since science has shown that musical instruction teaches children so much more than we might imagine. Music is art, but it is also math. It is also following the rules and taking one's "turn". It is teamwork. It is reading and language skills. It is a world of imagination and magic and fun and it can also be very hard work which requires and teaches discipline. So, if you do not spend time singing and dancing with your children at home, think about it. You may be doing them more good than you could ever have thought.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The BC Teachers have shot themselves in the foot

I got news from a very upset seventeen year old daughter the other day that teachers have been told they will not be allowed to attend graduation ceremonies this year due to the job action voted on by the BCTF. I know that this is sad news, not only for the kids, but also for the teachers many of whom have come to care about the kids they have had in their classrooms the last several years. Most people become teachers because they want to help, after all. I guess this is the problem with having a province wide union; I'm sure that the feelings of teachers in one area of the province are not exactly the same feelings teachers in other areas are having but the vote is run by the majority instead of going district by district. At any rate, all I know is that MY child who, while only one of many, is the one who breaks my heart with her sadness, is heart broken and angry and that she feels that part of her celebration has been stolen from her. This is something she can't get back and I am not sure she cares that the union is saying that this will benefit kids in the future, all this fighting with the government. At the end of the day, HER graduation is the one being lost and it just so happens that she was robbed of a middle school graduation only four years ago when the district underwent restructuring, so yeah... she is angry. I can't say I blame her.

Way too long since I posted

Ugh. I promised myself I wouldn't do that! I guess I have been busy what with preparing for my advanced theory exam this coming weekend, studying my travel agent stuff, working three days a week and doing mommy stuff. Melissa's grad dinner was last week and that was rough. I only got teary eyed once and that was when a group of girls got up to sing a song about not being able to wait to leave home only to realize that life in the real world was pretty rough and they wanted to go back home. The entertainment went on a bit long, but it was student run and a first time thing, so the kids did pretty well.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Getting back to "normal" whatever that is!

So, we stepped off Freedom of the Seas last Sunday and the room has finally stopped swaying. ROFL  It wasn't anything too serious - the first 24 hours were the worst and I just rested in the hotel room in Orlando as a result.  I still have to post a lot about the trip - don't want to forget anything! 

Anyway, I have been back to work this week and that is all settling down. I still have a theory exam to write soon and I am WAY behind on my travel consultant training, which I must ramp up again as soon as I get this exam written. In other words, life is continuing on at it's breakneck pace and I must simply hold on, try to make some sense of it and ride the wave.  More to come soon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Break Cruise - Day One

So, we are finally on our way! It crept up on me and I just know I am forgetting something.  Today, we flew over to Vancouver to stay the night before our early departure tomorrow.  The weather was not too bad and hubby drove the four of us to the airport. Check in was super easy as there was hardly anyone there.  Before heading through security, I briefly stopped by the cafe where I used to work to say hello.  :)  Afterwards, I made my way to security, dumped all the stuff into bins which needed to be dumped and walked through the arch only to hear the beeping of the metal detector.  Apparently, I had been randomly selected for a patdown. ROFL  The security lady was really good and explained everything she was going to do before she did it.  A few minutes and I was on my way to join my girls and my mom.  :)

The plane arrived early which was a nice bonus.  As we walked to the aircraft (we have a super small airport and this is a super small plane) we were greeted by a young Japanese pilot, much to the delight of my Japanese crazy eighteen year old daughter.  Yes, he was cute. ;)  Soon we were Vancouver bound.  The flight was the usual; noisy and uneventful.  Coming in to Vancouver, I noticed that we were taking a different direction than usual, which had to mean different wind direction.  It was a bit bumpy and we circled a rather large looming storm cloud, but not too much to write home about. 

We arrived at YVR and found our bags almost immediately.  Routine.  When I called the hotel about a shuttle, I was told that we had just missed it and one would be around in about twenty minutes.  Thinking we had time to burn, we grabbed a couple of drinks.  Well, there was an Acadian ringette team, so getting the drinks took up ten of our twenty minutes, so we made our way to the pick up area.  We weren't there long when our shuttle went driving past. :(  Perhaps it was full. I don't actually know. Half an hour longer in the sunshine and our very affable driver arrived.  He had an accent which made his attempts to joke with us all the more delightful.  We soon arrived at The Holiday Inn Express and were checked in by another agreeable staff member.  Found out about the shuttle for the morning and went up.  :)

 A short nap later, it was nearly time for us to be picked up by my sister and her fiance.  They arrived and took us to The Boathouse; a lovely seafood oriented restaurant where we were served a by a smooth, young and very cute waiter who made my girls giggle just because he was so good looking.  The meal was great, the company lovely and here we are back at the room, killing some time before an early bed time. If we are catching the 4:45 shuttle to the airport, we need to get our beauty sleep soon!