Wednesday, 26 October 2011

twin choices

Twins, little twins, need a lot of things at the same time a lot of the time and one is forever juggling and compromising the needs of one or the other. It is an eternal question of whose needs are the most urgent. But I thought after my kids had learnt to hold a cup and pee in the toilet that my double duty was basically over and from now on it was pretty much the same deal as having two singleton kids. It seems I was wrong.
I recently thought that Anna's battle in the school playground was a passing phase and that I could help her through it with a some verbal encouragment and controlled playdates, but after closer observation I realised that a little more intervention was required.
So what to do? I have a happy child at school and an unhappy child at school. Charlotte is confident, stimulated and thriving and Anna is miserable and becoming more and more introverted.
My gut and mother's intuition said change Anna to a smaller school, but because I like to dig a little deeper into the meaning of these things I consulted the "oracle"  and my suspicions were confirmed: Anna is not happy and would do a lot better in a smaller environment.
So I have made the agonising decision to uproot them as from next school term and send them to the newly established Waldorf school. Its agonising because I know Charlotte is fine where she is and will definitely kick against the change, as is her nature, but having them at different schools in not an option. In this instance I think it is Anna's need that is the most urgent and at the end of the day it is I, the mother, who must take the brunt of this decision's consequences not Anna.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Getting it done

I have to admit that my personal downfall is being far too goal orientated, which often prevents me from seeing the wood for the trees. Thank goodness I am not the president of the country, as I couldn't imagine having to worry about the to-do list of an an entire nation when its hard enough worrying about that of a small farm and family of four!
I spend a lot of time noticing what needs to be done instead of enjoying what has been done and I have to keep reminding myself that Rome was not built in a day - although it was built!
The chicks will grow and a larger hen house will have to be built and then next month there will be another very important  project to take care of. In the mean time the house gets older and looses its hair (the thatch) and we eat or sell all the vegetables we planted - what an inconvenience because now we have to plant more!
Life is not stagnant and is continuously evolving and unfolding. I know I need to remember this, but I usually only do once I have got everything ticked off my list and I can bask in the brief moment of completion.
Children are also ever evolving and unfolding. I think as adults it is easy to forget this, as we grow emotionally very little in a year, if at all. But a year in a child's life is a small lifetime of growth and development.
Last school term Anna was coming home with stories of no one wanting to play with her. It upset her so much that she started waking up at night crying about it. But it was only when she got fevers and missed the last week of school that I began to consider that she may in fact be very stressed and perhaps it was time I took heed to what she had been trying to tell me. Charlotte's behaviour seemed affected too and she had a good run of tantrums that flew off the Richter scale. They were also fighting more than usual which was causing a lot of tension between us at home. I felt like I was at breaking point. But by the end of the school holiday and after a short weekend away in the mountains, they were back to their old happy selves.
When I first realised there was a problem I panicked, firstly because I felt helpless, then out of guilt for not acting sooner and finally out of anger that anything or anyone could be causing my child's unhappiness.
I was determined to sort this issue out once and for all and decided to meet with the teachers and the other parent involved. But after discussing the issues and options it no longer feels like a mountain to conquer, but just another growth phase in my children's life which I need to work through with them. Yes there is a social problem in the playground. Anna is battling to find her niche with friends and Charlotte is more popular which is causing a tense dynamic between them, but with a little awareness and a small amount of intervention, I think I will be able to help them through this.
Once again it is something ever evolving and not just another item to tick off my to-do list.