Thursday, October 7, 2010

Update and a little blurb about bullying

Hello all. It has been about 3 weeks since my last blog! Yikes! I think that's the longest I have ever gone without at least a small blurb. It's not like nothing has been happening either. There have been a few changes around her. First, little dude's daycare closed down and he started a new one. It came as a complete surprise to us and we did not see it coming at all. Our daycare provider showed up at our house on a Sunday and told us that she was giving us two weeks notice because she had decided to close. She gave us a long, somewhat odd, explanation. Well there was not much we could do. Our hearts broke for yet another upheaval and change our little guy would have to go through. The door had barely closed behind her when we got right to trying to find another daycare. I posted on Facebook and one of the waiting parents (thanks Francesca!) pm'ed me a bunch of possible options (many others as well gave suggestions which was so appreciated). One of Francesca's suggestions looked good and we contacted the woman right away. Pat met with her the Monday and we had signed the contract by Tuesday! Good thing we acted fast because one of the other poor families left in the lurch by our former daycare had contacted our new provider as well. Thankfully we got there first. The new daycare is great and Van has adjusted well. The nice change for him is that the other kids are girls this time as opposed to boys. I say this because Van loves little girls lol. Not sure why at this age but he is definitely drawn to girls over boys. He likes playing with their hair and touching their faces. The other day we were at the playground and he ignored all the little boys that were there. Then this lady came in with a little girl about Van's age in a stroller and Van made a beeline for her. Literally ran over. Once there he set about touching her face and trying to get at her hair. She was having none of it though and was not to happy to have this little face crowding her while she was stuck in her stroller. We had to drag him away. Yikes! Already a Casanova in training.

His development seems to be moving along. He is pretty much feeding himself now. I decided yesterday to stop even attempting to feed him. He has been mostly feeding himself for about 2 months now but I was still helping him with the spoon. Well lately every meal was becoming a battle field with him batting away the spoon and whining and fussing. I decided yesterday that I was done with the stress of the constant battles. I figure even if he is not proficient enough with the spoon to get everything he wants, he can still try and eat with his fingers. I had to let go of my worry that he wasn't getting enough food in him. Everybody I've spoken to has said if he's hungry he will find a way to eat. So I relented and made the decision to not be concerned (easier said than done) if he barely touched some meals. I guess fussy eating and picking at food is par for the course with a toddler. Mommy has to let go of the control. He's not a baby anymore! He is certainly not starving anyway. His check up last week revealed he is up to 22 pounds which means he gained a pound in about a month. I think that will taper off now though. At his doctor's appointment a month ago we were told that his babbling was considered in the 90th percentile (maybe I mentioned this in previous post). His words now appear to be ya, mama/dada (both of which he says only occasionally) and milk. I haven't heard milk but his daycare provider says he has said it and Pat heard him say it too...hmmm...

Ok, now I want to talk a little about bullying as it seems to be on people's minds these days due to Ellen's talk (haven't watched this myself). As well another AP blogger did a long post about his experiences in the hopes that it may help. I too was the victim of pretty serious bullying. When I was living in Toronto and in grade 8, one of my male classmates decided he felt the need to make my life a living hell. He would constantly call me stupid and ugly. He would shoulder check me into lockers when no one was looking. When the teacher would leave the room he would get up and stand in front of me and call me every horrible name you can think of. It was relentless. Luckily none of the other students in the class joined in. In fact everybody just sat there in silence. My impression was that they were scared. Eventually it became so awful that I complained to the principle and I was transferred to another class. Interestingly, the University of Toronto decided to use my case as a study on bullying. Both myself and the bully were interviewed at length about, in my case, how it made me feel and in his case why he was doing it. I was later told that he did it because he liked me i.e. had a crush on me. In any event, life was great after being transferred. I had a lot of very good friends at my school so I was able to quickly move on. Many kids that are bullied don't have that. I can say that it did have a permanent impact on me. It made me more wary of people but also made me stronger and more confident. I decided I would not take shit from anybody. It made me tough. But it also made me insecure underneath it all. I did experience minor bullying again a few more times before high school but was able to deal with it. After grade 8 my mother decided we should move to small town Nova Scotia. I didn't like that too much. I was definitely an outsider, again, and got teased. I spent much of the year skipping school or running away. Sufficed to say I failed grade 9. Luckily I has started school young so when I repeated grade 9 I was the same age as everybody else. We moved to Halifax for the second grade 9 attempt and I was once again an outsider. One of the girls in my class decided to give me a hard time. I ignored her and went about making friends (which I have always been good at thankfully). One day she and I found ourselves on the same bus heading to a talent agency as we both liked acting. We walked in together and were both rejected lol. That rejection was very hard on her and I was there to comfort her. We became good friends after that and are still in contact today. Sometimes it is a bully's own insecurities that drive them to bully others. Perhaps they were also bullied. It is such a complex issue and I wonder if it will ever be resolved as my sense is that it has been around since the beginning of time as it exists in many other animal species as well. Anyway, all I can say is that what a bullied person needs more than anything is the support of friends and family. To know that they are liked and loved by others will help them get through the difficult patches. Bullies too should be reached out to. Often they have their own sad stories. Anyway, that's my story for what it is worth. As I look over what I have written it seems a bit scattered. I am sure I could write a novella about my experiences but I hope I was able to get a somewhat helpful story across.

To not end on such a serious note here are a few pictures of little dude. I hope he never becomes part of a bullying scenario but if he does I will be there for him.

Hanging at the park:

Do you mind if I have a sip of your coffee mama?

Backyard fun:

Would you like some rocks?

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