Friday, March 19, 2010

Putting the ME in Camille!

For the last ten days, I've been in a desperate struggle with some kind of vampiric virus that sucked the life force out of me, gave me a tubercular cough, and made me utterly unable to do anything but sleep and look pitiful. I was starting to see reruns of "Camille" in my head and was preparing myself for the inevitable - the doctor looking at me sadly and saying "...chronic fatigue... lifelong condition... so tragic." (When I was eight, the doctor told me that if I hadn't had my tonsils out I would have been an "invalid." I thought it sounded desperately romantic and would remind my brothers that "I could have been an INVALID" whenever they were mean to me.)

Miraculously, on the eleventh day I have risen! And gone to the grocery store. And bought all the junk good food my husband never buys and that we were getting perilously low on. My kids don't know what a close call they had and how lucky they are that I'm back on the job. Must remember to remind them I could have been an INVALID!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Fairy Child

Things are going better for the little one at school. She's getting some of the sparkle back in her eyes and the spring back in her step.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bullying update

We are in an ongoing conversation with the school administration and the classroom teacher. They understand, at least partly, the seriousness of the situation. The bully's mother has been spoken with and the bully herself has been put on probation. It's a start.

We have also discovered that another girl (who had formerly been a friend of our daughter's) was participating in the bullying. Very sad. For everyone. She has apologized, as has her mother.

We are asking the school to adopt a true anti-bullying curriculum, which would require that all the teachers complete a free, online course about how to identify, deal with, and prevent bullying. We'll see how they respond to that. We're also trying to take some proactive steps with our kid - who is small, bespectacled, and a bit fearful - that might help her have more body confidence. To that end, we're looking at a number of options - maybe one-on-one lessons with a female tennis pro, the idea being that more physical strength and confidence might help prevent this in the future.

So day by day, step by step, we're facing the problem and trying to solve it as best we can.

One really touching thing that has come out of all this is how many people have reached out to us, some to offer help and guidance, others who have shared their own painful stories of having been bullied. One friend wrote "I can still remember the dislocation and lack of confidence it produced." That's the crux of it right there. To be bullied is to be made to feel that you are worthless and helpless. The current research shows that bullying, far from making a person stronger, makes them more likely to suffer long-term from anxiety and depression. (And the bullies themselves are far more likely than their non-bullying peers to end up in jail!) So it's a very serious problem and we are doing everything we can to make our daughter's world is safer and give her the tools she needs to prevent this from ever happening again.

Here, for anyone who is interested, is an excellent website/course on bullying prevention (it's free!). It presents the most up-to-date research and techniques in a lucid and digestible way. I highly recommend it!
Pathways Bullying Prevention

Monday, March 1, 2010

My good girl

I offered to max out the credit card and take the youngest on a vacation until this whole bullying mess is (somewhat) resolved. She thought about it for a minute and said, "No Mommy. It's OK. I'll go to school." Such a brave diligent little thing. If it had been me, I would have definitely made a break for it.

Well, we'll see what the week holds. Wish us luck.