He Said, She SaidOctober 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Giggles, Transylvania | 23 Comments
Tags: Boys, Challenges, Children, Expats, Growing Up, Parenting, Perspectives, Play, Romania, School
Giggles is having trouble at school.
Maybe. Or maybe not. It’s hard to know.
The teacher says he plays by himself. She says other kids try to include him and he rebuffs them. When all the children are on the playground, he follows Lollipop and her friends around until Lollipop decides she’s had enough. She shoos him away. Squabbles ensue until he leaves. To play. Alone.
Giggles says the other kids are mean. He says they don’t want to play the things he wants to play. At bedtime, he calls us into his room to tell us he doesn’t want to go to school. “Is it Saturday?” he asks. “When is Saturday?”
The kid practically sleeps in the yellow construction-paper crown his teacher made him on the first day of school. He sings the school’s “Unu Doi Trei” song to the dog and his stuffed mouse every night. He helps Lollipop recite the school blessing before dinner. With gusto. And he comes home with
gallons liters of sand in his shoes from the playground. He is having fun.
We talk to him about how to make friends. Offer suggestions. Praise his efforts. We make such a big deal out of it that all conversations eventually end with this: “I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” From an almost-four-year-old. (That sound? Is my heart cracking open.)
So we pretend it’s not a big deal. And focus on the things we see — the little girls in his class hugging him goodbye, the clay projects he proudly brings home, the letters and numbers and words he keeps learning.
Even still, there’s that image. The one that’s been planted in our mind. The one that’s taken root like a weed. The one we can’t see for ourselves because we’re not there: Giggles. Surrounded by kids. Playing alone.
But he’s having fun. Isn’t he?
Playing by himself is fine. Isn’t it?
We’re doing the right thing. Aren’t we?
How do you balance what the teacher says and what your child says? How much stock do you put in other people’s observations — and your own? How do you make decisions based on what you can’t see?