Saturday, June 26, 2010

Preschool Pain and Baby Ballet.

Ivy has been having a hard time at pre-school for the last few weeks. A couple of little girls have told her 'We don't like you. You're not our friend.'

*cue the sound of a mothers heart breaking*

Ivy didn't tell me; another Mum did. Ivy just went quiet and became very clingy with the teachers. Some little friends of hers have formed an intense twosome, and they're learning how to manage their desire to just be with each other. Nobody's fault. One of those lessons in life and relationships, right? A necessary rite of passage? I hope so. It hurts. These things might roll off some kiddos, but not Ivy. Sensitive Ivy has taken it hard. Eventually I got her to talk about what happened. 'It's bad news when somebody doesn't like you, Mama, ' she said. I'm talking, story-telling, hugging; but she's struggling to move past 'I don't know how to make friends, Mummy.'

*cue another chunk of my heart breaking off*

Keith is upset too. When I told him, we looked at each other and shouted 'Homeschool! Homeschool!'

I've decide to try and inject a bit more socialisey fun into her life, so today I took her off to her first ballet class. She dressed herself in the black tutu from the dress-up box, her much-loved 'Bring Back Warnie' t-shirt and a skull bandanna. 'This is who I am, people.'

It was pretty adorable watching a room of tiny toddlers pointing and skipping, and I really enjoyed the theatre of sourpuss stage mums in their natural habitat. 'Tamara! Pull up your sleeve or we are leaving!' But overall, baby ballet wasn't Ivy's scene. On the way home, Ivy said 'That was fun, Mum but we shouldn't do ballet anymore. ' I pictured my little punk princess, surrounded by pink leotards and frilly socks, and remembered the moment she stretched her arms high and revealed a belly covered in temporary skull-and-crossbones tattoos.

"OK, Ivy-Cakes,' I said.'Next week we'll check out the circus class.'


  1. Poor wee Ivy. She has my sympathy. It sucks being on the outside. Such a hard lesson to learn at such a tender age.

    Have you a PCYC in your neighbourhood? Ours does this thing called Active Kids. Which they call the first step in a life long passion for gymnastics, but in reality is a fun free for all on all the gymnastics gear. Little T loves it. I'm also a fan - the exhaustion factor is huge (Hip Ray for a good nights sleep)

    Hope Ivy has a better week.

    PS Moments like that would absolutely have me on the homeschool bandwagon as well. What are you supposed to do when girls are girls?

  2. Oh gosh, my heart is breaking for her. Amy and Ivy are about the same age and Amy has trouble making friends at the prekinder class we do. Sigh. Makes me wonder, does it ever get easier?

  3. Firstly, are you at Fireworks? Because that is my favourite cafe. I dream about it.

    Most importantly - here I have a big fat, well that sucks.

    You tell me where these two girls are and let them know I'm waiting around the corner in the dark alley.

    Just kidding.

    Ivy. Beautiful. Cool. Quirky. Intelligent. Fun. Adventuring. IVY! What's not to love about Ivy?

    Kids are strange aren't they? Who do they think they are smashing her confidence to pulp? HMPH!

    Noah got ousted by some kids in his class. He never said anything to me, but I think that they all go through some sort of jostling to find who they are friends with, who they fit with. One minute they're tight, the next they're not.

    He's now got a close little buddy - they adore each other. I wish the buddy's mum was a little bit more normal because I keep asking if we can organise a play date and she can barely make eye contact with me. QUELLE BIZARRE! And then Noah keeps banging on about the play date and I am all 'duuuude, I am trying'.. It's hard.

    But no matter what, you love Ivy, Keith loves Ivy, Teddy loves Ivy. Everyone LOVES Ivy. She's awesome.

    _ SOrry for long rambly comment. I just love Ivy.

  4. Oh my - how heart wrenching! I so want to wrap my children up and protect them from all of this... but I know that it is not practical. Hurt hurts. Such a yucky part of life... I guess we all have to experience it so that we can really tell when it is great, fantastic, the best ever... but wouldn't it be nice if we didn't need to.
    Best wishes for circus class - sounds wonderful and great big hug to the very special and unique Ivy.

  5. at preschool??? My heart breaks too that is starts so early. Women/girls can be our own worst enemy.

    Ultimately who wants to be friends with "friends" like that anyway and so much more important and healthy to just be yourself and stand strong and all that rather than bend and break to fit the "norm" - easy(ish) for an adult but not so easy for someone still finding their way in the world (nor their mumma).

    PMM - and others - what do you do when your child likes another child from kindy/school/ballet etc and wants to be friends/have playdates/go to their house/have them come to yours etc but either A) YOU JUST DON'T GET ON WITH/CONNECT WITH the parents. Makes for an awkward few hours of forced chit-chat. Sometimes it is just hard work/different personalities/no common ground/not someone you would be socialising with if you didnt have kids in common (and I dont mean all friends have to be clones of each other I have and love a diverse group of friends but just someone who you dont get on with easily or naturally) etc

    and then B) the other situation is times when the child is from a family who you don't want your kids to necessarily spend too much time with whose values/life vastly different to yours (I am talking things like language used, lack of supervision/safety or vastly different treatment of their kids to yours (letting little ones play in a pool area unsupervised for example). We dont drink a lot or smoke or do drugs, no swearing etc around kids, we dont talk down to our kids or degrade them (eg meaning say to others when the kids can hear that they are "little shits or stupid brats etc) and are pretty strict with them in terms of discipline and behaviour etc and yet my 5 yo is in a school with a lot of families who are well pretty rough - man I sound uber judgemental writing this and make it out that we are purer than , well no we are human just that this is the way we live and what my 5 and 3 yo see and know and how we want them raised and then you go to someone elses place and its a real eye opener and think hmmmmmm is this good 4 my kids to see this? and then have to deal with all the questions and comments from the 5 yo or do you just keep making excuses not to go there and direct the friendship somewhere else??? Not wanting to be over controlling and shape everything in our kids lives but neither do I want them exposed to too much too young and believe its our job to protect and guide them and raise them as best we know how. Hmmm I have a lot more thoughts on this that I had thought sorry for hijacking this comment section but would LOVE to know what others think, do they have this same dilemma and if so how do they deal with it?? with either a) the parent who your kid loves theirs but you just dont connect with OR b) the kid who your child likes and wants to visit/come over but you really have a "clash of cultures" with the family

    happy to be emailed at hillme71 AT gmail DOT come if dont want to take over Mumma Mogantosh's blog with my rant

    : )

    PS Loved this post Mogantosh and admire you for standing strong with your girl and loving her and her uniqueness. You're an awesome mum and Ivy sounds like a gem bless her cotton (skull patterned) socks.

    PPS Ivy was on my girls name list but couldnt convince husband with number one and then baby 2 was a boy one . Love it

  6. PPPS - Would you really homeschool? I have thought of it and would love to for so many reasons (main one is school wastes so much time and creates little automatons and not a lot of time for the individual, and can potentially stifle curiousity and love of learning), but I think I am way to impatient, intolerant and in need of some time for sanity to try it (that and juggling a v active 3 yo at home at the same time - um How?) but I admire those who do it and do it well.

    My current answer is to keep feeding my kids imaginations and lives as much as possible outside of school (in a non-school fun sort of way with outings and books and conversations and adventures etc hopefully exposing them to as much as possible to instil this love of learning and curiosity that I think they miss out on a bit at school)

  7. Ballet...eeek!

    I'm struggling with the rapidly approaching freight train called school at the moment.

    Do all mothers struggle with this?

    I don't think of myself as overly clingy with my kids but the idea of letting them go off to school so early seems crazy to me at the moment.

    Looking forward to seeing how you all (as a family) go on this issue as it is a big one in my head at the moment.

    GO circus school!

  8. Thanks fellas. All is definitely still offfbeat in Ivy Land. 'Bit funny,' Teddy would say. Hoepfully she'll settle agains oon.

    PMM, it is Fireworks, well spotted. Will you just migrate south already?

    Michele, I swing on the homeschool thing- I really do love the idea but, man, a good teacher is priceless. I'm acually thinking more about it in terms of high school these days. But if she was really unhappy in prmary, we'd have her out before you could say 'creationists tea party, bring a plate of crazy.'

    Mainly, what I'm realising is that the slings and arrows of life are important things to learn how to weather - much as I'd like to wrap my kids up in little flannel packages and carry them around in my handbag. I guess life is confusing, unexpected and sometimes unfair; and it seems it's time for Ivy to start managing that.

    It's the knock to her confidence that's tough to watch.That's what I'm trying to manage right now.

    Thanks for the Ivy love. x

  9. Big hugs, to you and Ivy, Rach---and a little whisper: "Homeschool!"

  10. Every chance that Ivy is too cool for school... or ballet for that matter. Sending huge ether-hugs to that magical little miss. Bringing back some corker memories. 'Character building' was a phrase that got bandied around a lot when I was a munchkin. I was booted from ballet- told taking up a musical instrument might be a better choice... And it was :) In primary school as part of Christmas Craft the boys screen printed tshirts with 'proudly a member of the I hate tori club'. Then wore them to Mufti day. They told the substitute teacher that 'Tori' was a band they hated. Really hoping this week gets better. x

  11. Oh Poor Ivy- my hearts breaks just hearing about it- how awful for her and for you!

  12. Wow, hard lesson for the small person. Once upon a time I met a beautiful woman the had the most glam posture and a hip sway that made a hetero heart beat rainbow. She was funny, like really funny, and so so incredibly intelligent. Pop those rose coloured glasses on an do the bandanna babe. Not so many places that have an exact fit for us types but all will make sense at about 25. Love you ivy girl. Xx coops' mum

  13. Oh, that is so sad... my Mommy heart just broke a bit too.

  14. I reckon 'next stop: circus' would be absolutely my approach too! My middle sometimes gets stuck in the midst of this sort of thing and so far I've found the best approach is to throw the net wider, inviting different kids over for playdates for instance, or finding new stuff to do. Weirdly the kids causing the angst usually seem to come around and everyone's good friends again eventually. (But oh, I so know the torment that is the chunk of breaking heart!)


Thanks for talking to me. I don't got cooties. Oh, except for when I got cooties.