Saturday, September 5, 2009

Breaking Point

I am feeling depleted and defeated. On the depleted front I worked back to back on call shifts (14 hour days), wasn't able to take my thyroid medication for several days (problem at the pharmacy), had a horrid and continuing bout with some flu (lost 3 lbs in a couple of days), and am just finishing my monthly cycle. The combined effect is that I am very beat, my body is drained completely at the moment. So I was already teetering on the edge from my body failing me when I got a call from the boys' preschool teacher last night. Would it be too much to expect that she was calling to say how well the first week went? That the kids are darling and loveable and clever? Yes, that would be far far too much to ask. She called to say they are so disruptive they may not be able to continue at her school. That they are loud, they scare the other children with their outbursts, and they fight with each other. Was this a surprise to me? Of course not, I am their mother I have fought this battle with them day in and day out for years. When I met with their teacher to sign them up for school (like 6 months ago) I discussed my concerns with her. I told her their problem behaviors and why I was worried they would not be able to do well in preschool. She told me they sounded like normal 3 year olds and they would do great and learn and grow a lot. I took her at her word and put my concerns on the back burner for a while. I guess she must have thought I was exaggerating or something. It's not like I don't know my kids are difficult. Anyway, then for the next hour she gave me an impromptu parenting class. She highlighted all the things we must obviously be doing wrong as parents and suggested a new routine for the kids, from a completely different diet to a new discipline plan. Most of what she said we have heard and have tried. We have read the books, we have taken the classes. We have worked very hard at helping the boys behave. And honestly, they are SO much better than they used to be. We have good days and bad but I felt like they were really progressing. I have never worked so hard at something to now feel like a failure. I hardly feel like I can face my kids if I have failed them so badly. I got off the phone and cried and cried. I am not a very emotional person as a rule, but remember I was also physically depleted before the call. And not sleeping all night last night thinking about it hasn't helped much either. We have agreed to try her plan even though we have done it before and I feel it has some problems in it that will be hard to overcome (if you don't have twins, doubly naughty twins, it's hard to understand the difficulties that presents). Because she met with a "professional"--the husband of her team teacher who is a doctor and travels the country dealing with behavior problems--and this is what he said. Having never met us or the kids. Also does it seem wrong on some level to have a conference about your kids without you present to anyone else? So, let's just say I am feeling very low today. I am feeling like either I am a horrible parent and have already crushed my children's future or maybe there is something more to the story. I want to get them evaluated to rule out other issues. The teacher didn't think that was the problem, but I have wondered about it for a long time. I am not sure the process this will involve but I need to know for their sake if there is any underlying developmental or behavioral problems so that we can address them appropriately. Not that that would make me feel any better but it would be good to know. I am frustrated, sad, mad, and really feeling flat. Oh and now I need to stay with them if they are going to go, my short lived freedom has passed. I keep having flash backs to when they were born. When my dream of having 2 healthy little babies placed on my chest was replaced with tubes and wires, vents, 2 NICUs, and leaving the hospital alone. I was just thinking maybe that had some good to it, but really it just started out lousy and went downhill. Hoping this has a better outcome.


Kristen said...

oh, I'm so sorry - that is so hard. It does seem like maybe they should give it a little more time before deciding to kick them out - and they definitely should have called you in for a meeting together with whoever else to discuss them. What kind of suggestions did they give? Also, I would wonder if maybe separating them into different classes might help them behave better?
They may just need some time to adjust to the preschool routine and rules!
But again, if you are truly concerned about anything (and have been concerned before hearing this from the teacher), then an eval might really be helpful to you, in ruling things out, or giving you a clearer idea of what's going on.
My impression, though, is that they really are just normal active troublemaking twin boys!
I feel for you and wish you all the best, though. Everything I've seen and read of all the neat things you do with your boys assures me you are an awesome mom! Don't doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Here's my emotional outburst: That teacher SUCKS! SO not helpful of me but really?! You and Lowell do quite well with C and D. They are good, sweet boys at their core. And yes, if you had the boys in a public pre-k then there were all kinds of laws broken when your teacher spoke with the "expert" without first contacting you. If this is a private pre-k, that is still a highly unethical and downright rude thing to do. I'm sorry that you had to have this experience, and that this person decided to lecture someone whom she doesn't know, and whose children she's only had limited experience with. Obviously, I have some strong feelings about this and I hope I haven't upset you more. I want you to know that I think that you are a good, involved, intelligent and capable mother and your boys are better than this "teacher" sees them. Feel better love, we have your back.

Sal-my-gal said...

What a day! I do think it a balls-y move to discuss your children with a doctor before discussing them with you. Especially a doctor who's never met you or your children. Long distance diagnostics should be frowned upon I think. What do you think? Maybe next time you're in the lab you could determine the results by having someone describe what the vials look like to you over the phone?

Kemp Kuties said...

Oh, oh, oh. I totally feel for you. what a wretched day and what a wretched "diagnosis" of your parenting skills. I don't know if I'd subject me cuties to a preschool teacher who's already zeroed-in on them and has a conclusion of who they are after day one of preschool. It's preschool for crying-out-loud! Ease up Teacher and let the kids be kids and play.

Hang in there Heidi. Carter & Davis are your gems and happiness, regardless if they're a little rambunctious (sp?). Don't let Teacher Daniels tear you down. Hang in there!

Scott and Jillian said...

Oh, Heidi! I'm so sorry to hear you are having a rough time. That is completely inappropriate for the teacher to call you like that. That should be done in a parent-teacher conference, where you can all sit down together and discuss A, B & C. And, I agree with the others (not The Others, but the other commenters ;))--people who have never had multiple toddlers have no idea about the different dynamic in that situation, and how they feed off each other with their own special way of communicating. Third, if you think they need an eval, do it. Foolow your gut/Mommy instincts. You know your child the best, not some lady who has seen them, like, 3 times. I didn't mean to leave a long comment, but it just got my blood boiling to think about that stuff happening to my dear, sweet friend! I hope things look up and that you are able to get some sleep!! You are NOT a failure as a Mom (even though we all feel that way much too often)!

Queen Mother said...


Okay I have been there in a way. Not behavior issues, but I had a preschool teacher come up to me and tell me that Andrew had asperger's syndrome. It was a blow. It was hard to swallow. It HURT.

But guess what. He doesn't have that. She was wrong. Teachers do not know your kid(s) better than YOU. This teacher, while trying to be helpful I'm sure, can only give you one little piece to the puzzle. Remember that as you continue your journey while your boys' schooling.

My impression of your children? They are twins. And boys to boot. As someone who is raising 3 boys, I can tell you that a strong willed and somewhat disruptive nature just comes with the territory. They are more active than my boys, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them - it means it's part of their personalities. And multiply that by two, and there you go!

Have you considered putting them in different classes? Perhaps they need to be separated in order to get the most out of their school experience.