It seems that the tides have turned. The winds of positive change are finally breezing through our household, hopefully cleansing it of all last week's negativity, stress and drama (as described here)
Yesterday afternoon I summoned each one to bring me their homework diaries and messages/letters sent from school. I braced myself- I just didn't know what to expect these days.
Furtive glances among the three older kids made my heart sink. What the heck now? But wait- they were smiling; happily excited. I was suspicious.
"What's going on?" I asked apprehensively, already working out what punishment I would be meting out to each respective child.
More furtive glances.
"Ta daaah!!" they all shouted in unison, each pulling out an item which they had been hiding behind their backs.
Shakeel had been presented with both his Library monitor and Playground Monitor badges. He can now boss everyone around the way he loves to do- but only now it is official.
I congratulated, gushed and hugged. Nobody deserved to be awarded this honour more than he did- nobody is as bossy as he is. This role suits him perfectly. I was proud and happy.
|Shakeel shyly, but proudly posing with his two monitor badges|
"And, that's not all," sang Tharaa (10), sounding like the guy on the Verimark infomercial about to announce a product's additional features. She pulled out her Homework Book.
I broke out in a cold sweat. The dreaded Homework Book. The cause of all last week's trouble. I readied myself to attack.
She flipped to the last page of her completed homework. At the bottom were the words "Lovely work. Keep it up" accompanied by a sticker of a smiling heart surrounded by bright yellow stars.
Now I'm aware that at schools these days, kids are routinely awarded smiley faces, hearts and kisses and the words "Well done, sweetheart" or "Good work little genius", so it really doesn't carry as much weight as say, when I was at school. But coming from this teacher this was really quite a vote of approval, as this woman is known to have high standards and to be intolerant of mediocre slapdash work (which is the reason she and Tharaa had gotten off to a rocky start in the first place).
I whooped, danced a jig, hugged and whooped some more. I sighed a happy sigh of relief. This motivation from an authority figure whom Tharaa admires and respects, is exactly the encouragement this child needs to continue on this path. (Yes, I do realise the implication- that I am not an authority figure she admires and respects, but hey, right now I'm just happy to have the teacher's help- I'll save my tears for therapy).
"And, that's not all," sang Tharaa in her Verimark infomercial voice. She yanked a green card from Nuha (7)'s hand.
"No, I want to show Mommy. It's my card!" wailed Nuha.
"Okay then" said Tharaa tossing the card onto the floor. I felt my earlier pride slowly start to dissipate.
Nuha picked it up and showed it to me proudly. "Look Mommy. I got a green card today!" Oh, more relief! Green cards signify good behaviour in class; an indication that the child has worked and behaved well for the day.
Now the fact that there had been a few orange cards (signifying that the child needs to work harder at being attentive in class) interspersed among the green cards over the past two weeks, would not have bothered me too much in the past. Nuha was quite a chatterbox, I know. She has a very loud husky voice, which inevitably stands out and is always heard by the teacher when the class becomes chatty.
But I had been in a fragile state due to the antics of the older two, so the orange cards, to me, started to signify my failure as a parent. Was I raising delinquent children? How had I gone so terribly wrong?
Once again I hugged, danced and became teary-eyed- maybe I wasn't a complete loser as a mother after all.
So this morning I could overlook Shakeel's moods and the fact that 2 year old Aisha had kept me up for much of the night. There was hope once again. My kids were emerging from their brush with near-delinquency; and were once again showing me how amazing they can be if they try.