This week I have been confronted with our being 'different' over and over again. It is something I am struggling a little with internally right now.
(disclaimer: I am right in the middle of my cycle which is a difficult time emotionally for me, which is probably why I am finding this more of an internal struggle than usual...I reserve the right to have pmt ;-P)
At first she was quite reluctant to show it to me or even to tell me about it. I kind of guessed what was in it and tried to reassure her that her wish was important and that I wouldn't be cross no matter what her wish was. So she did show me:
To be honest I'm not even sure what a DSi is, but the image she drew is pretty clear. I imagine that the other kids in her class were talking about them and drawing them too and she wanted to have the same 'wish' as them.
The thing is Andy and I had previously discussed this and we had decided that the kids wouldn't have any electronics until they were at secondary school. I don't encourage a lot of screen time. We don't have a tv anymore and the kids might watch a dvd or something on the computer every few days. This is not a value judgement on what anyone else does, this is simply what we do in our family.
I needed a bit of time to think of my response to her so I acknowledged that I had seen her wish list and tried to keep my expression neutral. Then I changed the subject until I had a chance to think it through. In the end I decided that while I don't want her to have a DSi or anything like that until she is older, I don't want her to feel that I don't allow her her wish.
So that's what I said in the end; that this is her list, and therefore important but I didn't think Santa would bring her the DSi as it was against my rules of the household, but I was very happy for her to keep it on her wish list until she is older. She seemed happy with this compromise and the problem was resolved (or so I thought until it was brought up again between her and Andy regarding a pocket money discussion...but then that is a whole other story that I won't go in to).
|Benny with Bree in a basket|
This really upsets me, actually it makes me cry. I feel so sad about it, that kids who are 7 are even aware of how someone else looks, that they care what someone who is 4 looks like.
To be honest this isn't the first time that the kids in Rebe's school have made fun of how Benny looks and it worries me, he's supposed to start attending that school next September.
Yes, we do look a bit different. We wear brightly coloured clothes, often hand made, or handed down. I am not the best at laundry and I don't iron as a rule. I don't mind if the kids go to pick Rebe up from school in fancy dress or with a bit of paint on them.
But now my heart is torn, should I try harder with how we look? Should I encourage Benny to cut his hair, should I encourage Rebe to wear girly shoes instead of dinosaur ones? Is it fair that I am proud of our difference? I have always been different, is it too easy for me to be different? is it fair to make my kids stand out because I am comfortable with it?
Shit, you know I really think the kids are so perfect, just exactly as there are. I don't want to change them, I want them to celebrate their individuality, their uniqueness and their beauty.
But I also know it is hard to be different, I know that other kids can and do poke fun. I also know that at the moment I am the one who gets their clothes, and I am the one who tells the hairdresser how short (or not) to cut their hair. Their difference is my choice, as would it be my choice to make them fit in. I also know that Andy thinks I should compromise more. That I am too strong headed, that I make a statement with these things... and I wonder is this wrong?
You see what I mean...I am struggling a little with this internally!
Finally, a few people have asked would I not consider sending Benny into a formal preschool, for even a morning a week. Again I find my resolve is shaken. Is the decision not to send him still right? Who is it about, me or him? Now I am a single parent, I feel the gravity of every decision even more. Especially as I would like to be considerate of Andy's perspectives and point of view.
|Rebe's lego dog|
|my new cups and a gypsy cream|
|a wee custom order doll modeled by Benny in a doll meitai I made|
The simple truth is I really just want the best for them and sometimes it is difficult to know if the paths I choose are the best. I suppose, if nothing else, I can ensure that each decision is made out of love.
How do you deal with difference in your family?