Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Small victories

6:30am on a weekday, after a long weekend, seems like a good time to celebrate the small things that give me the courage to Carry On (to greatness, or just till the evening, whatever it's going to be).

On fertility: I had an ovulatory cycle, with no medication. I am as sure of this as I can be without lab testing: I had a sustained BBT rise, and positive OPKs around the time of the rise (but only for 2 days). After two anovulatory cycles, that feels like a victory (albeit one I had no control over). So, does the small victory mean there is hope of a bigger victory? This time, probably not. It looks like the BBT is dropping. But in the long game, just maybe. Also I'm happy that I avoided obsessive googling of symptoms and possibilities. I started reading message boards at one point, and then I thought: "I just don't relate to this stuff." And I actually stopped and didn't start again. Thinking about what it would take to stay in the long game, I think the best approach is to carry on TTC with emotional detachment and indifference. Is that possible? Probably not, but I can at least not feed the crazy. Much.

On family: Yesterday we took AJ to a local playground that she enjoys a lot. In the summer I used to take her almost every day. But it's been several months since we went (winter, cold, snow). It so happened that one of AJ's daycare buddies, "K", was also at the playground. They smiled big smiles at each other and waved. Interaction is still rather tentative, but you could tell they were happy to see each other. K's mom, I'll call her "Ana", and I engaged in some small talk, which felt increasingly comfortable. We started talking about communication. Ana shared that she had noticed how verbal AJ is. She then told a story of something she witnessed at the daycare.

There is a little boy in AJ's room, "J", who hits people. He has even hit me a couple of times when I was there to pick up AJ. From what I've observed, he doesn't do so with any emotion, but it's like he's picked up a habit of doing this to people, for whatever reason. I've seen him approach several of the children and swat or kick them. I saw him kick a child in the face who was lying on the floor crying, once. It always seems to be other boys although that might be because there happens to be more boys than girls. The daycare staff, from what I've seen, are prompt at intervening and giving the message that this is not how we treat our friends, we are not happy with our friends, we are sad, etc.

Ana shared her impression that J particularly picks on her son, who also happens to be smaller in physique. She told me that she had also seen AJ "stand up for" K. Apparently after one incident AJ had walked up to J and told him that "This is not how we treat our friends" (basically using the words the staff use). I was quite touched by that. I try not to read too much into situations, because we are talking about toddlers here, who are only starting to develop their social skills. But still, you hope as a parent that whatever age children are, they are getting the right messages. There are always going to be some negative and some positive influences. It meant a lot to hear that AJ is learning the positive. I know she has empathy, because I have seen her approach a crying child and try to comfort him, and she will pretend play sometimes with her toys where she is consoling them. She is also a cautious child, not one to take a lot of risks. But, even cautious people hope that when it is called for, they can face a challenge. So it meant a lot to me to hear that she stood up for K, both in terms of her development and how the situation is being handled at her daycare, as children learn by imitating.

We left the park with smiles for everybody and an invitation to K's birthday party next week. Wins all around.


12 comments:

  1. Hanging on to those small victories can give you a bit of a boost, even if it doesn't result in the big victory. I can see those chat rooms not being super helpful, I could see that muddling things more than bringing clarity or new information. What a wonderful child AJ is! To be so sensitive, such an advocate for others, to take those positive messages from adults and put them into practice. Such a moment of pride!

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    1. Yeah, I know I'm not likely to learn a single useful by googling, but somehow o can convince that if I know one more fact, or rather one more persons random experience it will change something. Which it doesn't. But will I ever change....dunno, maybe lol. I am so proud of all AJ is learning. She is getting much more verbal and social, and when I look at her I think people must be truly good inside, which is something I have a hard time believing the rest of the time.

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  2. I find message boards to be the most useless things ever! Sometimes when I have something very specific I want to look at I end up reading through them, looking for similar experiences or whatever. It is always a mistake and by the time I have read through enough useless replies and bad spelling/grammar/too many shorthand terms I don't understand, I am usually no wiser and have wasted half an hour! I agree that it is best to not feed the crazy- a lesson I have to relearn periodically!

    Great news that you ovulated on your own! Small victories should always be celebrated. I am not sure how to TTC with emotional detachment (well, the first two weeks are usually fine, but the two week wait is a bit of a killer!) but I wish you well.

    What a great thing to hear about AJ! My bubs is cautious like AJ, and I think takes after both her parents that way. I hope we can teach her to stand up for herself and for others as she gets older- to be honest, it helps give me the courage to do it, when I think of her or hear examples like this! So good job AJ and to you and Mr. Turtle!

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    1. You only waste half an hour? Good for you lol. Yeah, no matter what weird thing I'm experiencing I can find someone else who also has. That's sort of nice but it still doesn't predict anything about the future. I agree with everything you say about assertiveness. It's a matter of trying to teach assertiveness in a positive way, to play to the child's personal and social awareness. I don't want AJ to feel pressured to be something she isn't, as I sometimes was.

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    2. I am a bit cynical and not very nice or generous to other humans on the internet (I am not a troll, I never leave nasty comments but I do roll my eyes a lot), so about half an hour is all I can put up with in regards to other people and their stupidity. Of course there are good and helpful and smart people out there, but having to wade through all the bull shit on the message boards just pisses me off. So only half an hour. I can waste much more time in other internet pursuits (hello Wikipedia).

      Sometimes I wish I had been pressured more to be more assertive. Maybe since I spent most of my life being too shy or too anxious to stand up for myself or anyone else, one of my biggest regrets is that it took so long for me to become assertive (and I am still not as assertive as I would like to be). I don't want to put pressure on bubs & bubs2 (even if I wish someone had pressured me) and will do my best to teach them and lead by example. All the crap happening in the US right now has really made me feel like I need to stand up much more for my ideals, for what I know to be right, whereas in the past I have almost always backed away from confrontation. I don't just mean in political discourse, but in every aspect of life. I am maybe too wound up right now from reading the news- might be time to go do some rage cleaning ;) rather than leaving long somewhat rant-y comments!

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    3. I hear you. It's hard to know what is right and when it comes to children so much depends on the individual. But the parent's example is powerful, much more powerful than words alone. What I meant by "not pressuring" is not berating along the lines of "Why aren't you more assertive? What's wrong with you?" (implied if not stated). That doesn't build confidence (in my experience). For a sensitive, cautious person, I think it would be better to teach her how her emotions are an asset, because they let her know when something is unjust or wrong. And when she gets the message, then it's time to decide to act. Then you would go over specific things that can be done in a situation (make it concrete, not vague). Also teaching through story can be very powerful. I remember reading a story (fiction, I assume) about George Washington defending a boy against some bullies. I forget the exact premise, but the boy was Washington's "enemy" in the sense he was on the other side of the revolutionary war, but Washington still defended him because it was wrong for the other boys to bully him, regardless of what side of the war he was one. Then the boy ended up being an agent for Washington or something. That story made a lasting impression on me, much more than being told to be more assertive.

      Don't get too caught up in "the news" (I am very cynical about what is called "news" these days). Seek out things that give you energy and fulfillment!

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    1. Yes, it made me smile to write this post!

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  4. Ugh, hitting is hard. You don't want to judge the parents because they might be doing all the "right" things for that kid to stop the hitting, and you don't want to judge the kid, because they're tiny, but then they're hitting other kids... It sounds like the daycare has a really good approach. I firmly believe that you have to take the long view towards changing kids' behaviors, and especially since you can't force the hitting to stop unless you just hold the kid down all day, then you really have to think about what kind of adult you're creating (intentionally or otherwise) with the approach you're taking to stopping the behavior. And, of course, any approach you take has to be one that you're willing to take over and over, every time, for a long time.
    My son went through a hitting phase--now, he only does it every once in a while to me when he's really mad, and he's getting much, much better about stopping himself. I can just feel the frustration, like there's almost little comic stink lines of frustration wafting up from him. But man, you can bet we were trying everything we could think of, and we took his hitting even more seriously than any of his teachers, or the parents of any of the kids he hit.
    From the other perspective, my daughter (5) is totally the kid who tries to solve problems between the other kids. Of course, I love what kind of kid she's turned out to be, but I also love it for her, because it's so good for her to be thinking in those terms and getting that practice. It's also a great example for the other kids and helps set a great attitude for her classroom. But maybe most of all is, I love that it comes from such a place of confidence and then builds up that confidence at the same time.

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    1. I agree; I don't want to make assumptions about the child or the family, or if I do, I try to make positive assumptions (he's a toddler, they are working through it). At the same time I definitely don't want AJ or the other children getting the idea that hitting is an OK way to amuse yourself or express emotions or solve problems. In the case of this child I'd say it's more for amusement because he doesn't look mad to me when he's doing it. And of course the approach you take to stop/run interference on that behaviour would be affected by the reason the behaviour is happening.

      I think a key part of standing up to hitting, or any kind of bullying, or injustice, is realizing that you CAN. It seems to me that this is often overlooked: there's so much emphasis on bad words, naughty words, hate speech or doing/not doing specific things. (My school just had an anti bullying day so I saw many of these strategies attempted). But I think the single biggest thing stopping people from standing up to bullying behaviours is realizing that it is actually an option. Canadians, in particular, are really good at being bystanders. I've witness a fist fight break out on a public transit station and people literally just stood there like nothing was happening. It takes conscious effort to break out of that "freeze" reaction and do something, but one you realize you can, it's harder to argue yourself out of doing it. So while I'm not happy that children hit each other, perhaps it's just as well to learn early that (unfortunately) this stuff happens and we all have to think about and practice how to stop it.

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  5. A small victory is still a victory! It's good news about your cycle for sure - your body is doing what it is supposed to do. And I, as always, hope for a big victory for you, too.

    I love the story about AJ sticking up for other children.

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    1. Thanks! I send those good wishes back. I want to still hope, but I'm also paying attention to how I can keep my sanity and peace of mind and to some extent at least this means letting go of, or at least questioning the idea that I have to succeed, and that I have to try and do everything, and that I'm somehow less if my attempts fail or my assumptions are wrong. It's an interesting process for sure, and comes down to how I frame my experiences, which in a way parallels some of the big questions in the larger society which are also about how we frame things. Maybe I'll get a baby out of this, maybe I'll get a new perspective.....but either way, I'm going to look back and say I was doing important work.

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