Wow! I want to thank everyone who commented on the Bad Food post. Your comments gave me a lot to think about and Karen and I have had some lively conversations debating the various points.
I still think that, outside of parents, there is no one so powerful in a child's life than her teachers. I think the messages a child gets from her teachers go in "deep". This can be a great thing or a worrisome thing.
In a snap of my fingers, I could get really angry all over again. I could do another whole round of blogging about the thoughts that are still whirling around over this. But instead I'll sigh and say a simple word, "Accept."
Let me explain. It is helpful for me, when my emotions are brewing and sometimes spewing all over, to try to distill the essence of what I'm experiencing down to a single word. With this food issue, my word was accept.
I accept that Kylie is going to hear things that I really wish she wouldn't. I accept that I will disagree with a teacher's point of view. Probably several teachers and lots of points of view over Kylie's education. I accept that even though I have a heart of a rebel and an activist, I'm not going to step up this time to change "the system". I accept that I need to pick my battles carefully. And more.
But mostly, I just wanted to thank you my dear readers. You help me feel heard and understood. You remind me that I'm not alone. Thank you.
Now, on to Kylie's New Nightmare:
Kylie has been having nightmares about things growing in her belly. I pray, pray, pray that this is just a normal preschooler nightmare and has absolutely nothing to do with any of ther teachers.
Kylie and I have daily conversations about the nightmare. They go like this:
Kylie: I know you told me there is nothing growing in my belly but I had another nightmare about it and I want to talk about it.
Me: Talking about your nightmares helps, right?
Me: Can you tell me about your dream?
Me: Were the things in your belly hot or cold or squirmy?
Me: Just a scary feeling in your belly
Kylie: Right. Something is growing there.
Kylie interrupts: I know. Nothing is growing in there but I still want to talk about it.
Me: Well you know that you are growing. You will get taller; you'll be as tall as me. Your hands and feet and growing. They will probably be like mine. (And I'll hold up my hand so she can compare her hand to mine). So growing is a good thing.
Kylie: Yea! But I still have that nightmare.
Me: Do you feel like when you eat something like some pasta or something that there is a burning feeling in your belly?
Kylie: No I don't dream that.
Me: Can you tell me what you dream?
Kylie: That something is growing in my belly and its scary.
Me: Can you tell me anything more about it? Anything at all?
Kylie: (Silent. L-o-n-g silence).
Me: Nightmare are scary aren't they.
Me: And you know you can always get me and I'll help ease you back to sleep.
Kylie: I know.
Me: And you know that they fairy dust we spray at bedtime helps you to sleep and to have good dreams.
Kylie: I know. I love fairy dust. (Sigh). I'll probably have this nightmare a lot more times.
Me: I wish you had sweet dreams my darling. I wish I could make the nightmares go away.
Kylie: I'm glad we talked about it. We can go play now.
What strikes me every time we have this conversation (and we have had it a LOT lately) is that she's so verbal and aware and yet so little. Just a little three year old. I wish so much that I could make it better.