Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Not Bossy, Not Grumpy, Not Fighting. Adapting.

Newsflash: Sweetie is involved in an extra curricular activity that simultaneously frustrates her and thrills her. An activity that she mistakenly thought Hubby and I were going to take her out of and - to that - she emphatically pleaded with us to not do.


More specifically, there are certain members of her extra curricular team (okay - D.I. ) with whom she butts heads. Fine - 1 kid in particular out of the 4 others on her team with whom she is struggling to get along. I've seen their agitated communications on a few occasions now and it honestly pains me to see their on-going verbal tug of war. Sweetie will suggest a plan for how to solve a problem, and this other child will - more often than not - undermine Sweetie's ideas with a biting remark.

Or, said other child will take over the "organization" of a particular activity after it's been presented to the group as a challenge to solve, and - basically - however this kid interpreted the instructions, goes. Right or wrong. Without anyone in the group realizing they can look back at the written instructions to confirm what they're to do and not do. And yet, I've seen Sweetie try to correct this teammate's understanding of the rules, trying to make her and the others remember that, no, that's not what we were told to do. But it doesn't seem to matter. As I said - however this particular kid understands the rules is how the group as a whole will proceed more often than not. End of story.

Like Sweetie explained to me yesterday on our way home from a team workshop, this other team member always has to do what she wants, no matter what the rest of the team wants or thinks. Sweetie's example to me was this: say we were supposed to write a book. The rest of the team might decide and agree upon writing a story about aliens visiting earth, but this other member wants to write about animals. So the book would end up being all about the aliens' visit except for 1 page in the middle that would be about turtles. She always has to get her way, in some way or another.

Everyone else on the team can get along well enough and come to agreements (more or less, as far as I've witnessed. Let's just say teamwork in general is a huge issue with them all.) But this one kid just will not cooperate.

Now, I'm sure the other team members see what's going on here with this other kid. I'm sure they're all just as frustrated as any other team member that one of them is always taking over and deciding how they're all going to proceed. But Sweetie just happens to be the other outspoken one. The other most strong-willed member. So she's always the one to question this teammate, and yet it never results in any change in the process. The only result is the palpable agitated stress felt between Sweetie and this kid. And it breaks my heart.

But then again... isn't this my little girl who used to pout, whine and freak right the heck out if the "rules" she was expecting in any given situation turned out not to fly as she expected? Isn't this my daughter who, in kindergarten, I had to drop off every morning at school reminding her of the "mantra" I created for her: "no bossy, no grumpy, no fighting, adapt."? Isn't this my Sweetie, who I've written about time and time again right here in exasperation over Sweetie's stubborn overdramatic reaction to a multitude of situations? (can anyone say "dance recital"? Anyone? Bueller?)

Yes, that's her. My Sweetie, the one and the same. Currently getting her butt routinely kicked by this overbearing kid and these tricky, time-sensitive, rule-based, teamwork-oriented challenges. Challenges where she and her teammates are forced to work things out completely on their own - no adult input allowed.

My daughter... handling herself very well in the face of opposing forces and hard to understand concepts. Sticking up for herself as best she can, opening her mouth and voicing her opinions and ideas whether or not they're likely to be shot down by her peers. Trying again and again. Completely holding her own as the youngest member of this still struggling first year team.

Sweetie - telling me she hopes there's a D.I. meeting tonight (rather than being cancelled due to snow - again!) because she still has to give one of her teammates the thank you card she wrote her for coming to her birthday party back in December and for the nice gifts she gave Sweetie.

A card that's going to - you guessed it - that bossy little kid.

You hold no grudges, Sweetie. You're trying and struggling and thinking and creating. You're voicing your opinions, but not being bossy. And you're adapting to the way things turn out - whether on your terms or not.

Just another example of how you make me oh so proud to be your Mama.


(I just had to break the news to Sweetie that D.I. is, in fact, cancelled tonight. Third week in a row. "I miss D.I." she said sadly. I know, Sweetie. I know...)


Samantha said...

I love reading your blog, Amy. It's been great to "see" her growing up. The last time I actually saw her was when she was about 2 years old at our company Christmas party. She's such a smart little girl, so unique and creative. I can only hope that I will be half as good of a parent that you are when I get to that point :)

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about the dance recital!!

She's much more mature now.