Monday, January 25, 2010

My Little Prisoner

She is my happy prisoner. Gloating in her boredom. Laughing at her 7 hours of solitude. Giggling at the meal delivery. Shit.

Claire has been hating school. Hate with a capital H. I don't know where we've gone wrong. We counted cars even before we made it to preschool. We have spelling bees on the way to the grocery store. We write stories together. Do math problems on the chalk board. We read every night. She measures things with Paul when they build stuff together. We try to make every experience a learning experience. For Kindergarten and 1st grade, she would cry when I wanted a day off from driving the 30 minutes to Bellwether.

And now this: Mornings of delay. Barely getting dressed. Going back to bed. Dragging her feet. Eating breakfast slowly to make us late. And around each corner: "I hate school. I don't want to go. It's so boring. We don't learn anything. We don't do anything. We sit on the floor too long. I'm not going. Period."

And then me: "Yes. You are going. Everybody goes to school. Find a way to make it fun. You don't have a choice. You're going."

This morning: screaming crying pulling hair out hitting brother.
I leave her behind.
I'm prepared to bring her back to school when I get home.
She still refuses.
I tell her she has to stay in her room all day long...7 herself.
She can only come out to pee.

Inside I'm writhing. She should be at school. Is this really going to teach her a lesson? I want her to be bored off her rocker, so bored she pleads with me tomorrow morning to wake her up early so she can get dressed and have breakfast and brush her hair and brush her teeth and be ready to leave when Momma's Monster Mini Van is ready. I'm convinced she'll never want to stay at home again. 7 HOURS alone in her room. By herself. Which is hard for her to do for 10 minutes, much less 7 HOURS.

I've been waiting for the tears. The whimpering. The whining.

It's almost noon. She's playing games by herself, making Valentine's for each of her classmates, coloring, reading, writing, singing, dancing.

It's lunch time. I have to deliver her her lunch. I was thinking of bread and water.


  1. Chores! If she doesn't want to go to school tomorrow, make her work!! Maybe doing not so fun stuff would change her mindset??

  2. I thought of that...but she LOVES to help me with chores. I thought making her be by herself would be the worst punishment, as she seems to HATE it. Except for today. I guess self discovery can be fun!

  3. Maybe a form of teaching is the change that is needed...? have you considered MAYBE they are not teaching her in the best way for HER? We do not all learn the "same" way as some say we do. For example the Waldorf school or home schooling?

    just an outsider view,
    good luck to both of you! ;)

  4. i don't have any helpful advice, since i'm only a pretend parent for 12 days a year, and my pretend kids haven't graduated from preschool yet. and you'll have to wait 10 years to try this idea, but my cousin's kid is spending his senior year at a school that would make PB jealous. it's the World Class Kayak Academy in Peru. and he's in heaven. check out their family blog card:
    my cousin is an adventure photographer / cameraman / ham-bone by trade.