Monday, September 7, 2009

how I learned to stop worrying and love the doll clothes

I was nervous when I woke up today. While I figured we had a good chance at negotiating a compromise with Martin's teacher, I also felt that there was a non-zero percent chance that she would insist that he have a tutor accompany him to school for the rest of the year. That is something we simply cannot afford to do. So even though the chances seemed slim, the stakes were high.

The meeting went well. As with every meeting at a point of crisis, we all realized that we had - at least to some degree - misunderstood the other side. We came up with some strategies for helping Martin navigate the classroom environment. We talked about how best to use his tutor and what the conditions would be for her departure. It was a good meeting. I picked up Martin at the babysitter's a few hours later. He was covered with dirt after running around outside for hours. He looked forward to school tomorrow. We've tried to lay the groundwork for better behavior. He has a little homemade (ie. amateur) book with three stories. The first talks about putting books away before circle time. The second details how to wait on the porch before school starts. And the third talks about how to stay outside for recess until its time to come in. Martin read these stories before bed. Hopefully, it will sink in. It is probably too much to hope that they will work already tomorrow.

Today's meeting was a big relief. And it was another moment in which I realized I have to stop worrying. I will never be able to control how the world works. Sometimes, we'll be able to stay in school and sometimes we'll be asked to leave. There is only so much I can do. So tonight I decided to do give up, at least for a moment, all the ways I try to control the world. I decided to do something other than my job, my housework, my garden chores, or my church duties. I found an old dress of Sasha's and decided to make it into a doll dress. Sasha was given a Cabbage Patch doll for Christmas last year. Unfortunately, the outfit the doll came in was too lacy and pea green for my taste. (Sorry, Xavier.) So I cut away at this old dress of Sasha's and sewed up a jagged hem. The bloomers ended up a bit too big and the dress a little snug, but it was just right. It was the most useless thing I've done in weeks. I'll make another tomorrow as I wait for Martin to return from school.


  1. Here's hoping that you can find some ritual to bring this truth into focus every day!

    I paint for the sake of doing something I enjoy despite the fact that it is not "useful" and I don't do it excellently. I find a great release in this! I run to release resentment. I think it is a pretty darned good way to kick against the pricks. Finding time for this stuff is a B*&9, however.

  2. You go! Channel that inner Martha... (What was that magazine you used to read where they made recycled crafts? You should send them a picture.) love, k.