Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Should I just be a feeder blog for SRMM?

Seriously.  I love this woman.  Today's post really hit home because it's something I've been worried about for a long time with M.  Last year she was asked on a total of ZERO playdates.  It was so sad the first time she saw one of her classmates going home with another.  Being the rule-follower that she is, she was more upset by the fact that Susie was going home with Katie and her mommy and not her OWN mommy like she's supposed to than she was about being left out.  I don't think she even understood the concept of a playdate.  After explaining it, she said she wanted to have the twins in the class over for a playdate at our house and my anxiety set in.  What if she just stopped playing with them and shut herself in her room?  What if she had a meltdown?  Only the first of those two happened and it went fairly well.  Then we had H over to play and again M chose to do her own thing but H didn't seem too upset about it.  I keep telling myself that it's only because it was the end of the year that there was no reciprocity, but the lack of invites for the first 8 months of school still broke my heart.
I know we're only in our second full week of school, but I'm already aware that M is viewed differently by the other girls.  I can't blame them after the screaming and crying scene the first week at drop-off.  And I don't see any other 1st graders carrying their stuffed animals in a mini travel carrier every day.  (Today: Snowflake the cat. Yesterday: Sealy the seal.  At least she's not pushing them in the baby stroller this year.)  I know the looks will increase once the weather cools off and she's still refusing to wear tennis shoes - only flip flops.
I know she's capable of making friends - thank goodness for Summer Adventure where she met her best friend, L.  It was amazing how well they clicked.  And he is an exceptional kid.  His mom also ROCKS and has become a dear friend of mine too.  But L goes to a different school and he's a boy.  There's nothing wrong with having a best friend that's a boy, but a girl needs girlfriends.  Her primary activity at recess is being chased by the boys - and I've been informed by one of their moms that they can NEVER catch her (SO PROUD) - which doesn't bother me either because I did the same thing at recess when I was her age, but I was running with other girls.  Not by myself.  When you ask who her friends are she mentions girl names too, but I don't think the feelings are mutual.  If they were, they would have had a playdate together already since they were in the same kindergarten class last year. 
As I'm writing, I realize that all of these deficiencies are Asperger's related but that doesn't stop me from being sad.  If anything, it makes me grieve more the loss of her not experiencing the same kind of friendships that I had.  Granted, I have had my own issues with friendship and how to be a good friend/have a good friend.  I've actually thought about writing on that subject but first need to figure out some really creative alternate names for people I want to exploit discuss. 
That's not to say that I'm not at fault for most of my friendship fails.  Jeff & I both come from homes where our parents didn't really have anyone over.  Seeing my parents with friends now is weird to me - though I'm really thankful that they are socializing more because they need good friends.  We never learned how to be friends from our parents.  We're not even close with our siblings. There's a lot more reasons for that, but I really believe that parents need to foster that in their children.  We try SO hard to teach JJ & M to encourage each other, love each other, and rely on each other because they are the only the sibling that they will ever have thanks to a need-to-be-scheduled trip to the urologist  and they are going to be friends for life.  This is usually in the middle of a mini-war between them, so the response we usually get is eye-rolling or more screaming. 
I'm thinking about writing a letter to the moms of M's Girl Scout troop to help the other kids see that she's really awesome, just limited in her social abilities.  I got the idea, of course, from the comment section of the post referred to above.  I'll have to look at the video she mentions to see if it's something I should pass along.  And I would probably have to direct them to this post too.  I need all the help I can get. 

M & L this Summer

Who wouldn't want to be friends with this cutie?  :)

***I really wasn't fishing for playdates with this post, but I am thankful for my 3 sweet friends who offered.  I'll take all of you up on it!***


Mrs. Fabulous said...

I want to be friends with Morgan! ...Jensen too! I know we have different kiddy-issues, but if you ever want a sounding board, or just a coffee date at Starbucks, give me a call. Miss seeing you!!

Greta said...

I think the most painful thing for me as a parent is to feel like my girls are hurt or disappointed and there is nothing I can do about it. Sometimes I try to remember that God is bigger than all the hurts and slights. Other times I just cry and get mad.

When Sadie was in Kindergarten she got "fired" from the circus because as the inventor of the game she thought she should have complete control. I thought she would never stop crying and my heart was breaking for her. She was "re-hired" the next day.

Although we are just uncool Rock Hill folks we would love to have the girls over for a play date next week.

JenHahn said...

This makes me sad for Morgan, too....unless it doesn't make her sad. Sometimes boys just make better friends. Girls can be exclusive, dramatic and controlling. If her desire for sisterhood is met with J, maybe boy friends will be a good fit for her for now. Daniel really likes Morgan! I know they don't go to school together, but we'd love another play date with the Rileys.

moenhome said...

Amy, I love reading your blog. I so wish I were as eloquent as you are in describing your feelings and thoughts. I love how honest you are. I know it's been said a thousand times, but being a parent is the hardest job in the world....and you, my friend, are doing an AWESOME job! Can't tell you how much I miss you. Please let me know if you ever need anything. Seriously. I'm always here :)

Sara D. said...

Okay, here's the thing I've learned since having kids in school, and I find it to be generally true. Some kids do play dates A LOT and some don't. It's not that everyone is socializing outside of school--but some families just handle having kids over with ease. We tend to do it VERY sparingly, because there isn't a lot of time, and it's sometimes hard to have other kids in the mix, when we have so little time together as a family. Since Grace and Josh are new to their school this year, I am working extra hard at inviting kids over--it totally stretches my comfort zone and forces me to be CLEAN, but I know for this season, it's what I need to do. This is ABSOLUTELY TRUE of my life as well--if I didn't ask or have friends over, I would barely see anyone. I'm OKAY being an initiator, because I understand that women don't always do the best job of reaching out to each other (we let our insecurities get the best of us WAY too often). If you are good with it, have Morgan's friends over--you get to orchestrate the fun, see how they interact, know what things work and what don't...have their moms over too, and introduce them to your world! You will probably have to work extra hard at helping Morgan with her friendships; whether it's writing a letter to moms, or having girls over to your house--however, teaching her and Jensen that relationships take work is an UNBELIEVEABLE gift that you can give them!!!! Hang in there Amy, you are doing an incredible job!