So what is it about second grade?
Let me first say, that this is not a criticism of Ava, but more of a reflection on how monumental this year has been shaping up to be. Last year we had problems with getting Ava to quit being so social and to focus in class, but with a little help from a very observant teacher, Ava was pretty much able to work through that. She is still a flitter brain that would rather chat and daydream than pay attention to her teacher, but I'm certain that will ebb as she ages. So much is going on in her little life, that I wonder how she even manages to learn anything anyhow.
Did you know that little girls are vicious? I had no idea. Is this something that I just forgotten about, or was I just too shy to have noticed way back when? Ava seems to have fallen prey to the frenemy. For most of the time, Ava and her little friend get along. Meaning, said friend allows Ava play with her. Ava on the other hand adores her and does everything that Friend says or does. Unfortunately, Friend likes to play power games and will purposely push Ava out of the circle of friends for a day. I encourage Ava to be nice, and move on to someone new, but it doesn't seem to sink in. I tell her a true friend would never try to purposely hurt your feelings and she nods knowingly, but the next day Friend gives her attention and hugs, and I feel like we're back to square one. It's a stupid spinning frenemy circle.
It's all about making choices, I suppose, and that has been our biggest parenting challenge of the year: Getting Ava to stop, weigh the outcome of her decision, and then make the right choice. It's almost a daily challenge to get Ava to stop making the wrong choice about everything from something so small and trivial (like flushing the damn toilet already!) to bigger issues like remembering to bring home her homework. Everything Rick and I say or do to try and help her work through her thought processes has been mind-bendingly futile. We just can't seem to get through to her the concept of consequence. Perhaps her mind is more abstract than Rick's or mine, but at this point repetition is all we have. It would even test the patience of Mother Theresa.
And that is where all of this comes full circle. How do you get a sensitive kid for whom healthy choices are non-existent, to decide to let go of an unhealthy friendship? I feel as though that if we can get Ava to make that leap, so many other issues would begin to fall into place. Aaaah parenthood. Everyone focuses on how physically hard it is to have a newborn or toddler. What they don't tell you is how much harder it is to wade through the emotional waters of the years to come!