You know, I never realized just how different Cameron was until we started going to large events with several children present. The day I enrolled him, for example, was stressful and honestly left me near tears.
We were sent to the all-purpose room (imagine a large gym like structure that also includes a stage) and after grabbing the packet of papers from the person behind the Kindergarten table, I proceeded to sit at one of the empty tables in the room. At the point we arrived, there were maybe twenty or so other parents, easily a dozen children sitting around patiently waiting for their parents to finish.
You’d think I could convince Cam to sit for a few minutes.
Yes, he’s five. But at that age, they should know well enough, right?
Well… With Cam, that’s a no go.
The moment I stopped paying him any attention, he proceeded to hop up and run around the room. There were a few other children doing this as well, so I kept one eye on him as I began to fill out the paperwork. But, one of the teachers (or school nurse? It was hard to tell because she was wearing scrubs), informed the parents we were to keep our children under control.
That’s easier said than done with Cameron. As soon as I would have him seated and would slide back into my seat, he’d bolt. He thought it was a game, giggling without a care in the world. Meanwhile, several of the parents were shaking their heads at me, whispering to one another. Embarrassed, I chased after him and brought him back to the table.
Finally, I was forced to hold onto his wrist with one hand, while trying to fill out the forms with another. Well, he wasn’t having that. He screamed, punched, kicked, bit… left bruises all over my left arm and leg. He was not going to be forced to stay in one place.
Now, I’m not a heartless parent. I love my child. I hate seeing him sick, hurting, even angry. But here he was literally beating me up, while I tried to hold up my head and proceed with my task at hand.
If it weren’t bad enough that he was behaving this way… then there were the other parents. Still shaking their heads, some whispering, some loudly commenting on my child…
It took all I had not to cry. Here I was, trying my best to maintain my patience and control with my child, trying to fill out countless papers which seemed to ask the same questions dozens of times over and over again and they dare judge us.
It was only at the kindness of one of the school’s secretaries who remembered Cameron from all of his therapy sessions at the school, that I was able to keep from having a meltdown right then and there. She was so kind and walked over and offered to walk him around while I filled out my paperwork.
God bless her. I don’t know that I would have ever gotten him enrolled had she not come over. I seriously was about to hand over the packet and tell them nevermind. I couldn’t take the physical abuse of my child and the verbal abuse of the other parents.
Needless to say… as much as Cameron has calmed over these past few months… he’s still extremely active.
We had Student Orientation at the school and we were running a bit late because we had to wait for my aunt who was coming with us. As if walking into an orientation late wasn’t embarrassing enough, but I felt stupid for having not thought to bring his school supplies.
Then as we stood in the back of the huge room, Cameron proceeded to talk… not just talk… but loudly. So much so, I couldn’t hear the principal who was using a microphone to address the entire room.
And then the stares started… and then the whispering… and disapproving glares.
I tried everything I could to get him to speak softer or sit quietly, but he wouldn’t have it. Here my beautiful little boy was, and I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was embarrassed that I couldn’t control him. He’s so willful… so determined to have his own way and I just get left feeling like a failure for not being able to teach him to behave.
Once again, one of the school’s employees intervened and she offered to show my aunt where his classroom was, so that I would be able to pay attention to the information they were providing. (Which trust me, I learned three things and then it was over by this point in time)
His teachers seem nice enough. He really enjoyed getting to explore in the new classroom. All of which is wonderfully hopeful in my eyes. It’s hard to believe he’s starting school… but even more so… it’s hard to believe that my days will once again no longer be filled only by his presence. Something I have grown accustomed to… even as much as he frustrates me from time to, I still will miss him.