Thursday, December 15, 2005

Today I did something was so amazing, for me.

A bit of background: Enthusio is in a play. Enthusio is one of the only boys in the play. Enthusio is squirmy and when he gets bored, he is constantly doing things like pulling his arms out of the sleeves of his shirt. There have been long rehearsals for the play Enthusio is in last week and this week, because the performance is next week. Yesterday was not a very good rehearsal. For some reason, a large majority of the kids in the cast were just not very attentive, and there was a lot of obnoxious behavior going on. Nevertheless, the director of the play seemed to consistently have Enthusio on her radar, and by the end of the rehearsal, a couple of the other moms had commented to me that she seemed to really be singling him out, so I knew that it wasn't just me being sensitive to what was going on with my own child.

Enthusio didn't really seem bothered by it when it was happening, but at dinner when I was telling Reasonable Man, I did ask Enthusio if it had hurt his feelings, and he said it did. I stewed about it, as I have hundreds and maybe even thousands of times before when someone's done something that's bothered me and I've let it eat at me instead of telling that person how I feel. I was dreading going to rehearsal today and facing a possible repeat of what happened yesterday.
And then, somehow, I just picked up my cell phone and called the director and told her how I felt.

When the phone was ringing, I was thinking "I can't believe I'm doing this. What am I going to do if she actually answers?" And then she answered, and I told her who it was and said I wanted to talk to her about rehearsal yesterday. I said I felt like Enthusio was being singled out, and I asked if she could try to be more tolerant of him from now on. I told her that how things had gone yesterday had upset me and made Enthusio feel bad.

Guess what? The sky didn't fall. Pigs didn't fly. The world didn't come to an end. The play director was lovely and apologetic about it. She said she hadn't meant to pick on Enthusio but she understood where I was coming from and knew that her eyes have a tendency to go right to him when she's looking at the stage, just because he's been pretty wiggly (or as she put it, "kinetic"), since the first day of rehearsals. She said she felt terrible that he and I felt bad about things and promised to apologize to him and make a general apology in front of the cast, and to be more patient with him for the last two rehearsals. And she said she was glad I'd called. It ended up being a nice chat, considering that I'd called to complain and that I was shaking and trying not to cry for the whole thing.

This afternoon's rehearsal was nicer for everyone. Enthusio came home much happier than yesterday. Plus, my earlier triumph of assertiveness gave me the confidence to approach one of his teachers, with whom I'd had an upsetting conversation about a week ago. She called me and we had a really good conversation about how he's doing at school. My impression after the last time we talked was that he is just a huge pain in the butt for her. Talking to her today made me realize she just really doesn't quite know what to do with him. She said she's sad that he's so upset in class so much of the time. It sounds like there are a number of kids with issues in the class this year, and it's been tough for her. So that was good, just opening the lines of communication. We will work to arrange for her and his other teacher to meet with his therapist and start working on finding a way to help him be happier and cope better in the classroom.

I just feel so good, for him and for me. If you are reading this thinking "So you made a phone call -- big whoop," I have this to say: Congratulation on being a naturally assertive person. I'm not. This kind of stuff has been hard for me my whole life. Standing up for myself has always been an issue. Today I stood up for my son, and it felt good just to know I could do it.

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