Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Week 2 re-cap: Just Listen

First of all, let me just say it's way easier to change your food habits than it is to send your kid back to public school. Way, Way easier.

I'm actually to the point where I've slowed down the fiber drink (actually, it kind of grows on you and now I miss it...) If you like hot cereals, it's pretty similar. My friend says not to compare foods, because then you set yourself up for expectations, but I did feel like it was this new cereal I didn't have to heat up every morning. I've also been able to enjoy myself with the foods I can eat, once I added the coconut and nuts back in, so I wasn't so spacey and losing weight so fast. It's time to start implementing regular foods back in (according to me and me only. Other people would tell me to wait. If I am going too fast, I'll try again after Christmas, but I am sort of modifying the plan to what  feels right to me. And to me, I feel as long as I keep a high quantity of garlic, probiotics, garlic, coconut, and herbs in my diet, and keep attacking this thing from all angles, I'll be able to stop being the girl that can't eat anything. And I'll stop having my friends think I starve myself.

So I haven't started adding too much yet. I'll start with a few fruits and veggies. I think grains will probably be the last thing added back in. And corn. I figure, my whole family is allergic to corn, so it's highly possible I jumped in that boat, too. But I refuse to stay allergic to everything. I don't know how much willpower really has control over it, but I've got it in spades. There are way too many treats and yummy things in life to stay allergic. I'll just remember to be careful with what I eat, and stick to whole, less modified foods. I've felt an inkling for a while that all the modified foods are killing the human race. I'm guessing that inkling is probably for a reason...

Also, in case you are wondering: it's not a good idea to become allergic to everything while you're trying to pull off a Halloween carnival (including 200 bags of cotton candy. In your kitchen), having your heartstrings pulled by a teacher who needs to raise money at a bake sale and had NO parents volunteer to help (I'm actually utterly disgusted), and donate your time and your baking skills to teach a class on how to decorate cupcakes for a local charity. You know, in case you ever get to pick when you form a major allergy. And in case you ever DO decide to become allergic to everything (decide... ha), don't expect people to understand. I think that's been the hardest part of all of this. People can't understand. They tell me it must be a gluten intolerance; that they felt like they were allergic to yeast, too, and it was just a gluten problem. Or that maybe if I just tried something I am leery of eating, I'd be fine. Or even how dare I not be able to eat anything with milk, grains, and sugars. I should just stop rocking the boat and eat what people make. That last one really gets to me. Really? You don't think I'd love to delve into all the delicious soups and stews? Or the cornbread? Even Mashed potatoes and gravy?

And oh! The pumpkin treats!

And when I decline, people think I'm starving myself. I almost wish I'd been a plus-size my whole life instead of skinny-mini. When you lose weight suddenly when you're bigger, people sing praises. When you are already too thin, people make you eat everything. Even if it'll make your throat swell shut.

I think I'll start running again. That'll really freak people out...  Actually, I intended to start running again soon, whatever people think. I figure, since I just did this major body overhaul, I might as well add the lbs back on healthfully.

Now, in school news, my little anti-reader reads at grade average. Now you may think "grade average, whopety doo" but for a kid who hates reading, and who has NEVER been grade average at reading (hence why she thought she was stupid at the end of last year), that is a HUGE victory. A HUGE victory.of course, all she sees is that she's in the red dots now and still not good enough for the yellow (stupid system, killing the victory), but for a kid who read 30 words per minute at the beginning of homeschooling to jump to a 59... how do you not celebrate inside? How do you not stand up and say, "we did that! We, my homeschool kid and I, WE did that." That's something they can't take away. And as far as math... yeah, she knows how to add and subtract and compare numbers up to 500. In school, they are still learning the 10's value place. I told my math wiz to tell the teacher it was too easy, and my way too obedient kid tells the teacher "my mom says to tell you I'm bored and my math is too easy." I thought, great. Now they'll peg me as manipulative. So  I decided I needed to talk to the teacher myself. And I'm pretty happy with that conversation. I didn't get the opportunity to teach her math myself, which is what I would have loved (but didn't really expect); but I was understood. And I understood the teacher. And that made it totally worth it. At first, the teacher had her walls up pretty high. Too used to defending a system she knows is broken. I said the math was too easy, and she said that that's funny because she thought the math was too hard. That had me confused for a bit, but guess what... all of the problems are story problems. They can't just learn 376+212 any more. They have to learn "Johnny has 12 apples, Peter has 2 apples."

Once I found out that all math was story problems and why's now, I was really pretty disgusted with the system. Lets teach my pro-math, anti-reading kid that she has to do math by reading! That sounds like she won't end up hating both, if ever I heard it... So I used an analogy I've heard teachers use over and over again. I said "sometimes I feel like my fish is being told she has to climb a tree." And all of the sudden all the walls came down. We talked about how my fish doesn't rock the boat. Ever. If she's told to be less than she is, she becomes less than she is. If she's told to be more than she is, she never draws attention to the fact she's not. If she doesn't understand a concept, she wont ask for help, because that's rocking the boat. If she's smarter than the average student, she won't let anyone know, because that's rocking the boat. And she's terrified that if she knows something no one else knows, she must be wrong, so she NEVER answers the questions. If there were any of Ranger's DNA in her, I'd blame him. He doesn't rock the boat, either. And I was BORN to rock it. How are we supposed to go where we need to if no one ever rocks the boat!?! But the teacher got it. It clicked. She said, "yeah, that describes your child perfectly! She's so hard to gauge! I have to constantly check where she's at, because she doesn't draw attention at all." I was singing Hallelujah. This teacher sees my kid. This teacher SEES HER!

And after the walls were down, and we were both talking about a kid we love who is in a system we don't, doors opened. This teacher knows that we are equals. I respect her for all she's doing in a system that wont listen to her. She respects me for all I'm doing in a system that wont listen to me, either. And we both respect my kid. And the system is not hearing her either. But her mama is. And her teacher is. And right now... That's a miracle.

But that's not all! Happy dance! THIS CHICA STOOD UP FOR HERSELF! When it was math the next day, she said, "This stuff is EASY! I'm already done!" And the teacher listened. The teacher saw that she knew it. My girl had the strength to rock the boat! I was pretty leery of letting her "eavesdrop" while I talked to the teacher, but something told me to pretend I didn't notice. Something really subtle, that I wouldn't have even pegged as anything important until today. But now I'm so glad she was listening. She heard her mama say she was smart. She heard her mama say she knows this and doesn't want to rock the boat. And she heard a teacher understand her. And that made her feel safe enough to celebrate herself! If I never get to homeschool again, it will be enough. My girl knows she can celebrate herself. She knows she's worth it. And that is priceless.

That. Is Priceless.


  1. Have you looked into charter schools at all? It kind of sounds like it's what you guys need.

  2. I've looked into them, but I wasn't so impressed with the ones here. And when the mandate is "public school, specifically in a classroom setting" and doesn't even count online public school, it gives me NO leeway.