I have often spoken about how difficult it has become to discipline Georgia, and I think the thing I need to possibly stress is that she is not a naughty child, she just wanders off … in her head.
Today I went to fetch her from school, and she was busy in speech therapy.
I sat and listened to the last 10 minutes of the lesson, and then I asked Georgia if she would go and fetch her bag, and I could chat to speech therapy teacher.
Tertia – speech therapy teacher – explained the words and concepts that Georgia was struggling with and we started chatting about Georgia in general, and her progress.
I mentioned a few things that were beginning to become real concerns to me regarding Georgia - and they were not necessarily speech issues, but possible with her experience in childhood development she might be able to offer some insights that I was missing.
I really am not the type of mother that sticks her head into the sand and avoids seeing the issue. I am more likely to start throwing water on a perfectly good bush, because I anticipate there might be a fire …. one day.
Tertia and I are chatting and at some point I look outside at Georgia. She is playing with her friends. But she isn’t. Her friends are playing around her, and Georgia is playing on her own, or to correct in her own world.
I start explaining how much I struggle with Georgia because she drifts off so quickly – and often… almost all the time at the moment. In the last two months it has got progressively worse.
An example is that in the morning I put toothpaste on her toothbrush.
Only because if I ask her to do that part it will take her 25 minutes.
I then leave her in the bathroom, infront of the basin, aimed towards the mirror, and I will go: “Please brush now, inside and out, smiley-teeth and back-teeth, brush for two minutes, not fast, but properly ….. for two minutes.”
She will smile at me, and I will go and get undressed, get into the shower, wash, wash and condition my hair, brush my teeth – yes, I brush my teeth in the shower.
Wash conditioner out of the shower, allow myself the 30 seconds where the hot water runs against the top of my spine, and then I turn water off, get out, get towel, do a basic dry off, assess how crap I look and how much I really should take a bit more time to get my sh&t together in the morning.
Take the cream away from Isabelle, comfort Isabelle because she is crying, tickle Isabelle, put some toothpaste on a toothbrush and give it to Isabelle, stand and smile at her as she brushes her teeth and is getting dribble and toothpaste all over her chin and down her sleep shirt, realize that I need to go and check on Georgia, kiss Isabelle on the head as I move her backwards so I do not get her toes caught on the bathroom door as I open it.
Walk down the passage back to the other bathroom.
Arrive in the bathroom and find Georgia standing in the bath – there is no water in the bath – she will be singing or have a bucket on her head and singing. The unused toothbrush will still be in her hand, with the tooth paste totally undisturbed – and clearly no teeth have been brushed. Fifteen or twenty five minutes have passed at this point.
She is not deeply ashamed or mischievously smiling when I find her. She will look at me and go: “Look I have a bucket on my head!”
Obviously at this point I go off POP! Like blind rage.
There is screaming and shouting and much child pulling out of bath and threats of bodily harm and it is all a little bit fish wife.
But short of a few details this is pretty much how it goes with Georgia every day, when I ask her to do something.
I can just substitute “panties on head and dancing around the bedroom” with the “ bucket on the head” or even “sitting on her floor writing on a piece of paper” will work equally well.
I am lamenting my life to teacher Tertia, not because I think she can help, but because I am at my wits end and I am not sure who else to talk to.
I know the answer is not to beat the crap out of Gerogia, or send her to her room for 6 months – none of these punishments work for her. The only person who feels crap when they are being dished out is me – Georgia toodles on in her own world, “min gepla” as they would say.
Teacher Tertia and I sit watching Georgia and she goes: “You know Georgia is not a stupid girl, I bet if she did an IQ test she would score very high, but she gets distracted …. she gets internally distracted and that is where the problem lies.”
“Internally distracted” – I have never heard such an appropriate term to describe Georgia.
She chatted about the fact that it is often the loud/ADD kids who get the attention because they get so distract by what is around them, and kids like Georgia who get overlooked because they are so quiet, and are not misbehaving – but they are operating in thier heads and away from everyone else – day dreaming for lack of a better term.
Tertia also said that if she is working with Georgia and something happens and she has to attend do it, Georgia will sit in the same place and just sit there – as happy as Larry. She says usually a kid who is not being attended to will get up and go off and play with the toys in the classroom, or something, she says Georgia will sit there quite content to drift off into her own world.
Listen I think all of this is wonderful and I love the fact that Georgia is as unique as she is – she is quirky!
Someone said to me yesterday: ”Georgia is so quirky, she is going to be the kind of person who opens a vibey coffee shop, and it has all this detail and she has all these interesting people there.”
She probably would …. the problem is that she will still be dancing in her room with her panties on her head and forget to go and open the coffee shop!
I am concerned that Georgia might not be main stream education material. Her in a class of 25 kids when the kids have to absorb a body of work quickly because the teacher is talking to all of them, is probably not ideal.
I see her wandering off – in her head – and sitting there staring at the teacher as if she is listening, but in her head she is dancing naked in the rain with a bucket on hear head listening to the tippa-tippa-tippa-tippa sound of the water on top of the bucket!
Tertia recommended I chat to a specialist paed who deals with attention-issues relating to children, and she recommended someone for me to call. She said the best thing to do is get her assessed.
What are my options in terms of ‘rectifying’ the issue, and Tertia said, I am not sure, maybe medication.
And then I sighed a bit, actually quite deeply … but not in happiness you understand.
I have the doctor’s number, I will call and set up an appointment to see what she says and just try and get some ideas of how to deal with this better (prefer no medication though, before the mother grundy emails start about who I should not medicate my child and and and ….)
I fetched Georgia and Connor and decided to stop for some ice cream.
I then watched Connor eat his ice cream neatly in an organized fashion. Same table, same type of ice cream, Georgia had hers on her jacket, on her chin, on her nose, on the table, on her shirt and on her forehead, and then the last bit fell out the bottom of her cone and fell on her lap!
This photo is classic Georgia … she is the one on the left hand side doing her Yoga deep meditation while everyone else is monkeying around for a photo …..