Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Message to Clothing Buyers

Halloween is stressful.  I'm no good at costumes.  Costumes, telling jokes, remembering card games--my weaknesses.  I mean, there are others, but those are my learning disabilities.  I sent a text to Chris yesterday that said, "Our not watching tv [with kids] is great until Halloween and all the costumes are weird costumes or scary."

Elliott initially said he wanted to be a grasshopper, totally blaming it on the plague of grasshoppers at Glammy & Poppy's this summer.  All I could think was, a grasshopper?--because that's easy.  Then he said, he though maybe a cow would be good.  I felt good about this.  A cow.  I can do a cow.  That's not too hard, right?

Party City?  No cows.

Target?  COWS.  I knew it!  Only no.  The top size was a size 4.

You know the whole thing about limiting screen time for young kids?  Yeah.  There is no place that it is more apparent that the advice is not working than the Halloween costume aisle at any store.  Elliott is nearing 5 years old, which I can assume from the options means he either loves superheroes or would love to be a slightly less-scary monster/vampire than his 10-year old friends.

So costume developers, please take note:  there are still some sheltered four-year olds in the world.  My child has no idea who Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America or the Incredible Hulk are.  No idea.  Super Mario Brothers?  Nope.  A vampire?  Nope.  Combine this with my commitment to avoid all items bearing a skull and the choices are SLIM.

My message to stores that provide clothing to children little boys (I'm not even touching on the issues with clothing for girls):

  1.  A 5-year old is still a little boy.  Little.
  2. Nearing 5 has not turned my child into a skate-boarding champ.  Really.  No skateboards.
  3. Ninjas and vampires kill people.  Please refer back to #1--no killing machines here.
  4. Superheroes are great, but I have to let you in on a secret--not all kids are aware of who they are. Elliott knows them by sight, but has no idea what they stand for or do.
  5. I don't get the skull trend.  I don't.  I feel like I must not be alone in this, right?  I can't be the only one opposed to buying clothing items with skulls.  
  6. There is plenty of childhood ahead of us, where we'll purchase the scary costumes.  I promise.  Maybe.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Professionalism. It's for the birds. Except when it's not.

So you know what sucks about being a professional?

You can't fight back.

Not to prove that you were rarely late for sessions.

Not to prove that you weren't out to decrease services for a child, only trying to make the constant in and out of therapy manageable for the parents.

Not to show that using the term "attachment parenting" wasn't an insult; it seemed a reasonable conclusion with a four-year old and two-year old share your bedroom, decision to let children move at their own pace.  Even if I was wrong, isn't that a discussion, not a complaint?

Not to say that use of the iPhone timer is more used with the intent of not moving in, checking the time over and over instead of trying to escape your home, especially since I was never in your home less than 30 minutes.

I know I need to get over this.  And I'm well on my way. . . the relief of not being put in a home without back-up from parents & a non-compliant child  is winning over anger hands-down.  The challenge is substantial when lies are told, just a shade off the truth--enough to be plausible.

"You always need the last word," my mom says.  Dammit if she isn't right.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lessons from being Fired

I was fired today.  Not from my job in total, thank goodness, but from one patient.  My friend's son asked if I got "moved down a level."  Luckily, the answer to that is no, too.  I'm pretty glad life isn't like a video game in this instance.

I have to say that in 13 years of doing what I do, this is the first time I've had a parent be so blatant about her dislike of me and my approach(es).  I have had 2 other families cancel services with me and each time it is a blow to the ego, leaving me searching for reasons WHY.

Funny enough, my management duties often involve coaching other therapists through exactly this kind of situation & I've oft repeated that we all get fired in the course of treating for any length of time.  That's true.  The other nuggets of truth I'll add to that discussion are:

  • Each time it stings, leads to questioning of skill, doubt in what you have to offer.  
  • Questioning and reflection on skill is important, no matter how long you've been practicing your trade.
  • Underlying that ego-blow is RELIEF.  
  • If you so happen to dread interaction with a caregiver so much that you are nervous to tell about jury duty service, then that relief will wash through you with your second mixed drink--that spreading warmth a combination of a little buzz and the realization that you never have to take abuse from that particular parent ever. again.  HALLELUJAH.  
So much more I could say.  So.  Much.  But in the hopes of salvaging my professionalism, I'll stop. . . in a minute.  Just for the record, if I ever am in complete denial that my child needs limits or has failings, someone take me out back and beat some sense into me.  

**The part I left out was that after I left the home I was not the picture of calm.  It involved quite a bit of righteous indignation, well-timed curses & shaking with anger (no exaggeration).  I'll save that post for another day.