Thursday, December 20, 2007

i've lost touch with my way with kids

i used to be so good with kids. before i had them.

i was an awesome preschool teacher and camp counselor and trail guide (to 6th graders) and nanny, and on and on...i've had a LOT of experience with kids before i even had kids!

so now i'm a mom to a 7yr old and a 2yr old and i'm starting to notice that i just don't have the touch or even the interest in having the touch with other people's kids that i used to. i'm sure its like riding a bike and i can get it back anytime...but honestly...other than close friends' kids, i really don't have an interest in children other than my own these days. the conversations i have with kids other than tyren and maeven are few and far between.

i've never been the kind of person to get in a child's face immediately and be all chummy with them on first meeting them...friendly, sure...but not over friendly. but i have always been good at being able to carry on a great relationship with children during situations like when i was their caregiver or teacher...was even a favorite teacher at places i've taught...and before i was a mom i tended to strike up conversations with children regularly most places i went, if the child seemed to be up for it. (i usually let them approach me first...if they're shy with me, i tend to keep my distance, as i don't usually like to push myself on children)

but i guess i'm just tapped out now that i'm a mom. i just don't think of it much anymore. talking to other people's kids or really being too concerned about interacting with them...unless they initiate. i don't have a problem with a super friendly child that wants to talk to me...that's adorable...but shy kids and i don't really get to know each other cuz i just don't feel comfortable trying to draw them out of their shell when it's not something that is part of my job.

weird to realize this.

i've always loved kids so its odd to not be really acting on that anymore. i guess i have my own so now i don't need to interact with other people's kids so much anymore. i do like to be chummy with my children's friends, however, so there are exceptions to the rule...but still...i'm not the same tina i was as a teacher. mom tina is SOOOOO different from teacher tina. bizarre.

and yet, i know in a second i could switch to teacher tina mode again if the situation calls for it. when i teach classes in my home...i've done the mommy and me classes and the xmas crafts classes...then i tend to switch into teacher mode. its a good feeling doing what i know i'm good at. i'm a good teacher...to kids in groups...and i know that for a fact. i've been a good teacher for a long time. not perfect, by any means, but damn good if i do say so myself. but most of the people in my lives nowadays wouldn't know that because they've never seen me in action.

my husband has never seen me teach! i mean groups of children. when we met at scicon where i was an intern and leading trails (teaching 6th graders), the week he was there i wasn't in a trail guide position. i was lodge chief. so he never saw me teach then. oh well he saw me teach and lead campfire songs to like 200 kids. so that's something...but never an instructional class. and whenever i have led classes since scicon, adam was never there...he's never once (that i can think of) seen me teach! my teaching time at discovery center was during his work time...my mommy and me classes and my xmas classes...all during adam's work! i haven't done anything on weekends, so he's just not seen me in action. :( i plan to change that someday.

anyway, its weird though because i was just thinking how i don't have any kind of a relationship with some of the kids in our lives...maeven's cousins, for example. most of them are pretty shy and so i just never was able to feel really comfortable with them (i tried before maeven was born, but now i just am totally sidetracked with my own kids i guess)...weird. i don't know why that is. i do enjoy maeven's friends...especially since we spend so much time with them that they are very comfortable with me and talk up a storm. especially brooke and thea. so sweet. heck even clem, who i remember as this painfully shy child before we developed a relationship with their family, is a chatterbox with me sometimes. so that's something. :) but we do have alot of contact with them. so that has to do at least somewhat with this.

its funny because i remember my first week teaching preschool at harmony day school in sacramento (the school doesn't exist anymore, sadly)...that the director, shellie, was concerned because i was kind of stand-offish with the children. she didn't get it because she was absolutely the kind of person that is very in-your-face (in a good way) with children...very outgoing and super friendly with children. well i had to explain to her that i am slow to warm up. but once i warm up i'm fine...but just give me some time to get to know the kids. and them me. that's just how i am. i love kids but i am not in their face immediately. just not me. still not me. but now i don't even really warm up to them ever, some of them....but now that i'm thinking of it....maybe its not so much that i've changed but that some of the kids in my life i don't have much contact with them.

so maybe i've not lost touch...because i do feel like i can feel comfortable with maeven's friends...so maybe i was wrong...especially since i KNOW that when given the chance, i would have no problem dropping right back into teacher mode. i love that. its so comfortable to me. i love teaching, i love love love leading circles and campfire singing type stuff. in fact i had a huge compliment from a person in a position of power at a place i've taught at before...awhile back when she said that she should hire me to lead my campfire songs with the kids at a certain event because she's seen me in action waaaaaaaaay back when i did discovery center summer camp (before adam and i got married and had kids) and was impressed and thought i would be better than some of the children's performers here locally. :) that was such a warm feeling to me to hear her say that!! i can't tell you what a high i got from that compliment! wow! so unexpected too! especially since the conversation was in reference to a certain children's performer we were saying we weren't so impressed with and that's when she said she should have hired me! LOL! i love it.

well anyway, i don't know what's up but its weird how now that i have kids i just don't feel so much like i need to have relationships with other people's kids like i used to. i guess it makes sense in a way. still weird to me. kids have always been my life. guess they still are...but now its just MY kids! :)

*note: i should mention that when i'm talking about teaching in this post i'm specifically talking of teaching GROUPS of kids. because obviously, as a homeschooler, i'm still a teacher. its SOOO completely different at home with your own child though. especially since this month has all gone to hell and i think from here on out december will just be a vacation month because it just ends up being that anyway. there's just too much going on around christmas. from thanksgiving to christmas is just too hectic. and we don't even do that much! i still feel so stretched regardless. too much pressure around the holidays. too many things to do and buy. anyway i digress.

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