I've pretty much been "chubby" my whole life, and that pretty much made my entire school experience, from kindergarten to Bachelors degree, miserable. A fat chick is a target. Everyone seems to be okay with that. Additionally, or maybe in part because of always being a target, I've always been somewhat socially awkward, and that led to me periodically getting in trouble at school. I talked a lot. My attention wandered. I corrected teachers. I talked a lot. I also had a lot of problems with anxiety. Stomach problems. Recurring nightmares. Etc. So, while I do have a (small) handful of not-miserable memories of school, for the most part I look back and ... shudder.
When Seth started kindergarten last fall, I had high hopes that his school experiences would be better. That his memories of it would someday be happier. After all, he's a good looking kid who is not chubby. Smart, sweet, funny. And when we first met his teacher, we were all enthusiastic about the school year. She's experienced and involved, and from everything we'd heard about her, her kids all loved her and they learn a lot from her.
This past Friday, Seth got in a fair amount of trouble at school. Her notes are sometimes vague, and he sometimes acts like he's not quite sure why he got in trouble (which is counterproductive, if you ask me). Brian and I have been after Seth for a while now to not get in trouble anymore at school, and a couple nights last week he wasn't allowed to watch television or play with his DS, because of it. But on Friday, he cried at school. He got in trouble for forgetting to do something...and I'm sorry, but forgetting something is not a behavioral problem (if it were, I'd be in Leavenworth by now), and then he cried in class, and then he got in trouble two more times. In the note she sent home, she actually made fun of him for "bawling like a baby" ... at least, that was our perception of it. We both found it pretty unprofessional of a teacher to make a remark like that, in any case. So Seth didn't get in more trouble at home for that, as we could both tell he'd stressed himself out enough over it (hence the crying).
Last night as I was getting Seth ready for bed, and he realized it was a school night again, he started telling me his stomach hurt. "If I throw up tonight, I won't have to go to school tomorrow, right?" This made me so sad, I can barely articulate it. That's how it started for me...seventeen years of daily torture and nonstop anxiety. It is now my mission to keep it from happening to him. I wish I knew where to start.