I am basically a people pleaser by nature. It just clicked with me in childhood like a baby duckling imprints on its mother. We follow rules. That's a fundamental truth. We try to make the people around us happy. Another fundamental truth. Being an inconvenience or annoyance to others is to be avoided at all costs.
As an adult I realize that this simply isn't possible at all times. I know that. I know it isn't healthy or possible to feel a compulsive need to keep everyone around me happy all the time. You'd think raising two under two would have beaten that out of me, but dealing with children is somehow exempt from all of the above.
Then it turned out that Ava needs extra help. In order to get her the help she needs I have to be her advocate, translator, chauffeur, personal assistant, and liaison in addition to raising her to be an intelligent, caring, responsible adult who knows, without question, that she is loved. In order to be this advocate for her I have to do things I find uncomfortable.
Specifically, I am asking her preschool office staff and teachers to make some accommodations for her. She has been receiving speech at school. Her teacher has been wonderful about it. She even helped us get permission from some of the other parents in the room to participate so that her therapist can facilitate her communication in a small group. Overall, the school has been wonderful too, even providing a room for them to work in.
Ava's third birthday is on the horizon and the school district is preparing to evaluate her in December. They've called the school to set up an appointment to do an official classroom observation as part of that evaluation.
Last week her occupational therapist expressed a desire to observe her in the classroom during play and during her lunch at school. She and I tentatively set that up for next Tuesday. I mentioned that to the preschool director as I was heading to pick Ava up from her classroom and I got a distinctly chilly vibe. She said it was fine, of course, but the subtext was clear [enough is enough].
It was just a little thing. It was, perhaps, 30 seconds of my day. She didn't even say anything, it was just a negative, inconvenienced vibe. And yet I'm still thinking about it. It's because I want to please. I don't want to be that parent who is a nuisance.
I need to get over it. I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. This journey with Ava will consist of many more moments when I have to push, or inconvenience someone. It's just the nature of this particular beast.