How to Understand Infertility: A Story

Imagine, if you can, if you will, that you are a post graduate student.  You have studied, taken courses, passed exams, all with flying colors, in your chosen field. In fact, you were the student that usually helped others on with their assignments, you seemed to be an expert no matter what.  This was in the bag! You were meant to do this!

Fast forward the summer after graduation,  you got a job lined up, its fantastic.  You cant wait to begin, you just have to ace the interview.  You show up on time, day of, dressed to impress.  You get ushered into the office, the new boss seems fantastic.  As usual you seem to pass with flying colors, afterwards they want to check a few last things, and you are asked to have  a seat.  The door closes and you can hear hushed voices. Suddenly out of the blue a swaggering nobody, dressed like the streets, comes waltzing in.  They give you a sarcastic, happy but obviously swirling on luck, look and go to the door, in the door and the door closes. Loud exclamations come from inside, cheering, like its the party you’ve been waiting for.  After a few minutes the boss kicks his head out “uh… position filled, you can go… don’t leave your resume”.  Door slams.  In a confused, dazed state you are torn between yelling at the boss that YOU deserve this job, YOU were meant for this job, what the HECK just happened!!!!  The secretary laughing comes out from the room and sees you standing in a daze. She obviously thinks you know what happened “OMG didn’t you hear! Hashtag awesome, this person, no experience, no education, she just got here, and its going to work out! Why are you still here? Do you know where the door is?”

Walk out

Go home

Try and figure out the next step

You did everything right, you passed the exams.  You were the best choice…. why did that other person get it? Its not fair, its not right

 

That ‘s life.  The woman who passes all the fertility exams, who is told by the doctors they are perfectly healthy, they can conceive, yet for months, years, they sit by and watch other people get their job, their career, their mother hood.  They may just have the luck, the timing, or heck maybe they weren’t even trying or expected to.

How do you behave, act, carry on, when every day other people, maybe just as experienced, or having none, get your job? That you dream of, yearn for, die for?

Good luck, we are all rooting for you.

 

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Why I HATE the Alphabet Song

It always makes me cringe to hear a toddler, kindergardener, preschooler or other young child burst into the traditional “A, B, C…”.  Now, its not that I dislike kids singing, or off key tunes, its the song itself I dislike.

As a preschool teacher of six years, this song has no educational value.  Its not teaching children how their vowels sound, or what sound CAT starts with, its just a sing song chant with the letters names.  This can confuse a child who is just starting to identify letters and their sounds.  A doesn’t say Ay, it says aaaa. If you know anyone under five years of age, it can be quite a situation when they believe they are saying it right, and it can lead to problems in school when they start trying to learn phonetically and  C A T doesn’t read cat, it reads,  See-ay-tee.  Yes, I have seen this.  Or, worse even, they try to just memorize words.  So reading goes ” c…. a…. t….  Tap!”, where instead of reading phonetically, they assume the last sound is a whole word to fill in the blank.

Another problem, is the children tend to combine sounds together to make new letters (and I have heard four year olds arguing over this one).  When they get to the letter L in the song.  Example “H, I, J, K, LMNO, P”.  They tend to think that it is all one letter, and funnily enough they will say it with such a flourish that they can convince anyone.  But, again, its teaching the sounds incorrectly.

Now, there are other great songs that introduce children to the proper sounds (that go great flash cards and objects) such as A says Ah.  These I love hearing! Especially when they hit the letter h with Ha Ha Ha!

Now, yes I dislike the song, but only when it comes to people teaching children the alphabet with this song, or teaching this song before they understand their letters or sounds.  Good luck out there!

Thanks, but no thanks, coach.

As I sit watching the game tonight, I suddenly have a flashback to the worst coach I ever got to play under.

It was grade ten basketball.  We were on our way out of town for a tournament.  Now, I was excited about this tournament! I may not be a strong offensive player, but since I wasn’t, I was shuffled to be a defensive, which tended to be this coaches favorite place to shuffle players he didn’t want to push for play time.  More defensive, less play time for me.  But out of town tournaments were different, since we had to pitch in for gas money and hotel money, we were all guaranteed at least ten minutes of play time.  Perfect!

First period, ten minutes in, …. no play…

five minutes left… no play…

Half time.  Get told to play better, haven’t played yet.

Second period, lets go!… still no play…

Comes down to the last five minutes, coach calls me to replace the star, sweet!

I go on for 17 seconds, I get called back off, he told the main star what he wanted, she had to go back on.  She had been playing the whole time.  What … the…. heck?

End of game. I got 17 seconds of play time.  That night I got a ride home from my coach because I had something I had to attend the next day.  I wouldn’t get any more play time this tournament.

“You’re not allowed to be mad at me”

“I didn’t get to play.  You said we all get equal playing time at out of town tournaments”

“I  had to so we could have a stronger chance to win”

“But we didn’t win, not even close”.  The score was over 20 points difference.

“Your still not allowed to be mad”

This coach who I had trusted, gave me the worst example of a mentor that I will never forget. I will never tell a child that they aren’t allowed to play in a game for my own agenda. I will never not keep a promise or a written rule to anyone. I will never tell someone they aren’t allowed to feel an emotion about an unfair situation.

After that weekend I told my mother it wasn’t worth playing on his team anymore.

I joined up with other teams, where we got to play and it was for fun, and we had great fun! And I never really looked back.

Learned Behaviors

The puzzle is too hard, the piece wont fit. What does the four year old do? “AHHHHHHHHH I can’t do it! Too hard!”

 

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I walk over, look and see how there are two pieces that if turned the right way, the whole work would be complete and this activity could be finished! One of the concepts we have at the program I am employed at (and I stand by) is children are to finish the work they choose, and to not leave tasks unfinished.  He screams more and gives me a pout.  I ask him

“Can you please use your manners”

“I cant do it. I need help”

“I see you are stuck, but I have a job of my own, can you try it until I can come and see?” He nods and tearfully turns back to his work.  I finish my job and come back to him, nothing has been changed, modified or tried. 

“I see you haven’t tried anything.  I cannot help you until you try”

“I CANT! AHHHHHHHHH”

“I cannot help you when you are not using good manners” At this I walk away and help another child who is working quietly and with good manners.  In a few minutes he dies down to blubbering, still shouting occasionally.  Then he stops, quietly walks over to me and taps me on the shoulder.

“Hi! I see you have used your good manners.  What can I help you with?”

“I cant figure out the piece, can you come help me please?”

At this point he has turned to a positive well mannered behavior so I respond

“Yes, since you asked so nicely I can come and sit with you” So I follow him back to his table and watch.  He putters around and is waiting for my answer.  I give him a tip, without giving the answer

“I see that you need to remove a few pieces, then try a different way” At this he takes out the two troublesome pieces, and rearranges.  He finally gets to the last piece, its going to fit, he wiggles it in and ta-da! He cheers, he celebrates and is happy! He looks at me:

“Thank you!”

“All I did was give you a tip, you did the work” Smile.  “how do you feel?”

“I feel great”

One of the hardest points we have as role models (parent, grandparent, teacher, guardian) is to not jump in when a child with a problem screams and acts out, but to guide them to ask for help in a nice way and to respond in such.  When you help a child to learn that good manners are helpful and screaming upset moments (no matter how faked, or real) are not accetpable, you are guiding a childs behavior and hopefully setting them up for a stronger foot hold in society.  So remember:

~Reward good manners

~Ignore or tell a child that bad manners will not get a response or help

~Let a child get upset, by not acknowledging, you take away the power of the negative

~Always remind a child afterwards of the good they accomplished, not by pushing “GOOD BOY” but “You did it! You have(accomplished work, describe briefly) and how do you feel?”