I told myself that I was going to start this new year with a good attitude. I was going to come back from my two week break from work with fresh eyes and a hopeful new approach. Things with my lead teacher were just strained because the kids had Christmas Fever in December. I was going to turn over a new leaf and make things right! Right?
As I was driving to work yesterday morning I had a full blown, knock down, drag out panic attack. It was so bad my finger tips went numb. I couldn't breathe and had to call the Assassin AND Hubby to try to talk me down just so I could get myself to work. I managed to force myself in the doors and kept a low profile. My boss was watching my every move and slightly critical, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. Good, I thought. I've got a handle on this. It's going to be better now. Right? RIGHT?
I should have known better. I saw the trap. I walked around the trap once, but then I just jumped right into it. My boss has told me several times she feels that I label children too easily and that I shouldn't do that. Even if I say something is developmental, she says I am labeling them. But here's the thing, I have a right to label some children. I have experience working with special needs kids. I know of what I speak. Parents of special needs kids have thanked me and sought me out to work with their kids. I just "get" kids with quirks. To me it's just what makes the child unique, it's not a life curse to have something different with your child.
Anywho, remember my OCD child, the Perler bead child? She also has a tendency to wet her pants several times a day, every day. My boss got really fed up with it today and asked me point blank if I had a opinion on why she did this. I didn't know what to say. I knew if I said, "Why, yes, I think it is a manifestation of her OCD and we need to find something else that soothes that need," she would say I was labeling her. But I also knew if I didn't say anything, I would get in trouble. So I took a clinical approach. I simply said, "Well, I know in children this age it is a symptom of diabetes. I don't think she has it, but I just don't know." This didn't sit well with my boss, so I added, "I also think she enjoys being in the bathroom, it's her safe place. She spends twenty minutes at a time singing or playing the drums in there. Maybe that's just how she gets in there." No labeling. There was NO LABELING THERE!
Unfotunately, we had a meeting later on this afternoon and she brought it up again. I thought she was really asking me, giving me permission to say something, so I suggested we try an experiment where the child would receive a reward if she went one day without having an accident. The teacher kaibashed that idea because, "she'll harass us every other day about getting a reward and never let it go." (Umm, my point on OCD, maybe?) So then I said that I just wanted to know if the child COULD control her bladder or if maybe she wasn't developmentally ready to be potty trained. The lead teacher exploded all over the place and told me that she has already spoken to me about labeling children and that I am not a psychologist and...and...and....and I walked right into it, didn't I?
The thing is, I am beginning to realize that this person does this to make herself feel better. She belittles me to soothe herself. If I can say this to myself, why can't I just let it go and get through my work day without wanting to poke my eyes out? Why...why...WHY? If I talk to the division head, she's just going to talk to my boss and things will be a real mess. If I ignore the problem, I have 5 more months of this and then I have to try to find a job in a really messed up economy. If I talk back to my boss, well, I risk my job and a good reference. I just don't know what to do.
Rock, meet hard place.