Oh, yes, PanKwake is BACK!
She spent most of yesterday out of her bed. She was bouncy, bubbly, and LOUD. I have no idea where she gets that from.
She even joined us around the dinner table last night. Including trying the broccoli risotto. It did not PanKwake though.
It did start a discussion about…school food. Around the dinner table were three adults from three different countries/cultures. England and USA from the 1970s and 80s as well as Germany of the past decade. So it was a lively discussion.
Ernie, our German au pair, had only suffered through two years of school food. You see in Germany children get out of school around one or two. So she simply waited and ate her Grandma’s good cooking once she got home.
Of course, I thought that fish sticks (fingers in the UK) and rectangular pizza would win the day. Especially when you throw in the horrid lime green Jell-o with pears.
But, no, the hands down winner was Cookie Monster with meatballs that bounced as high as PanKwake’s little eyes Halloween bouncy balls. And chocolate concrete. He described it as that, but when he pulled out his phone to Google it…that was actually its name. Oh, and pink custard too?
We have a winner…
Of course, PanKwake only went to school for her reception year and a month of Year 1. Honestly, I am surprised at how much she remembers after seven years of #HomeEd.
PanKwake being autistic and having extreme food issues did NOT actually eat at school. Of course, no one bothered to tell me that until the last six weeks of the school year. Yes, my four year old child went seven plus hours with only the apple or banana that they had for morning snack. And no one bothered to tell me for nine months!
It gets worse. But then PanKwake took up the story telling for Ernie’s sake. Cookie had heard this one already. When they finally did tell me, it was the substitute teacher, who finally shared that information with me. He asked me to send food that she would eat. At the time, she was on a diet of McDonald’s pancakes. So I made the effort to stop each morning on the way to school and feed her first. Even if we were late.
I ordered another box to go for her lunch. When I picked her up that afternoon, I was called into the classroom and told I could not send it again. As the school would not allow McDonald’s on campus.
Mind you…back then PanKwake ate one thing at a time. Not like you are thinking. I mean only one thing for days…weeks sometimes. Only one food…morning, noon, and night. And at that time…McDonald’s pancakes were it. So we were back to my four year old #LittleHuman going all day without food.
Of course, the subject of school does not come up in this house without a huge discussion of bullying. We were not disappointed as PanKwake told Ernie all about her bully. Like I said I am shocked about how much she remembers…especially given the short to long term memory transference issues incumbent with her autism.
I was also shocked to learn just how little I actually did know about what was happening during those hours that I had entrusted my precious #LittleHuman to the school. By the time she finished telling her story, I wanted to go back to London…and…
Well, I am about to say something really unpopular here…but when it comes to school shooters…anyone notice a trend? It ain’t the popular kids. It is the ones that were bullied.
And having fought in the corner of both my daughters in the US and UK, I can actually understand why. PanKwake says…the schools don’t care. For the sake of fairness, I open my mouth to defend them, but the words won’t come. They can’t. Not after the battles I have fought.
Am I justifying school shooters? No, but gun control won’t work either. Not until the adults…the schools…address the underlying issue of bullying. The UK does not have the issue of school shooting, of course. No, instead it is suicide. Maybe some people think that is better… well, do me a favor…never read anything else I write…you are not a human being.
In Wales, there is a huge deal lately about ACEs. Adverse Childhood Experiences. ACEs are stressful experiences occurring during childhood that directly harm a child (e.g. sexual or physical abuse) or affect the environment in which they live (e.g. growing up in a house with domestic violence). ACEs are considered a public health priority because studies show that exposure to ACEs impacts mental health and substance misuse into adulthood.
I will admit…PanKwake had her share of ACEs. But in the loving, stable home with Cookie and me, she does not ever mention those. Appears to have no concern or even memory of those.
Her ACE…the only one that still bothers her…did not make the list. Bullying in school! Wonder why? Maybe because the Health Board did not want to take on their friends in Education. That does not change the fact that the impact of bullying on our #LittleHumans is as bad or worse than any of those ACEs.
Do you know why I believe that bullying had more impact upon PanKwake than my two-years of depression following a miscarriage…the domestic abuse that she witnessed…or my separation from her father?
- I did everything I could to minimize their impacts and hide the truth from her. I plastered on smiles and took her to the park even when I was dying inside. I did my best not to let her hear us argue or to speak ill of her father around her.
- They were isolated events, not daily occurrence. Four times in her life…versus five days a week for over a year.
- And the one I think is most important…I never left her powerless. She always knew that I cared. That Mommy was on her side and would protect her. NO ONE protected her at school. Not even the teachers that were supposed to.
The only ACE that has followed PanKwake into her pre-teens is the bullying that she experienced at school. But I will let you hear that for yourself.
One more time, folks, her YouTube channel and its content are the exclusive right of PanKwake under Articles 5, 12, 13, and 14 of the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child).