Weekend Coffee Share: School And Stuff

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t bitch and moan about the heat today. We’re getting some respite from the heat this weekend, with highs in the upper 70s. It’s accompanied by clouds and rain, so it’s rather dreary, but I’ll take dreary over 90s any day. Our area has had almost 60 days of weather in the 90s (real feel in low 100s typically, thanks to humidity), and that is more than this time last year, which ended up 74 miserable days. So, this break is welcomed with open arms, even if it’s rainy.

That’s not us this weekend, yay!

If you were actually at my house for coffee right now, you’d probably give me a pat on the back for having a reasonably tidy house. I missed the kids while they were off at school this week, but my house is not a disaster zone, and for that I am grateful. Silver linings, amirite? I’ve got a load of clothes going and need to wipe down the table from this morning, but otherwise, it’s all good. I wouldn’t even turn someone away from my doorstep if they came up unexpectedly, and that’s saying something for me. (They’d have to wait while I put on a bra, but that’s it.)

You’d probably ask how the kids’ first week of school ended, so I’d tell you that LM’s ended on a very positive note. He had zero complaints for the week, enjoys all of the teachers he has met, and has made a couple of nerdy friends. The boy also made a 97 on his English quiz and a 95 on a math quiz. As long as he stays on top of his assignments and turns things in this year, he should do just fine. (He had a few Cs and Ds on his progress reports for not turning in stuff last year, so I’m hoping that won’t be an issue!)

Baby Girl, on the other hand, is still trying to adjust as I mentioned in another post. She doesn’t have any specific complaints, and she seems to like her teacher, but she has cried in the mornings and at night a lot and says she doesn’t want to go. Part of it is she’s just not sleeping long enough, despite lying down early. She also wakes up in the night, so she’s understandably very tired. Hopefully when she gets those tonsils out next month, I think she’ll sleep better. Even if she doesn’t fall asleep earlier, she’ll get a better night’s rest at least.

The principal greats her every morning and lets her cuddle his dog, so that usually perks her up before she goes inside. I should probably make a point of asking if she gets upset or has a meltdown if they’ll take her down to cuddle the dog for a bit. We will have a meeting to go over a 504 Plan soon, so I’ll bring it up then. Hopefully the coming week will be easier for her! I know it would take time for any kid to get adjusted, and even more so for one who is having sleep issues and is on the spectrum. It just breaks my heart to see her so upset.

We have no real plans for the weekend. My husband originally wanted to go to the zoo since the weather was supposed to be cooler, but it’s a) rainy and b) the kids are tired and want to hang around the house. We can always do the zoo in the fall. My friend messaged me about going to dinner tonight, so I may do that, but that’s it if anything. I may also have a drink or two or three tonight. Lazy weekends are the best, especially when they come on the heels of an exhausting week!

How was your week?

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli

Hello, Middle School

Today was the first day of middle school for Little Man. It took all I had to keep from crying at drop-off. I made a comment to LM about being on the verge of tears, and he said that if I cried then he’d cry, too, so I held them back for the moment. The boy was in first grade when I started this blog (and his sister was just a few months old), but here he is starting sixth grade.

LM only had a half day today, but he said he liked it. He said his homeroom teacher is awesome and funny, and he’ll have her for language arts and an elective class. He said the math teacher told them she was really strict and would probably make them cry. Yikes. His favorite teacher in elementary school also told them that — and compared herself to Darth Vader — so hopefully the math teacher ends up being cool. (He needs strict, though.) The other teacher he saw is someone he knows from the community playhouse that thinks a lot of him, so that’s good, too. We’ll see about the other ones on Monday.

Yesterday, I asked LM which classes he was looking forward to this year. “None of them. I don’t like learning the stuff the school wants to teach me. I want to learn what I want to learn.”

Lordy.

So I asked which classes specifically he didn’t look forward to. He loves language arts, math, social studies, and science. He loves theater and technology. After thinking about it a little more, he admitted that he did look forward to all of those classes. He also said he kind of looked forward to homework again because it was nice to have a routine. I don’t think he was being sarcastic.

I was worried that the class transitions, lockers, etc. would be overwhelming for him, but he said he already has his locker number and schedule memorized. He’s unsure about when he can use the bathroom outside of class. He insists that there are no restroom breaks and that kids are supposed to go during class, which doesn’t make much sense. Can you imagine having 30 kids and half of them needing you to sign a hall pass to leave during a 45-minute class? I would’ve lost my mind and wouldn’t accomplish a lot while teaching!

Baby Girl had open house last night. We practically had to drag her in since she decided she wasn’t going to kindergarten anymore. That was a sight to see. After she settled down, she met some other kids and seemed to get along well with another girl who was every bit as strange as she is. They had dinosaurs attack the Barbie dollhouse set up in the play area, which got the stink eye from some other girls. Weird kids unite 😉 The siblings of a couple of kids who bullied LM are also in her class, but hopefully she has a better experience with them than LM did with their older brothers.

The girl will have her tonsils removed next month. She has sleep apnea and very large tonsils, so hopefully this will help her get better quality sleep at night. (And maybe even stop the 1AM wake ups, where she also wakes me up and keeps me practically hanging off the bed every night since she has us in the “H” position.)

This mom doesn’t know how good she’s got it:

BG is understandably very anxious about this. We have a month to get her feeling okay over it. I’ve already told her about the rolling bed, wheelchair, fun mask that helps her sleep for the procedure, getting to miss school and eat ice cream for a week. She said all of that sounded good except for getting her tonsils cut out. I wish she didn’t need to have it done. Her apnea is mild enough that it’s not absolutely necessary, but they said she likely wasn’t getting good sleep at all most nights. The doctor also said it can cause ADHD symptoms. I know it’s a relatively safe surgery, but all surgeries have risks. I also hate to make her go through years and years of not being well rested, so hopefully all will be well.

Aside from some cleaning around the house, we have a lazy weekend ahead of us. No plans to go anywhere, plus a list of superhero movies to watch.

The Boy Is Back

Little Man has not had the best summer. He has often been moody and defiant. He hasn’t wanted to read or do any of the summer school work I’ve prepared for him (the last part is understandable, though). And he regularly antagonizes his sister, which leads to the screaming and name calling. I chalked a lot of it up to puberty coming on.

Since school is starting up in a week, I decided to put him back on his ADHD meds. (We don’t typically have him take them on weekends or school breaks.) Plus I made him start going to bed earlier, so he can get back on a sleep schedule that will be appropriate for when school starts.

And now my angel boy has been back for the past two days. He has been ridiculously sweet, hasn’t had an attitude about doing his chores — he even asked what he could do to help — and he finished a Harry Potter book and started another, without being asked to read. Plus he is making LEGO creations like crazy and isn’t asking to watch TV or play video games all the time.

Praise the lord.

It’s interesting. I know his ADHD meds help with focus (although he was always a big reader in the past, meds or no meds), but I never noticed not taking them affecting his mood/behavior in the past, but that is the only big change, so it has to be it. (He isn’t sleeping any longer than normal, so it’s not going to bed earlier I wouldn’t think.)

I am so grateful. Now, I know for a fact that he’s definitely in the throes of puberty (which I found out for a fact earlier this week in a way that has scarred LM and I both), so I know those mood flair ups will still happen at times. But seeing such a turnaround in his attitude and his love for reading coming back makes me so damn happy. There won’t be anymore skipping ADHD meds during weekends or breaks now.

In other news, BG had her kindergarten readiness assessment earlier this week. Her teacher said she is definitely ready for 5K and was impressed with her reading and other stuff. While she did well on that, BG said she isn’t ready, though, and wants to go back to preschool.

I think school anxiety is contributing to her meltdowns. She doesn’t want to be away from me, she doesn’t want to give up Pizza Hut Wednesdays (probably obvious, but our routine was Pizza Hut on Wednesday), plus she’s worried about making friends. BG said she doesn’t think people will like her because she’s different. And then she said if anyone asks her to be her friend, that she’ll say no because she doesn’t want to make new friends.

Plus her teacher doesn’t have superhero stuff and has “that yucky Barbie doll and princess crap.”

I think she’ll feel differently after she goes for a couple of weeks. She has her share of challenges ahead of her, but she’ll like getting back into a more scheduled day. I think she’ll also enjoy some of the enrichment classes she’ll take, like a STEAM-based class. Fingers crossed.

Brain Dump

I know that drunk posting is poo-pooed on.

And I get that. I’m in my mid-30s. I’m a mom. I’m supposed to be respectable and shit. But I haven’t eaten today because it just hasn’t happened, and the two strong drinks I had tonight when my husband got home have hit me.

It has been a long fucking week. Long as in “husband has barely been home for the last 9 days and hasn’t gotten home before 11PM most nights” long. Now, I know that’s not that bad, and his week+ has definitely been longer than mine I’m sure, but I’m accustomed to tag-teaming my very demanding kids, so I’m tired. Or, as my grandmother would say, I’m TAARD. (That’s like country southern.)

I’m used to the whole “MOMMY IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN SOLVE A PROBLEM” thing. But I’m also used to my husband stepping in at times. And I’m also used to him helping put BG down for the night. She might be five, but she still needs someone with her, and she also needs a very specific type of story every fucking night. The stories have to be different, but they also have to involve Spider-Man and trips to her pediatrician’s office. We’re on day 183 of this. That’s easier when we switch it up between the two parents. It’s also easier when I don’t have to hear her rage about how it isn’t my night, and “it’s her daddy’s night, because we got MOMMY-DADDY-MOMMY-DADDY, but don’t leave.”

She also takes forever to go asleep these days. And I gripe, but about halfway through — just when I think she’s legit asleep — she’ll roll over, open her eyes, smile widely, and then kiss me on the nose. And while part of me is “Go the fuck to sleep,” the other part of me is completely melting and hoping this never ends.

And I’m also used to him helping with cooking. And by “helping,” I mean “making the non-shitty meals.” I am not a good cook overall. I cook good things on occasion (and Instagram them, so some of y’all know how infrequent that is), and I’m a great baker, but he is a much better cook than I am. Take spaghetti. I brown meat, throw in the sauce, and boil noodles. But him — he has a very specific timing where he does things like throwing in the extra herbs in with the meat. The meat has to be browned somewhat but not all the way to seal in the taste. And then he sautees the cooked noodles in a couple tablespoons of sauce before putting all the sauce in. I try to do this, but it never tastes amazeballs like his does.

So, my house is basically LEGOs and shit everywhere, no truly good meals, etc. right now, but I did buy the kids’ school supplies yesterday, and I didn’t even cry, so BOOM. I was tempted when BG picked out her Batman pencil box over because I’m cry-y over stuff like that. (Also, she picked out a Spider-Man backpack and a solar system themed lunch box a couple weeks ago, and I love it.)

I was also tempted to cry when LM was bothered while picking out stuff. He picked out stuff that wasn’t superhero or Minecraft themed because he didn’t want to be teased in middle school. Oof. I wanted to tell him to do what the fuck he wants, but I also know that he already has a lot of social difficulties ahead of him and didn’t want to tell him to do something that could make things harder. I don’t know if that was the right call or not, but if enough other kids have Minecraft lunchboxes and pencil cases when school starts, and he’s comfortable carrying them and wants them, then cool.

Hmm, what else shall I write about in my drunk dump?

I got a job offer from a legit company last week. It seems like I might’ve already posted about that, but I don’t see it, so whatever. It has the potential to be a career type job in the long run. I submitted the paperwork to HR, but haven’t heard back yet, so I’m freaking out. My husband said that HR in big corps take forever to get things processed, but I’m convinced that I’m now back to square one because that’s how I roll. (I decided if I don’t hear back that I’m gonna wait until next January to apply for stuff and take it “easy.” Heh.)

Tonight was fun after he got home. FUUUUUN. We watched Fun Mom Night, which I think is fucking hilarious. I love to watch it when I’m drinking. It didn’t get good reviews, but pooh on them. I also played a video game for a while and tried to make my husband watch.

Me: Watch me.

Him: I don’t wanna watch this.

Me: I watched your play. Twice. Now watch me do my thing and be supportive of me.

Him: I don’t wanna watch you kill middle school kids on Fortnite. Come on.

Me: WATCH ME. Some kid just won millions of dollars playing this, so WATCH ME.

I didn’t do well.

It’s two in the morning, so I’m done now. Good night.

School Nerves

In three weeks, BG will start kindergarten. And in slightly less than three weeks, LM will start sixth grade (rising sixth graders start on Friday). Every summer feels shorter than the last one. We were especially busy this summer, so that kept things moving quickly along. The kids have made their bucket lists for the remainder of the summer, and they’re short, so we should get it all in. Strangely enough, both kids added going to eat at Chili’s to their lists.

And, yes, they sing that when we go. And LM always makes a point to say that he feels God in this Chili’s tonight.

I’m kinda nervous about the kids going to school since they’ll both be changing schools this year. LM will go to a middle school out of our area and participate in a theater program, while BG will go to the charter school that LM went to. The middle school is 25 minutes from our house, the elementary school is 20 minutes away, and the schools are in opposite directions of each other. I haven’t figured out drop-offs and pick-ups yet, but I’ll get there. Hopefully.

The schools the kids are supposed to go to are about five minutes from our house, so we are doing good at keeping things complicated, huh? We have good reasons for sending them to the far-away schools, though. The program at LM’s school is something he’s really interested in, plus the class sizes will be smaller. And BG’s school is really small, with only 18 kids per class. It’s so much easier to get in touch with the principal and other leadership there, too, which is important.

We’ll have to meet with LM’s school and go over his 504 Plan, and I doubt any changes will be made to it. I hope the transition goes well for him. I imagine getting packed up to go from class to class and using a locker will be challenging for him. But on the other hand, I think having classes that have a set beginning and ending time that don’t overlap each other will help as far as him shifting gears mentally goes. Plus, middle school classrooms are typically more no-frills with less distractions. His fifth grade teacher was wonderful, but there a dozen different places to hand in assignments and stuff, and he’d usually end up cramming everything in his desk. And middle school won’t have desks that you can cram crap into, so there’s that.

I have a million worries with BG starting kindergarten, which I could probably turn into a 10-part blog series, but I won’t. Some of it’s just typical anxious mom worries, but a lot is more legit. I’m going to meet with her teacher and student leadership team before school starts to discuss some concerns (like the potential for meltdowns and how that would be handled, her running off, food stuff).

I also need to talk to the teacher about how BG sometimes just shuts down when certain issues come up. At the end-of-year preschool party, I was sitting on one side of the bounce place and saw her approach some boys from another class, but they told started throwing balls (from the ball pit) at her face, and she just sat there, crouched while staring at the ground while they threw the balls and laughed. (That broke my heart, and they got in big trouble.) And sometimes if someone does something that bothers her (like comes up from behind and grabs her or something equally annoying), she’ll let out a blood-curdling shriek, but she ends up being the one reprimanded for screaming, and she won’t explain why she yelled. There are things like that communication-wise that I can see being problematic if the teachers aren’t made aware/keep an eye open.

While BG’s teacher doesn’t yet know the full scope of some of her struggles, she does have a feel for her, at least. They met a few times earlier in the summer as part of a Head Start program. She saw first-hand how BG can be super chatty, struggle to stay in her seat, or just shut down and refuse to do anything. She seemed really sweet, yet bewildered, but she didn’t lose patience at least.

I dropped off the paperwork her psychologist gave me about the autism and ADHD diagnoses, and they’re supposed to be lining up services for her. We also got permission to take her out of school early one day per week so she can continue going to her speech and occupational therapies. Those are about a 45-minute drive from the school, so she wouldn’t have been able to keep going if we had to wait until the end of the school day to go. That’s a huge benefit of going to the charter school vs. the regular school. (Just like how she would have been able to delay 5K a year if we wanted, but wouldn’t have been able to at a regular school.)

On a different — and amusing — note, BG has developed a Hanson obsession. She has asked to watch a Hanson concert (I have like 9 DVDs) every day. She also keeps asking me when she’s going to get to go see them in concert. ❤

BG presented me with this picture last week:

I asked what was going on there, and she said that it was her holding a Taylor Hanson doll. It took every fiber of my being to not laugh. She might have it worse than I did. (Well, do.)