She Got “Rounded Up”

All ready to be "rounded up".

All ready to be “rounded up”.

Preparations began for the next school year these last couple of weeks.  One of these things was my son’s IEP meeting where we reviewed his education plan for the next year.  The other thing that took place was the long anticipated Kindergarten Roundup for The Princess.

One day back before Christmas I happened to be at the school and actually happened to remember to give them her information (a good parent probably would have done this a long time ago). At the end of February I got a letter in the mail about Kindergarten Roundup.  Then me being the fabulous Mom that I am I forgot to sign her up.  Luckily they know me all too well and were sure to call me and tell me which day and time they could fit us in.

This is a good thing.  She has been home with me for the most part this past year.  She’s bored, though she would never admit it.  She needs a challenge.  Mommy can only do so much to get her interested in learning.  Sometimes I feel like if I could jump into the TV she might be more interested in something besides playing Hello Kitty legos.

As it drew closer to the much anticipated day of Roundup, she experienced a whole range of emotions from excitement to total fear of what was going to take place.

First she was just bubbling over with excitement.  “I get to go to KINDERGARTEN in a couple of weeks!”  She thought she would get to start going immediately following the roundup, but I had to keep reminding her that this was only a day to go in and visit.

Later on in the same week she changed her mind and informed me.  “I don’t think I want to go to Kindergarten anymore, I just want to stay home with you.”
This surprised me.  “Why?”
“Because I would just miss you too much.”

Then a few days later she said “I guess Kindergarten would be fun.  I’ll go.”
Again I’m surprised.  “What made you change your mind?”
“Well you’ll be there too.  In my room, just like Preschool.”
“No honey, I won’t be in your room.  Most likely not even in your school.”
“OH.  Never mind.”

Then The Professor came bringing his artwork home from the Art Fair.  Since he’s on an IEP, we didn’t have his conference until the meeting and naturally I forgot all about the whole fair thing.
The Princess could not take her eyes off of the art.  “You have Art in school?” she asked curiously.
“Yes!”  He replied
“And you had it in KINDERGARTEN?”  She asked, excitement creeping into her voice.
“Uh-huh.” He answered.
Apparently that settled it.  She ran over to me all excited “Mommy, I want to go to Kindergarten and do ART!”
Just to be sure she’s still with the program we have displayed the artwork predominantly at the top of the stairs.

The Professor shows off his artwork.

The Professor shows off his artwork.

The day of the round up arrived and she was ready to go the second she bounced out of bed.  All I heard all morning.  “When are we going to Kindergarten?  Is it time for the round up?  When do I get to be rounded up?”

I really wonder if she thought it was going to be like cowboys rounding up cows or something.  It’s more like herding cats.  I know because I’ve done it.

She was also very put out that I had to brush her hair.  At this point she almost changed her mind about going.  Yes honey, when you get ready to go to school you have to have your hair brushed EVERY DAY!  Gee mom, say it ain’t so!

When we arrived at the school, she bounded in.  I think she was thinking that she would come to the door and they would announce her presence.  “PRE-SENT-ING her highness Princess Tantrum!”  Other little girls would appear and they would run off together and play in a pink castle.  No-she had to go with her mom, to the school library and WAIT.

This was where she got cold feet.  She found her nametag, let me put it on her dress and that was that.  She climbed on my lap and wrapped herself around me like a boa constrictor.  “I’m not going, I’m going to stay here with you.”

CRAP!  Where is a tea party set and willing playmates when I need it?

Luckily for me, the teacher that The Professor had in Kindergarten was helping with the round up.  I thought that was nice since she is retiring at the end of the school year.  While the principal was starting her spiel to the parents, she came in and started talking to The Princess. This calmed Princess Tantrum down, and when it was time to go down to the classrooms she practically skipped out with her.

An hour and a half later, I went down to retrieve her and was informed with a wink from The Professor’s former teacher that she was indeed ready.  Like there was any doubt.

And just in case there was, we got the letter in the mail that she will be a Kindergartener in the fall.  Sorry kid, there’s no turning back now.  I hope someone is going to warn the art teacher.

All rounded up.

All rounded up.

Desperately Seeking Child Interpreter, Stat!

I’ve always been sort of a character.

Ugh!  I think the honeymoon may be over.  I have to get this off of my chest, so I apologize in advance for this post.

It’s just like a lightbulb burned out up there all of a sudden.  Maybe a connection went bad.  Maybe some brainwaves got scrambled up there.  Yes, second grade was going pretty well.  Now it’s not.

I talk about Princess Difficult quite often, because she’s home most of the time and she is a constant source of funny blog material.  The Professor, AKA my son and her brother, also lives in our house.  He is just harder to write about than she is.  He is one unique individual.  He is so unique that I just don’t understand him.  I fully expect the parent-child disconnect on some level because he is a boy and I grew up with one sister and mostly girl cousins around me.  He lives in his own world.  There has to be some sort of barrier around him because it seems that most of the information that gets through is garbled.  He can repeat back to you what you just said to him, but most of the time it’s like it went directly from his ear to his mouth without stopping to be processed.

The Professor is ADD and also has some major sensory issues and other as of yet to be explained things going on there.  Kindergarten was an absolute nightmare.  At the end of his kindergarten year he finally was evaluated and was put on an IEP.  An IEP for anyone who is not familiar with such things is short for an Individualized Education Plan.  His particular one focuses on his ADD and his behaviors.  My son has Attention Deficit Disorder so badly that he doesn’t exist on the same plane as the rest of us.

It all went down like this:  We went to the doctor’s office, the doctor asked 5,000 questions that we had already answered on the form we had to fill out. Then he shooed me out and my son a test on a computer.  Afterwards I was called back in, and what I got from the doctor was that he could be ADD, and that my next step was to consult with our pediatrician.  I left the office feeling like I had just wasted my time and a sick day taking him in.  Fabulous.

Then we went to the pediatrician.  She has been his doctor since infancy, and she has had some pretty unique experiences with him.  He was hospitalized for a week for dehydration from a horrible stomach virus the previous year.  She just happened to be the doctor on call.  She’s one of those rare doctors that will call you at home to ask you a question when reading over his records.  She’s awesome.

I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.  We went into the examining room, and she said that the report that came from the evaluation they performed said that he was off the charts ADD, needed to be medicated, and may need an one on one associate because his behaviors were so severe.  HUH?  She seemed surprised that I was surprised.  Did I miss something here?  Did she consult with the wrong doctor?  Oh, and he was possibly on the spectrum, but we would have to do much more testing.  This wasn’t going to happen, because our insurance would only foot the bill for the one test.

The ADD and Asperger’s possibility, not surprising.  Everything else, yes.

After much discussion, we chose to not medicate him.  I took the prescription but never filled it.  We went on to the school meeting the following week.  I don’t think they were thrilled, but understood why we chose not to put him on medication.  They created an IEP for him with a plan that included working on following directions, behavior modification strategies, etc.  He is in the regular classroom, but makes frequent visits to the resource room to work with that teacher on his behavior.  He receives a sheet every day outlining his behavior and whether he was able to follow directions.

First grade started out great, then went downhill as the year went on.  Still much better than kindergarten though.  Now we’re into second grade.  Same poop, different grade.

He is a GREAT kid.  He’s cute as can be.  He is super intelligent, reads well above grade level, loves science and math.  He’s bright, and curious, and inquisitive.  He’s funny.  Anymore he’s a fairly good brother to his little sister, which is good because he needs to work on his tolerance of other kids.  I’m happy when other people compliment me on what a fun kid he is, because I don’t think very many people at school necessarily get to see that side of him.

He and his sister don’t always see eye to eye, but I think they have developed an understanding. She knows that he’ll do whatever she tells him to do!

Some of the not so great stuff I understand about.  I understand that it’s hard to pay attention when there’s something much more interesting OVER THERE IN THAT CORNER, and then over there on the wall, and then over there on the floor because I am also ADD.  I get the sensory issues, like using lotion really grosses me out sometimes.  I understand the food issues, because there is a lot of stuff that I would rather starve than eat (granted I’ve gotten better than that over the years).  I get the anxiety, like being scared of tornadoes and not wanting an alarm of any sort in the bedroom because you can’t take loud noises (I have to wake to nature sounds).  I understand the panicked feeling when the routine is disrupted, or things don’t go according to plan because I am the same way.  I understand the isolation and the problem relating to other kids his age, because I also have fabulous social skills (I’m being sarcastic).  I have a hard time with the constant repeating of certain things, and him whispering things to himself like a little echo but I can deal with that.  Sometimes it’s gets very wearing on me when he is stuck on something he really likes, and I get to hear about it 99% of the day, like Lego Star Wars or Super Mario Brothers, but I’m happy that he has interests and tries to find out all that he can about them.

What I don’t get is the ups and downs and how he can have so many fabulous weeks and then everything goes in the crapper.  When other kids try to be friendly with him, he does something inappropriate like hitting or yelling at them because he thinks they are “bothering him.”  And how he overreacts to everything.  Or when he outright refuses to do his work in the classroom.  And when he has his meltdowns.  Or does stuff that makes no sense like the relentless chewing on anything he can find, like shirts, stuffed animals, and electrical cords.  Yes you saw that right, he even chews on those.

He can tell you exactly what was wrong with what he did, but he can’t apply it to himself.  He’s still angry with me for taking away his lamp.  Even though he can tell you that there is electricity going through it and that someone who comes into contact with it will be electrocuted and die, he doesn’t understand why his mean mom had to take away the lamp.  He loses control and hits or pushes another kid, and he can tell you why it happened and what he should have done, but is more upset about getting in trouble than he is about the fact that he hurt his friend.

What we have here is a failure to communicate.  Or understand.  It’s like I’m talking to him in a different language, and he can parrot what I said back to me, but he doesn’t actually understand what I am saying.  Something isn’t connecting.  I think I need an interpreter, or maybe one of those universal translators like they use on Star Trek.  Nothing else seems to work.  No amount of rewards for good behavior, or punishment for bad behavior, or plans at home seem to get through.  We can take away everything that is fun to him, like video games and TV, and it doesn’t really seem to matter.  Some months a good week is one where he doesn’t visit the principal’s office at all.

If it’s anything like last year, this will continue for awhile, and then suddenly get better.  Then there will be a period where it gets way worse.  It’s maddening.  I’m surprised I don’t have any gray hairs yet.  I feel like apologizing over and over to his teacher for having to do so much work when it comes to my kid.  I feel like I should apologize to my husband for having this to deal with when he’s been at work for 10 hours that day.  I feel like I should apologize to him, for failing him as a parent. I feel like I should apologize to the readers of this post, because no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t put a funny spin on it.

I don’t feel like I have really earned the label of special needs parent, because I know what parents of children that I worked with in special education have gone through.  He is relatively easy outside of this.  He has always slept well, a little too well in some respects.  He spends most of his time at home with his nose buried in a book, or rolling around on the couch, which is a little annoying but otherwise harmless.

I love my son to pieces, but having these issues makes it so hard to be a parent.  Do you have a child who has issues in school?  On an IEP?  Does your kid have trouble relating to anyone his or her age?  How do you deal?

Reality: Coming to Terms With That Sucky Dark Side of Life

The reality of it hit me today.  My son was going on and on and on about the different things he wanted to do when he grew up.  I nodded and gave a little feedback.  He was so excited about everything he was talking about.  And I was there still listening but the inner voice was pretty loud.  How can I encourage my children to be everything they want to be when I don’t believe in myself?

My son is a little odd.  Ok, he’s a lot odd.  He has a lot going on.  The Toddler years were rough.  Preschool started out rough but ended beautifully-he was in a situation where everything just clicked.  Then there was kindergarten.  It was hell, both for him and for me.  It was just like other children were not real to him.  Yes he would sometimes try to relate to them, but a lot of the time he was in trouble for hitting a friend or pushing a friend.  Sometimes it was an accident.  My son is ADD, and he flails his body around a lot.  But other times he said that the other child was “bothering” him.  Supposedly the child was just trying to talk to him.  He simply wanted nothing to do with the rules, would yell at the teacher, roll on the floor, be very disruptive.  It was awful.  He spend a good amount of time in the office that year in trouble.  I’m sure it didn’t help that I was working right across the hall in the other kindergarten room.  I witnessed a lot.  And I am not one of those parents who thinks their child can do no wrong.  There are many instances when he is at fault.

First grade has gone well.  At the end of his kindergarten year they put together an IEP for him.  He had different times of the day where he would meet with his special ed teacher to go over his schedule, etc.  His teacher was very no nonsense and just seemed to get him.  We’ve gotten all the way through first grade and we are now into summer.  I’m worried about 2nd grade because unlike first grade I don’t really know any of the teachers.  Summer has been rough.  I tried to put together a schedule for him every day.  So far it’s not gone very well.  We end up deviating from the original schedule on the refrigerator at lot and he can’t handle it.  He is so quick to anger when things don’t go his way!

The word Asperger’s came up frequently when we were trying to pin down what was going on with my son.  Very intelligent, curious, he speaks very formally, like a miniature adult.  He has great difficulty relating to other children who are around his age.  When other children are at the park playing, he’d rather find an adult and talk to them about some sports thing he had been reading.  Playing outside never happens for very long because he tires of it quickly.  At least we have convinced him to bring his books out.  At least he’ll be out instead of in.

He just doesn’t play.  Some of his little quirks remind me of me, but there is so much that is so different.  I played as a youngster.  MY mother says that I never really was bored because I would use my imagination and basically make things up.  Oh to be young again.  I just don’t see that in my son.  Even when he is given a character to pretend with, he has to find out what the story is and that exact story is what needs to be acted out.  He doesn’t like pretend all that much-he much prefers scientific and nonfiction stuff.

Today I approached him with the idea of having a notebook to turn into a “field guide”-he could write down all of his scientific hypotheses and theories as well as draw some of the critters outside.  He seemed to like that idea.  My husband I have talked about how the only way we are going to get this boy outdoors without the sprinkler being on is somehow making it science.

I am a mean mom.  I make my children go out.  We have a nice big fenced in back yard with a swing set and a tire swing.  We have bikes, riding tools, balls, tennis rackets, a batting tee.  You name it we have it.  BUt they don’t want to play.  I don’t turn the TV on and I have my reasons.  Get outside and experience nature!  Use your imagination!

I remember being around my son’s age and running around the yard in my swimsuit and my towel tied around me like a toga.  We were playing Gods and Goddesses.  Clash of the TItans was REALLY big that year!  And these were things we just thought up and did.  There were no rules.  We made it up as we went along.  We didn’t always GET along, but it was fun!

I don’t see my kids doing much of that.  My 4 year old does ok with some things.  She has parties for her ponies and takes care of the different characters in her room.  But she’s 4.  MY 7 year old really just needs to get out with a couple of boys his age and pretend and run around.  Somehow I don’t see that happening!

So here when he should be playing, my son comes and sits with me on the park bench while his sister is still running around on the climber.  He’s asking me all kinds of questions and then starts in about how he wants to be a firefighter, a professional football player, and a racecar driver when he grows up.,  I want to be supportive.  I also want to throw in the whole “You’ll still need to go to college” Schtick.  But I hesitated.  My kids have had the university here shoved down their throat since their dad went there.  And graduated.  And got a good job.  Now he has to pay the loans back.  Ouch.

Me?  I went to college and I think I’ve made it pretty clear how that’s worked out for me.  I went to school so that I didn’t have to have a job with a nametag.  Yet I just left a job that I had to wear a nametag for.  Sigh…

WHile I am sure that there is something out there that we are all meant to do, right now I think my thing is not there.  When they arranged the whole finding your way thing they didn’t put the answer for me.  Or something.  There are days when I feel like I need a shirt that says “I went to ____ college, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.  And debt,”

Today I was told (in an email of course) that no, there will be no more data entry after this week.  That I will officially be starting over in the unemployment department,  Saddening, and maddening.  Really-I think it’s the whole thing where a guy tells a girl he’ll call and doesn’t.  I’m sorry they were sad I would be leaving, but don’t tell me there’s a job possibility there!  The job where I could continue to do data entry from my home possibly 30 to 40 hours per week it sounded very promising.  It doesn’t exist.  It’s not there and not much I can do about it.

So I’m back in the job hunt.  I have very two cute things to take into consideration too.  My husband has been trying to put together some sort of budget for us now that we have a lot we have to pay out in loans.  Now he says that I HAVE to find something-we had discussed the possibility of me just staying home.  I thought we had agreed that full time wasn’t going to be something I was going to explore.  But the reality of it is that the areas I have looked in the past I would be working to basically pay the childcare that I have to arrange for my kids.  Doesn’t seem quite right.

And I’m not going to work at McDonalds.  There was a summer where I was trying to work just something for the summer so I could have flexibility with it when I had to go back to work at the school in the preschool.  That summer I applied for lots of jobs-Kum and Go, Caseys. Holubs, Lowes, etc. Noone called me or even tried to interview me.  Overqualified.

The thinking here is that I went to college so I wouldn’t have to have a job that I wear a nametag.  Yet I just left a job that I had to wear a nametag (because, I”m assuming, someone might try to be a Red Cross Imposter.  HA HA)

I’m skimming the jobs online after finishing my data entry-some interesting jobs out there.  Some are ones that I could do with no problem but pay nothing.  Some that are interesting but I don’t have the right qualifications for.  I just don’t even know where to start.  I owe it to myself to not go to work at McDonalds. After all I DID go to school. I DO have a bachelor’s degree.

None of this really registers with my husband.  He has been through several job losses with me, on each side, and he doesn’t really know what to do when I get so down on myself.  He feels a job is a job, and I get the impression that he feels that if I don’t find one quick there’s something wrong with me.  We are running headfirst into a money problem with his and my student loans eating up so much of our budget.  What do we do?  He’s set.  He has a fabulous job that he drives far away to every day.  He gets to go to a local gym for free-I just about cried when he told me that.  I just had to give up my membership and my body is paying the price.  I’m not jealous.  I just wish I could get some stuff to get going in the right direction for me.

But if you don’t know what you want to do it makes it difficult.  And SOMEONE has to be here for my kids.  I’m ok with working, but I can’t be in a town an hour away 8-5 every day. I passed on a job with the disorganization doing their scheduling.  Pretty sure you don’t even have to have a degree to do that job.  But too far away.  Am I selling myself short?

I feel like I have no skills to offer.  That makes it hard to present yourself to a potential employer.

Aren’t there still jobs out there that want you to have a 4 year degree but don’t really care what it’s in?  I wish the schools would do that with preschool.  I know that I WANT to teach preschool. I did it for many years at several different centers.  I was very good at it.  But having to go through the trainings to present that paper that says I am fit to teach those kids is pricey and ridiculous since childcare centers pay so low.  Going back to school for an early childhood degree probably isn’t the best idea.  More loans.  More student teaching.

I’ve finally managed to break away from the child care aspect and here I am not even sure what I want to do.  So I look at jobs and analyze them and then try to decide if I’m worthy of even applying for them.  And how am I going to work it if I get an interview?  Is someone going to watch my kids?

Now that I know that I am officially done I guess there are things for me to do.  1) Get unemployment called. Doubt I qualify, but might be able to get something.  2)  Call the student loan people.  Sorry, if I am not employed I don;t have $$ coming in!  3)  And this is the hard one-Call Iowa State, then go in and talk to somebody.  I can conceivably still go this fall if I can just figure it out.

Everyone deserves a chance to feel successful at something.  I don’t ask for much, I just want to be able to do something that makes me happy and brings in enough money to survive.  My lifestyle is not extravagant, and I shouldn’t be made to feel bad if I want to keep shopping for clothes at Goodwill .  I love my children, and I don’t want to be some career woman that never sees them, but I DO need to figure out what my next move is here.  A job, no job, school, a home business.  I don’t know.  Any suggestions are always welcome.

NOT Running With Scissors: The Day Mommy Cried

It was bound to happen sooner or later…

“Mommy, I’m really good at using scissors!” my recently turned four year old announced this afternoon. “Oh that’s nice.”  I respond.  I’m only half listening, trying my best to get done what I am actually here to accomplish so we can get home before dinner.

“I know I’m good at using scissors.  You know how I know?  I took my purple scissors upstairs and cut my doll’s hair!” she boasts, looking rather proud of herself.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… and once again I am reminded that when she is being quiet, it usually means that she is up to something not so good… A preschooler has used scissors inappropriately. I think we all have a story somewhere in our childhood of this happening.  My particular version of this happened when I was little and my younger sister lopped off one of her ponytails with Mom’s sewing scissors.  I thought we had already had our story this past year:   little sister gets a hold of scissors and cuts up big brother’s class picture.  Mom is angry-brother might have noticed something outside of the realm of video games and books.  Scissors privileges revoked and life goes on.

The thing is I knew exactly why she did it.  She didn’t even have to explain it to me.  I taught preschool for many years, and much of the time I know the ins and outs of what goes on in her little head.  She goes to a sitter occasionally that she thinks is just it-the best thing since sliced bread.  This sitter has a daughter who could very well be her own little mini me.  Both of them have dark hair and dark eyes, just like this little dolly.  Both have very cute little haircuts-not so much like the one that dolly HAD-more like the one my daughter gave to her dolly.  Unfortunately for me, this dolly used to be mine.  Surprisingly though, she didn’t do a half bad job.

I shed some tears.  She felt very very bad.  I have had a million hugs, kisses and lots of help this evening.  I dare say it may even work out in my favor, until the next time.

I had to post that, because honestly I was having a very bad day and it was one of those that someday I probably will look back on and laugh.  It was just the icing on the cake.  You see, I have figured out just how they get good jedi knights to cross over to the dark side:  they took their kids to work with them.

It’s summer vacation and I work a part-time job for a non profit organization that shall remain nameless.  I lost my job a year ago and this one just sort of popped up.  It was a way to make some grocery money while I collected unemployment and looked for a new job.  My husband was finishing up school and we were looking for any way to keep ourselves out of the cardboard box just a little bit longer.  It helped-and although the original job I was supposedly hired for really in no way shape or form really resembles the job I am currently doing-it brings in a little money so I can be available for my children without being tied down to something full-time.  My son is very, very bright-all references to Sheldon Cooper minus the germ phobia would be correct.  He also has some serious issues in school.  He has ADD and has been suspected of but never diagnosed with Asperger’s.  His kindergarten year he spent more time in the principal’s office due to kids “bothering” him (talking to him is considered bothering, apparently) during his kindergarten career than most kids do in their entire K-12 career.  Needless to say that has resulted in some serious limitations for me as far as any sort of full time work.  The very end of the kindergarten year we finally got him into an IEP, and this year has been much better, albeit far from perfect.  He is a neat kid who so wants someone to understand him-he relates fabulously to adults, but just doesn’t get kids anywhere around his age.

About the time the unemployment went the way of the dinosaur my husband graduated and got an internship an hour away.  Since it was so far away and nothing was guaranteed, I just kind of kept hanging around the job because interesting things kept happening.  Somehow each time I thought the hours were going to disappear, they found something else that I could do to keep me going.

So here I am this month, the last month of their fiscal year, sitting in an empty office doing much of what I have been doing for the last time because as of this weekend they are outsourcing my duties to other employees within the organization.  As I am trying to get information together so that everyone knows what they are to be doing, I have no idea what my job will consist of as of next Monday.  It’s a little distracting and it’s a lot bit anxiety provoking.  I know they say they still need me, but noone has yet to say how exactly or in what capacity.  Will I be working 4 hours, 15 hours, or no hours?  Do I go look for other employment?  Do I just resign myself to stick around and see what happens, and if I wind up with no work just try to make it work on my husband’s income?  And of course I can’t just spend a few minutes a day worrying about it.  I worry about it all the time.

Because my schedule is a bit, um, sparse, I started by cutting my daughter’s daycare down to one regular day a week, unless I taught a class.  I had been told it was ok to bring my kids with me, for what I did it didn’t matter.  So when summer started I realized that there was no way to justify paying that much daycare for the few hours a week I actually work.  So now I am down to no days of daycare, and one to two days per week of taking BOTH KIDS WITH ME.  The rest of the week I work from home doing data entry, partly during the day, often into the wee hours of the morning so that my kids can do their summer activities, or be home bored with me depending on the day.  The date entry ends in three weeks-which is the other unknown of my current job-what is coming next.

It is the third week of summer, and I am nuts.

I have two completely different children.  Both eerily smart, but polar opposites.  My son is much like me-anxious and routine driven, but has no idea how to occupy himself if there is not some sort of flickering screen or printed word to look at.  Going outside=sheer torture.  My daughter is the opposite-stubborn but imaginative and wants to play play play and go go go. She would go right outside all morning and stay outside until the cows came home-as long as Mommy is right there within arms reach (because she’ll miss me if she can’t see me.)  When I do manage to get them both outside there is arguing, screaming, crying, usually with the end result of someone getting hurt, usually because the older one didn’t like the younger one not following his “rules”.

I tried implementing a sort of schedule so my son wouldn’t spend the entire summer standing on his head, making what we call “Tauntaun noises” because he’s bored.  For some reason if I write it down, much like the newspaper, if it’s published it must be true.  Unfortunately, he takes the schedule so seriously that he can’t handle it if we deviate even in the slightest.  Snack must be at 10 am, we must engage in learning activities after lunch, etc,etc.  If we leave the house to go get groceries, it is miserable because he feels he has to find some way to manipulate the situation.  And we are together ALL THE TIME.  Sending them to their rooms is like I told them to go stab themselves repeatedly with a sharp object!  You’d think they had no toys.  Then you’d look at their rooms and think that no they have toys, they just don’t have a floor.

Working at home with them there is challenging. Bringing them to work is more challenging.  Thank goodness it’s just for a couple of hours.  Each bring a short video that they must fight over who watches which one first.  Each bring a bag full of activities that they tend to go through pretty quickly.  I spend a lot of time diffusing arguments and who started what and who had what first.

My husband doesn’t get what the fuss is.  I keep telling him to imagine doing HIS job with both kids there.  He got a taste of it-one day he was off and I had to do computer work.  Five minutes of data entry, two minutes to settle an argument, two minutes of data entry, eight minutes to deal with poopy pants, seven minutes of data entry, fifteen minutes of trying to talk to a client on the phone while dealing with two children who instantly become loud and have to be on top of anyone who is talking on a phone.  I get the work done, and I am very very honest when logging my hours.

And I am tired.  I love love love my children, but I wish there was a better way to make this work.  Not on our budget, unfortunately!  Add in laundry, dishes (our dishwasher quit working many moons ago), other housework, summer activities, etc, etc.  I feel like I work ALL the time.  My husband works all the time too-he leaves for work at 5:45 and often doesn’t come back until six.  He’s a nice piece of furniture in those couple of hours when he comes home and melts to the chair until he slinks upstairs to go to bed right after the kids to go to bed and start all over again in the morning.

Which reminds me, my husband has pants in the washer.  Somehow I think they’d frown upon him coming to work without pants.  And it’s 11:15 at night.  I get up at 4:30 and walk…

What was my point again.  Oh yes, that I am nuts…  Here’s my proof.  And yes, there is a grammatical error there but I’m going with it anyway.  I don’t mean my kids are dumbasses… oh never mind…