Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lame, Lame, Lame

I know. I haven't posted since Sunday, and tomorrow is Friday. I know.

I have no good reason, except no time and too much to do, but it's not stopped me before, so what's the dealio Ms. McQ?

Well, let me give you a hint: listen closely. Closer, please. Put your ear right up to your computer screen...

Now do you hear it? That sucking sound? That's the sound of my brains being sucked out of my head by my life right now.

I'm not complaining at all; on the contrary, I'm loving it. My energies are being called upon to be find creative ways to communicate with kids at school, and it's been so exciting. I was recently assigned a new (to me) student to work with in the afternoon. He is mostly non-verbal, but makes a lot of really cool noises. He's cuter than skidditch, and today when we were working together, he actually said my name. I might have burst into tears right there if I didn't think it would scare him.

But there have been some really challenging times there the last few weeks, due to life being just out of control for some of these kids. It's like a domino effect: one kids' behavior or situation gets hard, and it affects the rest of the class as well. Add to the mix that most of them have sensory issues and/or difficulty expressing themselves appropriately and, well,my emotions bubble a bit close to the surface. Luckily, I have a friend at work that I can count on to help me out.

He's 9, and I've been working with him all year. He's really verbal, but has had a really difficult time in the past with inappropriate language and actions. He's super bright, and knows everything about the geography of the United States, including where all of you live (seriously. we talk about it at recess. luckily, I don't have any of your addresses, but if you happen to live in Naperville, IL, you might want to keep an eye out for a lanky blonde nine year old boy with huge blue eyes asking "where you LIVE?") Lately, though, he's been doing so great, using amazing language to convey the fact that he's "confused" and "sad" and he misses his friends. When school started, there were four kids in our group, and over the course of the year, three of them have moved to other schools. He's so social, and he's so lonely. Two days ago, he just started sobbing and said he "missed" his friends. Today I had him journal about it during class time, instead of doing the worksheet I was going to have him do. Luckily, the teachers in our class are just incredible and intuitive, and they had another general ed kid come join him for part of the afternoon, and they are hitting it off like crazy. It's so breathtaking to see my friend with a friend his own age - a friend who is as verbal as he is, and interested in the same stuff.

It's like whipped cream: I just eat it up.

Then there's my family. I have been trying to save some brain space for them. I love hanging out with them so much, and have been having the best time with Joe-Henry after school. But it seems like there isn't enough time to just BE. I'm always doing something - laundry, dishes, mowing the lawn, working in the yard, picking up the house - and the beauty part is this:


Yes, if I were more organized, it would be easier and better, I do know that is true to a certain extent. But I also know that no matter how organized I am, there will always be things undone. And I'm trying to get JH to help around the house, starting with his room, and he does occasionally do something without asking, but if I ask for his help you'd think I were asking him to put a hot iron on his hand. OH the wailing. I'm really done with it. I actually swatted his bottom in full view of the neighbors today. I must have looked like a crazy woman. I was mowing the lawn with our crappy mower, and my face was purple, my hair was sticking out everywhere, I was dripping with sweat and praying the mower wouldn't give out on me half way through the job, and he was just screaming at me to come in and help him look in his room for some toy. He doesn't like to go in his room by himself because he gets scared, and if I have to turn off the mower and go all the way in with him to get it himself, well, what is the point? So I told him I'd help him, but he'd have to wait for me to finish up (I was almost done), and he just kept screaming, and he came over and started pulling on my arm, and well-

I. Just. Had. It.

So he got a swat. And I did NOT feel guilty.

Yes, that's a lie. But more than just feeling guilty about swatting him, I felt guilty that I had set him up to fail. I clearly haven't spent enough time empowering him to be independent and giving him the patience and time to show him how to do things for himself in the first place.

So yeah. That's pretty much why I haven't been blogging.

And in the time that it's taken me to write this post, I've felt guilty that I wasn't doing something else.


Franklin5 said...

Oh, Annie: there's just nothing whatsoever lame about this post. I'm so amazed by and impressed with the work that you're doing. And balancing it all... emotionally, physically and logistically... with motherhood and, well, life in general: yeah, I'd say that blogging claims a pretty distant spot on the priority list. (That's my claim, anyway.)

Even so... when you do blog, it's like whipped cream. I just eat it up. :)

Take care, friend...

Amber said...

Yup......I can see that you are indeed a busy lady:)

You always write the best posts!So descriptive,and well...awesome:)

So, I agree with Franklin5~Nothing lame about this post:)

I, Rodius said...

Now I feel guilty for being in a slump when I ain't even that busy. Or changing lives. Or whatnot. Guilt: it's what's for (parents') dinner!

Like your new look. Did you get Be Design?

Kari said...

You're such a decent, thoughtful person. Thank goodness for you.

Anonymous said...

I understand the guilt.

I left work early two weeks ago for Bailey's parent-teacher conference. I took a day out of work this past week for Sam's graduation (as did Rich). I arrive yesterday to pick up the kids at daycare - and literally stood motionless, paralyzed, at the sign on Sam's door where we are supposed to sign up for parent-teacher conferences for Tuesday. Between the hours of 9am-2pm.

I just stood there, confounded.

I didn't sign the sheet.

There are only so many mom duties I can juggle with counselor duties and wife duties and friend duties and human being duties. Not enough hours in the day.

So yeah...I think we all need to cut ourselves some slack for having a short fuse. I don't swat my kids, but I DO snark at them more than I should. It's not even so much's the mean tone. And I choose my words carefully, but it's the glare. And the edge to the voice. And really, a lot of times they don't deserve it.

But I'm just so damn tired.

I understand. I really do.

anniemcq said...

Thanks all for your comments. It was a strange week; there was so much good stuff mixed in with all the stress, I didn't even realize until I was done writing that I was sort of maxed out.

It's easing up, with the record heat, honestly there's not much else to do but relax.