I do not know what posessed you to rearrange the lunch schedule this year so that first graders eat lunch at 12:55 pm. If I thought you even HAD a reason other than the crazy control thing you seem to have going on. And we know lots about control games at our house. Just sayin.
You couldn't have designed a day more difficult for my child. If you had been purposely making scheduling decisions to make her life more difficult, I don't think you could have done it. And I have it on good authority, it is exceedingly difficult for MOST first graders to live this schedule. Not just mine.
You expect my six year old to function in a classroom setting between 8:20 and 12:30. Do you know how LONG that is to a first grader? To focus on work most of that time? The kids are fried way before recess hits.
Recess. Recess is before lunch. This does not work. Jupiter finally gets to run about freely, but by then she needs it so badly she can't control it. And by then she is also hungry. Hunger is not something that ecourages in any way Jupiter making a good decision. She can't. She's spinning and can't stop to make a decision period. Good or bad. Impulse takes over.
So next week, your new plan is to have Jupiter STOP playing twice during the recess time, to check in with the recess teacher to make sure she's making good choices. This is not a good plan. First of all, Jupiter will have no concept of how much time is passing. She won't know how much of recess has passed until the whistle blows to end it. So I don't see her being able to think "Well, 10 minutes of recess have gone by. I should go check with the teacher now." And furthermore, you want her to transition from playing to not playing to playing to not playing to playing. HAHAHA. If she were that able to handle transitions, I would spend a lot less time trying to MINIMIZE transitions.
So after recess, you want her to transition to lunch. See above about transitions. She is supposed to stop playing, walk calmly into the lunch room, sit down calmly and eat. In a big, noisy smelly room which has already been decimated by three previous grades having lunch. Jupiter says she chose her lunchroom seat at the table by the fact that she could put her feet on the bar part of the table leg so she won't have to put her feet on the dirty floor. She can't eat then. She's still mentally at recess. Please note, last year she had lunch at 10:55 and recess after lunch. She didn't have as many problems at lunch OR recess all of last year as she has had so far this year.
So, after completing 16 days of school, my child has actually EATEN lunch three times. One time was last week, after her punishment for fooling around at lunch was eating in the classroom alone with her teacher. One other time, she actually ate her lunch at snack time. So, I guess she's eaten lunch once this whole year.
Then after lunch. An hour and a half left of school, and the kids are so drained from the first three quarters of it that they have no interest being back in the classroom. At all.
So, Mr. Control Freak Administrator, was that what you were going for?
We just got our first letter about school next year. 1st grade.
1st grade lunch is scheduled to occur at 12:55. PM.
Are they out of their little freakin minds??????? Well, I suspect I know where this scheduling idea came from. Some people with a doctoral degree obviously have never worked with actual children.
12:55. Right. Like that's going to work. Last year, in kindergarten, lunch was at 10:55. They want to move it up by TWO HOURS.
When Jupiter doesn't eat when she needs too, a character called Mean Bear starts growling. Sometimes Mean Bear doesn't realize that she's hungry and needs to eat something. Preferably a protein source.
Jupiter is picky about her protein sources. Much to my dismay, they pretty much consist of peanut butter crackers, and Chef BRD Ravioli. I would send peanut butter crackers for Jupiter's mid morning snack, but this year she is in a peanut free classroom. I told her that she could just eat her ravioli for snack in the classroom. It's easier for her to eat in the classroom than the lunch room anyway. And I don't know if they make a thermos powerful enough to keep chef B raviolis hot all the way from 7:30am to 1pm.
I love vacation. If I were to win the lottery, I would take great pleasure in calling work and informing them that I am not. coming. back. I do not miss work in the slightest.
I can't believe it's the first week of August already. School starts a month from tomorrow. What's up with that???
Getting full nights of sleep is great. We're both more regulated. Jupiter even managed to regulate herself extraordinarily well when we went to NYC last week for a couple of days. Of course that was countered with days both before we left and after we returned during which I was kicked and spit on. Today we went to the water park which is one of her favorite things in life. She was brave and tried out water slides where I couldn't actually be holding on to her. Then I couldn't get her off them, but had to drag her out of the pool to go to therapeutic riding. Jupiter has progressed to riding off lead. Her lesson went well, even though Mean Bear was starting to growl by the time we got home. We fed Mean Bear, brushed her teeth, and read half a chapter book because we knew she was tired. After 20 minutes of music, Jupiter wanted me to lay down with her until she fell asleep.
Jupiter also wants to paint her room. I've been pricing low VOC paint. Yikes. Of course the paint store had a one day only 40 percent off coupon while we were gone on vacation. I missed it. Of course I did.
Six more days. I'm doing my best to slow down time.
So, a couple weeks ago I started a new job. Same bank..different department. A department I thought would be more in keeping with my training and experience. It may still be that...but it certainly is not that yet. Today was my 8th day in the department and it was the first day I didn't have to squash an overpowering urge to run back up to the fourth floor and take my old (boring) job back and be grateful.
The new department is much more restrictive. Our cell phones are not allowed to be on our desks. They have to be in a pocket, purse, or car. There shall be no texting while at work. Unless we are on lunch or break. It used to be you could attach your 15 minute break to your half hour lunch, thereby giving yourself enough time to go to the store or run an errand. But now we have a new web clock time system, and the system doesn't allow for that. In my new departments defense, I would have had that problem even if I hadn't changed jobs. And the new department didn't want us to take a 15 minute break at all. They figured, since we were allowed to get up and use the restroom whenever we had the need, that should qualify for our 15 minute break and we shouldn't have to have a seperate one. (They have since determined that in our particular state, we are actually required to have one half hour lunch (unpaid) and TWO 15 minute breaks. (paid.) HA HA.
I applied for this position (with some trepidation and for about the 5th time) knowing that the change was going to be huge, especially when I'd worked in a flexible, easygoing department for a LONG time. I refrained from applying a few times, worried about the flexibility. They chose not to hire me a few times, for essentially the same reason. Well, that and they were concerned that I would lack writing skills. But I couldn't very well put a blog link in my resume. The good thing about this department is it has a path for promotion. I don't want to be a senior manager. But a little more pay wouldn't hurt. This time around, the hiring manager and I came to a sort of agreement. Currently the department is on mandatory 8 hours of OT a week. We agreed that I would work whatever OT I could, and if it didn't come out to quite 8 hours that would be ok. The arrangement was that we could work our eight hours by adding to our regular shift over the week, or work Saturdays. So my second day in the department the email that Saturday the 26th would be mandatory 8 hours of OT was not a happy omen. Supposedly it's only the one Saturday, and we'll be back to doing our OT whenever. Note to Senior Management: I will NOT work 8 hours every Saturday indefinitely. Just so you know. Do you know how much it costs me in gas to drive there and back every day? People (not me) have been working 8 hours a week of OT for NINE months. Let them do it on their own terms, and they might not all quit. Just a thought from one of your lowly peons.
Okay, OT rant over. Now for my alternate work schedule. The hiring manager and I also came to an agreement that I would be able to request an alternate work schedule of 7:30-4. On paper this is for daycare reasons. In reality, it's so I have a shot of getting home in time to feed my own daughter supper. The approval for my alternate work schedule hasn't come from wherever it had to go yet, so I've been working 8-4:30. The first day I worked those hours, I sat and idled in the parking garage for 12 minutes before gaining the freedom of a traffic filled street. Multiply 12 minutes by 5. I have much better ways to use that hour a week. Since until yesterday we weren't allowed to take a 15 minute break, I started taking my lunch at 3pm. That way I can eat for 15 minutes, hike out to the parking garage (a 5-7 minute walk), free my car from the parking garage, and park on the street in a one hour parking slot. The one hour street parking is a three minute walk from my desk. I get home much earlier. Hopefully the alternate work schedule approval comes through soon. (I'm saying when, not if. It had better be when.)
So yesterday Jupiter was awake when I went in to take my shower. When I came out she'd gone back to sleep. I knew she was tired, so I let her sleep. Bad plan. She was mad when I woke her up that I hadn't given her oatmeal before we left. And I couldn't MAKE her oatmeal before we left, because I HAVE to be AT MY DESK by 8am. If I want to leave at 4:30, that is. She was mad mad mad. She expressed her displeasure by slapping me before we even got out of the house. She was somewhat settled down when I dropped her off. Slightly less than an hour later, I got pulled over for going 36 in a 25. I was honestly making an effort to slow down (the speed limit drops from 45 to 25 right before I got clocked) and the officer was very kind and didn't write me up for the speeding ticket. Or for my expired registration. (Seriously, my town office opens at 7am and closes at 4pm. I leave town at 7:10 and get home at 5:15. No problem. I'll send a messenger pigeon.)
So anyway, today was better. I have hopes the sailing will get smoother. The adjustment is throwing me for a loop. Jupiter has had a therapeutic riding intensive session this week in the afternoons so she's been tired when I finally get home. Monday and Tuesday she wanted to go to the playground but we didn't make it. (Tuesday she kicked my sister's dog in the foot. I saw her do it, and knew she was lying when she claimed she was trying to get the dog to move away from the door. She was mad at me and kicked the dog. When I told her that she didn't deny it.). Wednesday we made it to the playground. We made it because while I was at lunch I called and asked Mimi if she would possibly bring Jupiter to the playground and I would meet them there. Lower the odds for misbehavior sabotoging a playground visit that way. Today she just displayed some minor disrespect when we got home. I sent her to take a five minute break while I cooked her supper and she was fine the rest of the night.
Sunday I'm hoping to go pick strawberries.
On the upside, my August vacation got reapproved. I will savor every second. Last Sunday it was raining when we got up. So we went to Tar*et. When we came out of the store, it was sunny. So we went to the ocean, since we were pretty close. We were going to pick strawberries on our way home, but the only organic strawberry field in our county was so busy that they had closed by the time we got there. This weekend we're going first thing Sunday morning. But anyway, I did a lot of savoring on Sunday. I think this job will teach me a lot about savoring. Maybe that's what it's all about.
Next time I roll coin from Jupiter's piggy bank, I will do it AFTER she goes to sleep.
I wasn't even planning to roll her coin (former bank teller talking.) tonight. She ate chicken drumsticks for supper (also known as she ate something that was NOT Chefboyardee ravioli or chicken noodle soup). After the chicken she ate a little ice cream for dessert. Then she wanted something else to eat. But not a yogurt smoothie. She said she wanted oatmeal.
It never works when she asks for oatmeal at night. She had a look which told me that this was some kind of something she was trying to finagle. But I made the oatmeal anyway.
Which of course she told me she didn't want as soon as I made it.
So I told her, since she deliberately made the choice to waste food, she could buy the next box of oatmeal. Then I got her piggy bank so she could take the three dollars out for the new box of oatmeal.
She didn't care very much until the $3 turned out to be tooth fairy money. She wouldn't have cared a bit if we'd extracted $3 in quarters from the bank, but the tooth fairy money she didn't want to part with.
She decided to eat the oatmeal.
Since her bank was almost full, I dug through the drawer where I keep them and found some coin wrappers.
I'm not completely mean. I rolled two rolls of quarters and let her keep the rest of them. She got to keep the $5's, the $1 bill, and the dollar coins. I told her she could have $5 in whatever form she chose (a $5 bill, five $1 coins, or 20 quarters) to buy a Littlest Pet Shop. She negotiated for a quarter for the gumball machine. I even said yes to that.
But since I wouldn't let her have ALL the money to go to the store and buy Littlest Pet Shops, she was mad.
Its time to cut her fingernails.
I sent her to get ready for bed and rolled some more coin and did some deep breathing. When I went in the bathroom I asked if she had something to say and she apologized. She even gave me a hug. Then we brushed her teeth and climbed into bed to read The Secrets of Droon.
Tomorrow we'll go to the bank after school and put her rolled coin in her savings account. It's not near as much fun as buying Littlest Pet Shops. But now she has a chance to replace all those pennies with something different. And they have lollipops at the bank.
Well, I've intended to do this. What better time than a holiday weekend when we're actually home, for a change?
We're pretty good on hugs most days, but if I'm trying to keep track, it doesn't feel like we're even close to ten. Of course, most days it takes several hugs to get out the door in the morning, and today we didn't have to get out the door. I wonder, if she asks for a piggyback ride and hugs me in the process, does that count as hugs? Or does it count as attachment time? Its physical contact, so I try to always say yes when she asks.
Playing an attachment game...I get a zero.
I have one more day of holiday weekend. I should make a timetable for tomorrows activity.
I love heat waves. Maybe I love them because they happen so rarely here. They rejeuvenate me. I can sit in the heat and it's so relaxing...love it love it love it. I even did yoga last night..after I spent 25 minutes trying to get the wiifit to work with the new DVR software.
Jupiter, by the way, hates the heat. It's the one way we are complete and total opposites. She gets invigorated when it's nice and cool. I could hibernate all winter.
The front went through and the wind switched around just after I got home this afternoon. The windows are open for the cool breeze. Jupiter is asleep as of 6:15. She didn't go to sleep until after 9:30 last night, and may be fighting a bug. Or she might have been overheated..not sure yet. I'll find out around midnight or so, I'm sure.
The weather forecast for the weekend has now changed to sunny and the 70's. We're both pretty happy in that weather, so it's nice to have it when I don't have to work for a change. She wants to cruise all the Targets in New England in search of a horse Littlest Pet Shop. I want to go to the ocean. Will update later on how that goes.
We went back to the doctor's office today. We got a long acting antibiotic shot. When I called the office this morning the nurse didn't indicate that a long acting antiobiotic shot was an option. I asked if there was such a thing and she said she would check and call me back. I'm a little frightened to get the bill for this medication that I suspect the insurance won't want to pay for, given that my daughter's anxiety disorder and fear of oral medications if of course, entirely invented by me and not a reason to cover an alternate medication. But at least I didn't have to pay another co pay for the nurse visit.
The office was this close to being down one intake nurse though. She brought us into the exam room and informed Jupiter that since she wasn't willing to take her medicine, she was going to get two shots in her butt. (See above about the anxiety disorder diagnosis that I appear to have entirely invented.) Consequently terrifying Jupiter and making the whole thing MUCH more difficult than it needed to be. Then she left us alone so I could talk Jupiter down off the ledge and calm her. The next nurse who came in was, thankfully, much more sympathetic. She had been listening outside the door while I was talking Jupiter down. She let me do my thing when the kicking started and I was able to get her in a position where they were able to give her two simultaneous injections, so the two extra nurses didn't have to hold her down. Cause that would have been even worse. Then as soon as they were done injecting they all cleared the room in a flash so I could calm her again.
Then we left. No more ten days of oral medication. She was sulky about it until we were in the car and leaving. Then it was like we'd never been there. Except her butt and one leg are a little bit numb from the lydocaine she got along with the antibiotic. And as noisy as that five minutes was, I still think it's easier on us than the alternative.
If I had it to do over again, when she was 20 months old, I would not have tried to give her crushed up flagyl pills in liquid. Because this is what happened. She is now terrified of medicine. Any flavor, any form. Except melty strips. But apparently amoxicillin doesn't come in a melty strip. I gave up on liquid medicine a couple years ago, but amoxicillin comes in a chewable. Unfortunatly the chewable doesn't look exactly like bubble gum junior tylenol.
Speaking of which, you should have seen the look the intake nurse gave me when she took Jupiter's temperature and showed me the readout. You would have thought I was a terrible mother because I didn't force her to take tylenol for it. A fever of 101.7, while uncomfortable for her, is not high enough for me to have a medicine battle.
So we're home now and she won't take the nice chewable pills. Maybe I'll do some internet research and see if they have a slow release injection like they do for the cat antibiotics.
Jupiter's spring singing concert is starting at the moment. We are not there.
Even reminding her that if she doesn't take her medicine, she won't be able to go to riding on Saturday isn't working. That's how scared she is.
I'm open to suggestions on the medcine thing. The first dose has gone from plain pill to crushed pill covered with granulated sugar to plain pill covered with granulated and brown sugar, to all of the above plus maple syrup. I've heard chocolate syrup works, but I don't have any of that. Not that I think chocolate syrup will work. I tried mixing the flagyl with it once. That was a mess and a half to clean up.
I should have known she was coming down with something.
I'm not sure she has the strength even to walk to the bathroom right now. Doing lots of carrying. All she's had today is water and ice chips. I've been trying to give her tylenol (the non recalled kind) but she took one and threw three of them behind my bed in various half dissolved states. If her fever is 101 or less, I don't even bother with the tylenol because she hates it so much. And she threw up one of the half tylenols, so that probably means that the only pain reliever/fever reducer she was ever willing to take is now down the tubes.
I did discover that a bag of wheat berries that had been stored in the freezer for a few months makes a suitable cool compress. Made up a couple ziploc bags of rice and dried beans so we can rotate.
Last week there were nine kids in her class one day. Normally there are 19. Whatever is going around is potent.
In her weak feverish voice she wishes she could ride her bike.
Today Jupiter wanted piggyback rides. She piggybacked out to the car when I picked her up. She piggybacked into the house when we got home. She piggybacked to the bathroom when she got ready for bed.
My mother thinks I was babying her because I allowed (and, if I may say so) encouraged the piggybacking.
However, I think I'm right. She initiated contact which didn't result in any pain being inflicted. I am SO going to encourage that. And given her dysregulation the last few weeks, I think she needs me to baby her a little bit. And if she's going to let me do it without fighting, I'm all for it.
Great night tonight, btw. Very calm.
We're reading The Trumpet of the Swan right now. One of my childhood favorites, which only requires a few quick modifications now and then when a word now has a different primary meaning than it did when the book was published.
Tonight we got to the part when Louis plays his trumpet in front of the Swan Boats in Boston. The boy on the swan boat said that Louis the swan reminded him of Louis Armstrong the trumpter.
About a minute later, Jupiter said, "That's why his (the swans) name is Louis! That's the whole reason..because he plays the trumpet like Louis Armstrong!"
She was quite pleased with herself for making the connection. (a couple weeks ago we read a Magic Tree House about Louis Armstrong. Unplanned evening reading theme.)
Tomorrow night Louis the Swan spends the night in the Ritz Carlton hotel in Boston. Jupiter will probably want a field trip. To the Swan Boats, yes. To the R/C..not overnight anyway.
Yesterday, Jupiter and I went to church. The weather was suprisingly nice. Expecting cold showery weather, we ended up with sunny weather and temps in the sixties.
After Communion, Jupiter had to go to the bathroom. She was being independent, so I let her go by herself. She hadn't returned in five minutes, so I went out to search for her, and found her heading out the propped open door. So I made her come sit down. We did the recessional hymn and the announcements.
Then Fr. Tim said, "Our celebration has ended. Go in peace...."
I didn't hear anymore of what he said. What I heard was my daughter, shouting, "YAY! YAY! YAY!" Then I didn't hear her anymore, because she was outta there. She may have waved at Tim on her way outta there, I'm not sure.
I guess it's a good thing that she can recognize the end of the service by the words. Though she was going in something much more like jubilation than peace.
I have to admit, I wish I had it on video. Or MPEG or whatever it's called now.
Since last summer, Jupiter has been flirting with her two wheeler. Her real bike still had the training wheels on, because she just wasn't confident that she could ride a two wheeler. She is outgrowing the bike, but they don't make bigger bikes with training wheels, so I've been encouraging her to work on the whole two wheel thing. Last summer I picked up a used bike for a few bucks at a yard sale so she'd have one without training wheels to play on and practice balancing.
Yesterday, while I was out planting peas (yipee!), she took the bike out and balanced it up and down the driveway. She finally started to get it, and managed to balance and pedal a few times. Her confidence exploded, and she decided she could do it.
She got Mimi to take her training wheels off her other bike during the day today. When we got home, we ate and then went outside so I could work in the garden some more. (don't think I don't WANT to help her ride her bike. But she gets much less frustrated if she does it on her own.) She kept working on the bike, and finally got to the point where I told her she should ride down to the frog pond at the dead end of the street. The driveway is just short enough that she has to stop as soon as she gets the momentum going.
I gave her a little help balancing until she got pedaling. And she rode all the way to the frog pond. And back. Several times. She finally gave it up when she popped a blister on her thumb. But she keeps saying how much she loves her bike and how proud of herself she is.
Love it love it love it.
Also in the last week, she made it accross the monkey bars at the school playground. She's a solid kid, so she's had a hard time holding her own weight up to cross the monkey bars. Not anymore. We are very proud of that too.
This afternoon, Jupiter had an adventure. I'm retelling the story secondhand, so I'm sure it's nowhere near as exciting/frightening as it was firsthand.
The spring weather means that Jupiter has been outside a lot. This afternoon, she was outside with Mimi and Feather, a golden retreiver dog about a year old who was visiting. Jupiter had been running and playing with Feather. Then, Jupiter got into her wagon. She had evidently, unbeknownst to Mimi, attached a leash to both Feather and the wagon. Then the dog got spooked.
Jupiter got to go for a ride. The dog zigged and zagged all over the yard (not broken to pull wagons) trying to get away from the big noisy thing behind her. The wagon tipped and Jupiter fell out (onto the grass) and still the dog ran. She did eventually stopped and was seperated from the leash and the wagon. The dog promptly hid behind Mimi and didn't want to play with Jupiter anymore.
Jupiter is fine, by the way. She got some dirt on her pants. Knowing Jupiter, she thought it was great fun and will want to do it again.
We think the dog has PTSD. Not sure that my sister will get to keep that dog sitting job.
Today, after I picked up Jupiter, we went to the pharmacy to buy her a new toothbrush. Last night at bedtime she decided to throw her toothbrush (with toothpase already applied) into the crack between the vanity top and the wall. (and as to why there is a two inch space between the vanity top and the wall, let's just say I should not be allowed to orchestrate diy home improvements.) So she didn't brush her teeth last night or this morning. That'll go over well at the dentist tomorrow.
Anyway, we went to the pharmacy to buy a new toothbrush. I told Jupiter that she would have to replace the toothbrush with her own money, since she made the choice to render the toothbrush I bought her useless. Of course I had forgotten to bring her money, so when we checked out and the toothbrush she chose rang up at $3.99, I said, "Okay, when we get home you have to give me $4 for the new toothbrush."
Teenager cashier was a little startled, I think. Maybe I should remember not to say things like that out of context. She probably went home and posted on her facebook page about the really mean mother who makes her six year old pay for her own toothbrush. I did not feel the need to explain myself too her, so if anybody happens to see that facebook post from Teenager cashier.....
If the cashier had been a mother, I might have explained myself.
One time, when Jupiter was about three, I did happen to pick up a toothbrush for her one day when we were at the store I hate most in the world. She sat in the cart and cried, "THANK YOU MOM FOR THE NEW TOOTHBRUSH!" So of course all of those people thought I never bought my child ANYTHING, she was so darn happy about the toothbrush.
And since she goes to the dentist tomorrow, she'll get a new toothbrush anyway.
Yesterday, Jupiter had a full blown screaming tantrum.
It's been awhile since that's happened.
On Sunday, we were home most of the day, and it was a great day. Jupiter used a nice polite voice and words all day. She said "I forgive you," when I had to do some work (pulling the waterlogged carpet out of the basement before the next storm) instead of playing with her. Later that day, we played the matching card game and she kept giving me her matches. It was so sweet.
Monday evening was another story. Jupiter couldn't get settled and into bed...she'd been rocking and I disturbed the rocking and then it was all over. She wanted me to read to her again, (I'd already read a whole Magic Tree House book), and she wanted the soft sheet off my bed to put on her bed. Then she couldn't or wouldn't go back to sleep. My take is that she was just feeling stubborn and defiant at that point and wouldn't go to sleep because I told her too. So finally, at 9pm, I said, "Fine. Stay up. Don't go to sleep. Tomorrow you will have natural consequences. But I'm going to bed."
I fell asleep somewhere around 9:30. When I woke up at 11:30, she'd fallen asleep with the light on. So I don't really know what time she actually fell asleep.
I woke her up at 6am as usual. She got ready for school. She got through school without any major issues (she claims she fell asleep twice, but I don't have confirmation). After school, at Mimi's house, she lost it. Her blanket fort fell down and she wasn't able to ask nicely for help to get it fixed. So she didn't recieve any help.
Hence the screaming tantrum. 10 minutes. When she was done, she had something to eat.
When I picked her up, she was exhausted, but very mellow. She had a shower, ate her supper, listened to one chapter of a story, and went to sleep.
Sometimes I think she just needs to blow everything off. Even if the goal is no loud screaming two year oldish tantrums, I have to think that yesterday the tantrum served a purpose. She felt better afterward.
Jupiter said this to me in all seriousness on Sunday. I wish I could have blogged about it at that moment, because the entire conversation is now lost. I just remember the earnestness in her tone when she told me that, followed by a whole listing of things that qualfied life as "something." That was after she told me that the cinnamon bread I made out of the leftover pizza dough was the best ever, and maybe we could even bring some to the White House and there could be a law. I'm not sure what kind of law, exactly. Some kind of law regarding cinnamon bread, apparently.
This whole conversation was after I came outside to play soccer and discovered that Jupiter, in a huff because I had a couple things to do before I could come out and play soccer, trampled and uprooted 1/4 of the daylillies that are coming up over by the mailbox. We had discussed the daylillies in depth on Saturday when I looked over and saw her stomping on them, so we had to discuss that despite the fact that they are not in the "garden", they are still living garden plants and needed to be respected. Perhaps the daylilly patch needs a clearly defined rock border, since she doesn't bother the plants in the gardens. But then again, since we had the conversation, I know she attacked them on Sunday to express her displeasure with me. I expressed my displeasure with the wrecked flowers by choosing not to play soccer at all.
Did I tell you that on Saturday we found soccer socks with the shin guards already inside them at the kids consignment shop? For $1.99? I bought them on the off chance they fit. They fit perfectly. Couldn't ask for better. So now every time she wears them she appears to turn into Mia Hamm. A month from now, when soccer actually starts, she'll probably be done with them.
I just got House Rules from the library on Friday. (Along with 21 other books, but that's another whole story). One of the main characters in the story is on the autism spectrum. Jodi Picoult does such amazing, complete research when she creates a story and its characters. Although Jupiter is not on that particular spectrum, the character also has the sensory issues, the literal thinking, and the need for routine. LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I'm only on page 117 and already I'm trying not to peek ahead to find out who killed the social skills tutor. I have yet to get through a Jodi Picoult novel without peeking ahead to find out who did the killing or who dies. Check back, and I'll let you know if I make it through this one. Not likely.
Speaking of routine. I went on Jupiter's field trip to the Planetarium on Friday. At lunchtime, I left to go do some errands. 25 minutes later, I got a call. I missed the call, because when I was in the classroom I put my phone on vibrate instead of its noisy ring. The missed call was from the school phone number. Of course.
Friday is pizza day in the lunchroom. Jupiter has hot lunch on Fridays, and only Fridays, because it's pizza day in the lunchroom. (She also refuses to eat my homemade pizza anymore because the school pizza is better. That's just mean.) This Friday, however, the cook was cleaning the kitchen, and created something called "Quesedilla pizza." Jupiter looked at the aide and said, "THIS is NOT my pizza and I am NOT eating this." And she didn't.
Normally we would do a natural consequence. But hunger is not an okay consequence for Jupiter. Hunger, either because her blood sugar plummets or because it causes a subconscious fear reaction in her going back to the time when she was hungry all. the. time. and not fed, causes her behavior to tank. The classroom aide dug through the box of snacks and found a package of peanut butter crackers so she would at least have something. I got back to school about 1:45 with a full lunchbox. She decided she didn't like the group snack either (vanilla animal crackers, so she was just being cranky and stubborn about that) but ate some of the lunch during snack, some after recess, and some in the car after we left school.
She now refuses to eat hot lunch even on Fridays because she doesn't trust the lunch people to make pizza when they say they will.
She labled me with a name tag. Since I almost never get to go to school, she stuck a piece of masking tape to my shirt and wrote Mom on it so everyone would know who I was.
At literacy night, I asked one of the K teachers (not Jupiter's) if all the kids were extra wild this week, or if it's just mine. She said it was all of them.
I sure hope so. I haven't had a chance to blog lately so I'll hit the hilights.
Jupiter failed to respond to the whistle ending noon recess three times this week. So on Thursday, she lost her afternoon recess. Afternoon recess is at the very end of the day, so the loss doesn't really affect her classroom functioning ability. She got to stay in the room and put her head down. Probably having some quiet time didn't hurt her at all, really. Of course, we had Literacy night Thursday night from 6-7pm. Jupiter was functional until about 6:18. Then she ran all around the cafeteria, then she said she was going to get a drink in the hallway. I found her in the lost and found. She found her hat. It took her until 8:30 to go to sleep.
Around 9pm I went to get ready for bed. I went in the bathroom and my feet got wet. At 5:40, before we left for Literacy Night, Jupiter closed the sink drain, left the water on a teeny trickle, and off we went.
I drained the water out of the sink, wiped up the floor, and listened to the rain falling in my basement for the next 20 minutes. Hopefully the sub floor will dry and I won't have a bathroom sink fall into my basement some day.
She wrote 100 on my mother's lampshade.
She drew a picture on the bathroom vanity at my mother's house. B reports it's a nice picture.
Last night I started to brush my teeth. The toothpaste seemed to taste funny. The bubbles were weird too. Then I noticed it smelled like soap. The soap didn't taste very good. It was unfortunate that I brushed for a whole minute before I figured it out, because it created a whole lot of not nice tasting bubbles.
Even the riding teacher asked me yesterday if Jupiter had had a long day or was up late the night before. I managed not to say that Jupiter's day wasn't nearly as long as mine was :).
She did let me go to Walmart while she was at dance class yesterday. Of course I rushed and when I got back to dance listened for screaming and crying. There was none, although when I peeked in the window Jupiter seemed to have her plaid skirt on over her leotard. The very same skirt that she took OFF in the grocery store before dance because she decided it didn't go with her leotard.
And the messes. Jupiter wants me to check her room now. Last I knew she shoved everything in her closet...but at least she's making SOME effort.
And today is time change. whoohoo. Maybe this will be the worst of the season change behaviorals. I sure hope so.
She was being destructive (her word) earlier. I wouldn't call it destructive so much as being just plain messy. She threw all the stuffed animals out of her closet, threw the dress up set of plastic drawers out of the closet, and took down a bunch of her clothes hanging in the closet and threw those on the floor.
My contribution to the cleanup has been reassembling the dress up drawers and putting them back where they belong. The stuffed animals and costumes and clothes that are on the floor she can pick up. Or I can pack them in a bag and take them to good*ill tomorrow on my lunch break. She has been warned.
I've already picked up that mess twice this week, one of which was yesterday. I am not doing it again. Yesterday she shouted at me to get her "ME ME ME" book while I was cleaning up the mess. I was not impressed.
She just came out in the Christmas dress that I tried all of December to get her to put on so I could take her Christmas picture. Maybe I'll take her Easter picture in it. I'll title it, " The Picture of Defiance." I just sent her back to her room and set the timer. I don't necessarily need her to pick up all the stuff. But I would like (aren't dreams nice?) her to show some EFFORT into taking responsibilty for the mess she has made.
I hear lots of singing going on. Listen for the shouting when I go in there with my big plastic bag. Some of you may be able to hear it.....
Her normal high level energy is back. She's extra tired today from her first day back at school. She is not listening or making good choices.
I am blogging with my feet on her underwear drawer.
She was supposed to be putting her underwear on properly, but chose to rip it up instead. Then she didn't get why I wouldn't let her have a new pair of underwear to replace the destroyed one. I did let her keep the pj pants since she didn't rip those. And since I know she will get her own pair the very second I leave the room (and since I know from the name calling scratching and spitting that she needs some time to herself at the moment, I have to leave the room) she will get in the underwear drawer herself, I took the whole underwear drawer with me when I left the room.
She's got her music going now. Either she will fall asleep in two minutes from sheer exhaustion or she will keep rocking and eventually call me to lay down with her, in a much calmer state.
On Thursday morning, CC (the baby Mimi and B are babysitting) came to the house after having thrown up during the night.
On Friday, Mimi called me to ask if B could take Jupiter to the Bounce Zone after school, and they would be back by five pm.
At 4:15, she called me back to say she was now sick and had to leave school; and that B would bring Jupiter home when they were done at the Bounce Zone. I went to the store I hate most in the world to pick her up some supplies that B could take home to her when she dropped Jupiter off.
On Saturday, we went to basketball. Jupiter came over to rest three times. Then we headed over to Falmouth for dance class. When we got to the Falmouth branch of the store I hate most in the world, Jupiter told me her stomach didn't feel good.
I talked her out of dance class. We went home instead. She ate a few bites of lunch and I put both of us down for a quiet time. She spent 90 minutes of quiet time shouting every few minutes, asking if it was time to go to riding. Then she fell asleep.
At 3pm I went to wake her up. Couldn't do it. She was burning with fever. So I called her riding instructor and cancelled. (I was very sad because Heidi told me she had all different "Olympic" events set up for the girls that day. But fever= no riding.)
She woke up around 5pm miserable. But she told me I'm the best Mom for taking care of her when she feels sick. We read most of Little House in the Big Woods.
Today we stayed home and rested. Her stomach is better, but now she has a horrible croupy cough. Her fever went back up to 101 this afternoon. So she has a mandatory day off from school tomorrow. They can't go back to school until they've been fever free without fever reducers for 24 hours.
I called to check on Mimi and found out that B also got sick Friday after she dropped Jupiter off. They're both recovering at this point.
It's supposed to snow tonight too. This after the 3 inches of rain and slightly less than hurricane force winds we got last week. The weather really can't decide what it wants to do. But the daffodils are poking up out by the brook. Or possibly the small stream floodwaters just washed away all the soil around them.
So we might be home sick tomorrow. Jupiter asked if we could stay home together. I could be enticed into that fairly easily. Not a whole lot of enticing required.
I just figured out I never took a shower today. I was busy using disinfecting wipes on everything remotely disenfectable. At least my hands are clean, I guess.
One of those topics I just can't leave alone, I guess.
One of our part timers came to work not feeling well today. His heart was racing and felt strange, he said. He was dizzy and felt faint.
Our senior manager moved to call the ambulance.
The employee said no. He has no insurance. A few weeks ago he was rear ended by an oil company van and had to pay medical expenses for that.
Even though our company offers insurance, this particular kid (I am now old enough that the college kids are kids in my eyes and not contemporaries.) is paying other expenses, (like education) and doesn't have health insurance. So he was unsure if he was having an anxiety attack or something more dire, and took the risk of not being certain because he knew he couldn't pay the bill.
As far as I know, he's okay. He got picked up from work..not sure if his girlfriend convinced him to go to the doctor.
I don't think it's right that people in this country make the choice not to recieve health care because of money. We can do better than that.
The title of this post is going to sound odd when you first start reading. Go with it and keep reading, though.
This morning I went in to wake Jupiter up, as usual. I rubbed her back for a few minutes before getting down to the process of actually getting her out of bed and dressed. Since it's vacation, she can stay in her pj's for all I care. She wanted me to pick out her clothes. So I went to her dresser and chose blue athletic pants and a matching shirt.
She told me she didn't like those. They weren't stylish and she wanted leggings. I asked her why she wanted me to choose her clothes if she wasn't going to wear what I picked. I went back to her dresser and got leggings. She said she was tired and wanted me to help her get dressed. (BTW, I LOVE the mornings when she wakes up, gets up, and dresses herself independently. She can so totally do that when she wants too.) But she laid on the bed like a big floppy lump and didn't really let me help her get dressed. So I informed her if she wanted help, she needed to cooperate.
She said, "What are you, a dumb dumb head?"
I dropped her shirt on her head and left the room. She yelped in protest, because she thinks I should A- continue to help her, and B- speak disparingly of me the entire time I am trying to help her.
I went to the kitchen to put on my coat and start the car. From the kitchen, I loudly informed her that "Speaking that way may be alright for other children, but it is NOT okay for you."
I started the car and turned the heat on to warm up the inside. I went back in the house and back to her room for round 2.
Jupiter still had not put on her shirt. I told her that I was going to count to five, and if she didn't put on her shirt I was putting it in my coat pocket (it has huge pockets) and she could go without it.
She chose not to put on her coat. So I put her shirt in the coat pocket. Then I suggested that she might want to put on her coat, or I was taking her out to the car in what she had on. I got to three before she decided to put on her coat. She didn't put on her boots, so I carried her out to the car, since I was shooting for a natural consequence and not frostbite.
She called me another name when I dropped her off with Mimi. I told her to have a good day and I loved her, and then I went to work.
At 10:30 this morning, I received an email from church. Kelli H, a young girl who has been fighting a cancerous brain tumor for over a year, died last night. Kelli was an acolyte on Sunday and we shook hands during the Peace when we came up from Sunday School. I am not sure what happened to cause her passing so suddenly. I imagined the pain her family feels at this time.
At 12:30, Mimi called me to ask a banking question, which I answered for her, then we talked about some other things, including Kelli's death. Then, before we hung up, I could hear Jupiter in the background, chatting about something or other. I couldn't hear any words..just the voice that is uniquely hers.
And it was the sweetest sound.
It went straight to my heart.
I love my child fiercely. Despite the battles. In fact, I love her steadfast determination and huge character. And beautiful voice.
I came to pick up Jupiter today after work and she was sitting nicely on the couch, writing in a diaryish book. I hadn't seen the book before. So I asked where she got it. Mimi told me that Jupiter and I got it at the Christmas Tree store this weekend. Which was news to me. We certainly didn't have time to go to the Christmas Tree store at any point over the weekend. Then the story was that Tiana had let her borrow the book. Then she admitted that Tiana didn't let her borrow the book; and Tiana doesn't know that she has the book. Turns out she also has a new hat in her backpack. Which she managed to convice my mother that we had purchased at LL Bean this weekend. I guess we went there after we finished at the Christmas Tree store. In the real world, she found the hat on the coat rack and decided she liked it. And since it wasn't actually ON anybody's head at the time, she decided it was now hers. She also came home with the wrong shoes, but at least those shoes look exactly like hers, and Jupiter was genuinely suprised when she tried to put them on and they didn't fit her feet. The hat and the diary and the little purse which I don't recognize and the stuffed animal in the purse and the triangular pencil from school and a wooden wedge which I believe may be Mrs. Verdantland's doorstop did not belong in her backpack.
I seriously want to send her to school without a backpack. It'll be tough to carry around the shoes and snow pants and hat and mittens and spare pants and chapstick and lunchbox and all that stuff. But she is on a total taking things just because I want them and lying all the livelong day about it. At least she's proving that I didn't make up the whole lying thing. So now she either can't have access to her backpack during the day, or it needs to be completely checked before she comes home. She spent 10 minutes after we came home writing an apology note to Tiana. She knows that if Tiana is angry that Jupiter wrote all through the diary that was not hers, she will have to replace it out of her own money. But mostly, she doesn't really care.
Speaking of replacing things with her own money. Yesterday Jupiter had to give $10 of the money she got for Christmas to my sister for dumping out all of her body wash and foot scrub the other day when she was "going to the bathroom." She had to give me $5 to replace her toothpaste that she wasted and the 1/4 bottle of contact lens solution that she dumped out when she was "going to the bathroom." Yesterday while I was cleaning her room I found a pair of sissors and clumps of Barbie hair under her bed. You guessed it..she doesn't know how that got there.
So now she's on the velcro plan. (thanks to Tiruba for the great name for the velcro plan.) So if she is stuck to me like velcro she may get into less trouble. As for actually caring that she is stealing and lying.....I don't know.
Now I have to email Mrs. Verdantland and the behavior specialist that Jupiter sees on a daily basis. I'm hoping the behavior specialist can work "not taking things that are not mine" into Jupiter's daily behavior goals. I have to give Mrs. VerdantLand an inventory of all the items Jupiter will be returning to school tomorrow which do not belong to her and ask if she happens to be missing a doorstop.
School vacation next week. (It's Maine. We have one vacation in February and one in April, instead of a March Spring break like everybody else. That's because we LIKE to go to school until the third week in June.). They have this Friday off as an add on day because the budget dictates that we cannot heat the schools and run the busses to have school on Friday. It appears that it may snow on Thursday..another extra day off, maybe???
Sunday after her shower I was combing out her hair and I started to sing:
In Dublin's Fair City Where the girls are so pretty I first laid my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
Jupiter started to sing with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Very rarely will she consent to me singing to her. Usually I get shouted at and ordered to stop. When she started to sing the tune and the words she knows, I was stunned. But I somehow managed to keep singing and combing, and she sang the whole song with me.
Unfortunately I don't have a recording of this Moment. But it was so cool!!! I didn't think that would EVER happen.
All in all, it's been a terrific month. At school Jupiter is working on not borrowing permanently things that do not belong to her. She is excellent at sounding out words phonetically. Oh, and she lost another tooth. That's number six, for those of you who may have lost count. Her two bottom front permant teeth are coming in fast and that beautiful gap between her teeth will soon be a thing of the past. She is now taking out early reader chapter books from the library and not mostly picture books. She let me lay down with her a few nights instead of rocking herself to sleep with loud blasting music.
Last Saturday we went through our very full day with Jupiter's MP3 (or 3D player, as she calls it) at hand. It kind of reminds me of when you put a cover over the bird cage, the stimuli all gets blocked, and the bird calms down. And the car is SO much quieter..and the people next to me at stoplights don't think I'm corrupting my kid by playing music loud enough to damage her hearing. (Santa got the fisher price earphones with the built in volume control). We went to youth basketball from 8-9. Then we drove to Portland and went to the library to check out a bunch of easy reader chapter books, two dvd's featuring horses. Then we went to dance. Jupiter had to be seperated from her friend Sam for not paying attention to Miss Juliette. Then we went to lunch. Then we went to the Back Cove Trail and took a walk, since it was above freezing. We walked all the way around the cove. Which incidentially, is 3 1/2 miles around. She was getting tired at the end, but she made it and I didn't have to carry her one time. We stopped at Whole *oods to get a snack because we were hungry from all that walking. Then we went to riding (the riding teacher looked at me and thought I might need some rest) and Jupiter did a beautiful posting trot. She tried to work on steering while trotting but that still needs some work. Then we got home at 5:30.
She still managed to stay up until 8:30 that night. I have no idea how. But Sunday morning she was quite calm and in church she sat in her chair quietly and drew a picture of the altar.
On Sunday morning, one of my little Sunday school buddies came right up to me and gave me a hug (it was very gentle and a little startling to someone accustomed to "Powerhugs") and proceeded to tell me a long story about getting to the next level on his Batman game. And we had another story in the desert box. The same Sunday school buddy commented that I always get to put the people in the desert box and play with the sand. I suggested that when he grows up, maybe he'll be the Sunday school teacher and he can put all the story pieces in the box. I now have an entire class who want to be Sunday School teachers when they grow up. :)
This is my favorite line from any Robert B Parker novel.
I read my first Spenser novel in college. More specificially, my freshman level English course in modern Lit that I took as a Junior because by the time I got all the bugs in my schedule worked out, it was the only class left that I could take.
I loved that Spenser book. I loved it in the first couple of chapters because I went to college in Iowa, and Boston is pretty close to Maine. When I read the part describing in detail the stores and restaurants that line Rte 1 in Saugus, MA, I got so excited because I HAD BEEN THERE AND SEEN THAT. Which is probably how I missed the last line of the paragraph.
"Maybe Squanto had made a mistake."
When the professor read that line out loud in class, I laughed out loud. Couldn't help it.
Nobody else laughed. Nobody else got it. I'm not sure if they didn't know who Squanto was, or they had no idea what Rte 1 in Saugus looks like. Probably both. I had to explain to my freshman classmates who Squanto was.
Probably I was also the only person in the class who had even been to Plimoth Plantation. We went as add on's on my brother's first grade field trip to Plimoth Plantation. The bus broke down, the bus drove over a curb trying to get around some teeny little street, a seagull pooped on my brother's head, and my cooler sandwich was next to the ice pack and froze before I got to eat it.
Jupiter wants to go to Plimoth Plantation this summer. We just read the Magic Tree House book Thanksgiving on Thursday; where Jack and Annie go back in time to the first Thanksgiving. I told Jupiter that you could actually go see the place where that happened, and she got all excited about it.
Today I looked up the plimoth Plantation website. It's $28 per adult and $18 for children 6-12. Maybe we should have gone there last year. Actually those are the 2009 prices, come to think of it. Ah well, hopefully we will still go.
Yesterday I got a call from the school nurse. Jupiter has a fever of 102. I suspected she wasn't feeling all that well in the morning, but she insisted she wanted to go to school, so she went with Mimi, who was working that day.
I drove from home from work. It seemed a whole lot farther than it usually does. Especially considering that I had planned to buy gas during my lunch break, and had to take 90 seconds when I got off the turnpike to put $7 in gas in the car to go the rest of the way home. Therin was the lesson to keep my gas tank at least half full at all times. Especially if I'm going to work 40 minutes away from school.
Jupiter was lying on the couch in the nurse's office. I went in just as another sick child was leaving. The nurse was on a phone call. Jupiter was very groggy and sleepy. Then, just after I got there, she threw up.
She waited for me to be there to do her throwing up. It was an odd kind of happiness...that she waited for me before allowing herself to display that vulnerability. ( The fact that they have janitors with mops there didn't hurt either.)
I carried her out of school and somehow got her in the car and home. She had a nap, then woke up and wanted lunch. I restricted her to crackers and 7up and popsicles. She had tylenol when we got home and it lasted until 7pm. She had tynelol early that morning because she told my mother that she had a headache. The headache was true. But the tylenols were purple so instead of taking them Jupiter hid them under the couch cushions. I felt better after she told me that because I was concerned when I heard she'd had tylenol that morning and her fever was still 102.
All afternoon we snuggled in the big round chair under blankets and watched the cat watch the birds in the bird feeder outside and whatever PBS was offering at the moment. Jupiter thought it was all wonderful....anytime she gets multiple popsicles she thinks it's a great thing. And she said I was the best taking care of Mom in the world.
Not that I enjoy that she's sick....but I have to enjoy when she lets me mother her without a fight.
We stayed home today and watched DVD's in bed all morning. Her fever is down (working on that 24 hours fever free without pain reducers so she can go back to school) and she ate soup for lunch (today she's excited because I let her have the actual noodles in the soup) and she's just gone outside for a half hour to disperse the germs in the crisp clean air.
I should probably go out too to disperse my germs, or I won't make it to Saturday without getting the germs myself. Pretending right now that I'm NOT getting a headache myself...it's totally my imagination.
Jupiter just came in and said she hopes she gets sick again so we can stay home more....
Thanks to http://http://ranchochico.blogspot.com/ ...more properly known as Dia!! I am awful with the techie side of the linking process. She awarded me with the Happy 101 award the other day and I am now getting to post my Happy Post. Also avoiding going out and shoveling snow in the wind. I don't mind the snow...it's the cold I can't take :).
Here are the Happy 101 Blog Award Rules: List 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day. For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you then link back to my blog and create your list of things that make you happy. Here is my list of 10:
1. when snowstorms happen on days I don't have to drive to work and back. Absolutely loving that today.
2. Browsing through seed catalogs planning next summer's garden while it's really cold and snowy outside.
3. Being able to see the carpet in the living room.
4. Reading a story to Jupiter at night before she goes to sleep.
5. When Jupiter chooses to lay down with me to go to sleep instead of rocking herself to sleep with loud blasting music.
6. 4pm Monday through Friday.
7. The salty ocean smell at the beach.
9. Cooking a yummy meal..preferably one that uses multiple spice bottles. Having Jupiter actually eat the meal and not a can of chef boy ardee ravoli is a bonus.
I was thinking about the last entry, and Jupiter asked what I was doing while I was absently tossing a bead back and forth while I was thinking. I told her I was making a list of things that made me happy and I asked if she could think of something that made me happy. And she said, "Me!"
I'm glad she knows that. That through all the challenges and battles, the love is there.
I'm supposed to send this on to ten people..most of my blog friends have already been awarded and have posted...I am a little behind..lol! If you're a reader and have not yet posted this..consider yourself awarded. I may ask Jupiter to make a list and post that as well..I am interested in her perspective.
Don't get me wrong. I love benderoos. I especially love that when my future graffiti artist puts them on the wall, they come off. Unlike Sharpie drawings. But there are a few places benderoos do not belong.
The other night Jupiter offered to "do my hair." I should have been suspicious immediately because in four years she has NEVER wanted to do my hair. She moved it around with very gentle fingers for about a minute and pronounced me beautiful.
Yup. She adorned my hair with a benderoo.
Benderoos do not come out of hair. They stick. Exceedingly well.
I was working on getting the benderoo out of my hair, making plans to wear a hat to work the next day until I could go to supercuts during my lunch and have them surgically remove the benderoo with sissors. But then Jupiter offered to help remove the benderoo. I didn't get a chance to stop her.
If you forcefully pull a benderoo out of your hair, it is excruciatingly painful.
I shrieked in pain. Loudly.
This prompted Jupiter to retreat to the couch with the hair covered benderoo and laugh her head off at me.
I understand the whole "innappropriate reaction" thing. I understand that nuerologically, my child's brain is wired differently. But it hurt and her laughing at me did not make me feel any better about it. Sometimes I just wish that she could understand how hurtful it is when she causes me physical pain and how even more hurtful it is when she laughs at it. Such a basic thing and it seems to be completely outside her realm of understanding sometimes.
Anyway, we work at it a little each day.
If there are benderoos in your household, keep them far far away from your hair :).