Transitions. Transitions suck. I detest them because my daughter detests them. Because of our difficulty with transitions on a daily basis I’ve come to despise school vacations with a passion. My daughter already hates school because she has to transition from sleeping to waking and from indoors to outdoors and from the bus to off the bus into the school. Granted, she does really well leaving school and coming home.
Just to give you an idea, she also hates leaving home to go just about any place else. We have to use very strong motivation to get her to go almost anywhere that isn’t home, including playing in the yard outside. Being in the house is comfortable and safe and stable. Things don’t change much. The lights, scents, colors, and textures don’t change at all. The sounds are within her control for the most part. Anywhere else, those things are out of control completely. There are only a few other safe places to her, but we still need to coax her to get to those places most times because of the transition it takes to get there.
You can well imagine now why we have such issues every single morning getting ready for school. Even if I home schooled her, I suspect we would have this problem. Although if I home schooled her she would want to play video games all day long and wouldn’t comply with the program, let alone the fact that I would have no idea how to educate her.
When we have school vacation, or even just a day off from school due to a teacher inservice day or a sick day, it throws off our entire routine. We have our home routine and school day routine, and once we get her involved in the school routine she does get invested in it. The difference is she’s much more emotionally invested in the home routine even if she feels as if she MUST follow through with whatever routine she starts. That’s one benefit of the need for routine when it comes to transitions.
The last two mornings haven’t been pleasant. Yesterday was simply… tragic. She gets so distressed at the fact that she’s awake even when she wakes up on her own, and then the thought that she has to get out from under the covers. She becomes combative over beginning the routine. She screams insults and edicts, and hurts her own ears and body. I can commiserate on some level since I’m going through a particularly difficult Fibromyalgia flare-up of my own since Sunday. Everything feels excessive to me, and I’m having some trouble handling the physical parts of her lashings out. Today was better for Gracie than yesterday was, and luckily once she does get to school she hops off the bus and actually SKIPS TO CLASS.
She freaking skips. She skips into her class room with a smile. This happens most mornings, I’m told. She’s a pleasure to have in class. When I have to visit the school for one reason or other and I happen to see her in the hallways she’s always looking happy. She used to get so distressed at seeing me at school whether it was planned or not that I’d have to take her home with me. She fusses a bit now, asks if she’s supposed to come with me, but if I say no there aren’t tantrums. Of course if I do have to pick her up for an appointment she’s ecstatic to leave and that transition is nearly seamless except for the fact that it’s an appointment and not coming directly home. Unless we’re going to her Auntie Tracy’s house. Any time we go there it’s a perfectly seamless transition. Every single time, because her best friend Ella is there.
Anyway, it’s not as if she actually hates school. I know that when she screams in my face and is kicking and flailing at me that she hates school every morning that what she means is she hates the transition process no matter how gentle we try to make it. We have some good mornings, but statistically they’re the opposite of good. Especially after school vacations.
Therefore, eff you school vacation. Especially Spring Break, since Summer Vacation isn’t very far off and February Vacation wasn’t very long ago and we had to deal with that shit barely two months ago.
Eff you unkindly.