I left work late today. While I was waiting for the car to warm up, I called home to find out everyone had eaten already except my Sweet Girl. She wasn’t interested in anything in the house. She was probably detoxing after going back to school from two days home sick. This morning was especially difficult because she didn’t want to go back to school. She’s ready for a vacation, but she just had to get through today and now tomorrow. I know it’s hard for her and I always feel like a mean, abusive taskmaster for forcing her to endure the few days leading up to a vacation. I feel worse when I send her to school with sniffles too and she insists she’s dying, but her sisters do the same. No fever? No puking? No lethargy? School it is.
In spite of a dramatic morning, we did get invested in the morning routine and then when the bus came a couple of minutes before I was expecting it this morning, and I didn’t see it Darling Girl did see it. Suddenly, she shouts and grabs her backpack and starts to race out the door shouting,
“THE BUS! I WILL BE LATE! I CAN NOT BE LATE!”
I don’t know if it was the fear of truancy or she really did want to go to school after all, but it was like her butt was on fire.
I did have a productive conversation with her while I cooked supper last night, though. She was distressed at having to go to school today and kept insisting she wanted to stay sick and would make herself sick if the germs were really gone. I kept thinking how it was ironic, somehow, that THAT was the long conversation my often-non-verbal daughter was choosing to have. Since she was chatty, albeit in a foul mood, I took advantage of it.
It’s not really school or her teachers she hates. She loves her teacher and her friends. She enjoys most of the subjects.
What frustrates her is that the day is not full of playing. The work is hard.
I told her yes! it’s fourth grade! and each grade will get harder because she’s moving up levels with her hard work.
Worse than hard work and homework is the sensory overload. It smells different than home. It sounds different than home. It’s louder than home. There are people sounds. Breathing sounds. Echoes. The lights are too brights. The smells at lunch mix in a gross way. There are eating sounds at lunch. There’s shouting and screaming in the hallways. It’s too cold and windy at recess. People have eyes and use them to look at her. She has to keep her coat on so that certain things don’t touch her arms in the wrong way.
And even harder than all of THAT? Is having to hold it all together at school and pretend that everything is all right. Not wanting to seem different than the other children she refuses to ask for sensory breaks but will accept them when the teacher or her para offer them.
After she unloaded all of this burden last night, she was clearly much more relaxed. This morning we had round two of that conversation, and I made sure she knew I would tell her teacher about it in the morning e-mail. That eased her mind, and could be another reason why she willingly got on the bus.
The Mister said that when she got home, she was happy and went to her room. She didn’t even notice that I wasn’t home. I’m always the one who gets her off the bus. She didn’t come down to eat, so on my way home from my late day, I stopped at Subway for the two of us. She actually ate a fully stuffed Blackforest ham sub. She’s now sitting and watching My Little Pony with her Daddy and chatting cheerfully about the show and history of Ponies and the types of Ponies. I’m grinning ear to ear, because it’s a beautiful sight.
Now I can go to bed, both of us stuffed, and take some Advil for my hurting, aching self. I “get” to stay home tomorrow with Eldest Girl, who came home early with a fever today and the Worst Cold Ever. Oh, that was a soap opera all on its own but I’ll save that for later. The school nurse is on my shit list, suffice it to say. The Mister said she’s been asleep since 3:30. It’s almost 8:00. I’ll wake her at 10:00 for Mucinex, Advil, and melatonin. 🙂 Hopefully, Darling Girl won’t have a turn at this fever thing.
- Mommy Asks Too Many Questions (littlefallofrain.wordpress.com)