Holy cow!! This week! After I wrote on Wednesday, I was so ecstatic to have one of the best school days on Thursday. We completed an entire day with everyone. Daniel was happy, proud when he completed his assignments, and even told me a couple of times, “I like school.” I was rather shocked by the whole thing, but it was an amazing day. We had plans to go visit my sister and niece to see their new house here, later in the day. I was able to convince Daniel to go by showing him their cool spiral stairs to a loft above the open living room/kitchen area. He got so excited and could not wait to go after looking at the pictures.
He did talk about it all day.
He was so excited that when I was getting ready he came in and said, “I cannot wait to see those stairs.” I asked him, “Are you excited to see Aunt B and Cousin K too?” He said, “Yes, I like to see them too.” He said it in a way as if it was a silly question because I should already know that. We headed out and this is the part that is really starting to irk me. I got lost and confused again! Here I am in my own town, where I grew up for most of my life and I get lost, again? I know all of the nooks and crannies of this town. It is becoming extremely frustrating for me.
I am trying not to get upset with myself, but it makes no sense…
Until I put the pieces together. All of the changes are a lot, it had been a very tumultuous week, trying to establish a routine, learning this new curriculum, helping each child individually, seeing how much they are not conformed to regular school… that is another whole topic. I kept reminding myself that “it is the first week.” The FIRST WEEK, come on! Then, Daniel refused to let me drive over 10 miles per hour. I am not joking. I managed to make it to the entrance of my aunt’s neighborhood and parked the car and tried to call my sister. I was so flustered and disoriented that I could not manage to get her number to work.
Finally, I called my aunt and she guided me until I was almost there.
I was right around the corner when my sister called to make sure everything was alright. I had gotten turned around again because I missed my turn talking to Daniel because I had gotten to 30 miles per hour and he started pointing at the road yelling, “Mama, mama, mama!” Which means too fast. Anything that looks remotely like a hill he does this with. We got there and it was an awesome time! The kids loved it. They played with their cousin up and down those stairs – they had a blast. My sister and I were able to talk too. It was very good, but we were there for several hours.
Though it was a fabulous time we should have left sooner.
The kids did not want to leave they were having so much fun, and I did not want to either – I was having fun too. However, I pushed us beyond our social capacity, we had a full school day, and we also had to go to the store. On our way leaving a storm came in and the sirens were going off. The sky was blackish green; by the time we got to the store it was raining so hard that we got very wet. We had to go to the store because I was out of some of Daniel’s staples and believe me it is far better to face a rain storm than to be out of any of his staple foods.
The kids did an awesome job.
We had the whole store to ourselves; it is a Fresh Market right by our house. As we were at the check out the rain was out of control, there was thunder and lightning, but I had to get them home because we had already missed our normal dinnertime. The check out girl offered to keep the kids while I went to get the car. This was the first time I felt comfortable enough to do so. I explained to the kids in detail what I was going to do and the girl looked at me oddly, I told her without a thought, “He is autistic and it is important he understands what is going on, and what I am doing.”
She got a look that seemed a bit terrified for a moment.
I noticed that after I said that she took extra precautions in watching him and staying with the kids. She even helped bring out the bags with an umbrella over the kids. I was a soaking wet mop! The cashier gets many props in my book and I believe I am going to write to the store about her. She was wonderful. The rest of the night went great; we were exhausted and went to bed. The next day started out great. Daniel completed his Language Arts assignment, but then something triggered him. I am not even sure what it was.
It turned into one of our top ten worst days ever.
It took everything out of all of us. We couldn’t complete school, but we tried all day. We took many breaks, I did not try to make Daniel do much – he had already put in enough time. I truly wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. Instead, we went outside in the back and played. I cleaned back there and they ran around playing basketball and just ran around and around. The evening was much better and I explained that we would have to do school work on Saturday since we had not finished. They were alright with that.
Yesterday ended up being another grand fabulous day.
In the morning the kids and I painted, Daniel even asked to paint with us. He was very busy walking the perimeter of the house with his handheld recorder so for him to stop and paint with us was a big deal. I will show pictures. Joshua said he painted the “Eye of Sauron” and Ariel drew a “Jelly fish that eats Yin Yang’s, and then gives birth.” She painted herself in the lower corner with Yin Yang wings. Daniel said, “I want to paint mine all yellow.” Then he said, “I want to paint another one all gold.” So he did. I have several paintings in the works – I am not sure how they will end up. One of them I am calling “Yin Yang Bubbles” at the moment, but I do not feel it is complete.
After that, Ariel and Joshua were able to complete all of their work and play Lego’s.
Daniel completed another assignment, writing a plan for visiting somewhere and taking a test for Language Arts. I had to let him type out the plan because he was just unable to write with a writing utensil and I did not want to push too hard when he was recovering from the day before. He was pushing himself trying to do school work the next day, and I wanted him to have a positive experience. I am very happy that he agreed to jump right in and try again. I do not know if the teacher will accept it, I explained a little in a note to her. In her welcome back video she mentioned how she believes that hand writing is very important and this will be a focus in her teaching.
Let me just say I am totally freaking out about how the words, phrases, and language structure of the test questions are!
I remember now why I got so upset in school. They make no sense! They are awkward and confusing, ugh! There is no flow or connection when you read them. All of the kids have gotten wrong answers to things they know because the questions make no sense, or get jumbled in awkwardness. I do not know how other kids know how to read those things, or the parents for that matter. Though I like the structure and the way the curriculum is set up, but it is very much public school based and my kid’s need to have it flow and connect in a much more cohesive way. The curriculum does tie in with each subject – it is hard to explain, it still feels choppy.
We are used to it being like a smooth ride, and this feels a bit jagged.
It will be up to me to help it get flowier. Note to self: You just completed the first week! I do not know why, but I feel like it should all be going the “right” way. Awww! It is going the right way. We have accomplished so much this week. The kids have done an amazing job and I am so proud of them. They are proud of themselves too. Daniel was unable to complete the rest of his work yesterday and I told him that he would have to do it today because I do not want us to start Monday behind. He agreed as long as we could go outside and we went outside.
We played outside and had a blast.
We played in the trees, hide-and-seek, they ran and ran all over the yard while I tried to gather the huge limbs that have fallen because of recent storms. Our poor brittle trees are losing their limbs from the lack of rain this year. We had another great day yesterday and are planning to go to the Fortress of Fun today. We also have to go to the store so… I hope all goes well. I will try not to push it too much so we can start tomorrow off in a positive direction. When I write all of this out I see how great things have gone this week.
I want to keep all of the positives at the forefront of my mind.
I want to stop the thoughts that tell me that I am failing because of this or that, or feeling like I am not doing enough because the house is not up to my cleaning standards, and I still have laundry. Those ludicrous thoughts that tell me that I should be able to keep all of this up AND do school, and feed the kids, and go to the store, and, and, and, and. There is always something that needs to be done and I should be able to do it all. Those thoughts and that attitude can take me away from my kids. I am turning my thoughts into a new direction and just like yesterday and I am going to enjoy them. I am also working on trying to enjoy this new adventure with school, I know it will get so much better and we will find our way.
Pictures! (The lighting in the house was not good for these pictures. Bummer.)