Last night was a little hairy at our house. Garmai had a really difficult experience at school with one of the classroom aids and she broke into sobs after school. Madeline tried comforting Garmai while she sat in my arms and was brushed off, thereby beginning Madeline’s swing of emotions. And then its hard for Emma to watch so much extra attention being directed towards the girls, even if she understands the reasons for it. She does her very best to allow it and not be jealous, but her emotions at times get harder and harder to hold in, and then everyone is a mess! Its amazing how much pent up emotion the girls come home from school with. Its understandable after all the relating, working, playing, etc. that they do throughout the school day, but boy does it make for interesting school pick-ups and afternoons. Its like clash of the overstimulated, tired, in need of hugs kids.
My friend Sarah brought up an interesting concept yesterday when we were talking about Madeline, and I realized that it applies to all the girls. They lack the skills to self-soothe and regulate their own emotion, which is why I think Madeline always needs to run her lips on my face when she is upset. She is getting soothed when she does that. So, I have to throw that into the mix when we are responding to the girls, and come up with ways to help teach those skills.
Friend 1: (sticks her tongue out at Friend 2)
Friend 2: “I’m not going to play with you anymore” and she runs off.
Garmai: says to Friend 2, “That wasn’t a very nice thing to say to her.”
Friend 2: “But she stuck her tongue out at me.”
Garmai: “I know, and I will talk to her about that, but what you said probably hurt her feelings.”
Then Garmai proceeded to talk to Friend 1, and they all spent the rest of the recess friends again!
So, you’d think I’d never done a school drop off before, because I think I was more nervous to leave Garmai at Kindergarten than she was to leave me. Actually, she was petrified…and she was a wreck the whole day prior…which is what peaked my nerves! Of all three girls, she adjusts the slowest, tends to be the most fearful and tentative, and needs the most reassurance that she’s going to be okay. She really wanted to switch to kindergarten, but was scared to death to enter a whole new classroom and have to meet kids all over again! And her experience at Grant Wood had not been entirely positive in the friendship realm, so I think that added to the nerves this time around. As a mom, you want to alleviate whatever pain and fear you can from your kids’ lives, but some you just have to ride out and pray for God’s help.
So, I get her to her hallway, which we had visited the night before, and she tightened her grip on my hand…I helped her put her stuff in her cubby hole and she reached for my hand again. Smart teacher that she is, Mrs. Kolander put her arm around Garmai and said, “Let’s say good-bye to Mom and I’ll help you find your seat.” So, Garmai tentatively said her good-bye and walked into her classroom, as my heart fell through the floor. The other teachers on her wing were so nice and all began saying, “She’s in good hands. She’s gonna be fine. Mrs. Kolander is a great teacher and will take good care of her!” It was nice to have them being so sensative, and I laughed and said, “You’d think I’d never left a child at school before! She’s just so nervous.” I stopped by the office to check on any missing paperwork and then, on the encouragement of the office staff, tried to relax and just breathe!” 🙂
I was anxious to pick her up at the end of the day, and to my relief and suprise, when Madeline and I found Garmai after school, kids started yelling for her to hug them good-bye and asked if she would be back tomorrow! She LOVED kindergarten, and the teacher said she clicked almost instantly with a couple girls in the class. But even a little boy wanted her to give him a hug good-bye! Ahhhhhhhhhh… Not only did she have a great day, but there is another little girl in the class with severe food allergies who also has to bring her own snacks and lunch, so at snack time she and Katia go get their containers of snack and sit down to eat together. Thank you Lord! Little things like that help you to remember how much God cares for us! So, Garmai is enjoying kindergarten and we are thrilled that she is happy!
We had a pretty relaxing weekend, and I’ll attach some pictures of the girls playing with daddy after Travis’ sister and kids left from a visit today. The pics are very representative of the fun AND the pouts that frequent our house.
One other little piece of excitement in our household right now…Emma will be turning 9 in just a couple of weeks! She can hardly handle her excitement! We are going to do the planning in the next day or so, and she has asked several times if she can remind me that we need to talk about it! That is one thing my girls are never short of…anxiety…about what things are going to happen for sure and what things are not! Since school has started I think tonight is the first night I have not been asked if I’m going to make their lunch…or reminded that I haven’t made it yet. Emma even said one morning, ever so nicely, “Mama, not to say you’re doing a bad job or anything, and I know you work very hard…but…why is my lunch not made?” That was an hour before the girls left for school! It is just so scary after all they have been through to trust that we are going to come through for them. We’ll get there though!
The kids never get enough of wrestling with Daddy!
If you notice in the background, Madeline is snagging some of Travis’ coffee when she thinks no one is watching! Heeheehee! Later she picked up Travis’ pizza and licked it before he could get to it! Sneaky little devil! 🙂
A little stretching before the big race!
You can do it, Madeline!
But I don’t want to go inside!
Finally…I got the call that Garmai is free to switch to Monroe and I was able to fill out all the necessary paperwork today! We decided to keep Garmai home tomorrow to give her a day in between schools. She’s not our quickest adjuster, and even though she wants to switch, it was still hard to leave her friends.
I met her teacher today and she seems great! Garmai’s first day will also be a day that her teacher brings her dog to school. She sent home a picture to Garmai, so she could see the dog before coming!
Here’s a “What were you thinking??” mom moment.
So, after school we were hanging around Grant Wood talking to the ELL teacher and the girls were climbing a tree right behind us. We’d finished and I asked the girls to head to the car. Garmai said she was going to “get there first” and began turning in circles all the way to the car. She got most of the way there and then Emma leaped out of the tree and sprinted towards the car. I wanted to give Garmai a heads up that Emma was coming to give her a fighting chance, so I yelled, “Garmai, Garmai, her comes Emma, run quick!” If I stopped there, most of you would not have thought anything of it. Well, when you have a child with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)…probably not such a great idea to yell, “Garmai, run!” So, great mom that I am…I probably threw her back into a memory of rebel fighters and running and yelling…and she absolutely broke down into hysterical sobbing. She said, “I thought something bad was happening. You scared me. I thought something bad was happening.” Then I sat her down on my knee and she just heaved/cried into my shoulder, while I said repeatedly, “Honey, I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m sorry.”
Well, after that trauma was over we regrouped and went home and were in the midst of unloading our groceries when we lost track of Madeline for about 30 seconds. I had brought a bag in to the kitchen, told Travis he needed to come out and help, and when I walked back out the front door there is Madeline, standing with her pants pulled down around her ankles, soaking wet, and now she’s bare but for the entire fast paced 3rd Avenue drivers. 😦 I pulled her pants off and she immediately tells me she is going to go catch this butterfly that just flew by…”Uh, honey, you are naked-butt for everyone in the neighborhood. Get that little tushie inside!” And off she ran!
Its been another rough day for me today. The mood swings and fatigue from this medicine are, at the moment, kickin my butt! I’m glad I have such a great husband, or I’d be in trouble right now! 🙂
I just got back from seeing the Osteopath and I am hurting! He said that sometimes after treatments you can feel better (because you are more aligned) and other times you may feel worse (as your body adjusts to the changes). Today is definitely one of the “worse” days. I don’t know how long the “worse” lasts after each visit, but hopefully I’m one of the quick adjusters!
For those of you who don’t know, I am entering my 2nd month of a medicinally induced state of menopause, in an attempt to correct my hormonal headaches, and so far the side effects haven’t been severe. Fatigue, some mood swings, some nausea. That all tends to go away the week after I get the shot. In about a month I should know whether my body likes menopause, and whether having stable hormone levels is going to make a difference. We shall see!!!
In the midst of it all, the kids have had a good start to school. We are still waiting to hear on school for Garmai, and we’re all getting anxious for the final say from the district. Madeline is adapting to preschool well and runs out the doors smiling when I arrive! Emma is kickin butt reading and writing, and got 12 out of 15 spelling words right this past week! For those who don’t know, she skipped 1st grade and went right into 2nd. She is so excited to be able to read its fun to watch!
We found out recently that we have a bat issue! We thought it was mice at first…we caught 6 and then haven’t seen one since! Then we thought it was rats, as many of the droppings were a tad bit too big to be mice. But, we recently found a 2nd bat in the attic AND found a hole on the outside of the house that the bats can fly in! The first one we caught Travis held in a tupperware container to take outside. The girls got to see it and commented on “how cute” he was, although his fangs were out and I’m pretty sure he was hissing at them! The 2nd one got caught in one of our glue traps, so his life had already come to an end. Did you know that it is illegal to kill bats??? They are endangered! I don’t think anyone is going to arrest you, but you’re not legally supposed to kill them! Learn something new every day!