From: happy aspies
This is day three of school and it didn’t start well. Yesterday’s fire drill left an impression on Wolfie so strong that at 6:30 this morning he was still maintaining that he would not be going to school.
I tried all the tricks I know. I tried distracting him with other conversation. I offered to make him his all-time favorite breakfast. And we talked at length about the reason for drills and what would happen if we didn’t practice for fires and other disasters. This seemed to make it worse, but he wouldn’t stop talking about it. All of this happened before Hammy woke up at 7:15.
Hammy started kindergarten this year. He goes all day and it has been a HUGE transition for both of us. I’ve missed him terribly these last few days and am so excited for pick up time. For the first time in awhile, I just can’t wait to play. I’ve had all day to get stuff done and I am eager to put my arms around both my boys and pile on the attention. The trouble is, no one is interested. At least not yet anyway.
Hammy has not been himself before or after school. He isn’t eating much and he is crabby and more quiet than usual. I remember this adjustment period when Wolfie first started kindergarten, but it was different. Hammy needs some extra love right now and I don’t have the time to give it when he needs it. I am always so worried about Wolfie and dealing with his response to things. I remember all the preparation that we did for Wolfie to start kindergarten and I didn’t do any of it for Hammy. It totally snuck up on me. I really wasn’t prepared for school to start so soon. It sounds crazy, I know. Most Moms I have talked to have been waiting for school to start so they could have a break, but I was savoring this summer. I was savoring it because of these kinds of mornings.
So, I was absorbed with sending an e-mail to Wolfie’s teachers when Hammy woke up. I was trying to get information about the tornado drill that Wolfie was absolutely certain was happening today. Hammy laid on the floor next to me while I finished the e-mail and then we went to the kitchen to make breakfast. I sat with him while he ate and we talked a little about school. He says he doesn’t have enough time to eat and that is why his lunchbox is coming home basically untouched. He told me he wanted to try to buy lunch today because it was pizza day.
By 8:00 Hammy was dressed and ready to go. Wolfie was still maintaining his “I’m not going to school today” mantra and getting more and more animated by the second. I started to panic. I was worried that any minute Hammy would join in on the refusals to go to school and we’d really be up a creek. I got Hammy involved in a project in the kitchen and went upstairs to talk to Wolfie.
Wolfie couldn’t keep his body from moving around. His legs were fidgeting and he was rolling around all over the floor. He was desperate for some kind of stimulation, but he refused to allow me to help him. When he gets like this there is no going back. It’s like watching a train wreck that could have been avoided if only the driver would have seen what you can see from your vantage point.
We have been talking a lot about trust. I have told Wolfie that part of understanding the stuff that is hard is having trust in those trying to teach. We talk a lot about what it means to love someone and to trust someone. And I tell him that I love him so much that I feel compelled to not allow him to make choices that hurt me. And I tell him that I feel compelled to teach him the things that are difficult even though it sometimes causes emotional pain. And I ask him to trust me.
Trust is hard for him.
I called my Dad and asked him to come get Hammy to take him to school. And then I called Wolfie’s special ed coordinator. She is awesome. I felt better just hearing her voice, and was hoping she couldn’t hear Wolfie throwing toys down the steps. She got on the phone with him after we talked and that was all it took. She reminded him that there was an all school assembly scheduled for today and she reassured him that there would be no tornado drill. He agreed to get in the car almost immediately. He got his shoes on and we were out the door. But not before making a last minute lunch for Hammy who had changed his mind about the pizza and asking my Dad to back out of the driveway before Wolfie saw that he was there.
It is hard to see when someone else is more effective at getting Wolfie out of his funk. I know it is because she isn’t his mother that he was so quick to change his tune and I am happy that it all worked out. It makes me sad though because I try so hard to help him, and sometimes it seems fruitless. I have to remember my own words about love and trust.
I walked Hammy down to his classroom and kissed him goodbye. He had tears in his eyes and we talked about the story The Kissing Hand. I gave him a kiss on his hand and he pressed it to his cheek and walked into class. I know that other parents know the pain of loving and letting your children go. It is so hard. As I walked out of school, I thought about how much of the morning was spent managing Wolfie and how that can’t be the way it is. Finding the balance that will work for this new phase is one that I didn’t think about until now. I am happy that the weekend is here so that we can relax and prepare for a fresh start next week.
Do you ever feel that you have to fill many roles at once?