Saturday, January 21, 2012

3 Out Of 4

Hey guess what? I'm having a good day so far. I know. Mostly it's because I am getting brave about trying fun foods again (pizza with something other than cheese! chocolate! donuts! COFFEE!!) and even when it's a fail (see: chocolate, donuts) just knowing that I am totally on the tail end of this nausea thing is vastly relieving. Also, every single room in our house is tidy right now, which has only happened one other time (appraisal) since I've been pregnant. This time the contractor was supposed to come out to make plans about the remodel, but he actually rescheduled for tomorrow just as we finished our whirlwind-cleaning. I was slightly peeved, since I am super excited to get the ball rolling on Operation: More Than One Toilet, but overall I don't care too much because now I can even vacuum and dust before he comes, and really impress him! (Yes, I know that he's a guy and a builder and probably wouldn't notice either way, nor be impressed, but I will feel better about myself so WIN.)

It's kind of weird, though. I mean, our house used to regularly be this tidy. Most days, it looked like this. Now I feel like I'm in a house of glass and sand and that any wrong move will send the whole thing crumbling around me. Plus what are the kids supposed to do? Just tiptoe around, not getting anything out until tomorrow? How did we used to DO this? Wow, did my standards erode but quickly. Oh well. Isn't the secret to happiness lowering your standards, anyways?

By the way, the refinancing of our house went through, so that's exciting me too. Fifteen years, baby! There is a bit of a pang when I reflect that we could have stayed with thirty years and thereby lowered our mortgage by a significant chunk each month and had a lot more financial wiggle room, but I know in the long run this is a better plan. (I hope, fingers crossed.)

So those are the good things. But lest this post get too Pollyanna on you, it may comfort you to know that Jim and I keep getting in stupid fights about the remodel (we... have very different personality styles when it comes to timelines and deadlines and planning and communicating about said issues) and about how to deal with Eli OH WAIT I MEAN AN UNNAMED CHILD NOT THE ALWAYS PICKED ON MIDDLE ONE GAH. You should understand that for us a fight, like an actual yelling and saying things you really don't mean and swearing kind of fight, happens like maybe four times a year. So having two in the course of three days kind of sucks. Although, it often happens that way, I've noticed. Something about the catharsis of actually RAISING ONE'S VOICE and saying all the things you usually just mutter to yourself while you're loading the dishwasher later that night (what?) just emboldens you for awhile. It's the gateway drug into further yelling and unfair fighting practices. Yesterday I was even thinking about throwing a glass. I just wanted to break something. I was so. damn. tired. of thinking about and feeling guilt and confusion about my son's behavior and second guessing myself and Jim about how to deal with it and I just wanted to smash something.

Then of course today said son went and behaved perfectly and ate without complaint the apple slices that he yesterday ruined an entire morning over and is now happily playing with his sister. I just don't know. Every time I think, "Ok, these fits are just getting beyond normal, maybe he needs more than we can offer him, maybe I should call someone, maybe I need a referral, maybe..." he straightens up for a few days and acts like a model kid and I just shake my head and hope he's rounded the bend.

I do see that it's improving, bit by bit, from where we were a year ago, but it's still hard when I think about preschool this fall- I just start cringing, imaging his having daily angry/wounded meltdowns whenever another adult gives him instructions or another student won't share, and being sent home with notes from the teacher wanting to schedule meetings to discuss "discipline strategies" and diagnoses. I so badly want school to be a positive experience for him, not a place where he begins to question his worth or his capabilities, the place where he begins to compare himself with others and find himself lacking. I know that in some ways this is school for everyone, and there's no way around it, but... You know what I'm saying. I want him to stay at home in his jammies and play Super Mario and Candy Land with me and hide him from everything hard for a little longer. Or, for him to magically outgrow having tantrums by age five. And maybe he will. Either way, we all know what a lot of good worrying about it will do, right?!


Scottish Twins said...

I honestly think that he will do great at preschool. Kids always behave better for other adults. (Do you ever have problems with him when he is being watched at church?) I think preschool will actually help his behavior at home more than anything.

Hang in there!!

Elizabeth said...

Our Eli has his own fair share of terrible behavior. He's a major challenge on a daily basis, but at school? He's the complete opposite. Perfectly well behaved, listens perfectly, he's like another kid. I am not saying it will be the same,but you'd be surprised I think at how a kid who can really push his parents can respond so well to school and teachers and authority figures.

Sarah said...

ST and Elizabeth- Sometimes he's great for other people. Other times, he throws terrible tantrums and we have to go get him. Generally, he's the same around other ppl as he is with us: unpredictable. I've had to go get him from Sunday School many times, and he's thrown fits for babysitters and relatives many a time, unfortunately.

d e v a n said...

I'm glad you're starting to feel better!
I have no advice on the behavior stuff. My 6 year old spent a great part of the afternoon in trouble for obnoxious, horrible behavior befitting a 2 year old. *sigh*
And, when he's behaving, one of the others isn't. Of course.

Tracy said...

He may do great in school. You just don't know, yet. I agree with Elizabeth. A lot of kids can push their parents, then be a totally different kid at school.