Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Phase of Life

One in school and one at home. It's been almost three weeks since Henry started school and it is certainly and adjustment.

Once Johann went back to work and the needs of daily life caught up, things got a lot more boring for Thea and she began to be very upset about Henry being gone. The whole first week she spent a good portion of the day whining and being grumpy.

 On the first early release day (every Wednesday they get out at 1:20 instead of 2:40) I picked Henry up and ran to Costco. Once they were in the cart together Thea kept hugging on him the whole time we were at the store. He can be such a punk to her and she can be an annoying little sister but they do love each other and I love seeing it.

Since that horrible first week of adjustment (which also involved Henry getting diarrhea and having an accident at school where I had to go pick him up) I have been trying to remember what I did with Henry at this age. I know we walked to the park a lot in Provo but other than that I can't remember too much and on the blog it looks like when he was this age it was summer so we did a lot of stuff with family. I'll figure it out.
Anyhow, I take her into Henry's room to play a lot and put her at his table one day to let her do the forbidden and use his crayons etc. She was sooo excited.

Then she decided that was boring and it'd be more fun to practice her new hobby of climbing on everything at every possible chance. She was so proud of herself, little stinker.

Laughing with delight at her accomplishment. SO much for my brilliant idea to put that rail in to keep the crayons and markers up, out of her reach.

So Dorothea and I are trying to get in a rhythm and schedule here at home while Henry's away. It's not great yet for either of us and drop off and pick up mess with the sleeping schedule I had going but we'll get there, I hope.

As far as Henry is concerned, the biggest thing I notice is that he is exhausted and has already brought home diarrhea (I got to share that lovely bug) and two different colds, the first of which Thea and I also got from him. School is gross.

He started soccer the same time as school and after his first game (pic before above) he came home and after a freak out for something I can't even remember he slept for two and a half hours. I can't remember the last time Henry took a nap when we weren't in the car on a crazy vacation schedule.

He gets about 11 hours a night but I guess it's just not enough for his itty bitty body.

As I mentioned in the previous post I did pretty well the first days because Johann was also home and it was still new. By the second Friday I cried after I dropped him off because, well, it's real now. That was also after the accident incident and the fact that he had to stand in his own soiled clothes for 10 minutes until I got there (he had a change of clothes in his backpack but it was lunch and the room was locked and they don't clean up messes, nor do I expect them to) was just upsetting on some level. It's the realization again that while schools can be great and help my kid a lot, they don't love him or care for him or are not able/willing to do for him the things I am. I cried again when I picked him up on Friday and then again dropping him on Monday. Not big snotty crying or anything but just feeling sad and a little unsure about the decision to send him after all.

The middle of that week Henry came into the car and told him a kid had kicked him in his privates, long story short, he and another kid had been hitting another boys backpack so he turned around and gave it back. I was really upset that Henry tried to start off by making it sound like he was the one who was being harassed when the kid was just defending himself. I also hated that Henry was teaming up with another kid to be mean to someone else! At least he eventually told me the truth but the whole not knowing how he is behaving and who he is playing with his hard for me. I understand some people think a five year old is capable of making their own decisions when it comes to things like this, but frankly, I don't think they have the interpersonal intelligence to know, "hey, this kid is a bad influence, I think I better find other friends." Most teenagers are even capable of that. So if it makes me an overbearing parent to want to help my child recognize who are good influences and what constitutes peer pressure or being a bully, so be it. After that I added some doubt to the choice of having him in school and started thinking about doing homeschooling again after all as my pinboards will attest to and I actually had a couple people notice and ask me if school wasn't going so well, haha. We then had back to school night and after talking with the teacher I felt a little better except for seeing that he is being lazy and doing work the way he did a year ago just to finish quickly. The next day Henry's teacher who doesn't do parent pick up duty was there with him-never a good sign. She brought him in told me that while he had done really well the whole day, at the end he was dancing with two other boys (same boys he told me he did the backpack thing and other things with) instead of cleaning up and got clipped down. He was up at the clip for a prize and since he got clipped down and lost it, he lost it too and threw a giant tantrum, which is actually not something he really does anymore. He was still crying and shaking and snotting until we got home and then, you guessed it, just laid in his room for a while.

So that is how school has been going since the start. Everyone asks me if I'm enjoying the freedom of having a kid in school and to be honest, what freedom? and no. Since I am worried there will be an accident again or something else I don't feel like I can leave anywhere more than 15-20 minutes away if even that. Also I have to be at parent pick up at a certain time morning and afternoon and in the morning it's a 10 minute thing but afternoon it's at least 45 minutes sitting in line, which, by the way, is eating away at my tank. I suppose I could still go early and hope for a spot somewhere and get Thea out and strap her into a stroller and go get him that way but it's also her nap time and about every other day I get lucky and she sleeps in the car while we wait for him. He's also already been sick 3 times and is pooped in the weekends. I feel like I'm never getting the best of my kid and that the best of him is being changed while he is gone.

I realize it could just be my chronic inability to deal with change gracefully, so after talking it over we decided not to try and make any changes until Fall break. Johann is even admitting that maybe it's not ridiculous to revisit the idea of homeschooling. I just feel like 5 is so young to be gone for 6.5 hours every day! I wish they still have half day K. Even more, I wish kids didn't go to school until they were 7 or 8. Wouldn't it be nice to spend those 2-3 years while they are becoming somewhat independent and capable teaching them all kinds of life skills like cooking and yard work, cleaning, how to do different sports, music, finding out what their interests are, being exposed to lots of different things and just life in general? Becoming more solid in their ability to make right choices?

So I'll continue to stew but come October we need to make a decision and I need to stick with it so I don't have this brooding going on inside all the time. I got my tb test today too so I'll be turning in my volunteer paper work and hopefully going into the classroom will help me have a better understanding for making a decision.

Wish us luck.


Aaron and Devon said...

Sorry it's been so rough. Full day kindergarten is rough. I hope it get better soon and great idea volunteering in the classroom.

Bryan and Natalie said...

Good luck! I'm sure it is a huge adjustment for all, especially Henry. I COMPLETELY agree that 5 is way too young for full day kindergarten! That came as a shock to me when all my friends started sending their kids to kindergarten this year. One of my friends only does half day (at a full day kindergarten). She just talked to the principle and he said it was ok for her daughter to only do half day, she just has to pick her up. Maybe you can talk to the teacher and principle and see if you can do only half day. Maybe you can do regular school in the morning and homeschool in the afternoon or something. I'll be praying for you! You're doing great and I know you will make the right decision for your family. I love you!

Joshua and Rachel said...

Full day kindergarten sounds hard. Why did they switch it to full day anyways. I wish they still did half day, it seems like a really long time for 5 year old kids to be away from their parents. I hope that the volunteering will help you guys make the best decision for Henry and your family. We miss you guys and wish we lived closer!