Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Only Tuesday?!?

I'm having kind of a bad week. Well, not completely. At work, all is well. Our new secretary started today and I love her! But I wish I could hire someone to take over at home.

So, this will be a fairly self-indulgent whiny post. Just warning you.

Everything seemed fine when I picked up the girls yesterday, their first day of school. They both said they had good days, both seemed happy, had gotten to the Boys & Girls Club all right. Yay. Great.

Then it starts. The whining. The talking back. All while I'm trying to get dinner done, and fill out all the paperwork. (The first day's homework is always a heftier load for the parents than the kids.)

I know a lot of it has to do with working really, really hard at being good at school, being nervous about their first days at a new school, lots of tension and anxiety being released. I get that. But it still doesn't change the fact that I expect my girls to listen to me and to follow directions. I expect to be treated with respect. (I know, dreamland, right? Still...)

I did one of those "go to bed" deals. I was just so done. I knew they wouldn't really go to bed. I just needed some time to wash the friggin' dishes already! (And hello?!? I wanted to watch Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama!)

Things went from bad to worse to OMG, I have no idea what to do anymore. Then, when things were finally starting to settle down, Riley got a bloody nose. They didn't end up going to bed until about 10 pm, and they're used to going to bed at 8:30.

I did watch Ted & Michelle - and those 2 girls the same ages as my daughter. And thought, I totally suck at this motherhood thing.

In the morning, they got up in plenty of time, but Riley had another bloody nose. I went through more than one roll of toilet paper on that one. Then, as she was just cleaning up, she sneezed, which started a whole new gush. We barely, but barely, got Sylvia to school on time.

After dropping Riley off, I stopped by the office to pick up a uniform waiver. (An aside: why do the elementary schools require uniforms, but not the junior highs? It seems to me there are more valid reasons for uniforms the older the kids get? Also, what's up with signing a waiver and getting it out of it that way? On the first day of school, a good 70% of the kids were not in uniforms. Kinda defeats the purpose, if you ask me.) On my way back to the car, I saw Riley standing by herself at her line. She looked so small and alone. I couldn't go back to her because you need a visitor's pass to get on school grounds and plus, I had to get to work.

Cut to tonight. First, Sylvia called me at 5 to tell me she forgot one of her books she needed for her homework. We decided we'd have to go early tomorrow morning so she can get her homework done before school.

They seemed fine (again) picking them up. Riley talked in the car about how great her Speech class was, and Sylvia was really excited about her Music class. It seemed like they both had good days. Riley has been nothing even close to fine the minute we got inside the house. She didn't finish her homework at the Boys & Girls Club and completely whined and had a fit every time I told her she had to do it. Since Sylvia had finished everything else, she offered to help. This right here is the most beautiful, perfect 5 minutes I've had at home with the girls in two days:

And that's about all it lasted. Soon after that shot was taken, dinner was ready. Riley decided it'd be much more fun to mess around all during dinner than actually eat.

Then, she wouldn't let her sister help her - and I told Sylvia to stop even trying. Riley continued to give attitude, throw things, and basically just make life a nightmare all the time I was washing dishes.

Finally, finally, we had a break-through. Riley talked about the "bad" things that had happened. Somebody picked on her at Boys & Girls Club - said she looked more like a pre-schooler. Her friend didn't come back to play a game with her. Nobody talked to her at school. Of course, my heart broke for her all over again. 3rd grade is a really tough time to find your place in a new school. So I let her talk it out, and soon enough, she was talking about the good times she had. She seemed ready to tackle her homework again.

But here's the thing: it's almost 9 pm, and she's just now finishing! She still has to write out her "book report" and fill out her reading log, but we're going to take care of that after we drop Sylvia off early. And I didn't get any laundry done tonight, and Riley's backpack stuff is still all over the place, and I'm tired of the transition period!! I just want us to have our routine together. One that doesn't involve the whining and the crying and the screaming and the carrying on.

Sometimes, I wish there was no such thing as a summer break.


Anonymous said...

I have no idea how I'm going to do it once my son is in school. We're already *struggling* with the preschool *homework* (which now annoys me) because some nights are just awful. Like pretty much every night for the past two weeks. It's been tantrum and I'm going to take this away from you central.

So, here's hoping your week improves. I'm looking forward to my four days off, that's for sure (taking an extra day for Little Man's birthday).

Shiona said...

I'm sorry you're going through all this. Sending good vibes your way. Hopefully the rest of the week will improve. Tomorrow's hump day that's gotta help, right?

That homework battle does not sound fun. I can only hope that Jayson will be so well behaved like Obama's children.

Anonymous said...


3rd grade is such a hard year and, quite frankly, I am so glad we are done with it (at least for now!). I've heard from a lot of parents who feel bullying really begins to rear it's ugly head at that time. Poor Riley. I hope things start to look up for her; I'm sure she's just having a difficult time transitioning from summer, like you said.

You know you are a great mom!! Don't doubt that.

And to Natalie's comment - homework in preschool??!!

Anonymous said...

Oh babe. That sounds just not good at all. I'm sorry. Vent away.

And here I thought once Son got a little older those 5pm "witching hours" would go away. Pffftt...

Kori said...

One thing my dear friend Rob (Janet's hubs) often tells me when I am having a bad day? "Call before you shoot." And blogging about it serves the same purpose. I am sure that things will settle down once the routine is well-established again, but that certainly doesn't make it any easier in the meantime. Does it help that I love you?

MarĂ­a said...

I'm sending you good, good vibes. :)

Tara R. said...

My nieces had year-long school and loved it. I wish it was offered in our school district. I often wonder if three months is just too long out of class. The first few months back are just playing catch-up and getting back into routine. {{hugs}} to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

I can feel the stress oozing out of every part of the school district. The kids readjusting, the parents scrambling, the teachers heading to the bar, the administrators locking themselves in their offices, the assistants ready to go postal...you know that stuff.

I'm sorry for being a part of it.

Jen said...

April, I was a long time third grade teacher. A. Riley shouldn't be having hours of homework - if this keeps up - call the teacher. If she's worth her salt, she'll sit down with Riley and figure out what's going on and either cut down on Riley's load or show her some shortcuts. B. Third grade is a WONDERFUL time to transition. Kids are pretty civic-minded at that age. If kids aren't being friendly - call the teacher. The teacher should help Riley connect. Make sure the teacher knows Riley is new, etc.

I'm so sorry you're all going through all that.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a rough day. I hope things get better once they are settled in.

Karen MEG said...

Oh boy, we start school next week and the kids' bedtimes are beyond late.

I'm so sorry that this was so stressful for you Hope things get better really soon.

Hugs to you...

FreedomFirst said...

Lots of hugs.... And I'm dreading my turn.

Me. Here. Right now. said...

Coupla' things:
1. Girls grow out of that whiny snotty. But, if you have boys (like me), it comes later...so there is NO BREAK from it.
2. Not a suggester usually, but I always made the before dinner time (when I was cooking and trying to catch up) no-man's time. They HAD to be somewhere else so I could have that little time to unwind - if you can call cooking, cleaning, and mail sorting unwinding. Dinner table was for talking, questions, discussing the next day, school stories, etc.
3. The uniform thing is stupid. We did it here too. Cost me a fortune and my kids were about the only ones wearing them. And what's the point if it's not a condition of attendance like in Catholic schools?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Hang in there, they'll settle down soon. Transitioning from a summer schedule to a school schedule is NOT easy!

Anonymous said...

Friday is coming and DO listen to Jen...she knows of what she speaks! Enjoy the long weekend.