Thank you for all the feedback on Smile’s school situation. You all have a lot of good advice! We are currently looking into tutors. The majority of you experts agreed with the principal’s advice of keeping him at home for now and then waiting to start him in the summer program, and even though that’s not necessarily what I want to hear it probably is the best decision. I’ve been trying to adjust my attitude towards this option.
Today the husband played with the boys while Natalie taught me how to do Diva’s hair- I need to get a picture!
Then we went to open (gymnastics) gym. The kids had a good time running around and jumping on the trampolines (well, Diva had a good time after she convinced me to let her play in her dress without sweatpants (“pajamas”) on underneath). Everyone there really got a show, let me tell ya.
The husband had a good time too.
Then we came home, had lunch, and put Wiggles down for a nap. The big kids watched TV while I made lunch and put Wiggles down. I’m not at all against TV, especially for the big kids since it can help with language. But I like to limit TV time and feel like they have been watching more than I would like.
After Wiggles was down we did a lesson. We went through the letters A-D, upper and lowercase. We practiced writing them, identifying them, and making their sounds. Smiles actually did great throughout the 45-minute lesson and thrived on the positive feedback. His comprehension was just okay but his attention span was good. Diva, not so much. Instead of drawing letters she was drawing random pictures. I could tell she was doing it to be ornery because of the faces she was making and the giggling she did after she showed me. I know she is capable because she would draw them correctly sometimes, but most of the time she was goofing off. Eventually I took away her dry erase board and asked her to draw in the workbook. That triggered lots of tears. The rest of the 30 minutes or so she spent crying and I didn’t know what to do.
If she was a biochild with a normal upbringing I would have ignored her. I would have told her to let us know when she’s done and ready to join in the fun and either moved to another room or put her in her bedroom. But I can’t do that with her. I can’t leave her when she’s upset when she has spent most of her life abandoned.
But I also can’t teach her that her tears will get her anything she wants. It’s tempting to think “she’s had such a hard life, she’s only been home less than a week, etc etc” and just let her have the darn white board. But I don’t think that serves anybody well. I really wasn’t sure what to do so I just continued to work with Smiles while Diva cried next to us. I periodically gave her kisses and told her that I loved her. She kept crying. When we finished the lesson I hugged her until she calmed down.
So the lesson wasn’t exactly smooth, but afterwards I felt accomplished. I felt like we had made progress and that I could do this tutoring thing.
But then I was like ”Can you all go away now so I can watch Parenthood and play on the Internet?”
That’s the thing about this gig- It never ends. I can have a super productive 45 minute lesson but then I’m not done…I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ELSE. I’m not cut out to be a stay at home mom. My best moments are closely followed by my worst moments. For those of you who do stay at home- what do you do all day? How do you make the whole day feel productive and not just a few short moments?
I don’t know the answer to those questions so after our lesson we watched some more TV. They really like AirBud.
Our friend Heidi and her kids came over to visit after lesson and TV time. The kids had a great time playing with them and didn’t want them to leave!
Bedtime was a bit rough tonight. The first few mornings the kids were home Diva woke up crying. She hasn’t done that for a few days. Then she started begging me to sleep with her at night. She cries and pulls my arm and makes the most pitiful faces. She has done that for a few nights. Yesterday was a good day; she didn’t cry in the morning OR at night. But tonight brought big time tears. It’s easy to be patient with her during these times because I understand she’s hurting and scared. Again, I stand my ground while reminding her I love her (maybe I should sleep with her and let her wake up every 90 minutes with me and the baby, bet that will end the tears!) But when she goes from massive cries to completely quiet two seconds after I shut her door I once again ponder if this is a genuine adoption issue or if she’s trying to use her tears to get what she wants. I think we have a very strong willed child on our hands!
No big weekend plans. More lessons and more visitors lined up. The one good thing about the timing of everything is this beautiful weather- we’ve been spending lots of times outdoors!