Feelin’ Funky


Okay, so I’ll cop to it: I guess I’m in a funk.  So many things on my mind lately . . .

Finn –

Remember how I mentioned that his left eye has been turning in?  Well, now both of them are.  It’s random and intermittent.  We have an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist in a couple weeks, so that’s good.  Just a little worried about it.

Also, he’s slated to start that awesome preschool program next week.  I really think it’s going to be a good fit, and I’m so thankful that they’re excited to have him.  We visited again a week or so ago, and met his teacher and talked about some of his specific issues (which they pretty much see as non-issues) just for my peace of mind, but I’m still worried/stressed about it.  How much will his language delays hinder him?  What if they can’t understand him?  What if he won’t follow directions?  Morbidly, what if something bad happens to him?  He won’t even be able to tell me.  It’s not like I can even have the talk with him about strangers and boundaries – cognitively, he’s just not there yet.  Also how will he do with the whole potty thing?  They know he’s not potty trained, but most of the kids are, and they encourage all of them – even those in pull-ups – to use the potty at regular intervals.  I have no idea how he’s going to do.  I will say that I’ve had ZERO luck at home in this area.  It’s like he just doesn’t make the connection.  He’ll sit on the potty, but he never, ever does anything on it.  It’s discouraging.  But maybe seeing other kids do it will be helpful, right?  Isn’t that the point of his having typical peer models?

Annabelle & Daisy –

With the first week of school behind us, we’ve gotten off to a very rocky start with regard to third grade homework.  Let me back up and say that they have both been placed in a GATE class.  I’m totally second-guessing this placement now.  There is no doubt that they’re both very bright, but I wonder about their maturity.  I’ll be honest – emotionally, they both seem more like second-graders to me than third graders.  Which is now making me wonder if we made a big mistake starting them in kindergarten when they hadn’t quite turned 5 yet instead of waiting a year (which we’ve also done with Lilah – she’s now in first grade and won’t turn 6 until early October).  I’m not going to put them back a grade, but I do wonder if they’re just not mature and disciplined enough to handle third grade GATE.  Homework has been a nightmare this week.  And it’s true that these two have always been particularly awful with regard to homework, but at this point, it’s not just whining that they don’t want to do homework, it’s whining and crying and wanting (needing?) help with every single homework problem.  And listen: I’m not a teacher!  I don’t have the patience for it.  And by third grade, it seems to me that they should be able to do their homework mostly independently – I know Kevin and Joey both were by this point (and they were both in GATE, as well).  So, I can’t figure out if they’re playing me, or if they truly are struggling with the concepts.  If they’re struggling this much with the concepts, that seems like a problem.  And if they’re playing me, well, that’s a problem, too, and I think it’s telling about their emotional ability to handle this kind of work.

So, I think I need to have a meeting with their teacher and try to nail down what’s going on and where we should go from here.  Keep them where they are and accept that third grade in general is quite a leap from second grade, and things are going to be trying for a while?  Move them to a regular third-grade class?  Throttle them both?  Move to a commune?  What?

Also, Annabelle’s hair.  She managed to grow out that bald spot on the back of her head over the summer, only to pull a brand new one on the side of her head right before school was due to start back up.  That girl is breaking my heart.  She came to me yesterday and said, “Mommy, I know what to say when people ask me about the bald spot.  I just tell them it’s a secret.”  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  Part of me admires her moxie, and part of me feels like, “Great!  Now there’s no motivation for her to stop pulling her hair out.”

Cancer –

It seems like it’s never far away, cancer.  The sister of a girl I used to work with died yesterday from breast cancer.  My former co-worker and I were pretty good friends way back when.  We lost touch for a while and reconnected on Facebook a couple years ago.  I had met her sister, but didn’t know her really.  Anyway, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 32 just three years ago.  She had two small children.  Apparently it was the really bad genetic kind, and both of her sisters (my friend included) had preventative mastectomies and hysterectomies because of the genetic link.  And then they watched their younger sister slowly die.  I haven’t really followed their journey too closely – I just signed onto FB yesterday and realized that my friend’s sister had died, and it left me absolutely stunned.  I’ve been crying on and off about it since last night.  I picture my own girls facing something like that as adults, and I can hardly handle it.  I keep thinking about that woman’s children and sisters and parents.  How will they go on – any of them?  I sifted through my friend’s Facebook photos, trying to piece it all together – was there a point where  it showed in the pictures that her sister wasn’t going to make it?  I needed to try to see it.

This isn’t even my friend, so I don’t even feel like I have the right to internalize this so, and let it affect me so deeply.  But it’s a harsh reminder that cancer fucks people at random.  It steals people who are loved, who are needed.  We are lucky – Michael fought his cancer and so far, he’s winning.  We didn’t lose him.  But sometimes it feels like the cancer returning is inevitable, and it stirs an almost paralyzing fear in me.

Life –

It’s a lot sometimes.

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4 Comments on “Feelin’ Funky”

  1. Stacey
    August 31, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I’ve heard that kids are often better at a lot of things for other people than for their own parents. My sister had to do her homework at our neighbor’s house because she just wouldn’t do it at home. Maybe you can start a “homework club” for a few kids after school and bring in a couple of older kids to supervise & tutor? The after-care program at our school has an hour dedicated to homework; they get high school kids in exchange for signing off on their required community service. My husband & I have thought seriously about signing Tiven up this year because the cost seems to far outweigh the stress of dealing with her homework tantrums.

    I’m sure Finn is going to be fine with everything. He probably just needs an eye patch for a while to help develop his eye muscles. There were 4yo boys at Tiven’s preschool who were still in pullups even without Ds and the teachers didn’t seem to even blink an eye about it. They ran all the kids through the bathroom at regular intervals and dealt with whatever else happened whenever they needed to. Teachers are a special breed of human, I believe.

  2. Asha
    September 1, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    Lisa,
    There is a lot on your plate lately!
    Our school year didn’t start yet, but I am already dreading the homework battles. In my house, it’s the girls that throw tantrums about homework- all the boys just breeze through it ( even get it done at school, before coming home). So yeah, dreading it completely. I plan on setting a timer and giving each of my DD’s her own place to do it.
    I wonder if it’s some kind of “girl thing”?

    It’s funny we have a DD who will turn 7 in November. She did go to Kindergarten and 1st grade, but was complaining that she was always the smallest and youngest in her class, so when we moved, we decided that it would be best to put her back in first grade. She was relieved.
    For us it was a lucky timing since we moved… I don’t think we would have kept her back if we stayed in our old house. I always regretted putting her in ” on time”. It’s so hard to be a parent and consider all of these “what ifs”

    I’m sorry about your friend’s sister. So tragic! I think your reaction to the news is understandable given what you went through with Micheal’s disease. Hugs.

  3. Vonda
    September 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    My son, Noah’s, eyes turned in when he was a toddler (he has Ds). We tried strong glasses to try and pull the eye muscles in the right direction (don’t do it, it doesn’t work). Finally we opted for surgery. If they recommended, no need to freak out like I did, because it’s not bad and the recovery time is very quick, and it works. It was amazing seeing Noah with straight eyes imnmediately after the procedure. His eyes were just a little red and it only lasted a few days. And although I say it works, he did have to have surgery on the right eye again about 2 years later because it still needed a little adjusting, which they mentioned might be the case on the first surgery, as they don’t want to adjust the eyes TOO MUCH and overdo it. Today he is 13 and his eyes are still very straight.

    And YES, cancer sucks ass!

  4. P
    September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Yeah homework club every so often like once a week might surprise them into realizing they can do it. You’d think they could help each other too. Meeting is best option! I like the secret

    and cancer f-ing sucks and I feel the same as you and have no one in my family but a friend’s daughter and one recovered child too in my life although I have connections at synagogue & school who have battled it. I feel your empathy & sadness; although I’m sure you are facing unresolved past and future fears & uncertainty. Prayers for you all & everyone crushed or being crushed under its weight. It’s 100% justified

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