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