A family's story

Posts tagged ‘Back to school jitters’

The In-Between

The boys start school in 10 days. Another summer has blown past us. It has been an up and down summer, but a mostly enjoyable one. Soon, my boys will be in 7th, 5th and 2nd grade. Amazingly, when I started this blog, my oldest was a 2nd grader…and now, well, my baby is knocking on that door.

School supplies have been organized, and those that needed to be replaced are purchased. Folders are un-creased and crisp and shiny. Crayons still have a pristine tip. We have piles for each in the spare bedroom. Now, we wait.

The “In-Between” can be a bit anxiety producing, I am not going to lie. I am not sleeping great. The boys are each showing their anxiety in their own way. I won’t mire you down in the details, but let’s just say that the apples don’t fall far from the tree, here.

Each of them checks the master calendar daily. New items are being written in often. Jake is allowed to go walk his schedule any time from 9-3:30 on Thursday. Cole has a playdate for incoming 2nd graders another afternoon. Next week, the younger 2 have elementary school “Meet the Staff” day. As we tick off the list of supplies and have our last summer flings with friends, they get more and more aware that (said in a Ned Stark voice), “The School Year is coming.”

Summer isn’t always easy, with it’s relaxed schedules and routines, but in some ways, it is easier for me. No homework battles. No shuffling three children to and fro between various after school activities that range from soccer to religious education to therapists to scouts. And let’s not get into the freedom from IEP concerns.

Yes, we are firmly in the “In-between”, and right now, it’s a mix of emotion. Should I be bummed about the end of the summer? Should I be worried about the school year? Should I be writing summaries for the various teachers as they are new to my child(ren)? Did I remember to get all of the supplies? Did we do everything summer-related on our list? Did we do too much therapy this summer? Too little? Should we try to cram in another summer event?

So, I will sit here, and enjoy my coffee, and contemplate the “In-between”…for soon, we will be fully entrenched in another school year…

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Reflections on starting school

So, we are in our last week of summer break. All of the school supplies are purchased and awaiting labels. A few new clothing items have been purchased. We started our evening school routine last night. Haircuts and sneaker shopping are on my “to-do” list. Tomorrow we visit the school and view class lists, see the principal, and chat with friends. (Cue the sound of a record player being stopped mid-song.)

Chat with friends. There’s something, now, isn’t there? I will chat with my mom friends. Hubz will be chatting with parents of current scouts and hopefully a few future scouts. Cole will chat with just about anyone, as he seems to think (and often is right) that everyone is his friend. But then there’s Jake and Tate. Tomorrow will be so difficult for them. Chatting and small talk do not come easy to my older two children. At all.

Tate still refers to everyone who he goes to school with as a “friend”. He has a couple real friends, but talking to them in the chaotic situation that is “Meet the Principal Day” is not going to happen. He doesn’t cry or try to climb up my back like he did when he was 3 or 4, but he does all he can to make it through the school “stations” without a meltdown. Talking to peers, which is difficult enough, is near impossible for him in this setting. I don’t expect him to be able to converse with friends tomorrow…that may be too much.  While we are at the school, his teacher and I want to attempt to have him tour his classroom, if he can tolerate it. Otherwise, I’ll take him back on Wednesday morning to scope out his rearranged classroom.

Jake has a few friends. However, in the busy-ness that is “Meet the Principal Day”, the chaos will consume him. He will struggle to focus and have a conversation. His back-to-school anxiety will cause him to perseverate on topics that many of his friends won’t care much about. He’ll shut down if he gets too dysregulated. It will be a challenge to keep him focused and get through the stops we need to do.

Also, as we do our final countdown to the school year, the anxiety beast here is ferocious. It is gnawing at all of us. It is wreaking havoc with sleep and routine. My children are not themselves. I am not myself. We are trying to do whatever works to get through the days. And the nights. Patience is thin. We have a lot of bickering. A lot of short tempers. A lot of frustration.

In all of the frustration, however, I am grateful for one improvement. This year, Jake has been able to advocate and verbalize the fact that he is nervous about school. Because he’s anxious about school and a new teacher and new demands (he has heard that 4th grade is harder), he has very little tolerance for anything that goes against his desired plans. He is quick to shout at his brothers. He screamed at his friend the other day. He yelled at me to stop talking about our back-to-school schedule. However, in so doing that, we opened a conversation about what is going on in his brain, and he was able to put it into words. Knowing how he’s feeling, instead of guessing, has really helped me try to work through this rough patch. It isn’t easy, and I am tired and losing patience, but I respect his need for trying to figure it out on his own and needing some space to do so.

School is near, and we will make it. It’s just these few days prior to the actual event and the thinking about it that are worse than the actual act of going back. Maybe tomorrow we need to do some yoga before and after the “Meet the Principal Day” in order to get in a good place. *Cue deep breaths.*

Wrambling Wednesday

I am in survival mode…I am doing whatever it takes to survive the next 8 days….my children are falling apart at the seams..and since they don’t sleep when anxiety is high, I am not sleeping right now. It’s so very, very not tranquil here.

Since I don’t have much time, I thought I’d give you a taste of our life the past few days….courtesy of my Facebook posts…they tell, pretty much, where my state of mind is right now.

Thursday, August 9th, 11:01 am:

Went through 2 of the 3 boys’ rooms. I have 2 FULL garbage bags and I’m not even done. When did we become hoarders?!

12:02 pm: (Background- found out our Wednesday afternoon therapist resigned…an hour and a half after she was supposed to be at my house. Thursday morning and afternoon therapists called in sick.)

I’m annoyed that both of Tate’s therapists cancelled today. I know things come up, but argh!!! He is beside himself with anxiety and struggling from lack of typical routine.

Friday, August 10th, 4:05 pm:

I just got Cole’s preschool packet in the  mail. I am beyond excited!

Saturday, August 11th, 1:18 pm:

What a beautiful day!!! I love having windows open…could do without the locust noise, but I’ll deal..

5:36 pm:

Date night! Grateful for Auntie K and Uncle J!

Sunday, August 12th, 12:23 pm:

Getting rear-ended by a non-English speaking person was NOT in my plans today. Luckily no major damage, and I am fine. (FYI, boys weren’t in the car..I was going to pick them up from my sister’s house and some guy who likely didn’t have a license rear-ended me. He was unable to communicate, so his wife spoke haltingly with me. As I got in my car and looked in my rear-view mirror, they were switching places…awesome. No damage, really, so I didn’t even bother with cops. Just absolutely frustrating and rattling.)

Monday, August 13th, 2:15 pm:

Is it bad when I’m overwhelmed by my kids’ schedules for the fall?!

Today, August 14th, 6:15 am:

I was up at midnight, 3 am, 3:45 am, and 4:15 am. At 5:30, my older 2 were up for good. Anyone want them for the next 8 days…not sure if I will survive. #newschoolyearjitters

Today, August 14th, 2:15 pm:

Of course, today Cole decides not to nap. Awesome.

Today, August 14th, 3:15 pm:

3 kids having a simultaneous meltdown at store. Yay. That totally earns me a 99 cent dunkin iced coffee…right?!

 

There you have it…please send wine…and ice cream…and chocolate…..

 

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