Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jesus loves YOU. And you, too.

I know, I know. Consistency isn't my strong point, which is why I'll probably never be the Ultimate Survivor. Or the Top Designer. Well, consistency, and the lack of actually applying. And hating bugs, as well as most things that dwell outdoors, like humidity and cold and whatnot. Whatever.

Since my last blog, I've been pretty busy with work, which I am not complaning about even a teeny tiny bit. But the real reason for my non-posting is because I'm so consumed with Aaron, and it's really weighing on me. He's having what could only be described as a difficult transition to kindergarten. In addition, the neighborhood politics of the 5-7 year old set are becoming more and more apparent to me. Unfortunately, Aaron obviously inherited my disdain for being political, so he's not earning any points for himself that way. Without going into too much detail, because I'll either sob or light my neighbor's house on fire, I can say without question that being the one bullied/ left out ('cause I've been there) isn't one tenth as bad as watching it happen to your own child. It bothers me that at 36 years old, my mood can be so affected by a 6 year old who doesn't even belong to me. It should come as no surprise that my issue is with the child of the man I don't think highly of that lives behind me, and that's as diplomatic as I can be right now. Bless his heart. I'm feeling not at all bad about Aaron dropping his pants and pooing on said neighbor's lawn a number of months ago. (Cross my heart, that happened.) At the time, Aaron was made to pick it up and apologize, but at this point, I might encourage him to bag it, set it on the front porch, and light it on fire.

I really need to grow up.

Anyhow, I'm trying to just get back into blogging, because it's like medicine for my head, so here's what Harper's been up to. It seems a shame to know my mind and heart is really preoccupied with Aaron right now, and still bring out a Harper story, but she's pretty much a living anecdote. Where Aaron is complex and intuitive, Harper is like a little butterfly landing on your nose at the most inappropriate moment, and the two of them together are what makes our family, well, family.

So, Harper is completely convinced that the world revolves around her, and any evidence she sees to the contrary she quickly yells into submission. Lately she's been nixing the nightey-nite song and asking to say "pears" instead. We have our conversation with God, which involves Harper telling God to be thankful for her. I started singing "Jesus Loves Me" to her, but Harper's version is taking entirely too long. I'll start "Jesus loves me..."
"And Harper."
"Oh, sorry. Jesus loves me and Harper..."
"And Daddy."
"Right. Jesus loves me and Harper and Daddy..."
"And Aaron. And Babe and Storm. And Nene and Miss Marilyn."
"Of course. Got it."
"And Eeyore and Kiki, and Kara and Miss Nancie. And Jake."

By the time I make it through this song, including all of the relevant characters in Harper's life, I'm pretty sure I could have just sung Don McClean's "American Pie". But it's nice to know that no matter what you might think, in Harper's world, Jesus loves us ALL. Maybe even the kid and dad who live behind us, although I remain unconvinced.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Problem Child

So, I was embracing our new routine, all ready to start on the next few years of Aaron being in school while Harper's at home, figuring out how to spend our time. I was thinking of what I'd write for blog posts, maybe something about how I got totally immersed in teenage vampire love stories, or how I got even more immersed in reading bloggers who summarize teenage vampire love stories. Maybe I'd write about my new goal to perfect the application of self tanner, so that my friend Cindy doesn't look at my streaky ankles, shake her head, and sigh.

But then, after a solid three days at school, I got an email from Aaron's kindergarten teacher. Here's an excerpt:

Im sorry to bother you on a Tuesday evening, but I wanted to bring something to
your attention. As we are transitioning in the building (mainly as we are coming
in from playground) Aaron i having issues keeping his hands to himself. On
Friday we had a minor pushing incident and today Aaron was pushing and hitting
the boy in front of him. When i speak with him he can tell me that his hands
belong to himself but he struggles with doing so. Can you please speak with him
about this? I don't him or anyone else to get hurt.

Isn't that nice? And in the two days since that email, Aaron has contined to not only push and hit other kids, but he's escalated his desired target number, since today I asked how many kids he hit/ pushed, and his estimate was "probably ten". And it's not like I'm not addressing it; short of medicating him prior to getting on the bus, I am at a complete and total loss, to say nothing of being so angry and humiliated I could scream. He's currently sitting in his room while I grit my teeth and try to take deep breaths.

Kindergarten is totally kicking my ass.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day!

So, Aaron's First Day of School. It only took me a week to recover.

Let me just say, this whole First Day of School thing hit me way harder than I thought it would, because it's not like I've never been away from the boy. He's been in daycare part time for the past three years- I thought I'd breeze right through this thing and do cartwheels all the way back from the bus stop because I don't have to fork out a mortgage payment in childcare anymore. Instead, I became a completely unhinged mess.

I'm blaming this on outside factors, though. We woke up on First Day of School day and it was pouring rain, so I figured not having a raincoat for my kid was as good a reason as any to berate myself and feel crappy about how I was sending him off into the world. I tried to recover by letting him take his umbrella, until at the last minute I tested him and realized he didn't know how to open or close his umbrella on his own, so all I could picture was this pitiful image of him standing on the bus, unable to get off because his umbrella was permanently opened. Or standing in the pouring rain, shivering and sobbing with an umbrella stuck in the closed position (a little dramatic license there, since it was about 88 degrees outside). I was starting to list my other worries that morning, and realized I might just overload Blogger if I detailed all of them, so suffice to say I found anything and everything to worry myself about, and I worried well.

So we walked to the bus stop where one of my neighbors asked Aaron "which room are you going to?", and I had a panic attack right then and there.

"He's supposed to go to a specific room? Am I supposed to know that room? Was I supposed to tell him what room? I don't remember seeing anything with a room number on it. When did you get this room information? Was it in official correspondence? Should I run back to my house right now and look through my meticulously documented file of official school correspondence?"

And Linda, my awesomely relaxed neighbor (who just today decreed Friday Bus Arrival as our new happy hour), realized I was in the middle of a meltdown and put on her happy relaxed voice saying "No! No. I'm sure it's fine. There are a million adults all over, they'll tell him exactly where he needs to go." So I sat there adding to my panic while I see Linda quietly ask her 3rd grade daughter "Hey, Grace? Can you watch out for Aaron and make sure he gets to where he needs to go? Walk him to his class or something?" And all I could hear was the unspoken "Because Sara's such a dolt that she didn't manage to give her kid an umbrella or a rain jacket, so how could we possibly trust her to make sure her child finds the right room at kindergarten, and clearly an 8 year old is far more trustworthy than this imbecile".

Anyhow, Aaron got on the bus just fine and was thrilled, and after he left you can't find any witnessess that can verify that I left the bus stop a sobbing mess. And I may or may not have driven past the school, circling the perimeter to make sure he wasn't wandering around outside in the rain. And I may or may not have hunted down a raincoat for him to have on hand in a city that's had about a 10 year drought.
After school, he was telling me about his day as I lured him with sugar so he wouldn't leave me and go out and play, and I asked (because I've been his mom for a long time now) "Did you get in any trouble today?"
"Just one time out!" (Seriously, he was proud of it)
"Time out!? On the FIRST DAY?! What happened?!"
"Well, the teacher kept asking me to stop yelling." (I TOLD YOU SO, internet! See? Even trained professionals can't get through the day!)
"She asked you to stop yelling, and then what?"
"So then I told her 'I'LL GIVE IT A NICKEL TRY!'"

Of course. I mean, of COURSE that's what he said (yelled) in response to someone asking him not to yell. I blame this on Jason, because I like to avoid accepting any blame for anything at any time. Jason finds these weird documentaries on TV and Tivos them for Aaron, including a recent one named "Tougher In Alaska" or something like that. I don't know what it's about, just that it involves trains (and tough things. And Alaska, duh), and that since Aaron's been watching it at least twice a day, his voice and cadence have kind of changed, so when he starts reciting monologues from this documentary he's a perfect imitation of the narrator, who sounds exactly like Hulk Hogan crossed with a stoned surfer. (I know you can't fathom what that sounds like, but if you saw it, you'd say "that is EXACTLY what that guy sounds like!") Anyhow, that's where he got the "nickel try" thing from, and even though it's actually used as a cheerful affirmative in some tough(er) part of Alaska, unfortunately for Aaron, his teacher is from Pennsylvania, where that crap (apparently) just doesn't fly. Especially at his volume.

Anyhow, he did great last week, and I was a basket case of nerves at both him going off into the real world and realizing, for the first time in YEARS, I have a real, actual schedule to keep in the morning. Like, hitting the snooze alarm just cost me 30 minutes in missing the bus and dropping Aaron off at school, as opposed to "feh, I'll just call daycare and have them hold Aaron's breakfast, and I'll work through lunch or whatever". Ack! Then add in all of the open houses, volunteer requests, schedule coordinating, homework, lunch packing, and bus-meeting, and I'll be honest- Aaron is totally prepared, but I can't vouch that *I'm* mature enough for kindergarten.