Busily Churning Along

Lately, I’ve had things I’ve wanted to blog about and just haven’t found time or energy to make it happen. It seems like this happens to me almost every winter – we get through Christmas and settle into the long, dark nights before spring arrives and I just hunker down and try to survive until then. It’s never pretty, folks.

Anyway, since I do want to write about some things, let’s get down to it.

1. School – For both the kids and me, this is going pretty well. Liam brought home all A’s for his second quarter of the year and continues to forge ahead with third grade. Jamie is doing great at preschool – though I realized today that he has only around 2 more months of preschool before he DONE with it. His teachers feel he’s doing well, both with kindergarten readiness skills and with the social aspects of school. I registered him for kindergarten the day after Liam’s birthday and this week I had a meeting with DART and the school district to discuss the transition from early intervention services to school based services. I don’t think it’s going to be much of a huge deal. He’s really only down to some articulation issues that require some extra support (k’s and g’s, man. K’s and g’s). I expect the school speech language pathologist will see him at most once a week and he’ll get DART services through the summer before school starts.

I’m rolling along in my classes. Computers is dry, dry, dull, and dry. It’s not useless information but the text makes me want to snore. That thing will cure even the worst insomnia. It takes real concentration for me to read and absorb it because I just want to tune out. Healthcare Delivery Systems has no text – it’s all lecture slides – and it’s getting more interesting the further into the class I go. Certainly I’m finding the information more useful. Medical Terminology is the meatiest and most interesting of my classes. It’s a lot of making flashcards and memorization and exercises for practice so it’s pretty time consuming. That said, I also love learning all that stuff. (Did you know there is an INJECTABLE erectile disfunction drug?! That’s some kind of desperation.) I did get all A’s on my midterms, though, and am carrying an A average in all three classes. I just feel like I need to push more so I can complete them faster.

2. Jamie – oh Lord. Where do I start? He is such a challenge for me to parent. Stubbornness and contrariness IN SPADES. A complete and utter lack of patience as well. I know the stubbornness will serve him well later in life. He’s not likely to give up if something is hard for him. But right now? It’s sucking the life out of me.

The worst thing is this: Jamie has a habit of becoming frustrated in nanoseconds. I think this is partly the age, partly his personality, and partly his speech delay. The problem is that if he doesn’t get what he wants or he is upset about what someone (usually his brother) is doing around him he SCREAMS. Now, I want you to imagine the worst, most terrifying blood-curdling horror movie scream. Have you got it? Next, imagine it’s at the perfect pitch to physically hurt your ears.  Got that? Last, make it REALLY LOUD.

That’s what Jamie does when he’s pissed. Approximately 80 BAJILLION times a day. And we’ve tried everything we can think of to get him to knock it off.

We’ve tried logic. (HA! He don’t need no stinkin’ logic). We’ve tried cajoling. We’ve tried telling him to knock it off. We’ve sent him to him room. We’ve taken things away (bedtime story, other privileges).We’ve tried pointing out and praising his good behavior. None of it seems to make any difference to the next time he’s frustrated or pissed. If he isn’t mollified immediately, he shrieks.

It’s terrible between him and Liam, especially in the morning when the kids are getting ready for school. I get up and within 20 minutes, I’ve broken up 3 fights and told Jamie to knock it off a dozen times. Sometimes it’s Jamie being oversensitive to the slightest thing (“He’s touching me!” – literally, he’s said this). Sometimes it’s Liam doing things he knows will upset Jamie. Now, I can tell Liam to stop being an instigator and once I’ve made it clear that I’m onto his antics, he’ll knock it off.

Jamie, on the other hand, will have none of it. He also tends to make entire mountain ranges out of the tiniest of molehills to get himself all bent out of shape. So, not only is he frustrated and shrieking, but the thing which has affronted him literally did not occur.

All this to say that I’m stumped, folks. I feel like I’m failing him as a mother. When he and Liam are separated Jamie is pretty even-keeled. He will still have his moments but it’s easier to get him to keep himself under control. I hear nothing but good things from his teachers – he behaves, he’s helpful, he doesn’t scream and yell. But put he and Liam together and it’s like dumping two pounds of pure sodium into a kiddie pool full of water. KA-BOOM.

In fact, remember the show Animaniacs? Remember the segment called Katie Ka-boom? Jamie is Katie Ka-Boom.

At this point, I’m just trying to be consistent, consistent, consistent with him. Refusing to accept the shrieking behavior and sending him to his room a lot while trying to recognize and praise the times that he behaves well. I’ve gotten to a point where I’m just hoping that the repeated application of a board to his head (in the figurative sense) will make it sink in. I am also hoping that kindergarten will change things because I suspect he may be bored. So, got any ideas?

3. Winter – Winter can go fuck itself. The only thing it’s been good for is that I get some cardio while shoveling out the driveway. We’ve now had so many snow days from school that they’ve used up the allotted amount and had to schedule a make up day. The last few days have been warm enough to trigger significant melt off and today was warm and sunny enough to open a window and enjoy the glorious fresh air. I’m sure this is a sign of an imminent apocalypse. When it snows again I’m going to lose my mind. Zoloft, take me away.

Life hasn’t been all bad/stressful though. I’ve gotten to spend some time alone with Scot, including a dinner out last weekend. I got to see the fabulous Dawn of RedPenMama fame for a coffee date. I’ll be seeing the Veronica Mars movie next month with a big group of people and I’m really looking forward to it.

And now, the dogs are being rambunctious and it’s almost time for Liam to go to bed so writing is becoming difficult. So, I will leave you with a picture of my poor, short spaniel after romping in the chest high (on her) snow.



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