Monday, September 21

Homework Hassels, Hair Dos, and A Lot of Help

Well...I almost don't remember how to post on this blog anymore. It's been a really long time, and I have been sufficiently harassed by many. I'd love to say that I am back and will be posting more frequently from here on out. But, that is probably not the case. So, just to make up for so much time lost, this entry will be super long.

As you know, school is back in session. Before I begin to shell out complaints in my usual blogging fashion, I must first admit that I love it. I love fixing lunches, organizing backpacks, taking to school, picking up from school, and DOING HOMEWORK. I really do. I think back to my days of teaching. I remember greeting children as they entered, checking homework from the night before, assigning homework, and sending them home at the end of the day. And, it's fun for me to be on the other side now.

However, my Caleb DOES NOT enjoy the homework so much. He is exhausted when he comes home in the afternoon. They have worked HARD all day. There are no nap mats in first grade, so he's working from 7:30 until 2:30. Even though the homework only takes about 15 minutes (including reading his book), he is completely ticked off about having to do it.

On top of that, his mother wants to go through each and every paper and "work through" any mess ups. For him, this is the icing on the cake. He HATES messing up. So, when I show him the mistake and begin talking about what happened, he makes the worst face you can imagine and then says things like, "I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING", "SHE ALWAYS MARKS ON MY PAPER" or (my favorite) "I'M JUST NOT GOOD AT SCHOOL".

Is that lovely or what?

O.K., secondly, they have a behavior chart in their room where all students begin the day on green. Their color changes as they make mistakes during the day. Blue is second and, thank goodness, I don't know beyond that. But, twice this first six weeks Caleb has been moved to blue. I didn't make a big deal the first time, but it happened again this past week. I was visiting the school the day it happened, and his teacher told me the story. Then, she said Caleb had been crying about it all morning. "Why," she asked him. "Because I don't want my mom and dad to yell at me."

Well, if I hadn't been warned, I most definitely would have. And, it would not have been the first time I have over reacted. I had a wonderful discussion with his teacher at that point about all of the issues I'm having with Caleb.

She has figured him out. Ms. Kinchen began explaining to me that Caleb is a perfectionist. He doesn't want to mess up...EVER. She told me to back off a little and trust that when the mistake has been made (in behavior or school work), he has been harder on himself than I could ever be on him. As long as it doesn't become a habit, everyone messes up and deserves just a warning occasionally. I am so thankful for Caleb's teacher. She is one of the best in the district, and she is truly making a difference in his life -- and mine too, apparently.

Well, guess what? I knew all of those things about Caleb. Not just because I know him. But, I know myself. In describing Caleb, Ms. Kinchen described his mom. So, why have I been bearing down on him so hard? Because I'm a perfectionist -- I want him to be perfect! And, it took a fabulous teacher to help me see that horrible truth. Caleb and I had a long talk that day about mess ups and failures. From one perfectionist to another, I apologized for being too hard on him and not letting him make a mistake. Even Mamas mess up, and if I'd had a "light", I would have let him move mine to blue. Possibly even red, which I do know is the very worst.

About our Collin, he's sporting a MOHAWK! He has been BEGGING me for about 2 weeks for one. Several of his little friends are wearing their hair spiky. I kept saying "no". His daddy kept saying "no". On Saturday, we took him to get a haircut. We were eating pizza and Scotty took Collin next door while we waited for our food. He came running back into the restaurant sporting his mohawk with a smile from ear to ear. He has told me MANY times this weekend that his haircut is "awesome". Actually, I'd have to agree.

Again, I messed up. It's hair! It will grow back. This was not a battle worth fighting. There are worse things he could have asked to do. And, NO ONE has looked at Collin since his haircut without a smile.

And, finally, Claire bear has terrified us once again with another febrile seizure. It happened last Sunday before church. I'm not going to go through all of the details, because it happened just like the last two episodes. But, I will remind you that the doctors have all told us that children with seizure tendencies usually grow out of them between 3 and 5, and if it's not closer to 3 I might literally lose my mind. Just sayin'!

On a happier note, though. Claire has turned into quite the helper. She wants to assist in all of my chores. She loads and unloads the dryer. She loves to help me fold clothes. However, when she's done, I really just have a very tall stack of all of the clothes that were in the dryer. And, last night she helped me rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher. Basically, she turned a 10 minute project into a 30 minute project. At the end of which, she needed a new set of pajamas and I had to mop down the kitchen. But, she did have a good time.

CHILDREN!!! They consume our thoughts, the minutes of each day, and now all of the space I could possibly cover in my blog. If I'm gone too long, it would be safe for you to assume that I am bogged down in the happenings of one or more of the little people previously mentioned. They are precious in every way. While they fill my days with unexpected, shocking and sometimes scary events, I do know that these are the days I will miss terribly in a few short years. So, I am trying to carve out a little piece of time each day to just RELAX and ENJOY. Yesterday AND today, I gave myself permission to nap with Collin just because he asked me to (and I was exhausted).

It took a teacher, a silly haircut and one more scare from Claire bear, but I've been reminded to slow down and calm down. And, here is a verse that has been put in front of me on several different occasions over the last week. Maybe it applies to this post, maybe not. Maybe you (like me) just need to hear it:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition offer your requests to God. And, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4: 6-7


winstead family said...

amy, how i've missed reading your posts as i always feel like i've learned something when reading them! you certainly have a point to your blogs when you write and i love that. i took web design with ms. kinchens (sp?) and she was so sweet. in fact, she's one of the people i 'interviewed' about clinton public schools. ps. i LOVE the mowhawk. in fact, our worship pastor has the same exact haircut! :)

Amy H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alyson said...

Hey Sis!
You are such an amazing mama!
I love you more than words can type!
I thank God for you - the lessons you have taught me. The JOY you and your 3 precious children have added to my life!
Life is good.
Peace that passes ALL understanding! Amazing! Anxiety DESTROYING peace!
You are the best sis EVA!!!
Love you,