Today is the first day of school, up here in the Great Northern Place.
Today I managed to not run away screaming. I have children who have trauma and attachment and low IQ/whatever else is going on in their minds, and this makes the first day – and every day – very frustrating.
My middle child, whose internet name I can’t remember because it’s been a while, gets the most anxious about transitions or any changes. This is understandable, because if you had to move foster homes repeatedly and never had a solid place you knew was yours for the first five years of your life, you’d would probably freak at any perceived new change too. Of course, it’s easy to remember the context of his behaviour when you’re removed from it, and not so easy when you’re in the thick of things and being asked for the hundredth time a question that makes no sense or is easily answered by having any thought in your brain, or you’re cleaning up another mess from someone’s anxious klutzy ways, or you’re being given attitude that makes you want to yell and scream. In those moments, as in those screaming infant at 3:30am moments, you want to shake something.
Don’t worry, despite having many opportunities to want to, I have never shaken nor hit my children. Put the phone down.
Because I’m so frustrated already, watching him struggle with easy tasks like putting his bike in the bike rack (he’s done this many times with no issue) makes me get both more bothered and also, rather depressed. I know that he’s not putting on an act: he really does struggle with mundane, everyday tasks. It’s why he has an IEP (individualized education plan) at school, because otherwise he fails every class, like he did in grade 2. How does one fail grade 2 you may ask? I’m not exactly sure. I think it’s a combination of not getting what the teacher is laying down because of mental capabilities, processing disorder, and high anxiety. I am thankful that he goes to a great public school with excellent resources, so that he has been identified and is helped a lot in the class, without much pushing from me at all. I am also thankful he loves school, learning, the friends he has there.
I’m off to work, which I am also thankful for, because there are children there as well, but they don’t belong to me. Work is often my saving grace as a parent – it allows me to pull back and see behaviours in context, and it shows me bigger problems that allows me to see the bigger world around me. Plus, dealing with other people’s drama all day is a lot of fun.
Never said I was sane.