Someone please tell me that it's normal for kids to act CRAZY during the first full week of school and that unicorns will fly over the house while we're sleeping this weekend and magically transform my children back to sweet girls. Not that they're not sweet when they're crazy - the crazy is just front and center and all up in my face. I'm pretty sure I earned a Mother of the Year Award this week and I'd like to avoid a repeat performance next week. I'm hoping/assuming that they're just overtired and that being overtired is causing the silliness, crying over everything and grumpy, uncooperative attitudes.
So far, Allie is the only one who has been assigned homework. She has a reading/math log that needs to be completed Monday through Thursday and then turned in Friday with a parent's signature. She needs to enjoy a book (or books) for at least 15 minutes a day. This means that an adult can read to her or she can read to an adult. I (when I'm home in time from work) normally read to the girls for at least 15 minutes each night so this really isn't a big deal except for remembering to write it all on the log. I've been patiently trying to work with her on her reading this week. (And I've been trying to work on my patience.)
She also needs to practice her math facts for at least 5 minutes a day Monday through Thursday. Apparently, at the end of the school year, the first graders will be given a 3 minute timed test in which they have to correctly answer 70 math questions (sums to 10.) So the questions will be 2+2=X or 9-7=X.
Monday night, Grammy and the girls had to pick me up from the train station because Rich had a meeting at the church. He has volunteered to teach CCD this year, which means he needs to attend some training, etc. We arrived home at 7:00. The girls were already bathed and in their pajamas. Grammy offered to cath Anna while I went upstairs to change clothes. I thought it would be a good time to practice math with Allie. Well, Allie and Emily thought it would be a good time to bounce off the walls, and perform gymnastics stunts on my bed.
After a few minutes of Allie listening to Emily and not me, I said, "Emily, go clean your room or something." I didn't yell at her but there was clearly frustration in my voice. (I did yell at her Tuesday night after she whacked Anna in the back with a doll causing Anna to cry hysterically for 10 minutes.) She went to her room to presumably pick up some of the stuff that always seems to accumulate on her floor. I had been watching the clock to time 5 minutes of math questions, thinking that if I was able to pull 5 minutes from Allie, I would be satisfied giving how things were going. After 3 minutes, I happened to notice that the light was off in Em's bedroom. I walked in to find her standing in her closet nook, crying. Seriously?
I hugged her, we talked for a minute and then I realized that (duh!) although Emily doesn't have a math log, she still needs to practice too. So we spent another 5 minutes with them alternating answering the questions. It wasn't easy or fun but we finished. And then there was more crying at bedtime. I'm not going to give a play by play of each night's events but we ended last night with Emily whacking her forehead against the corner of Rich's bureau. She is now sporting a blue bump there. Oh, and Anna stayed awake until after 9:00 Wednesday night because Grammy and I went out to run errands, which is an extreme rarity on a weeknight, and she didn't want to go to sleep until I was home.
We have a huge 9/15 tax filing deadline at work so this week has been busy. When is it not busy? (And yes, there are tax emergencies, just like there are unicorns.) Before marriage and kids, I had romantic notions of what life will be like. This isn't it. And my kids are only in the first grade. I can't even imagine doing this when they are in the fourth grade and have time consuming homework. Changes and adjustments will have to be made to our lives. Rich and I have already discussed some goals and timelines. But things of this nature never happen overnight. Change is often slow. (And I need to work on my patience.)
Mentally, I was in a bad place this week. I sometimes feel that no matter what I do at work, it's not good enough because I can't work 50, 60, 70 hours a week on a regular basis and then I come home and everyone's mad and frustrated over the overtime that I did work. It turns into a lose/lose situation. Ugh...
Here's to hoping that next week is a better one....