Back to School, Back to Chaos

Where has this Supermom been?  While I would love to say it has been quiet around here because I’m off on fun adventures with the kids, the reality is much much different.  It has been quiet because this mom has been dealing with a child with high anxiety.  Back to school is a rough time for Samuel because he loves routine but has no idea what the routine in his class is going to be.  Last year was a super rough year with a class bully, no friends in his class, and a teacher he didn’t mesh with.  All of that put together made for some crazy days that left me wanting to run away for awhile.

During one anxiety meltdown, he dumped three jars of spices.  The house smelled great but it was a mess to clean up.

During one anxiety meltdown, he dumped three jars of spices. The house smelled great but it was a mess to clean up.

While we still have a few of those anxiety issues, I’m happy to say it calmed down a bit when the class list was posted Friday evening.  His two best friends are in his class and he got the teacher he wanted.  The bully is still in his class this year but he feels more confident since his friends are there too.  This overwhelmed momma breathed a huge sigh of relief when she saw who was in his class.

I went to the bathroom one morning and came out to find him hanging from this light.

I went to the bathroom one morning and came out to find him hanging from this light.

I am very much looking forward to getting back into routine, but I’m not at all excited about the chaos it brings.  We had meet the teacher last night and came home with a stack of papers to go through.  Just reading the expectations sent my stress level high.  Typical kids can be difficult getting them to do homework but special needs kids take it to a whole new level.  We also have a lot of therapy between two kids that we need to fit in.  And all the therapists and our social worker ask us often what we are doing to keep him in activities so we can work on social skills.  I’m worn out trying to fit it all in and I know it is exhausting to the kids too.

I always start out the year feeling ready for the fresh start.  I’ve planned well, the house is picked up, areas for papers are cleaned out, etc.  This year I just feel defeated.  While the summer flew by, it wore me out. My house is a semi-wreck, I just cleaned out the paper cubbies from last school year last week, and my planning charts haven’t been updated at all.  I’m hoping that once we get into a routine I can get back on schedule and not feel so overwhelmed.  My youngest is starting preschool two days a week next week which means I get a bit more of break too.

Dishcloth

I realize some of my overwhelmed feeling is because I have very little in the way of stress relief these days.  Running or some form of exercise used to be my main way to overcome stress.  However, I’m still injured and no one knows why.  Two doctors, one physical therapist and starting a new PT next week and still no answers.  I haven’t run in six months and was only allowed a tiny bit of exercise a few months ago but had to stop due to the foot not healing.  I reached my limit a few weeks ago and as I was walking past my bedroom I spotted my container of yarn sitting in the corner.  I used to knit and crochet but haven’t touched it in almost two years.  It was always a huge stress reliever as I could get lost in a project for awhile.  I picked up the yarn and crocheted a dishcloth.  It was super simple, helped me get back on track after not doing it for awhile, and didn’t require a lot of brain cells to complete.  Now I’m itching to make a few more things.  I’ve been taking my projects to therapy on days I don’t have all the kids with me and working on projects in the waiting room. Not quite as therapeutic as running but it does help.

So, tomorrow starts a new school year with a 4th grader, 1st grader, and preschooler.  I started a lot of posts over the summer and never was able to finish them so hopefully you will see some great content around in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I’m going to try to get back on track and get our schedule figured out so I’m not so overwhelmed.  Tonight we have our annual back to school dinner out where I usually inform the family of the schedule and expectations for the year.  I’m turning it around this year and asking for input so that they have some ownership in the plan too.

What is your favorite part of back to school and what do you dread?  I know I’m not the only one who has a love/hate relationship with back to school.

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Sometimes All You Need Is a Box To turn a Day Around

Last week we were having ROUGH day.  As in, “count down the minutes until daddy gets home from work and he only left the house an hour ago” kind of day.  I was at my wit’s end and ready to call it a day but I knew there was a lot of day left.

I run an online business and all boxes and packing material that come into our house are saved and reused for the business. I had a huge Amazon Prime Pantry box sitting to the side of the living room as I had just unpacked it.  One of the boys asked if they could use it as a rocket ship.  We were having such an awful day that I decided sacrificing one box was minor for my business but could go a long way towards entertaining my kids.

After playing in it for a few minutes they decided it needed decoration so I gave them a container of crayons and let them have at it.  Between art and pretend play it entertained the two youngest for a good hour and really changed the attitude of our house. In fact, it is almost a week later and they still are playing with that box.

Sometimes we just need a change of direction on those rough days.

What helps change rough days in your house?  Feel free to share ideas as we all have rough days from time to time.

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Hey Mom, The Sink Is Flooding the Bathroom.

Bathroom open

Samuel decided this morning that he wanted to play with a water balloon.  I told him it was too cold for water balloons.  He then went to the bathroom to try to fill one himself.  I walked in and asked him to stop as it was clear that balloon was never going to fill the way he was trying to do it.  My mistake was in not taking the balloon (and all others in the house) away at that time.  Instead I walked away and tended to whatever other crisis was going on in the house at that moment.

A few minutes later he came back and casually said “mom, the sink is flooding the bathroom”.  Red alert, red alert (can you tell I watch too much Disney Junior?!).  As I’m running towards the bathroom I hear the water still on.  Once the bathroom is in site I can see water quickly filling the floor.  He decided that since he couldn’t fill the balloon the other way he would plug the sink and try it that way.

As I was cleaning up the disaster we a had long conversation about thinking through our actions such as once we notice the sink is overflowing, maybe we should turn off the water.  His response: “Mom, I don’t think, I just do.”  Never could a more true sentence have come out of this kid.

Pardon the finger in the picture, I was in a hurry.  That open drawer in the top picture was full of water and the cabinet had about 1/2 an inch of water in it too.  Half the cabinet held towels so those soaked up a ton of the water or it could have been worse.  Should I mention this is the 4th flood of this bathroom!!!!  The others have been from the bathtub and multiple times it has flooded down to the bathroom in the basement that is just below.  This is the first time the cabinet has been victim.  I think I caught it in time before it hit the basement as I haven’t seen any water spots yet.

Bathroom messy

I’ve been meaning to clean out that cabinet but just never found the time.  Apparently today is the day.  The counter shows just a few of the items that were hiding in there, the rest are all sitting in the bathtub drying out.

Samuel kept saying over and over the rest of the morning that we should be thankful that it wasn’t worse and be glad we caught it in time.  It never sunk in that this shouldn’t have happened in the first place and that he was at fault.  He just kept trying to spin it to make it look like it was all a positive thing.  I guess the positive is that I get to tackle one of those jobs that always falls to the bottom of the to do list and therefore never gets done.

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