Phew! I half-expected a phone call or email from the school today, the first day after Spring Break. I wasn’t sure how the day would go for Mae because “first days” are often a challenge for her — re-adjusting to the routine and controlling the excitement of seeing friends for the first time in a long time and wanting to share stories.
And, last night was a poor start to the school week. Mae and Jay were still working on a bird book project when bath time rolled around, and she raised a fuss about stopping. It was a quick-onset, mid-sized meltdown. She was sleepy — it was clear from her eyes, though she denied it faithfully. You would have thought I’d accused her of being a thief, the way she responded to being called “sleepy.” She declared that she wouldn’t go upstairs, and then declared that she wouldn’t get in the tub. She said that she would not wash nor be washed. The poor girl was so exhausted, though, that, while she cried and protested, she did allow me to lead her upstairs, and she didn’t try to stop me from washing her. After bath, she refused to take her clothes to the hamper in her room, and then changed her mind, apparently, so that she would have an opportunity to throw something. She told me that she didn’t want me anymore, said no one wants her anymore. Through her tears, she accused her dad of not helping her with the bird book and never helping her with anything. And that reminded her that Jay had done something mean to her earlier in the day. And that reminded her that she had hurt her foot or her hand at some point during the day. So, then, the whole day was a “bad day.”
Mae let me off easy. If she hadn’t been so exhausted, she would have dug in more. Her defiance and delay in getting to bed cost her reading time, which gave her even more reason to hate me.
Well, as it turns out, Mae earned the Blue Ribbon today, her teacher’s reward for “staying on green” (good behavior) all day.
Actually, her melt-down last night was probably trumped by Jay’s this morning. I had to put his pillow pet and Spiderman truck in the closet in order to get him dressed and ready for school. Usually, the threat of taking even one of his favorite items is enough to get him to cooperate. Oh, but this morning, he cried and cried that he was too sleepy and too tired to get up. I offered to dress him while he lay on the bed, and he refused. Really? If I could have someone dress me while I lie down a little longer, I would fall to the bed like a wet noodle. I still have to figure out the best way to use one hand to keep a pants leg on while putting the other leg in the pants, while the legs are in a bicycling motion. Maybe eHow has a video on that . . . .