Yesterday was day 1 of Big Changes in the house of odd kids and adults.
We took Child1 to school – he was sad because he really loved his teacher and couldn’t understand WHY she had to go and have a baby now. Gosh, I had no idea what to say. I couldn’t exactly tell him that the situation irritated me too.
So I told him that “life is life, na na nana na” and that he needed to deal with the issue, get over himself and make the best of the situation, because the new teacher would feel very bad if he didn’t make her feel welcome. He came home and told me that she was an old woman (according to him she looks like she could be about 90) and that she was very kind and funny and that he was happy. So far so good.
We also took Child2 to the school that I don’t want him to attend so that his two weeks of observation could start. I tried to prepare him for it all weekend. He asked me about it all the time. And I repeated our routine all the time. This was what I said to him. ALL THE TIME.
Me: On Monday morning, you will wake up even though it’s still dark outside. I will put on the TV and you can sit on the couch under the blanket and have your toast and water. When you have finished eating, you will take a quick bath, and as soon as you are done we’ll dress you in your blue corduroy pants and your red long-sleeved top with the truck picture on the front. You can wear your wellies if you want to, even if it doesn’t rain and we can put on your ben10 socks and underpants too. And your new favourite blue and grey hoodie jacket. Are you still happy with your choice of outfit?
Child2: Yes Aunty Julia. Want to wear boots.
Me: OK, you can wear your boots (btw…I can’t say wellies, I MUST say boots).
ME: Once you have finished dressing yourself, Mommy will help you to brush your teeth. After that, we will take your new pink lunchbox out of the fridge and put it in your bag. Do you remember what we packed in your new pink lunch box?
Child2: muffin and vienna and cheese. And apple. And yoghurt. And water.
Me: Clever boy! You remember so well.
Child2: You have to clap your hands for me.
Me: *claps hands for child2*
ME: So once your bag is packed, we will get into the car and then we will take your brother to school. Then Daddy and I will take you to Alice. You will stay with Alice for a short while and she will play some fun games with you.
Child2: Want to say hello to the bunnies.
Me: Daddy and I will fetch you from Alice and then we will take you to say hello to the bunnies. Then we’ll go to Sheila. We will leave you with Sheila and then after a few hours, we will fetch your brother. As soon as we have collected your brother we will fetch you and then we will all go home.
The part that is highlighted in purple needed to be repeated at least 17 times. I was exhausted. But I repeated it. Because it was what he needed to feel prepared.
Anyway, the routine ran smoothly and everything happened EXACTLY the way I told him it would, which in turn meant that he was prepared and not anxious at all. Quite honestly, it went REALLY well.
We dropped him, I briefly chatted to his team (he has a TEAM of professionals observing him. Can you handle that?), I walked out. And then I broke down and cried a few buckets because I still find it hard to believe it sometimes.
I am so glad that I wasn’t alone and that my DH was with me.
We ended up having a lovely day together which included bookshop browsing, a long, long, long beach walk and coffee and cheesecake. The weather was gorgeous and we made the most of it. I also ended up going to the Dermo Dr to have a mole removed – I have been putting it off and postponing for weeks. It was fine. I LOVED the Dermo and would go back to him anytime.
The routine changed slightly today as my Dad took him in and will be doing this in the mornings for the next two weeks. It all went perfectly and my Dad, knowing that I was probably anxious sent me a text as soon as it was all done to tell me that it went perfectly. Sjoe. What a relief.
Do your kids also need to be prepared to the nth degree for EVERY SINGLE NEW SITUATION?
Gosh. I find it all exhausting and it does make it difficult for us to be spontaneous and impromptu. But, at least it means NO MELTDOWN.
How are you doing and how was your Tuesday?