my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

October 3, 2012


it's late and i can't sleep. thoughts keep running around my head, and my mind just won't turn off. and the worst part is that there really isn't much that i can do about any of the things i'm actually worried about.

and yet knowing that doesn't help. and quietness and meditation and all the usual tricks don't help. so i figured i'd share my more pointless worries, in hopes of at least quelling some of the riot.

my dearest fish is doing great with her potty training. that is not my worry. it is more my annoyance. because though she rocks the potty, she won't go by herself. and when she has to go, she has to go. so i have to drop everything and stop whatever i'm doing to go and help her potty. and i know, eventually, she'll not only be awesome at going, but she'll be able to go all by herself. it's just getting her to that stage that is driving me bonkers.

the other part of potty training that i'm worrying about is that we are going on vacation as a family this weekend. to canada. so we'll be out and about in unfamiliar territory. and staying in a hotel all weekend. i don't know how she'll do with the changes, but i am already very much aware about how much i'll be missing out on because i'm the one that'll have to take her. you know, because my dear hubby can't exactly go into the women's bathroom, and fish would be one to point and ask "what's that" when walking by urinals in the men's room. and i know this is just fact and a reality of being a mom, but it still sucks big time.

the other sucky reality is that bumble is up against one of his greatest weaknesses in school right now and i can't help him. or don't know how. in his old school, spelling was taught by memorizing lists of words, and then getting tested on those words. in this new school, they have a short list of "trick words," ones that don't follow rules or patterns, and they're tests are on two or four words from the list. the rest of the spelling test isn't really spelling like we're used to studying for, it's more like a phonics test. in addition to getting a list of like eight trick words, he's expected to learn three or four phonics rules, like how certain letters work together to make sounds, and then he's tested on random words that follow those specific rules. the rest of the kids in his class of learned this stuff since 1st grade and it's all new for him. needless to say, he got a 45% on his first test. and i've talked with his teacher on how to better prepare him, and all she could say is he needs to practice the example words she sent home, or any other words we can think of that are examples of the rules. i really feel out of my depth with this.

the other part to this phonics stuff, kind of a kick him while he's down thing, is that the rules he's supposed to learn and master and be able to use for the second test are all suffix rules. like knowing when plurals end in -s or -es by knowing which sound they end in (anything that ends in -ch or -sh with end in -es, single consonants will end in -s). or hearing a word and knowing if it ends in -ed or -er or -est or -ing. yeah, guess who is in a specialized speech and language program because he can't hear or pronounce the ending sounds of words, in addition to not knowing the different between -ch and -th sometimes? so how is he supposed to pass these phonics tests? and how am i supposed to help him?

maybe if i had gotten him help sooner. or even realized he needed help. or read to him more. maybe if his previous teachers listened to me when i said i think he was falling behind. or if we hadn't been in a school where they could only see him for 30 minutes every two weeks because the speech teacher was stretched between four schools. maybe if i had the money to have gotten him private help over the summer, we would have been able to start this school year off ahead of the curve.

i guess the other, bigger "maybe" that keeps me up is that i wonder if maybe my kids had a better mother than me, there wouldn't be any of these issues. if i had been paying attention, i could have gotten bumble early intervention and then he could be rocking school right now. just like, if i had really seen what was going on all those years ago, i would have realized how sick lumpy was and maybe we could have avoided the hospital stays and years of medication. and if i was able to take control of things better, maybe fish would be a more well mannered child. unfortunately, my kids are stuck with me.

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