Ever have that feeling you life is moving faster than you can keep up? That is how things are going right about now in our life over here. Peter is busy with either work or school. Really busy. My favorite. Especially now that I officially have a toddler who is moving from the two nap phase to the one nap phase having himself a meltdown nightly just as I'm trying to get dinner ready or homework looked over or finish a phone call. It's inevitable. I know this. I've done it before and I can do it again. It's just that it is on top of so many other things.
Nathaniel is working a ridiculous amount of hours at the job he started at Taco Bell where he is an official "Food Champion" as seen here on his very important tag:
He's a senior in high school taking three AP classes and up for a scholarship and his boss has been assigning him between fifteen and thirty hours a week. We've made it clear we want him working twenty at the most but over there they've seen that he is a reliable eager beaver and have him working closer to the thirty most weeks. He thinks he's all that cause he's raking in the dough but he's falling behind in his sleep and we are concerned that he actually have some social life his senior year as well as the inevitable reality that he is going to fall behind in his classes. Not to mention there needs to be some time in there to, I don't know, maybe GET READY FOR HIS MISSION. He's so focused on paying for the mission he hasn't realized we'd rather he just be ready for it.
Somethin's gotta give boy.
He listens to us and then says "Sure mom, whatever you say." Then he goes off and does whatever he pleases.
I am hoping Sarah is reaching her full-blown teenage never-bother-talking-to-me-because-I-already-know-everything peak because it's really getting old. There isn't really much else to say about that.
Rebecca has started junior high and her little brain that is always moving too fast can't always focus on what is actually going on in class as she is too busy imagining things to concentrate which means that by week three she was failing four of her classes. After much work we have get her (mostly) caught up and I have to supervise her homework everyday (which she loves) and keep in constant contact with her teachers. When her computer teacher didn't contact me back via email I met him in his office.
"Are you Mr. -----?"
He looked at me and said with hesitation, "That depends. Are you mad?"
I can only imagine people must look at me as some kind of mom ready to go on a tirade sometimes. I really wasn't mad. I was nice . . . enough.
As I'm going through the list of missing assignments with her teachers at parent/teacher conferences and I am comparing them to my printout all highlighted and marked they will often comment something to this effect:
"So this must keep you pretty busy. Hopefully your others are easier."
I smile politely because they really don't want to know about John
John. John. John. JOHN. JOHN.
As Lily would say, sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln, this kid is hard.
Doesn't he look cute in this picture?
He is cute. He's funny. Quite funny. He's smart and hears you when you think he doesn't. He never holds a grudge. He's playful and very outgoing. He's sweet and loving and brilliant and creative . . . and kicks my butt every day of my life. We've been taking him to the University of Utah since the summer when we finally realized the anxiety he deals with isn't going to go away. He's not going to grow out of it, it isn't a phase and it isn't our parenting. Though we have been taking the Parenting With Love & Logic through our school district class to help us cope which has been really, super helpful. Seriously. We are learning amazing things. If they offer this class in your area and you either have kids or work with kids don't wait-- RUN AND TAKE IT NOW. (And by the way, why is this not mandatory for every person to take as soon as they find out they are expecting? It would make the world a whole lot better place.)
I won't go into the particulars of what happens in our house on a daily basis but I will say that some days I can handle it and dole out the empathy and natural consequences like a pro and then there are days like today. Today when I'm pretty sure I'm running on empty and would love nothing more than to get into my car and drive away for an extended vacation. Or just hang in my closet for a few hours in silence. That might work too. At least if I could push "PAUSE" once in a while. Or maybe just "FOR THE LOVE OF PETE SLOW IT DOWN PLEASE."
Then just when I'm at the end of my rope John begins on his I'll-do-my-homework-later or I-won't-act-like-that-for-family-home-evening-again or I-must-take-this-toy-to-school-cause-my-teacher-said or on and I promise I'll do it later, or act better for FHE next time, or won't play with my toy and cause major distractions at school if you only let me (insert privilege here).
We have been waiting for the designated time period to pass to turn in this teacher evaluation form. We have fasted. We have prayed. Last week I had both an email from his teacher informing me of John's uncontrollably distracting behavior in class and had his scout leader show up at my door on the same day. He can't go to primary half the time without either being pulled out of class to sit in the back of sharing time or having his poor long-suffering teachers give up and pull Peter and I out of our classes to sit with him. Will is at the magical age of running about like a demon in the halls but not being able to go to nursery until January. Whenever I give Peter the choice of whether he wants Will or John he always picks Will. Then he ends up out in the church parking lot sitting in the van with Will watching Star Wars. Can't blame him--I'd pick that too.
I drove back to John's doctor in Salt Lake on Monday fully thinking this was going to be the day. No. Instead I'm told the evaluation was not enough. We need to do further testing. Couldn't help myself--I got into the car and cried. Then, even though I probably shouldn't be spending money on eating out, we went for Chinese at the best Chinese place in Utah and I bought home enough for everyone to eat for dinner too.
And that's why today I'm having myself this little pity party. But I must leave now to pick up the kids-- which should be interesting because we had to forcibly take John to school this morning. Now I have to put on my ultra-calm face and pretend like everything is great again so I can be the mom they need me to be. Or at least give my best impression of it, right?