every afternoon, i stand outside trying not to sweat, and then sweating, and then picking him out of a line up while he looks anxiously over the tops of second graded heads for me. during the car ride to pick up violet, he answers all of my questions and indicates how things are basically hunky dory. he even has this new, little man way of answering me with these reassuring, what-else-!, high-pitched answers. "yeah!" "of course!"
the only moments where i've had concern, and nearly tears, are when he says he plays alone on the playground after lunch and i say,
"have you tried asking some other children if you could join them?"
and he says,
and i say,
"so, how did it go?"
and he says, his voice dropping down real tiny,
"they say no, they're already playing."
then he started mentioning a girl named violet in his class. i was quite excited to hear this, but also wondering if he wasn't making it up and at a loss for a good name for an imaginary friend. i have since confirmed she is not imaginary.
this week, he said he has been playing tag with a girl in his class named emma. she is very fast and he can never catch her. i asked if she has long legs.
he tells me his teachers are nice and none of the students are mean or unruly. it sounds like socializing ain't high up on the scale, but what can you do.
he tried to play hooky wednesday. told me he had a fever. felt nauseous. i called him out on it. he's gone straight back to dragging his feet in the morning. having to gather papers to shove in a binder to shove in a backpack when i'm already out the door. he came out wednesday morning dressed in a rabbit tshirt. he misplaced his homework sheet for two days and we were scrambling with the overload of ridiculous busy work thursday and yesterday. i've been really irritated about it. snapping whips.
wednesday night, i went to tuck him into bed and he was face down in his pillow. i said, "goodnight, oliver." and he didn't answer or roll over to give me a hug and kiss and a, "goodnight, mommy!". after a moment or two of prodding, i could see he was crying, or about to cry. and then he really started crying. i sat down. he crawled on to my folded knee. i started getting dead leg.
i asked him over and over why he was crying. he wouldn't respond. wouldn't respond. typical oliver behavior. i started with the 20 questions. and he finally started saying something about how he heard they how they were only going to be in ms. cameron's class the rest of the year and he said he didn't like her so much, but couldn't remember why, and i wasn't quite buying that. and he wanted to change classes, he didn't want to change classes. he was all over the place.
i told him i would email his homeroom teacher so he could see things are cool, and i did. and she said they had been discussing some small change in front of some students, which didn't seem particularly wise in my opinion, especially in hindsight.
He overheard another student say that today. We had a conversation that some students overheard about switching in the morning. We are trying to see what is better but we have considered not switching right away in the morning because it will allow for more instructional time once breakfast in the classroom starts. I didn't go into any further detail with students but I did tell the other student that they would be keeping the same schedule for now. Also, Ms. Cameron was concerned about Oliver today. She said that he began to cry when she told them what they were going to be doing in class for the day. She did have another student who has befriended Oliver to speak with him but he did not feel like talking. I have noticed this as well when I asked him about the bag you dropped off. He started to cry when explaining the bag to me. I keep reassuring him that everything is ok. I hav him sitting and working with a very helpful student who he seems to open up to more. I'm sure it will take him a bit to adjust. There have been a few changes to classroom routines that have thrown him off but the other student has been helping. If I can help in any other way please let me know.
i saw her response that night and it made me feel a little tail-spinny. the rug pulled out from under my post-vacation vertigo head. i had no idea he had been freaking out and crying. we talked about that treat bag that afternoon. did she get it? did she understand what it was for? he answered my questions like not a single thing out of the ordinary had happened.
i saw ms. cameron two seconds after sending oliver in the front door yesterday morning. she was RIGHT behind me, and i wondered if she had heard my is-ms-cameron-not-nice discourse during our walk up to the building. she made a face and some noises that made me know she was going to tell me about the crying and i let her know i had corresponded with ms. guerra. we chatted for a couple of minutes, which was nice. it's reassuring to spend some amount of time with the people who are with your children more during the day than you are.
just, anyway. my heart just totally sunk and i felt double plus XXL guilty for having laid into oliver REALLY HARD with my frustrations over the morning foot draggings and disheveled homeworkiness. i neglected to take my new daily walk. which made me feel worse. i ate my lunch for breakfast. which made me feel worse.
he came out yesterday acting all cool again. who knows!? who knows if it was all cool? 'cause i don't. i guess he'll get through it like he did last year, but it sure would be nice to have an accurate emotional barometer and know he isn't headed straight down the path to be one of those bottle-up-your-emotions guys.
i tried really hard and did pretty well yesterday afternoon and the during the two mornings to stay calm during all the frustrating behaviors. it took ALL afternoon and evening, up until bedtime to get him through the rest of his busywork. i even kept it together at bedtime, when i found another pile of stuff shoved behind his bed. my screwdriver. violet's missing scissors, after he said he didn't know where they were and was giving her guff over using his. hrmph.
i chopped up my hairs last night. they were bothering me. this morning, the right side of my hair looked like i put in some kind of fancy scrunchy waves, and i left it that way. but really, it just says what side of my head i lay on when i watch the nighttime television.