It can be tempting as parents to focus too much on those areas that need improvement in our children and lose sight of the forest for the trees. God knows, they often don’t make it easy. I found a unexpected reminder of this in Cecilia’s after-school program mailbox this week. [Note, it was dated 12/4, but maybe this was fate holding it for me until I needed it most].
This is an excerpt from the program’s “report card” for Cecilia: “Cecilia is extremely goofy. She loves to laugh and have fun. She has a sense of humor. Cecilia is attentive during group time, choice time and any other times at MAP where listening to directions is important. Cecilia always does the right thing. She is respectful to rules and MAP staff.”
Who is this child? I’d like to meet them! The child at home is not always the same as the child away from it. Or maybe they are and we just sometimes can’t see it through the coats on the floor, the messy rooms and the continuous battle over piano practice. I’m going to stick this piece of paper in a drawer and break it out on those occasions that I need a gentle reminder.
Or maybe I should keep it in my pocket? It might get daily use.
Friday finally felt like the first normal day in almost week. Sandwiched between the mid-week, sugar-kissed high of Valentine’s Day, Ally got the flu and we had the awful Florida news which makes putting your kids on the bus each morning more stressful than it has a right to be.
We know Ally is genuinely sick when she either doesn’t fight taking a nap or refuses dessert. Saturday afternoon she did both and knew we were heading for trouble. Thankfully, we had all received the flu shot and I think that went a long way toward both keeping Ally’s symptoms relatively mild (if 105 temp is mild) and keeping the rest of us healthy. Getting the flu with Addison’s takes things to a whole new level that I wasn’t keen to experience. That’s why you get flu shots. It’s not necessarily for you, the healthy person, but for the kids, elderly and immunity-impaired.
By Friday, some of my anger, fear and frustration had receded about Florida, Ally was once again angling for extra cookies, and Michelle was opening the prosecco. Just about back to normal….
We spent a lot of time and effort this week on multiplication facts. It’s embarrassing that Michelle doesn’t know them by now, so we decided to … okay, it was Cecilia. Now, Cecilia knows the facts pretty well, but when you introduce the clock, it turns her into a bit of a puddle. So we’ve been practicing doing the facts with the time pressure.
She’s improving and she aced the 4’s test by the end of the week in school, but the improvement has not been exactly in a straight line and it’s led to some stressful mornings. Just like the first few days of a new piano piece week, any mistake throws her into a tailspin. Its all left me trying to figure out when good is good enough.
I’m certainly not perfect, not as a parent, husband or human, so demanding perfection from our kids doesn’t seem all that fair. Kids need to learn that people, and the world, in general, is a flawed and complicated place. Sometimes I will screw up. Sometimes my kids might not succeed as much as I wish. Sometimes they will miss a few math facts. Imperfection is the human condition. Accepting that seems like a healthier way to parent.
One of my goals the last two years was to explore possible side hustles ideas to generate some (relatively) passive income. This was not to replace my existing job (which I enjoy), but rather because I like learning and exploring new things.
Last year (2017) turned out to be focused on researching, brainstorming and figuring out how best to use my existing skills and where I would need to learn new things for a successful side hustle. In the end, I decided on three initial areas of focus (turns out ideas weren’t the hard part really).
Saturday was the first dominoes night of 2018 and we were hosting, so we spent most of the day just straightening and prepping and making sure there was no undergarments lingering in odd places and that all the dried food scraps were scraped off the couch. It took most of the day. Exciting pictures ahead!
Having people over whether for pizza or dominoes always makes me remember how under-appreciated and overlooked these relationships often are in our lives, especially for someone around my age. Children and family are vital and joyous, but they take a lot of physical and mental energy.
As parents, you are their sole caretakers and the world quickly shrinks down to the boundaries of your offspring. You spend most of your time together: in the car, in the bathroom(!), in the kitchen. It would be weird if that close-knit warmth didn’t sometimes start to border on maddening. The happy turns to harried, the harried to the routine.
That is why it’s worth the effort of folding the two week old laundry pile, sweeping the floor, and shoving all the miscellaneous junk into drawers before your friends visit. It’s a sanity check. It’s opening up your world a little bit beyond the edges of your kid’s lunch box. They will commiserate, they will sympathize, they will console, they will make sure you’re not drinking alone. In short, they will make sure you don’t go crazy. A few household chores seems a small price to pay.
With Addison’s even if you follow your treatment plan and take your medication, you will likely have higher levels of fatigue. The body is very good at regulating your hormones and while the medications can replace the cortisol and corticosteroids that your body needs, sometimes that regulation can get thrown off through no fault of your own.
You can feel tired or lethargic. This happens to me most days in the mid-afternoon. Not a surprise as the afternoon affects most people this way, it’s the normal time the body’s circadian rhythm kicks in. It also makes it the perfect time for a quick nap.
Just a short post as we traveled the last few days for my Grandmother’s funeral.
No matter how you get through it, it is a draining day. I feel like one of Allison’s bun bun’s that gets tossed in every bag and car and goes unwashed for a week.
Kids can be the most wonderful distraction and reminder that it’s all a circle of love on days like yesterday.