February has been all around NUTS! It has been a roller coaster over here. This parenthood thing had me all worked up these past few weeks.
When we arrived home from Costa Rica, the girls were very excited and very clingy. E1 seemed to bounce back after a day, falling into her usual schedule. E2, well that kid is a different breed. She is back to crying when we leave her with a sitter, back to asking me to lay with her every single night, and back to crying out for me in the middle night. She has repeatedly told me never to leave her again. I am trying to maintain normalcy over here, but her sweet smile melts my heart and eventually my mommy heart breaks and I give in to her. We still go out on a Saturday night and I still tutor two afternoons a week, but her interactions with the babysitter are different. Not bad, just different. My heart breaks, but my mind knows E2 will eventually get her groove back....after she stops crying and saying, "Why are you leaving me again?"
E1 is having a "stressful" school year. On the surface things seem great, but deep down she is a stress case. She puts tons of pressure on herself and with second grade being the first time receiving numerical grades, the pressure got worse. Last week she cried when she made a 94 on a test. She wanted a 100. TEARS. And not tears for attention, actual tears of sadness and disappointment. As parents we had to rethink all our parenting strategies and expectations. There is no need for an ulcer at age 8. Yesterday, I sat down E1 and explained while school was important we are no longer focusing on her grades. We are going to focus on effort. If she does her best, that is all that matters. I do not care if her best is a B or an A or even another letter grade - as long as she tried. I told her second grade should still be "fun" and she needed to concentrate on having a good time with her friends at lunch and recess and simply relax and do the work during class. I have no idea if this pep talk will work. I have no idea if I will literally have to throw away her work without looking at the grades for her to believe me, but what I do know - an 8 year old should never be crying about grades in school. Second grade is too serious. I fucking hate school.
E2 and I faced our fears and E2 started swim lessons. Yes, OUR fears. E2 has been fearful of getting her face wet even though she has always loved the water. She has been in a floatie since her first summer which has kept me in a state of fear each and every time summer approached. Between speech, PT, and OT she was not ready to learn to swim. With PT and OT behind us, I finally had time to realize that E2 is now 5.5 and will literally drown if she fell into a pool. Cue major anxiety. Friends of mine suggested an intense swim program offered at a local swim club. Last week E2, the child who refused to get her face wet, started intense daily swim lessons. There have been emotions ranging from terror to excitement and E2 is learning to swim. Legit, swim. She is succeeding beyond my wildest dreams. Hallelujah for checking off another item on the E2 To Do List.
Adding to my crazy, the hubs is in Australia for two damn weeks. Do not feel too badly for me, I have a friend whose husband is gone for almost three months for work. She is the true superhero in my subdivision. Back to my annoying two weeks....I HATE waking E2 to take E1 to school. I HATE having nothing to do on the weekends. I HATE having no one to talk at night. And I HATE that the girls miss him and a certain 8 year old is acting like an asshat. The plus side: I have majorly cleaned out closets, caught up on so much laundry I am embarrassed I was ever that far behind, and am watching all the BRAVO I want without anyone saying my show is stupid.
Another thing taking up all my time? My 8 year old. Dude. This age SUCKS. I actually think it is worse than three. E1 is sweet, empathetic, kind, a great friend - for a real, a wonderful child. But recently, hot damn she is annoying. From being bitchy to snotty to snappy, I have started to wish for the nice dwarfs like Goofy and Happy. Nothing is good enough, always complaining UNLESS she is off on her bike playing with her friends. Truth: fine by me - get on your bike and go. You have been home from school for 30 minutes and I already want to yell at you for your attitude. I am starting to truly worry if I will survive her puberty. It is no coincidence I taught 2nd grade for two years before realizing, I prefer junior high. Second grade sucks! These kids are stuck between growing up and still needing a hug when they are crying and all worked up. Some days I wish I could scream, "Snap out of it, bitch!"
Another time suck? E1 and E2 are playing softball this semester. I did luck out and one night a week they both have practice, but we basically live at the ball fields. With practices and games, I am already praying for rain. They both have two practices a week, but E2 does not go to one of hers. Her second practice is Friday night 7-8 pm. First, we have Shabbat dinner. Second, my five year is not going to practice at 7 pm. It is tee-ball. Go fuck yourself.
This parenting thing is hard work. School, therapies, after school activities, homework, tests, projects, play dates.... I am exhausted.
Yes, I am bitching. Sometimes it is necessary.
I am now going to take some Imodium for my diarrhea of the mouth.