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Not a great start

Posted on: February 24, 2013


Just wow. I really didn’t anticipate how much busier we were all going to be once school started!

For some reason, I envisaged having all this extra time while Tiernan is at school, but the reality is that we actually seem to have less. As it turns out, six hours isn’t very long when you’re on the other end (as a teacher it seems much longer).

Just dropping Tiernan off and picking him up take up a reasonable chunk of our day (I’m proud to say we’ve managed to walk both ways almost every day, so far – work days for me are a different story though).

But in between those times, there is so much to squeeze in: dancing, speech therapy, grocery shopping, going to the park, play dates, speech practice at home, washing, folding (forget ironing, it doesn’t happen), nap time, preparing dinners, tidying, etc, etc, etc.

Then, once Tiernan is home we’ve somehow got to fit in eating, playing, home reading, ‘talk time’ practice, speech practice, hip-hop, bathing and stories, and then get them all into bed at a reasonable time each night.

After they’re all in bed, there’s more tidying, food preparation and lesson planning, not to mention the odd bit of ‘down time’ – which seems to be getting less and further between!

For two weeks now I have been staying up way too late trying to get everything done and I’m stuffed. I’ve ended up feeling quite run down and not sure how to do it all better. This week will be extra challenging as Tom is returning to uni two nights a week, and going away for the whole weekend to play golf (remember how I went to Taree for a regatta in January? Well now it’s pay back time, doh!)

I feel like I just need a catch up day. If time could just stand still for one day so that I could at least get on top of one thing (like school preparation for work, or maybe a year’s worth of cooking!) then maybe I would feel a bit better. But alas, it’s not to be.

I’m sure it’ll all come together eventually.

Another thing that has got me feeling a bit down is that, despite my complete faith that Tiernan was going to just go from strength to strength at school, he has actually had a less than inspiring start; a fact that we were only made aware of a few days ago.

I really thought he must be doing great: he was pretty keen to go every day (any slight hesitation I had put down to him not being used to the whole 5-days-a-week thing yet); he seemed happy when we pick him up; he said he had fun and was making new friends; and we’d had no feedback from the teacher, either positive or negative. So I assumed everything was just peachy and going exactly to plan.

However, then I visited the classroom to help out one day last week and I saw… well, I saw Tiernan being Tiernan. The Tiernan who doesn’t listen, doesn’t pay attention to what’s going on, who instead rolls around on the floor and has to be asked several times to stop. The Tiernan who has half as many stickers on his chart than most of the other kids. The Tiernan whose name is called out in class more than anyone else’s. Basically, the Tiernan who lives at home with me but whom I naively assumed would magically just ‘focus’ once at school. Because I thought he would get that school is important.

To top it off, the following night at Little Athletics, one of the boys in Tiernan’s class told Tom that Tiernan is the naughtiest kid in the class.

I was pretty shocked. This is not what I had in mind for my beautiful, smart boy. My boy cannot be ‘The Naughty Kid.’

I mean, he’s no angel. But I don’t actually think he’s often naughty on purpose. He just doesn’t listen. And when we spend all day nagging him and then getting frustrated and angry, he responds by also getting angry and that’s when he acts out. By that time it’s too late to change the pattern and it takes a lot of time and effort to calm him down again.

But I really thought it would be different at school. After all, he never had any problems at preschool or family day care. I put his challenging behaviour at home down to being bored and ready for something bigger.

After stressing about it over the weekend, I had a quick chat with Tiernan’s teacher about it on Monday morning. I asked her whether she has concerns about his behaviour. She said no, but she is concerned about his inattentiveness, forgetfulness and ‘daydreaming’. She also told me he is going to the toilet up to ten times a day, which she put down to anxiety, but when I asked Tiernan about it at home in the afternoon, he said he just wanted to get out of class. He said he is bored and doesn’t like being ‘teached’. He just wants to play Monsoonos every day and not go to school anymore. Sigh.

Anyway, Mrs D and I agreed to give him a few more weeks to settle in, and then we’ll see. If he needs more help, we’ll give it to him. I let Mrs D know I’m most anxious that he not be ‘The Naughty Kid’. I feel she’s on our side. She doesn’t want him getting into trouble any more than I do.

So I feel a bit better now, but still sad and even a little sick to my stomach. This is not the start I had in mind for my Tiernan. We need to turn all of this negativity around, quickly.

On a lighter note, Tiernan had his first school friend come over to play today, a girl we know from his baby group. The four kids had a nice afternoon together and played really well. It was lovely.

He’s also been invited to two birthday parties already. So that’s exciting, for him!

1 Response to "Not a great start"

oh no, poor Tiernan! I hope y’all get the peace and calm you’re seeking, and that he adjusts more positively to being in school. I can imagine how hard that is to hear as his parent and wish you the best.

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