Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Today was one of the worst days I've ever had at work. Working with special-needs kindergarteners, that's bound to happen, but today was one of those days where "when it rains, it pours!"

First of all, I woke up late. Mostly because I stayed up too late, talking to Jeff since he'd been gone for the past four days, visiting his grandpa in San Diego. By the time Arlie and I returned from a gymnastics banquet, I got Hayley settled with her meds and some food (she had her tonsils out yesterday morning), and Jeff got home and unpacked, it was 10 p.m. I walked past the mirror and decided I could not take one more second of my grey roots, so I decided right then and there to color my hair.

Jeff asked how long I would be, and when I asked why he said "I thought you might want to talk!" which earned him HUGE points, because, really, how sweet is that - he wanted to catch up after barely communicating but for a few texts for four days. So, I squelched on the color and sat and talked to him while it did its magic. And by the time I washed it out, took a shower, and got to bed, it was 11 p.m. and we talked until 1 a.m. At which time I promptly fell asleep only to be awakened by the alarm at 2 a.m. to give Hayley her meds. Uggghhh.

I went back to sleep till 6 when I vaguely remember turning off my alarm, and woke again to Jeff saying goodbye. "What time is it?" I asked. His reply: 7:09. CRAP! So began another typical morning of rushing, and trying to find something fast, healthy and filling that I could eat in the car on the way to work (yogurt and bananas - which, by the way, is NOT easy to eat in the car).

I had heard work was especially difficult in my absence yesterday, due to a new student with behavior issues. So, I was expecting a lot of trouble today, and also knew the school had hired my sub from yesterday to come in and work the next two days so we'd have extra hands for Mr. Trouble.

And trouble it was. With a capital T. New Student flailed, screamed, swung at me, flopped on the floor, cried, ran away, ripped paper, threw his work on the floor, and shouted "S.O.S!" every time I tried to restrain him. I took him outside for several minutes of non-stop running just before a reading group, which did NOTHING to calm him down. He squealed, flung his whole body around, refused to sit down, and unscrewed the bolts on a nearby easel. The teacher who was conducting the reading group finally asked me to take him back to our classroom. The day ended with the teacher in my classroom physically restraining him while another teacher attempted to teach a lesson. New Student screamed the whole time and the rest of the class was totally distracted.

The difficult behavior continued and it had a most unpleasant effect on the rest of the class. Six out of the nine students in the class had meltdowns, complete with crying and/or screaming. One girl threw such a fit she had to be taken outside, but her screams could be heard all the way across the room inside! Another was sobbing because he could not draw the "yellow triangle angry bird." Yet another had something happen to which I was not privy, but for which I paid the price when she said "I'm so mad at you!" and hissed at me from the bus steps (thank God she was on her way home!). Typically our days go pretty smoothly with brief episodes of behavior and maybe one or two meltdowns a week. Today it was six in one day - and some of them had multiple meltdowns.

When work was finally, blessedly, over, I had to race to Hannah's appointment with her teacher, after which I dropped her off at a friend's house, picked up a prescription, filled the car with gas, got myself a coffee (my stress relief), picked up Hannah, ran home, went to the bathroom, picked up Arlie and headed to an appointment with her. I missed my exit on the freeway so it took an extra 15 minutes to get there. After that, we began driving home, and by this time it was after 5 and she was hungry.

And that's when I caved in to her request for Taco Time. I picked up meals for me, Arlie and Hannah, a bowl of refried beans for Hayley (soft food diet), and texted Jeff to just pick up McDonald's or something for him and Harrison because we crossed paths on my way home and their way to guitar lessons and band practice.

I had big plans for this evening. I'm on staff room duty at work, so I thought I'd bake up a storm and have a couple of different cookies, breads, brownies, etc. for everyone to enjoy tomorrow. I wanted to work out. And, of course, I had bills to pay, paperwork to do, emails to answer, Facebook to check.

Instead, after eating crappy fast food, I got a stomach ache, went upstairs and decided I'd rather be in comfortable clothes so I changed into a t-shirt and yoga pants. I walked past the mirror and noticed my 35-plus minutes of coloring my hair last night yielded less than desirable results since I could still see grey (let's be honest - WHITE) roots, decided I hated my curly hair today, and ended up spending a half hour straightening my hair. For no reason whatsoever.

I also decided I'm not baking, I'm not working out, and I'm pretty much ready for bed. I really, really don't want to go to work tomorrow. I just want to crawl under the covers and sleep till the weekend.

Maybe I'm just getting too old to work with little kids. Because they are wearing me out and my job is only part-time. Bless the souls of those, like my friend Tonya, who work full-time in special-needs classrooms. I'm not sure it's my calling. I just want to stay home, write, and get paid for it. Is that too much to ask? That, and no grey roots. And to lose fifty pounds. I know, first world problems. I'm tired.

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