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Friday, May 03, 2013

Tell God

Homework with Kayla can be frustrating. When I start to read over her textbooks and explain new concepts and vocabulary words to her, she tunes me out. Completely. She'll carry on with another conversation, be distracted by every single thing, and avoid whatever I'm talking about. I ask her a question about something I just read and she looks at me as if she has no idea what I'm talking about. She didn't hear a word I said. I'm left feeling like I was talking to the wall.

Monday didn't start off too well. I looked in her daily planner and immediately felt overwhelmed.
- Do Math problems on 4 pages
- Probability Quiz tomorrow
- Sound Study Guide
- Reconstruction Study Guide
- Reconstruction Test tomorrow

How was I ever going to get through all the homework and review for the quiz and test they were taking the next day?

Needless to say it didn't take long for the frustrations to set in. To be fair it wasn't all her fault...it was my own frustration at being overwhelmed with all I was attempting to get done with her.

At one point, when I was getting beyond frustrated at talking to the wall, but wanted to keep my cool, I clasped my hands together and took several deep breaths to calm down. Then I just started talking out loud, "Oh please dear God, please help me with this. Please give me the patience I need. I seriously need some patience. I can't get through homework time like this. Please help me to have some patience."

(*Side note: I don't think you will ever, ever, hear me claim that having a child with special needs has taught me the great lesson of patience. It's been almost 10 years and that lesson continues to elude me. I wish I could be one of those parents who say parenting a child with special needs has taught them to be more patient, but I would be lying. I fully admit to that character flaw- being impatient).

Both kids stopped what they were doing and just stared at me. Since I now seemed to have Kayla's full attention and her eyes on me, I continued to ask her the question about the Emancipation Proclamation I had been trying to ask her. And that was, 'Who did the Emancipation Proclamation free?' and she said, "Slaves." and I screamed in excitement, "Yes! That's right! The slaves!" and I was happy and smiling and laughing and praised her for retaining that information (we hadn't reviewed the Civil War recently as we were now on the Reconstruction of SC, so I was happy when I went back to something from the Civil War that she remembered it.)

We finished up SC History and took a break. A while later we were back at the table going at it again and getting somewhere. She was focused and paying attention and answering questions. Then Joe came home. The kids jumped up from the table to greet him at the door. As Kayla did this I yelled out, "No! Kayla I don't want to lose you!" (Meaning, of course, her concentration). It took me several minutes of trying to talk her back to the table and me lamenting, "Great, now I've lost you."

The next night we were eating dinner when Joe got home from work. The kids again jumped up from the table. This time, as Kayla started to get up from her chair she put her hand on my leg and very gently said to me, "Don't lose me. You don't lose me Mom. I be right back."

Yesterday Kayla was getting ready for school and was fixated on the fingernail polish that had come off one of her nails. I was trying to keep her on her routine and reminding her to go to the bathroom so she could brush her teeth and then get dressed. She kept focusing on the nail polish. I tried acknowledging it and told her I would reapply after school. She wanted it done then. I told her there wasn't time. I kept telling her to go to the bathroom. She kept pointing out the missing nail polish on her finger. Back and forth we went. I wanted to scream out, "JUST GO TO THE BATHROOM ALREADY!" (*See above about patience).

I didn't yell though. I once again clasped my hands together to avoid pulling my hair out, took a couple of deep breaths, and turned my back on her. I was hoping if I stopped nagging her about using the bathroom and didn't pay attention to her she would just go to the bathroom.

Instead she broke the tension with, "Tell God, Mom, tell God."

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Kerri Ames said...

Oh my gosh, she just makes me speechless. By the way, how come when God does hand out the special needs child he also does not give us the gift of patience? It should be like a 2-for-1 deal. Don't you think?

Big brother, Little sister. said...

Oh what a great post! Gee I can relate to the homework frustrations but I love Kaylas responses, she is beautiful xx

krlr said...

I love this so much - "You didn't lose me - I'll be right back". LOVE.

alamama alamama said...

This sounds so familar. We homeschooled. Actually this is our last year. I had the same problem with our (typical) kids. More so with our son. One thing that helped was I let him color or something while I read to him or gave him instructions. It seemed like if his mind was focused on something like that it helped him not to get so distracted. I also had him run around the yard a few times if he was really distracted. Best of luck, she will get it.

ahoy.jenni said...

OMG I so understand about the patience thing....yes, its hard work parenting our kids.
I got some good tips from an American book, I cant remember the title, but when you want your kids to focus and do something you use the 'sandwich' technique.
Say when Kayla wanted her nail polish done you say, ' we'll do the nail polish, go to the bathroom first, then we'll do the nail polish'. I'll try and find the name of the book for you because I may not have done the technique justice here, but it works really well with Matilda.

Nan said...

I remember a homework night like that, PLUS completely unadapted work and I actually opened the window and threw the homework out and yelled "So THERE! That's the last time you send home unadapted homework, and so much of it too!" And I wrote a note saying ... "Yes, what Jessie told you is correct. I threw the homework out the window. It was too hard and too much and if you keep sending home homework that is too hard and too much I will keep throwing it out the window." Homework became much more manageable after that. Jessie was flabergasted, but also amazed that it was okay to say something was just too much. Too frustrating for all of us.

To Love Endlessly said...

Maybe it's the hormones, but you sure had me crying! What a wonderful post especially for other mamas that are equally impatient. You sure do have a smart, smart girl on your hands!

ckbrylliant said...

Wow, what an insightful little girl you have there! And for the record I have a 7 year old girl who can be the exact same way!!! This is such a great post. I love the little snapshots into your everyday life with Kayla. Great post.

Deborah said...

Love Kayla's comment about "You don't lose me." And I'm learning a lot from parenting Ben, but it's pretty clear that I am still the same messed-up mom I have always been. I didn't magically improve in patience or organization or compassion or anything.