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."