school friends, school supplies, bedtime routine, communication and apologies, terrible sleep

This morning it occurred to me that Hazel knows kids who are going to both of the schools she might be attending all year this year: the one where she’ll be starting on Wednesday, and the one where she might be transferring sometime during the month of September. So I told her that, and during the day she and I both thought of kids she’ll see at each school. That helped both of us, I think.

This afternoon Hazel and I went shopping for her school supplies. We got everything on the list for school number one, and held off for school number two. If she transfers, that will be time enough to augment. She struggled some with the idea that the things we were buying will be communal, that they’ll be shared by all the students in the class. She was looking forward to having her own personal pencils, etc. I think I will get her something special for herself, a pack of markers or some such, that she can use on the nights I’m putting the kids to bed and she’s waiting for me.

Speaking of which, tonight I remembered after we were upstairs that I’d planned to have her wait for me downstairs in the yellow room. So I had her sneak out while I was reading to the twins and head downstairs. It worked well. That way when I was going in and out of their bedroom (which I only had to do once, I think) I wasn’t trying to switch off in my focus between crying toddlers and Hazel. I was able to be calmer, and the twins both self-soothed successfully. Hazel and I read a few books, snuggled for a bit, and then I carried her into the bedroom and put her in bed. Much better.

That is, of course, after I lost my shit after she’d said the same thing a gazillion times while we were brushing teeth. I apologized later, and told her that I need to just stop talking after I’ve said something a couple of times, because repeating myself doesn’t help either of us. She agreed. She communicated quite clearly about it, both at the time and afterwards. I was proud of her. She said, “I don’t like the way you’re talking to me, you’re not using a kind voice,” when I was mad. She said, “That was rude,” when I said I was sorry for not using a kind voice in the bathroom. I agreed. I asked her if she could work on remembering not to repeat herself too, and she agreed with that. The whole conversation was productive, respectful, and loving. It’s really true, that saving problem solving for when everyone is not upset is quite useful!

This afternoon Ted and I fixed the picnic bench. Now the benches have two pieces of wood each instead of one. My sit bones thank me. The twins were fascinated by the whole thing. Joanna picked up a clamp and giggled madly. They were also good at staying back when we asked them to.

So, we’ve gotten done almost everything we planned for the week. The porch is still disgraceful, but it won’t take us too long to fix that. And we’ve been consistently picking up and putting things away several times a day. I feel hopeful that we won’t descend into quite the level of household chaos as before, at least less frequently.

Last night I was awake from 1:30 to 6:30. Ugh doesn’t quite cut it. I am hoping with a certain degree of fervor that tonight will be better. The clock didn’t turn on this morning, which is probably good given how little sleep I’d had. But I want to try to figure out why not. It worked remarkably well the night before to help me relax and want to go to sleep. I’m hoping for good results in the morning, though more importantly, I’m hoping for at least 4 consecutive hours of sleep tonight…

Edited to add: I forgot to relay that when we were shopping for Hazel’s school supplies, a woman said to Hazel, “Great haircut! I love it! I want one just like it!” I was so happy and grateful, I almost cried. I thanked her for saying so, told her she’s one of the few who has, and I just appreciated it so much. She was so genuine and positive.

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