That’s usually my first response when someone asks. I mean, it’s not like we’ve done nothing. But we have done almost nothing. There were those games of Go Fish we played, and some computer games, and making a grocery list and shopping, and the other day I taught Lou what “rookie” meant. So…. Yeah, not quite the vision I had of our unit exploration lessons, field trips, novel reading, and excessive journaling. I still think we can get there. But we sure as heck aren’t there yet!
If it weren’t for my pride, I might even just toss her back into school until we leave. But no. For as long as our trip is delayed , she is home with me, and it hasn’t been all bad, or even a little bad. As a matter of fact, it’s been awesome!
First of all, she’s HAPPY! She doesn’t want to go back. I ask her daily, just to be sure. “Do you miss your friends”? (Yes) “So do you want to go back to school”? (No). She likes staying home, even if it means having to “play with babies” all day. And believe me, she’s not deprived of her big kid friends either, whom we see just about every day after school and I think Lou is booked 3 weeks out now for weekend sleepovers. Poor thing!
And I like having her home! I LOVE her! She’s funny. And clever. And fun! Sure, she’s another kid to keep happy, but she keeps ME happy! And it just feels right to have all the kids together all day. It feels right to all of us! Before, Lou didn’t really know what we did all day, and vise versa. Bean and Jonah were super close, and that bond was weaker with her. This feels better!
Lou has had more time to learn “other” things now that she’s not in school. Joe and her are working on sewing Darby a dog bed, and she’s really excited about it. Today she made us all breakfast while prancing around the kitchen in her sparkly red high heels. She was very proud over being so adult. She was a big help in planning and shopping for our Farewell Party too. She’s finally had time to make all those pot holder crafts too. So she is doing “stuff”.
But the GREATEST thing about keeping her home, has been the change in her emotional well-being. Our girl was so worn out from getting up at 6:15 in the morning and doing school all day long! I didn’t even realize how much so, until she had been home for a week. One day we were all just hanging at the house, and it hit me……OMG! I like this kid!!!! She was everything I hoped she would be….someday; polite, patient, sharing with her siblings, helpful, and HAPPY! I actually LIKED being around her! I didn’t realize how worried I’d been about her before that moment.
Before, when she would get home, we’d greet her at the door walking on egg shells, ask her about her day, and shove food into her face as quick as we could, to hopefully tame the beast that was sure to rear its ugly head soon. While she ate, I’d usually listen to how the world had wronged her when a kid told her to stop singing on the bus, or how we were terrible parents because I didn’t have a friend waiting for her to play with the second she got home. She was just worn out! I’d give her some time to play, which would usually include her arguing with her sister, and then began the “Do your homework, while I cook dinner” time. Uhg! Homework SUCKS!!!! She’d whine through that, usually with some bribes thrown in too. Sometime there was crying and a lot of “I can’t! I can’ts”. And God forbid if we had to go somewhere or accomplish anything else on a school day! I’m a little embarrassed to say, but we actually switched bath time to once every 3 or 4 days, just to free up some more time for us all in the evenings! As long as she passed the head-smell test, she was good for another day! Then it was dinner, teeth, read, little bit of play, and sleep, accompanied by more crying or huge monster fits. And that in a nut shell, were our week days with Lou.
Yikes! I know.
So it took me a week of having her home and liking her again to realize how OVER THE TOP, STRESSED OUT she had been!!! It was making her act horrible! I was actually SURPRISED to see her getting along with her sister! And to be able to tell her “No” and for her not to go into a raging fit. I could reason with her again! There have been NO fits since keeping her home! I can not express how much of a different kid she is! She had told me in different ways that she didn’t like school, or things people said to her there, and she didn’t want to go. But what do you do? I work, and kids go to school. Period.
Well the trip changed that in my mind. And for the sake of her happiness, I’m glad it did! She’s awesome! And I had lost sight of that, even if I wouldn’t admit it to myself even. I had been way more worried about her than I realized too.
Turns out, I didn’t need to worry. I needed to take her out of school. It’s done a complete 180 on her! I haven’t failed completely as a parent….yet! Yay!
So yeah, we haven’t done much. But my kid is the happiest she’s been in a long, long time and THAT is good enough for me! I mean, for now…..we will get to multiplication tables….we will!