First, as a Step-Mother.......
H. went home last weekend. We drove her the entire 7 hours home. It was a long road trip. But with her laughing in the back seat, telling us stories, clearly excited to be going home, it was rather short. Bittersweet, but short. Then we got close to home. She got quiet. Very quiet. Sad. So did we. The 7 hours back home were much longer. And quieter. And more bitter, than sweet. Even if DH and I got to spend 7 hours without hearing, "Mommy, he touched me." "Mommy, are we there yet?" "Mommy, when are we going to be there?"
The house, too, is quiet. It's amazing how one less child (with 2 still in attendance, and boys, at that), can make a house feel so empty. There is no more giggling 12-year-old girl doing a funny walk across our living room. There is no girl with puppy-dog eyes saying, "Daaaaad, may I pleeeeeeeeeeease stay up until 10:30?" There is no girl asking me to play archery with her on the Wii and beat her dad. There is no girl. And I miss her. There seems to be an empty place in my heart now. Even though she is just a few hours away, she feels gone. Even though I talk to her every night, she feels gone. I feel her gone. And I miss her. I almost feel like a kid again wanting to know "When is Christmas going to be here?" because SHE will be back then. And then I won't miss her.
Second, As a Mother.......
All of you parents are familiar with school color charts. They all vary some, but in essence, Green is Good; Yellow, not-so-much (or "just a little bad" as M likes to say); and Red is REALLY going-to-get-a-spanking Bad.
Usually, M is my little Martian. He stays on green. He's sweet, lovable, mischievous, but he stays on green. Not this week. So far, we've had Red, Yellow, Green, Red/Green (Red in the morning, Green in the afternoon because his teacher is too sweet and took pity on him), and today.....well, today, I'm scared to ask. All colors (other than green) are for being defiant and back talking his teacher. He acts up, she calls him down, he say, "So?" Why? I asked him. He said, "I like saying 'so.' " Huh? Where did my little Green Martian go? Could he be 7 hours North (see above) with H? Is that what is prompting this bad behavior? I hope so. And I hope my little Green Martian will come home soon. I miss him, too. And I know his pre-school teacher misses him, too.
Z, is a different story. He's more like Jekyll and Hyde lately. And, no, it can't be teenage hormones because he's only 7. We've seen Red, Orange, Yellow, Orange this week. I cannot text his teacher and ask about his behavior. Not that I really want to do that. With his track record this week, I'm thinking I really don't want to know. He has gotten spankings 4 days this week. We took away all electronics -- Wii, DS, computer, everything except his TV which his little brother shares. (It wouldn't have been fair to M to take away the TV.) We've begged, pleaded, yelled (I regret the yelling), bribed, threatened......nothing is working. I would say that his problems began with his sister's return home, but we had the same problems during the ENTIRE 1st GRADE. Making noises (humming, tapping), not listening, consistent disobedience, playing in the bathroom (really? the bathroom? can't you find a better place to play, son?), not following directions. It's like Z is in his own little world, and will only open the door if he likes what his teacher is saying. If not, oh, well. Z seems to think if he ignores her long enough, she'll disappear. Not happening.
Z is a smart kid. I mean REALLY smart. And usually well-mannered, polite, sweet. A regular Dr. Jekyll. Except at school. Then Mr. Hyde comes out. Loud, obnoxious, stubborn, rude, brat. His dad and I are almost at our wit's end. We hoped that the Talented & Gifted program he is in this year (see? I told you he was smart!) would help with the behavior. We hoped that Cub Scouts would help with the behavior. We're still hoping. And praying. And begging, threatening, bribing, etc. I don't like Mr. Hyde. I want to evict him from my house. Now.
So, that's my life lately. Full little roller coaster, isn't it? That's why this post is a day late (and I know you all waited anxiously with bated breath yesterday wondering why it wasn't appearing! Yeah, right!). We've had happiness, sadness, anxiety, anger, disappointment, confusion. I'm tired of the roller coaster. I WANT OFF!!! I want my little Green Martian back. I want Dr. Jekyll back. I want H. back. I want all of my kids (even the one I just get to borrow) back at my house. Under one roof.
So, if any of you wonderful friends and readers have any ideas on how to accomplish any / all of the above, then I await your suggestions, answers, and comments with hope and prayers. Thank you all for listening to me rant. Thank you for letting me borrow your shoulders on which to shed a few tears. Thank you for just being there as once again, I lose my composure over my children. Thank you for being my friends.