Continuing our middle school story…
She had an EPIC meltdown week 2, day 8 of middle school.
I feel like I have to document it here if only because I documented The Grunter’s Cocoa Krispie Nightmare.
I am an equal opportunity parent.
She has a very high-pitched shriek. There is no denying she is related to The Grunter and their similar looks are no coincidence.
At six months they looked like identical twins (10 years apart).
Their emotional displays and high drama are also quite similar.
The Grunter has settled down a bit but remind me to tell you later about his little meltdown about a glue stick for a college project.
Back to Scary Baby’s meltdown…
Big fit with us. Called her sisters at college. We didn’t video it.
Because the video cameras are all broken.
These were just some of the phrases we heard as she sobbed and wailed to her big sissies…
“I am sick and they don’t believe me.”
“I can’t live here anymore.”
“They are ruining my life.”
We calmly rode out the emotional storm and quietly listened.
Shower and bed was the next unreasonable order from parental units.
15 minutes later she was belting out a tune in the shower.
She came to my room refreshed and back in the boat. I spent a few minutes explaining that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed but it’s not okay to pretend to be sick just because you feel overwhelmed. (That’s for later in life when you need a mental health day.)
We spent a little time organizing her book bag, printing labels for her binders and talking about some ways to get more organized.
In her defense, she got her entire schedule changed after the first week. Which means she missed the first week of teacher expectations and rules. And week 2 quickly felt like the anxiety-ridden week 1 of being in a brand new school sans the “welcome to my class” and introductions and what not.
So by Wednesday she had visited the clinic for the first time.
Then she got two silent lunches for leaving homework at home.
Did I mention she also does not have a locker? So she’s been carrying around 50 lbs. of books in her book bag because there are more kids than lockers in year two of this brand new school.
School’s defense: A new kid came, the teacher was out of lockers, 2 lockers are broken. She was advised to put her books outside in the hall near the lockers.
Because I know there are no middle school lovelies who would forget their book and lift someone else’s book that is conveniently left in the hall.
Then they can send us a bill at the end of the year for her missing book.
Doesn’t really work for me.
Visit #2 to the clinic with a phone call request for headache meds. This was after she started trembling 5 minutes before the bus was coming that her agenda was missing from our coffee table. And it was my fault because I had asked her to put it there so I could read about these citations that she would get if she got in trouble again.
She had put it on the corner of the coffee table.
I went downstairs and discovered why it had been so hard to find.
Someone had moved it 8-12 inches AND they put that TV remote on top of it clearly trying to hide it from her.
I have bribed her to get her through week 4 and we’ll have dinner at Ted’s at the end of the weekend. Which coincidentally turns out to be a good time to have The Grunter’s birthday dinner. I love dual purpose dinners.
But first, we must attend curriculum night and meet her teachers. I’ve been waiting for this and have tried to remain calm about the “NO LOCKER” situation since I know my child’s problems may not be on the top of her homeroom teacher’s list.
I also thought we should develop a little rapport before I fired off an email that might be misconstrued to have a tone to it before I even meet her. I do try to start out being nice.
It’s a test of maturity for the new 6th grader in our house when we ask if she feels comfortable staying at home from 6:00 pm until about 7:30 pm while we go 3.2 miles to her school.
We feed her dinner and give her strict instructions that she is to stay upstairs in The Lounge or in her bedroom and not answer the door. We leave a cell phone with her.
We meet the homeroom/math teacher and I get to ask about the locker. She tells me the same thing Riley has been telling me for 3 weeks. “I’m working on it.”
I am less than thrilled with this answer since it is week 4 and I think my kid should have a locker. No special favors, just a locker like everyone else.
I ask at the end of the meeting if there is anyone we can talk to about the locker situation and get this expedited.
I am assured they are “working on it” and she is going to take care of it.
We go on to meet her other teachers quickly and while in the basement of the school, my phone rings.
Scary Baby is very scared.
She is crying and says she heard a noise downstairs. It sounded like a remote hitting the floor. (Because burglars usually watch a little TV before ransacking the house.) She is bordering on hysterical and pleads, “Come home right now.”
PhilBillPaul asks if the dogs are barking. They are not.
We know her vivid imagination. We also know about the daytime break-in so we are calling neighbors to check on her for us. Cell phone coverage is sketchy in the basement of the school.
We are getting short with each other and I’m gritting my teeth and hissing. Mostly because PhilBillPaul has no one’s phone numbers in his new phone and barely knows how to use it and does not multi-task well.
He finally gets a neighbor on the phone who kindly walks to the house to check on her. We know the dogs would be going nuts if there was a stranger in the house. (But as Scary Baby pointed out when we got home, the dogs would not be going nuts if the robber killed the dogs.)
We met 2 teachers. The other 4 will have to wait.
As we leave the school all the while with her on my phone and she is now saying if the neighbor doesn’t get there she is calling 911, I say in my most mature mother voice,
“If there was someone in the house, they would have heard you on the phone and already killed you.”
I am going to hell.
Counseling appointment is scheduled.
We pull up as the neighbor is walking away. All is well.
We discover she had actually come downstairs, fixed herself a bowl of cereal and pretty much scared herself.
We have a lovely dinner at Ted’s to cap off a semi-relaxing 3 day Labor Day weekend and as Happy Birthday dinner for the almost 21 year-old because PhilBillPaul was leaving for Texas on Wednesday and wouldn’t be in town for his actual birthday.
On Tuesday morning, she comes to my room clutching her throat saying “It feels like I have glass in my throat, it hurts so bad.”
I use the back of my hand to take the official mom temperature – thermometers have always been a waste of time.
No fever but I know this first month of school there have been plenty of germs floating around with one class having 12 absent kids in one day.
Better than safe than sorry. And I’m old and tired.
Fine, stay home. With these conditions: No TV, no computer. Because I’m a fun mom.
Day two/Wednesday morning – “Mom, I was brushing my teeth and I just threw up.”
Me: “You sure you didn’t just gag on your toothbrush?”
SB: “Mom, I threw up! My stomach really doesn’t feel good.”
Me: “Now your throat is fine but you threw up? If you stay home today there will be no TV, no computer AND you are not coming out of your room. Sick people stay in bed all day.”
SB: “That’s fine, I’m going to go lay back down.”
Two hours later…
SB: “Mom, am I allowed out of my room to eat lunch?”
For me personally, throwing up takes at least 24 hours to recover from or even think about eating. Of course, I haven’t thrown up in 11 years and 10 months which is when I was pregnant with her but who’s counting?
Today is Monday. Pray for me.
Because this is ridiculously long, I’m going to share on Wednesday our new set of rules guidelines for determining if our “little girl who cried wolf” is really sick. Until then, please share any tips you have!
p.s. Still no locker…