Monday mornings are often tough at our house. School starts at 8am and none of us are morning people. But this morning, things went relatively smoothly – M (my son) woke up by himself (instead of having to be pried from his bed), ate breakfast and took his pills without having to be reminded every 30 seconds (the usual morning routine). There were a few minutes when it looked like things could go off the rails – he pulled a bunch of glow sticks out of the freezer (apparently this helps them last longer!), picked up some mini muffin tins on the counter and started juggling them from hand to hand, and crawled part way across the kitchen floor. But M did get out of the house and off to school before the bell rang. A successful morning all round.
So compared to most Mondays, I left the house in a relative state of calm this morning. And arrived home to find M in tears. Not only did he have a homework assignment, but his regular Educational Assistant (EA) was away for today and tomorrow and the replacement was “acting just like a teacher.” She told another child in the class not to do something and followed M around in the library and asked him what he was reading. According to M, this was not her job. And then at daycare, he and his friends weren’t allowed to throw icicles at each other in case someone got hit in th eye or chipped a tooth – who, I was asked, ever chipped a tooth on an icicle? And no one would ever throw an icicle at someone’s eye…
M started his homework with his dad’s help, but after a few minutes, he asked how much he had to do before he could play Wii. They discussed the relative merits of finishing as much as he could tonight so he didn’t have too much to do tomorrow – he has Cubs on Wednesday and Friday is a PD day. M continued answering a few more questions, albeit reluctantly. I was cooking supper and thought M was back on track, but then I heard he and his dad debating whether “average” was a sufficient answer to the question “What is the daily life of the character like?” Voices were being raised and when my husband walked back into the kitchen, he remarked that “average” wasn’t really enough of an answer to the question. M, who has hearing like a bat, burst into tears, stomped upstairs and slammed his door. It took 10 mins of negotiating to get him to come back downstairs. His dad did apologize and M ate his supper.
M doesn’t like homework assignments, even though the teacher gives the class all week to complete them. But the big issue was the change in routine with a new EA. This seemingly minor change threw him off for the entire day and every other little issue was magnified from a mole hill to a mountain. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a little less stressful for everyone.