Coincidentally this week we ended up with one million things happening. Today is one of the worst days of the week: we have, like, seven different things, several conflicting with other different things, several of them with uncertain end-times, most of them requiring Advanced Advance Planning such as sending Elizabeth's dinner to school with her this morning. I KNOW it will all end up fine, with me saying, "Huh! That turned out Just Fine!" at the end, and that helps a little, but I still had stress dreams last night involving not being able to remember what appointments I had, trying to figure out what time it was, children missing the bus, etc.
Also, William's grades have plummeted and we're trying to fix some of that this week. Our middle school has a neat thing where you can go online and see that, for example, your child (by which I mean "my child") has failed to hand in two projects and two dozen homework and classwork assignments. The problem at that point is that if you ("I") ask your ("my") child what the heck, that child may say "Uhhhhhh" and look squintingly at the ceiling, apparently unable to give any further information or even remember what classes we're talking about. So then you might have a stress dream where you're trying to make him get on the bus but you can't figure out how to make him do what you want him to do, and even after you get him on the bus he shows up back at the house an hour later because you don't seem to be able to control him while he's at school.
Rob's grades also plummeted in 6th grade, and when I mentioned this at the time to a friend she said, "Yeah, 6th grade is a sink-or-swim time." The work gets harder, and they're suddenly supposed to handle it with less hand-holding. They have multiple teachers instead of just one, and the teachers are MIDDLE SCHOOL teachers, not elementary school teachers; it's a different sort of person who wants to teach those different levels.
Rob did straighten out, so I have hopes for William. But on the other hand, their temperaments are so different. Rob is competitive, argumentative, a firstborn who likes to think of himself as superior. William is "la la la, cute cat gifs and constant jokes!" combined with "if I don't deal with the problem, maybe it will go away." So, like, if William gets stressed about a project, he's likely to just...not do it. Or mention it to anyone. He's sunshiney to have around the house, but it's hard to know how to get him to do stuff: he either makes it into a joke or he avoids it completely.
I HOPE my agitated-masked-as-cool lectures are starting to work. The most successful part was when I said that the situation was like Tetris: if you get behind on Tetris and leave a bunch of holes in the layers, you CAN just keep building from there, leaving the holes. But it's a LOT easier if you can work on filling in a bunch of those holes first. (This was to explain to him why he should try to catch up on missed assignments rather than just doing better from here on in.)
But even after that awesome, hip, youth-appropriate game analogy, he came home from school yesterday and I said, "Did you talk to your teachers about making up work?" and he looked squintingly at the ceiling and said "Uhhhhh."
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...