Five Hours

Five hours is the on-average amount of sleep I’ve been getting every night lately.

Part of it is owing to stress — ordinarily, holiday excitement and baby preparation would be enough to keep me wired 24/7, but this week we also had the meeting at school for Jeffrey’s Individualized Educational Plan (or IEP).  Nobody likes to hear criticism about their child, so sitting in a room with five educational professionals listing Jeffrey’s problems was not fun.  Even though I agreed with most of what they said — in fact, some of their findings (via testing) matches up exactly with what I’ve been telling them for quite some time now.  Such as: Jeffrey doesn’t need occupaional therapy; his writing is fine, it’s his spelling that needs help.  Or, that Jeffrey is fine cognition-wise; it’s his lack of focus in class that has caused him to fall so far behind the curve.  He needs small-group, individualized instruction. And it looks like he is finally going to get some.  Yay!  Let’s see if the school follows through with its promises.

What irks me is that whenever one of Jeff’s teachers has mentioned his inattention to me (from age 3 on up) they always look at me like I have some kind of magic solution for solving this problem.  I always want to smack myself on the head and say “Why, how silly of me!  I forgot to turn the switch on the back of Jeffrey’s head from ‘naughty’ to ‘nice’ this morning!” 

But, really, there aren’t any easy solutions beyond patience, patience, and more patience.  Our daily one-on-one homework sessions last about 60 minutes, and frequently involve Jeffrey screaming himself red in the face, chewing up his erasers and throwing pencils on the floor.  He’s been especially obdurate lately since Eleanor has begun to bring “funwork” home from kindergarten, which she zips through with glee while Jeffrey struggles to write sentences.  As he tearfully said to me yesterday, “Next year Eleanor will start real homework, and she’ll race so fast ahead of me that she’ll be in seventh grade by the end of the year!”  I reassured him that he’s just as smart as Eleanor, he just needs to work as hard as she does, and he sat down and began to write.  For about 30 seconds.  And then the eraser-chewing began once more.  (And when I say “chewing,” I don’t mean that he sucks on his pink eraser; he takes BITES and then SWALLOWS.)

Yes, educators.  I know exactly how difficult it is to teach my child.  Which is why I need your help.

So I keep waking up at 4:30 or 5:00 — late enough in the morning that my body doesn’t initially “feel” like it needs more sleep, but early enough for me to collapse some time around 9:30 a.m.

The fact that I get nightly ligament pain around my belly bulge doesn’t help, either.  What I call my “tummy tendons” ache constantly unless I get out of bed and walk around the room — for some reason, it helps the pain go away, but not always.  Last night’s session was particularly bad; I still have “phantom pain” in my hips this morning.

Well.  Time for a nap?  We’ll see if my brain can calm down enough for one to happen.

3 thoughts on “Five Hours

  1. Ouch on the lack of sleep, the painful belly tendons and on the educators expecting that you have some magic trick you’ve been holding up your sleeve. I’m thinking of you, and wishing you more sleep!

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