I have had a very long day.
As usual, I stayed up too late last night. I knew that I was going to have the opportunity to sleep a little bit later than normal this morning because I had to switch hours with someone so she could attend a wake, so I figured that going to bed at 11 would be fine. Unfortunately I didn't factor in that Ciara was going to have a fairly restless night. Not all that restless I suppose (I've heard enough stories to know how lucky I am), but she woke me up a few times crying out for me (though she never actually woke herself as far as I could tell). I woke up at about 3 am to her screaming "Mommy!" and quickly discovered that I had a pounding headache starting at the base of my skull and radiating forward. Yippee! I thought that perhaps another 4 solid hours of sleep might take care of it for me, but sadly this was not the case. Fortunately the Migraine formula of Excedrin seemed to do the trick.
I wish that I could say ridding myself of the headache was enough to save the day, but the 18 four and five year old children in my class today had other ideas. As I'm sure that all of you parents out there are more than aware, children NEED consistency! Any time you change things up it really throws them for a loop...and these kids have been thrown some whoppers lately. My co-teacher has been out for the last 2 weeks having back surgery (she's back Monday!!! YAY!) and we've had a steady stream of substitutes coming through. I've done my best to maintain our routines, but I'm not a Super Hero. Let me set the stage for what today looked like...
Issue #1- On a typical day I open the preschool unit when I start at 7:15 am. Today the teacher I swapped hours with took on that role for the very first time ever. She's new to teaching and has only been working at our center for a few months. I didn't know that we were switching hours until yesterday and had no time to fill her in on our normal morning rituals...so she was forced to figure it out on her own. Probably not TOO horrible for her, but it definitely makes a difference to the kids. Also, the teacher that opened MY class this morning is extremely passive and has trouble keeping the older children in line.
Issue #2 It's Friday and the kids have all had a goofy week due to the holiday.
Issue #3 There is a tornado watch in effect for the majority of the day and it is raining...the perfect recipe for stir crazy children!
Issue #4 Ciara is used to hanging out with me in her class for about 45 minutes before I have to go to my class and because of the switching of hours I have to just drop her off with her teachers and go...she is not pleased and remains whiny(at least while in my presence) for the rest of the day.
Issue #5 I spend every afternoon in Ciara's class with her, but on a typical day I am only there for a little more than an hour. The time is spent waking up from nap, going potty, eating snack, and heading out to the playground. Today I have to be with her for about twice as long and we are essentially cooped up in the classroom (though we did make it outside later in the afternoon. Yay!). She spent the afternoon alternating between clinging to me and telling me she wanted to go home, and getting into as much trouble as she could. For her that's not so bad, but combine a clogged sink with a class full of children who need to wash their hands constantly and I'm sure you can imagine what I was facing.
So, after facing all of the challenges of the day I head home and begin to wonder just what exactly I am going to do with the chicken that has been sitting in my refrigerator for most of the week. What can I cook that takes minimum effort, because I really have no desire to cook at all, but I SO don't want to end up tossing the chicken out. After what would normally be a brief conversation with my husband which was interrupted twice by lousy cell reception, I decide to hit the grocery store. My gut tells me to drop Ciara off at home and then go back out again, but the price of gas convinces me to just brave the store with crabby 3 year old in tow. Several "No treat for you!" threats and 2 potty breaks later we got in the car to finally go home.
About a block and a half from home my cell rang. It was my Mom calling to ask if I wanted her to set up an appointment for a haircut for when I come home next week (This subject is a whole other post all in itself, but I'll get to that later). I pulled into the driveway and tried to continue my conversation with my Mother as Ciara tried very hard to be polite while nagging me for more candy (she'd finished the treat I bought her on the drive home and knew that there was more in the grocery bag), refused to help carry any of the 5 million things that needed to be brought in from the car, and ran around the car ignoring my instructions to go inside. I got her in the house and went back to retrieve our things all the while trying to carry on my conversation. Then my poor husband made the mistake of yelling down the stairs to me while I was still trying to talk. Since my Mom and I weren't really discussing anything important I told her that I obviously needed to go tend to my family and that we'd talk later, and then turned my attention to my husband. I wish that I could say that I was loving and patient with him, but when it turned out that he was yelling to tell me that he hadn't gone to get the mail yet, and I realized that our dog was still in her crate (as usual), I'm afraid that I got a bit snippy with him. He didn't take it very well, and I felt a bit guilty for taking all my frustrations of the day out on him. I went to check the mail, took the dog out and fed her, and then came upstairs to apologize...but he was on the phone. I decided to take the time to check my email and do some quick web browsing. After a few minutes I realized that I had made a rather large error. Before coming upstairs Ciara had been asking me for a "tortilla" (I put some mustard on a flour tortilla, add some lunch meat, and roll it up for her to have as a snack) I had told her to wait a minute and asked her to come upstairs with me. I assumed that she was going to follow me, but didn't really pay much attention to whether she had or not. So after spending a few minutes at my computer I finally got my head out of my rear and realized that Ciara had not in fact followed me, and things were a bit too quiet for comfort. OOPS!
As I reached the bottom of the stairs Ciara went flying from the living room chair and into the kitchen. DEFINITELY up to something! I turned the corner to find her stark naked (not remotely unusual, and when I had left her she was in the process of removing her socks to try on her new sandals, so really not terribly surprising either) and clutching a sweatshirt that was given to us by one of her classmates today. Her friend's parents are smokers so I had told her that we needed to wash the sweatshirt before she could wear it. I had to chuckle. It was really pretty cute, especially when she kept saying "It's not smoking Mom, look, see, it's not smoking!".
After the visions of her attempting to make her own tortilla, this was cake. I was feeling so proud of my little girl and thinking how lucky I was that she wasn't doing anything really naughty when I had been dumb enough to leave her to her own devices when I turned and discovered this...
Alright, so in the grand scheme of things it's still pretty harmless- but what a way to end one heck of a day! (I was really looking forward to having one of those for breakfast!) Gotta love being a Mom.