Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Everybody Let's Get Stoned

I did it. I got up Wednesday morning and despite a pounding headache I rubbed my bleary bleary (bleary!) eyes, went to get Girlchild out of her crib, put my robe on backwards and pulled my hair into a forwards ponytail. Girlchild thought it was all pretty darned funny. I refrained from walking down the stairs backwards because I was carrying Girlchild - and that would have spelled a trip to the hospital for sure - but I did walk backwards through the den where Boychild was hanging out.

He was amused.

Such was my big promo campaign to encourage participation in Backwards Day at Boychild's school. Regular readers may remember Pajama Day did not go over so well on Monday. (I should add he asked to put on his pajamas as soon as he got home.)

Ultimately Boychild set out wearing his shirt and his undershirt backwards. The shirt was no big deal - it was a striped affair that looked the same front and back except for some stitches where the tag is. Oh, well. At least he took part.

Little did he know just how "backwards" the day was going to be.

Last year Boychild and School did not get along so well for a few weeks right around this time of year. He was sick a couple of times and missed several days of school, and when you're in an all-day, alternate-day Kindergarten program missing a couple of days can quickly turn into a week. He had some trouble getting back into the school routine.

At one point it got so bad I thought I was going to lose my mind - not to mention what he was going through. He cried every school day. He fretted the night before. He clung to me. It was such a huge struggle to get out the door and it was heartbreaking for me to leave him at school - those big chocolate eyes filling with tears as I walked away. Sometimes he cried and clung. Often his teacher would have to take his hand and wander around the yard with him. I was at a loss.


So one day, in desperation, I grabbed a pretty polished rock that my parents had brought back for me from a trip to Northern Ontario. It is, appropriately, a
worry stone. I told Boychild it was magic and that if he kept it in his pocket and touched it whenever he felt sad, it would make him feel better.

By gum, it worked. That boy has carried his magic purple stone in his pocket every school day ever since.

Until today, of course, when he forgot to take it out of his pocket on Monday and put it back in his school bag and I had to dig through the laundry hamper to find it after three calls from the school. Figures today was the one day I didn't come directly home and go straight inside to have my second, much-needed cup of coffee - instead Girlchild and I did some shovelling first. Meanwhile, Boychild was having a meltdown at school because he couldn't find his rock.

So, I retrieved the stone, went back to the school, all was well.

Until later.

We got another freakin' heap of snow on Tuesday and the sidewalks were still pretty nasty for walking to school on Wednesday. I had use of our van in the morning (good thing, since I had to make two trips to the school), but Groom-boy had it at work in the afternoon. Between the snow and my headache, I was not excited about the afternoon "commute," so Groom-boy said he would pick up Boychild and his buddy at school.

I thought they were taking a long time to get home, but I tend to be compulsively early for things and sergeant-major-like on the walk home, so my perception of time is not always reliable. Almost half an hour after pick-up time, though, the school calls. "Um, are you coming to pick up Boychild today?"

Aargh! I call Groom-boy at work. "Dear, did you forget to do something very important?"

The boys emerged from the incident unscathed, but I'm pretty sure these types of things leave deep emotional scars that won't surface until years later. "And then, after I had such a terrible morning, they punished me by not coming to pick me up! Sob!!"

Backwards Day. Yep.


Mama P said...

Wow, Steph, you remind me so much of myself. I was all about the "worry rocks" too. In my case, it was my "magic eye" that followed my boy around everywhere, keeping him safe. I even had a plastic one that would fall out of my pony tail. But now that he's five, I'm leaning away from it because he's starting to question reality vs. fantasy. Given that I'm raising him Christian, it's only a matter of time before he asks if Jesus is real, given everything else so far hasn't been. I'm doing the transition slowly.

Hey, can I use your post at some point in BC? If not, no problem. It's a great topic.

Steph said...

Magic eye! I love it. Great idea!

Sure, go ahead and use the post. I would love to hear other ideas on this subject because honest to Pete I sometimes feel as if I need a psychology degree to be a parent. Boychild is a big-time worrier - just like I was/am - but just because I know how it feels doesn't mean I know how to deal with it!