Weight Monday (8/20/12) = 249.5

I’ve hit a wall this summer. The past three years have been a whirlwind of kids’ therapy and diagnosis, scheduling and chauffeuring, corralling and teaching, watching and intervening, watching and more watching. Watching all the time. And that’s just the kids. With adults, even therapists, there’s constant explaining and misunderstanding. And I’m done. So. Very. Done.

Just now I told BamBam for the tenth time in a minute that I don’t want to play bite-Mommy-with-the-alligator. He’s now slamming the alligator on the table, which will soon be followed by throwing it and screaming, so I don’t have much time to write this. I’m happy to report that we skipped the throwing and screaming step and he’s simply moved on to accosting me with other toys. I can write through that.

I’ve told a few people recently that I feel as though this summer has brought into sharp relief the fact that I have abundant quantity of time with my children, but very little quality time. It’s hard to engage in the reading of a book to children who have required your constant attention in tandem for every second of the previous ten hours. For the previous six years.

So I’ve hit a wall. The only thing that has gotten me through August thus far is the shining light of school that begins for both boys on September fifth. BamBam will have the same schedule he had last spring, which is school for a total of roughly 20 hours per week. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays he has school from 8:30 am until 3:00 pm. And that doesn’t include bus time. It’s fabulous, but it’s the same as last spring.

The real change that makes this fall such a shining light of freedom for me is full-day kindergarten for Zoo Keeper. He’ll be in school 8:55 am to 3:30 pm every day except Wednesday, when he gets out at 2:00. That means I’ll have six hours to myself three days a week. Six hours when I don’t have to watch anyone or help anyone do anything. Six hours I can use to catch up on things I can’t do with the boys around – like cook, clean, do laundry, or organize the office. Six hours I can use to sleep. Or watch TV. Or write fiction. Or eat lunch while reading with no one touching or demanding anything of me.

But I got a call a few minutes ago that caused that shining light of hope to flicker.

Zoo Keeper went to his kindergarten assessment this afternoon. They split the incoming class into groups of 20 and meet with them for 90 minutes to determine their skill level and decide which kids should go with which teacher. He came out saying that they read Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom, but he couldn’t remember much else that they did. That’s not unusual for him.

Then the principal called. She told me they were almost finished with the classroom assignments. I had one thrilling second when I thought she was going to tell me how impressed all the teachers were with Zoo Keeper. This is, after all, the boy who told me yesterday that a cloud formation looked like the Philippines because there were gaps in between that made them seem like islands.

Unfortunately, that is not what she called to talk about. It seems the teachers that saw him today are concerned that Zoo Keeper doesn’t have the stamina for full-day kindergarten. Being there for only 90 minutes today, he was resting his head on the table and complaining that he was tired. Or something like that. I’m not really sure because my brain kind of shorted out at that point.

I hobbled through the rest of the conversation. She said that it’s my decision, of course, but they are recommending half-day kindergarten for him. I somehow found the presence of mind to tell her we would start with full-day and see how it goes.

Now that I’m off the phone and have had a chance to calm down (a little), I realize how absurd it would be to send Zoo Keeper to half-day kindergarten. It meets 2 ½ hours, four days per week. He was in school all last year 4 hours, five days a week. He did fine with that and full-day kindergarten is only 2 ½ hours more per day. He can totally do that. I, on the other hand, will go ape-shit if he’s not in school more than he was last year. I will crack.

And now that I’m thinking more about it again, my calm is waning. Why wasn’t the special education teacher involved in this discussion? We’ve had meetings, including his IEP meeting, where it felt like the whole school staff was involved. I know one of the kindergarten teachers he met with today was in at least two of those meetings. They did an evaluation of him. It was never mentioned to me that he didn’t have the stamina until this afternoon. I think I’ll send an email to his special education teacher because she’s supposed to be his coordinator.

He will be in full-day kindergarten. I don’t have the stamina for him not to be.