Kid with fingerpaint on hands announcing Spring Break

Kid with fingerpaint on hands announcing Spring Break

I despise spring break. I know moms who look forward to it. They love the idea of free time with their children, unfettered by the constrictions of school. Many of them even enjoy it once it comes. I can’t even enjoy the idea of it because I know the misery it brings.

I know I will reel on Monday when it doesn’t seem as bad as I remembered. I won’t feel bogged down and exhausted as I expected. I know from experience that this is false hope, but I succumb to it every time.

By Thursday I can barely drag myself across the floor. And I’m surprised. Every time. Even though I knew it was coming. I do not understand this phenomenon, but it doesn’t care. In fact, I think it likes it this way. Sadistic bastard, my phenomenon.

This spring break has been particularly frustrating because my hard drive died on the first day. Saturday morning it said, “I don’t want to go,” and then the life escaped from it, only it didn’t leave the Matt Smith version in its wake. So I have been unable to do the things I’ve already procrastinated too long on and was hoping to finish this week. Like taxes. And emails regarding prep for the big IEP meeting that I thought was going well, but now realize not so much. Zoo Keeper found out on April 1st that his two friends in his class are leaving the school effective immediately because the teacher cannot get control of the classroom and several kids repeatedly take advantage of that. Zoo Keeper is devastated as am I.

My anguish over their departure has an additional facet, though. One of those moms told me she had seen changes in her kid’s behavior that she didn’t like. I have seen changes in Zoo Keeper’s behavior that I don’t like. I attributed it to his favorite therapist being out on maternity leave and him starting third grade with a new special ed teacher with whom I am underwhelmed, to say the least. It never occurred to me that the teacher’s lack of control could effect more than his academics. Now I’m wondering if I should have taken Zoo Keeper out of the school as well, though I have no idea where I would put him.

Woman with hands over her ears and a pained look on her face.

Woman with hands over her ears and a pained look on her face.

So this year included computer and school issues, filling spring break with frustration and dread, but there was also the age-old issue of sensory mis-match. I’m an introvert, meaning that being in a group of people, even if I love them very much, drains my energy. To recharge, I need quiet time by myself.

It used to be that the kids needed me constantly and that overloaded my senses. When that happens all day for five days straight, I am in overload overdrive and can barely manage to lift my head off the pillow by the end.

These days, Zoo Keeper has revealed his introvert stripes and prefers to spend much of his time on his own. Plus he’s become kind of surly of late, especially toward me. BamBam, on the other hand, is an extrovert. He spent much of spring break talking to me. He’ll stop for a bit and, just when I’ve started to do something like try to fix problems with the new hard drive, he’s back. Talking to me about what he’s doing on his iPad. Insisting I watch scenes from his Spiderman game that don’t make sense. Telling me to choose which one is my favorite.

That’s what he was doing right before this exchange that I posted on Facebook:

BamBam was talking to me this afternoon while I worked on my computer, trying to fix stuff after the new hard drive was installed. We decided we would take Annie for a walk and BamBam asked if we could do it “right now.” I told him I needed five minutes and asked if he wanted to put it on the timer, but he said he could just use the clock in my office. We noted the time and I went back to work.

BamBam didn’t stop talking, though. He didn’t take a breath until I turned and told him that I could only be ready in the five minutes if I could concentrate on what I was doing and I couldn’t concentrate if I was also listening to him. I asked for two minutes of quiet concentration time. He agreed and we noted the time again. He was totally quiet and I finished ahead of time.

I told him we could go, but he said, “No, that doesn’t work. It’s only been one minute.” He looked back at the clock, waited a beat, and said, “Okay, that’s two minutes. Let’s go.”

BamBam doesn’t mess around with time.

I posted that to show how frustrated I was. But, then, one of my FB friends commented that it was an impressive how we handled it “such understanding and concrete referencing of time.” I had only looked at it through the lens of frustration, but her version helped me see that I was handling spring break much better than I had thought. At least outwardly.

I still hate the hell out of spring break, but it seems I may be getting better at getting through it.

BamBam just told me he doesn’t want to do any camps this summer. Meaning he’ll be home with me. Every. Single. Day. A summer-long spring break. Because I don’t hate the heat of summer enough on its own.