I've been getting up at 6:00 this school year, a whole 45 minutes earlier than last year. Keith gets up at the same time. It's the first time in our entire married lives that we've gotten up at the same time, and it just doesn't work for us. We both need the bathroom, the ironing board, the space at the same time. So I decided that since I'm kind of waiting around for Keith to get out the door in his allotted 15 minutes, I can get up a little later. So on Monday, I set the alarm for 6:15 and felt entirely sinfully happy snuggled in bed while Keith got ready for work. Then I had time to myself to do all the woman things that seem to take so much longer than man things to get out the door.
Well, this morning, I was laying in bed after the alarm went off at 6:15. Keith had already kissed me good-bye. I thought, well, wouldn't it be nice to sleep in to 6:30. That would give me just enough time to get myself ready (20 minutes), Keva ready (10 minutes) and last minute kid things done (15 minutes) before running out the door myself. Perfect! Why hadn't I thought of that LAST night? So, I reset my alarm again and snuggled back into my warm cozy bed.
Alarm went off at 6:30 as set.
I got up, got dressed. Makeup done. Was doing really well with my schedule. Feeling confident. Successful. Rested.
I walked out of my bedroom door.
Sniffed the air.
Went into Keva's room. Keva was stinky all right. And so were her fingers where she had played in her diaper. And so was anything else she'd touched while waking up.
I went running into the laundry room to get a towel when Kathleen caught me in the kitchen, "Mom! Kody pooped in the bathroom. It's diarrhea and it's all over the bathroom!" (We keep him in the guest bathroom during the night for just such possible issues.)
"Did he get anything on the carpet?"
"Well, he did scootch his butt across the carpet in the family room."
I looked down at my watch and decided I really had no choice but to give Keva a bath and try to blow dry her hair before her bus came. It was entirely too cold to let her go out with wet hair. So, towel under my arm, I pleaded with Kathleen over my shoulder to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE clean up the dog poop while I cleaned up Keva. She could use some of Keva's baby wipes and some spray deodorizer to help counteract the terrible smell. Bless her heart, she did it, while I worked with Keva.
I even had enough time to write a short note about Keva's incident, since her hair wasn't completely dry, in her agenda before throwing her onto the bus.
I stood in the driveway, watching her bus drive away. I was dressed and ready for work, but maybe just a tiny bit bedraggled. And hungry. There was no time for breakfast. I was able to throw a lunch together. Yell good-bye to the remaining teenagers waiting for their ride to school.
The full moon is upon us, because the school day was pretty much a repeat of the morning. One student had a terrible seizure. Another one had a bad melt-down. Yet another was being physically self-abusive, much more so than usual . . .
Yet, God is gracious. He is able to give us grace to handle days like these. I'm actually thankful for such days because it makes me appreciate the "boring" days. Oh, yes. I love boring days!
In the midst of the chaos, I was giving a reading lesson to an autistic student. One of the words she was learning was "funny." (When I take her to the toilet, we always sing "Down by the Bay." It is a funny bond between us. I sing a line and let her finish the last word in the line. She laughs and guffaws through the song and we finish up the bathroom business.) So when we came across the word "funny" in her reading lesson, I'd sing a line or two from "Down by the Bay." I'd say, "Did you ever see a moose kissing a goose?" And she's start grinning. Then I'd tell her it was "funny." "Look, there's the word 'funny'. As the lesson progressed, she'd come to that word and giggle about it. I was so pleased. The lesson was successful! I wouldn't have traded all of the day's events for anything if it meant missing that lesson.
Later on that evening, Keith was home and we were chatting with Keri Lynn in the foyer. I related all of the days events to the two of them, ending with that special "funny" moment, and then I said, "You know, having the experience of homeschooling for so many years has really helped with teaching in the special ed class."
Keri Lynn looked at me a moment, and deadpanned, "Thanks."
But it's true. Teaching at a regular ed level requires much the same methodology as special ed. There still needs to be repetition. A teacher still needs to be aware of the child's strength and abilities. And there is still the excitement of seeing the student get it! I love that!