The biggest cause of change, and resulting chaos, here has been Katie starting school. I can't quite believe my little girl is in Year R now. Where has the time gone? I have been looking at pictures of her when she was 2 and 3 with her little bob and she looked so young and small. Now she is growing like the proverbial weed.
I was warned that Year R is a baptism of fire. I was prepared (mentally at least I thought) that my little lady was going to be tired and be needing earlier than usual bedtimes. I was even prepared for a worsening of the witching hour (or two). It's been that, and more, though.
Katie is tired. There's no question of that. But does being overly tired lead to her falling asleep earlier, or even at her normal bedtime, though? Oh no!! My daughter is messing about until 9pm some nights, unable to mentally calm down sufficiently to fall asleep; getting out of bed; appearing downstairs; running around upstairs. Tiredness has also brought with it major rudeness and belligerence and refusal to do anything when asked without the retort "Shut Up Big Fat!" attached to it and hands over her ears! I'm not sure where she's got the "fat" thing from because we are careful not to even mention that word in our house. She's twigged it can be offensive though (heaven help me when she learns the "F" word!) Our house has been renamed "Meltdown City". Katie can go from happy to total meltdown in Guinness Book of Records time. One minute she is fairly OK and then, if something is said that she doesn't agree with, she is on the floor screaming and kicking and shouting and crying. It's quite phenomenal (if a little disconcerting; slightly dangerous; and a little bit funny) to watch. It doesn't help that Daddy comes home from work just before bedtime so all the work I have put into getting Katie relaxed and quiet and ready for bed is blown away in 5 seconds flat. On the plus side, Katie often sleeps a bit later in the morning than she used to. I do a fairly good job of picking my battles but, some days, there are just far too many to choose from!
Katie had to have a day off school this week because she had spent Sunday with the Upchucks (there is a tummy bug going around the school which I have also now succumbed to). Monday was the best day we've had together in ages. She didn't feel particularly unwell so she helped me do housework and we sorted out her playroom. She was polite and friendly and a real delight to have around. It became apparent the following day when she went back to school that she had twigged that being unwell meant time off school, which in turn meant....time at home with Mummy. I think I was being courted on Monday. On Tuesday Katie was sent home from school after not quite reaching the toilet in time due to residue effects of the tummy bug. The "delight of a child" that was at home on Monday certainly didn't come home from school on Tuesday. She was a right royal grumpy-nut and hyperactive little wotsit! On Wednesday Katie said she didn't want to do ballet anymore and didn't want to go to school. She asked if she would come home if she had a pain in her tummy. I twigged what was going on so agreed. after a bit of thought, that she could stop ballet for the time being but that coming home from school when totally well was not an option. I highlighted to her (as I did on Tuesday) that being at home during the school day meant laying quietly on the sofa and that I wouldn't be playing games with her because I had my normal household jobs to do. It would appear that being allowed to stop ballet has actually had the desired effect because she has remained at school now for the rest of the week (although did ask to stay home this morning).
There is no change to Katie's after-school behaviour and I suspect we will need to dig in with that for some time yet. If there are any ideas that people have for helping her calm this mental hyperactivity down I would be delighted to hear them. It would seem that being physically tired does not mean that Katie will simply fall asleep (I've already tried that one!). On the plus side, Katie is very well behaved at school. Her peg has been on the Rainbow for the past week and apparently she even helped tidy up the other day (really? that was actually Katie?).
I will just add a little comment on how much I've had to get my head around since Katie started school as well. Things like actually getting to school on time (we've not been late once yet which is a major miracle for me!). Which days she needs to return library books and homework (yes homework already!). Who to speak to in the school about this, that and the other. How to help with writing and reading practise. Not to mention having to
P.S. I should also note that I haven't made any progress whatsoever with my planned list of things I was going to achieve once Katie started school full-time (well other than ironing during the day and doing the odd bit of yoga). I think I actually needed a bit of wind down time if I'm honest........