Thursday, April 14, 2011

Anxiety Alert System Malfuction

Although, Crafty was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder almost a year ago, I often times forget to take that into consideration when things start to go sideways with her. This morning was one of those times.

Usually she is the one kid in the house I can count on to get ready in a timely manner, cooperate and be helpful. She usually sets the table for breakfast, cleans up after everyone is done and helps the boys to get their stuff together. She is also our clock-watcher, she helps to keep us all on time. Freakishly, she is a morning person, but this morning was a totally different story.

She fought with the boys all through breakfast, hated the clothes she had picked out last night to wear today, refused to brush her hair and whined, complained and picked fights at every opportunity. At first I tried to just ignore her because far be it from me, a non-lover of mornings, to make someone else be cheerful in the a.m. but her mood was quickly derailing our entire morning so I finally spoke up. Of course, I kept my cool and was very understanding. Yeah, not so much.

Unfortunately, I was irritated and harsh with her and she pushed back. By the time we were on our way to school she was scowling and surly and I was fantasizing about selling her to a circus or a roving band of gypsies. Why are there never gypsies around when you need them?

We dropped Dude off at school and I'm sure he has never been more thankful to get out of the van, then we headed to the elementary school. We pulled into the parking lot at 8:38, we had seven minutes until the bell. I asked the kids if they wanted to get out (please get out!) to hang out with their friends for a while before school. Mischief said 'yes!" and was gone before I could even say good-bye but Crafty said a big grouchy 'no!' and sat, planted in her seat.

I asked her what the problem was, no response.

8:40. I asked her again, informing her that clearly she's having an issue and if she doesn't sort it out soon it could end up affecting her whole day. Silence.

8:42. I told her she should probably get out and head for the door (please, please get out! Mama needs coffeejuice!) because the bell was about to ring.

8:43. She informs me (rather rudely and loudly) that her bad mood is all my fault because I didn't let her dig up a plant from the garden for science class today. Although I expected everything to be 'all my fault' because I am the mother after all, the plant connection came out of nowhere - this is were my anxiety detector should have gone off, but it didn't. I responded, equally as loud yet slightly less rude, that if she had homework then she should have taken care of it when I asked her if she had homework the night before. Growl then silence.

8:44. I tell her that her teacher will probably have extras or she can share with a friend, the bell is seconds away from ringing so she's going to have to hustle to make it to her door in time. She bursts into tears and then in sobs ad hiccups the full story comes out. She's been having trouble in science class with some of the boys at her table but she's too nervous to tell her teacher (he's new and a man - double strike in Crafty's world). She did try telling one of the EAs but was told to just ignore the boys and mind her own business. Finally, I clue in. Our disasterous morning had little to do with getting ready for school and everything to do with the dreaded science class.

8:45. The bell rings. Crafty is still in the van, in the parking lot, and begins to flip out because she's now late for Bible stories. My mental anxiety alert siren is now wailing and I scramble to find some way to stop the meltdown. I say its okay, Miss S. won't mind that she's late. Apparently, I know nothing because although Miss S. won't mind, all the kids will turn and stare at her when she walks in late (a fate worse than death for Crafty). She tells me to never mind about science class, grabs her backpack and jumps out of the van. I can't see her face but I know she's crying.

8:48. I am digging in the frozen ground of our garden, sans coffeejuice, feeling bad for the poor kid who showed up late and in tears for her favourite part of the day and then has to walk into her least favourite class, without her homework and sit at a table with a bunch of kids who are teasing her and a teacher who doesn't notice.

9:03. It's all better. The alarm is silent. Crafty has her plant. We've hugged it out and the Principal is going to be her science buddy today. Phew! Now for some coffeejuice!

1 comment:

AnitaRex said...

Great post! I like that you saved the day with the plant, especially since it was important to her!