All Grown Up and Nowhere to Hide

I keep sitting down to write and nothing comes out.  It’s been the same with talking.  David told me to talk the other night and I didn’t know where to begin.  I guess I’ll begin here with what I said first then – I said one thing and everything else just flowed.

I hate our house.  It’s too small, too drafty, too difficult to keep organized, and kills my allergies.  We’d really, really like to move.  We are saving like crazy in the hopes that we can buy a house next year.  Meanwhile the market isn’t looking as promising as it was earlier this year (hopefully that’s just because it’s nearing the end of the year) and it feels like our savings plan could be derailed at any moment…which brings me to…

David’s job sucks.  His commute is an hour each way and the job is high stress.  Prior to Jack starting kindergarten, David had arranged to start working from home in the afternoons so that he could pick Jack up from school.  This hasn’t been the best arrangement, honestly, since a lot of David’s work is on the phone and Jack gets bored when David can’t play with him and doesn’t like to stay quiet.  But, well, we figured it was a temporary solution and there were a few changes that would be coming down the pipeline that would make it all easier.  Except then a change came that said that David couldn’t work from home anymore due to asshattery by others.  Arg!  (We are still in limbo waiting to see if this is negotiable.)

There is an option of an after school program for Jack.  That costs money, of course…and that would mean delays on house buying.  It also means Jack is in school for longer during the day when he already doesn’t care to be there.  (On the plus side, his homework would be done before we picked him up for the evening.)

We’ve thrown around some other options but nothing has really crystallized yet.  So we wait and hope that the working from home option is reinstated.

Meanwhile, we’re still in a bit of agony over this school maladjustment.  Jack’s been acting out more and his teacher always has some piece of criticism, it seems.  It finally dawned on me that it might be a cultural thing, as the school is pretty strictly focused on academics (Jack’s classroom has homework 4 nights a week, and the other classroom has it 5 nights a week; I know of another school in the district that sends home activity-based homework for the weekends only).  The teacher (maybe the school?) seems to have an attitude of “what skill can’t this kid do yet?” rather than “what skills can this kid build upon?”  I am not the only class mom to notice some worrisome behavior with regard to self-esteem in the kids.

While I do think that Jack will learn a lot at this school, I’m wondering if emotionally this is not a good fit for him.  He is a sensitive and emotional individual and that isn’t likely to change (i.e. see his parents).  On the other hand, maybe he’ll learn some coping skills that could be useful later?  (He has to learn them from someone other than me; I am notorious for my crappy coping skills.)  And, regardless of whether it’s a good fit or not, do we even have the option to be choosy?  It is public school, after all.  And, really, would private school be different and different enough to be worth it?

And that’s when I go back to wanting the house like NOW.  ‘Cause we’ll move out of this neighborhood almost certainly and he’ll move schools almost definitely.  We’d have some sort of indication of whether this is just what a kindergarten transition is going to be like for Jack or if it’s THIS kindergarten that is the issue.

So, we’re in a holding pattern on the school front as well as on the job front.  In addition to those two things…

I spoke to my mom last night.  She has been dealing with ongoing health issues (the medical mystery tour, if you will).  Some time ago, probably close to 10 years ago, it was discovered that my mom had a benign tumor on her pituitary gland.  She was given hormones to shrink the tumor and then sent on her merry way.  When other weird issues started cropping up, they were dismissed as peri-menopause symptoms; however, recent tests show she is a good distance away from menopause still at age 49.  Unfortunately, she is already showing signs of bone loss and she now has a CT scan on her pancreas and an MRI on her head this week to look for tumors.  Not to mention that she is going to have a hysterectomy as soon as she can because of complications from endometriosis (except she has to wait to see what’s up with her cortisol – she may have Addison’s Disease!).

Needless to say, I feel very much like I want to crawl into a hole and hide from all of life’s complications.  I am young, dammit, and I don’t want to be dealing with all of this shit.  I feel overwhelmed and ill equipped to handle even one of these things at a time but all of them at once?  Ugh.

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11 thoughts on “All Grown Up and Nowhere to Hide”

  1. Hang in there Crystal! You are smart and will figure this all out.
    Where are you going to look for a house when you do start?

    1. Thanks, Amanda. I’m just really freaking tired.

      We are mainly looking in SF and peninsula. I work in the city and Dave works down on the peninsula and that’s where most of the jobs are so…figure it’s smart to stick around there, yanno? Probably will start looking starting in spring unless we decide we want to take that vacation to Belize…

      1.  I just read your post about all those great things. Happy you are able to find something nice an fun to spend time on during these stressful times.

  2. hi crystal i am so sorry you are going through all this. i am glad you finally got it out on the blog. i know it helps me a lot to vent and process stuff on my blog. unfortunately i dont know if moving to a school on the peninsula would make a huge difference at least for san bruno daly city and ssf it might be about the same or worse. i actually think sf schools are better in some aspects because of all the enrichment the kids get here with museums opera presidio ballet etc etc. anyway hope the boys adjust soon. i keep reminding myself it has only been about a month. hope they get adjusted before christmas….cat

  3. That certainly is way too much to have going on. I hope your mom gets some answers soon. 

    I had a teacher like your son has once…I was in 9th grade and his attitude was, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how well I did, he had to mark “can do better” on my report card. That may have worked to help boost some kids in the class, but for me, it was just like I’d failed. No matter how hard I tried, I could do better? What about what i *DID* accomplish? There was no celebration of that. So I totally get your frustration with Jack’s teacher.

    I want to say “hang in there” about it but I would be just as concerned and I’m not sure what hanging in there would do. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to explore your options (change teachers this year? get involved enough to know who you want him with next year? find out more about other schools? figure out what schools are like near where you’d rather live? I don’t know…just brainstorming).

    Just keep deep breathing and give Jack extra hugs. That’ll help. 🙂

  4. With regard to school:  the teacher and the school environment can make a huge difference in a child’s education.  My husband had a miserable kindergarten teacher (and the subsequent years weren’t great either) and it has affected his attitude toward school to this day.  My mother-in-law says even now that all that those teachers and administrators are gone that the school still operates with it’s same stupid policies.
    I, on the other hand, was blessed by amazing teachers and wish I could be a professional student.

    My point is this:  if you think the teacher is not a good fit for your son (or that the school isn’t) then you’re probably right.  If there’s a way to get a new situation, it’s worth investigating.  That said, real estate is so prohibitive — we’ve been hoping to buy forever and just can’t do it!

    Fall is hard.  It’s a pretty season but it’s crazy-full of change and those transitions don’t always go smoothly.  Add in stress about your child and stress about your mother and you’re pretty much guaranteed a rough ride.  Hang in there — you are strong, smart, and capable, and your coping skills are way better than you give yourself credit.  You’ll get through this!  You can do it!

  5. Oh, I really understand the overwhelm. Big time.

    I’m sorry, but homework in kindergarten? That seems like too much stress for a little brain. Okay, I understand reading story books for homework, and playing math games… but daily homework for a 5-year-old? That’s a lot. (I’ve got an emotional, sensitive kid, too.)

    I’m glad you have David to lean on. Feel free to reach out to me, I’m in your neck of the woods… xoxo

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