I woke up this morning around 5, unintentionally, and again at 6, the target waking time, and again ten minutes later.
Sleep has not been smooth around here lately for any of us. I have not yet felt sufficiently rested to get back into my desired habit of doing ten to fifteen minutes of Pilates each morning, turning to the snooze button instead. Mark has some form of cold that has been making him more restless at night, which often means I wake more often as well. And Amy has been dealing with some nighttime anxieties, apparently partly related to separation / connection as well as to whatever may underlie her fear of thunder. Like me, sometimes she gets caught up in increasing anxiety around a fear — the thinking about the fear is more upsetting than the fear itself. Anyway, she’s been tired a lot, and some mornings she crawls back in bed after I go to wake her.
Today I spent most of my preschool hours knitting. I’m currently working on the carousel horse dress — almost ready to join in the round under the arms. The intarsia horse is done, but needs some blocking and some clever weaving in of ends in order to look nice. I hope I can do it well enough.
I also had to go admire my tree again.
Parent volunteers and teachers have been busy preparing for the school’s fundraising auction — each class makes a project to sell. Amy’s class painted a canvas midnight blue, and have been painting thick paper shapes with watercolors — flowers, stars, leaves, circles, and so on. The shapes will be layered to form mandalas. Yesterday I painted a black tree on the canvas, with spirally branches to hold the mandalas. It was nourishing, refreshing, to paint it — to do something seriously artistic again. I took pleasure in making the curves as smooth and clean-edged as possible, and in arranging the branches in a balanced and pleasing manner. It’s also been nice to see how others have appreciated this work. Being good at stuff often brings some admiration; it doesn’t always bring affection, and it sometimes brings envy and / or a sense of distance or disconnect. I’ve been on both sides of that, envying and being envied; I wonder if artistic types are more prone to envy and disconnection than more practical or extroverted types.
I got to see Amy’s teacher doing some important and good work.
A little guy, in his second week in the school, began to cry for his mom, and would not be consoled. Ann was able to take him out of the classroom, hold him close, listen to him, talk gently with him, offer him things to explore in the director’s teaching classroom / office, and so on, and eventually to call his mom to come fetch him. (The director spent this time in the classroom in Ann’s place.) It is hard work to stay connected, listening to a distressed little one. I hope Ann gets a little extra nurture today, or this weekend, to replenish that spent energy.
And I joined a Spanish class.
Aida comes each Thursday to do Spanish with the preschoolers, one small group at a time. She is wonderful. Energetic and enthusiastic without being overstimulating or shrill. She has mastered flow — one activity to the next, lots of songs, some motions, some opportunities for each student to do something, lots of repetition. I’ve always enjoyed listening to and observing these classes, which meet out in the hall / atrium so as not to disturb the students still working in the classrooms. I was pleased when she invited me to sit with a class and participate — plus she says it helps the students to hear another adult repeating the lessons and paying attention.
Later in the morning, tiredness really hit me, and that sense of heaviness, a certain taste, of being sick.
Just a cold, I’m sure, but still. We got home, and I set up a video for Amy — with the arrival of Mark’s flashback Atari machine, we’ve given Amy a screen allowance of an hour a week for gaming or watching — and went to bed for three hours. Amy has long been very good about occupying herself when I am sick and need long naps. After her video she turned it off and put it back in the case, listened to some CDs, played in various ways. It costs her… her upset showed up several times, several ways, in the later afternoon and evening. I will have to make special effort to replenish her connection over the weekend.
I had beans soaking for dinner — chicken chili.
But before I got up, we had two stories in bed — she read one to me first, a mini-book from an old High Five magazine. She struggled with some words, just about throwing the book at me in frustration when she didn’t get one right away, but she kept plugging away and we finished it. Then I read a Little House chapter to her. Dinner wasn’t too much work — cook the beans, chop and sauté the onion and garlic, add the chilies and chicken and seasonings and stock… do the dishes… put bread ingredients in the machine on the dough cycle (it’s baking as I write this post; should have been done Monday but we were shelf-shopping instead)… and wait for Mark to get home, which meant a chance to lie down again for a while.
The chili was good. But Amy found it too spicy, and asked if she could make herself some peanut butter and jelly crackers, which meant we opened jars and spread things for her; her struggling efforts were triggering some of that upset I mentioned earlier from not getting enough connection today.
Mark did dishes. Amy cleaned up her things and got ready for bed. I got online. I laughed and laughed revisiting the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest site, especially the Sticks and Stones category where people submit examples of horrendous published writing, including poor translations of instructions, redundancies, statements of the obvious — “If you do not see reflection, you are on wrong side of mirror” — as well as awful bits from novels, newspapers, and more.
Amy is staying in her room, probably finally asleep now. Mark is snoring. The bread will be done soon. Tomorrow, we’ll sleep in a little, have something yummy for breakfast, and then head out to Bremen Bounce. Amy has been saving her allowance money in order to go. Several friends will also be there — school’s out for them — sometimes on days when the place is full, Amy has a harder time enjoying herself. I make a note to pay attention and be there to listen or help as needed.