Friday, March 28, 2008

The ups and downs

It's been a while since my last post - again. I often spend portions of my day with a post floating around in my head, but quite often it seems too hard to actually sit down and write. Last weekend was lots of fun. Easter is always such a special holiday. Not only for the Christian significance, made all the more special by the kids attending a faith based school, and therefore having lots of questions and thoughts, but also because it's a time for family, and a lovely few days off.

My dieting/exercise regime is going really well, and on Friday I went on a big walk. It was only a 40 minute one, but I paid for it severely that evening. I get scared when I have bad spasms like that as I think maybe it's going to stay like that. I awoke Saturday and it was no better, so I didn't walk that day. I had a nice relaxing day at home. Dh's parents were supposed to come for afternoon tea, but they cancelled as FIL was not feeling well. They were leaving the next day for a week in Sydney and he really needed to fully recuperate for that. Easter Sunday was blissfully relaxing as I didn't need to run around like a headless chook like I normally do. As MIL and FIL were away, I could stay home and prepare for lunch with my parents. My db and dsil and my nieces dropped in for a visit which was really nice. It's fleeting but so much better than it once was. The girls were delighted because I gave them heaps and heaps of scrapbooking stuff. Probably a few hundred dollars worth, plus several mags and books. Dh had gone to a party on Saturday night, a mates 50th from his school days and I graciously declined and stayed home. I watched a chick flick and then when the movie was over I sorted out my scrapping stuff. The girls were rapt and couldn't believe I was giving it away. Now I can justify buying some new stuff. I have been very frugal of late, and in the last twelve months have spent very little on my scrapping.

Sunday was a lovely day. Lots of yummy food and laughs. The kids had a ball looking for Easter Eggs, we had a ball hiding them....

On Easter Monday, dh took me to REBEL sports and I got new hand weights.....oops I have just realized that I have probably already said all this......aahhhh......never mind, I will continue, I was actually going to spend more time on another topic and just got awfully sidetracked.....

I walked Monday afternoon, and felt good afterwards, I also walked on Wednesday and felt great residual hip pain. I did take some nurofen beforehand, I wonder if that helped.

Okay, onto my main part. I worked two days in the Special School this week. A nice little earner for me again this week, made all the better, by not having to put kids in care nor paying a huge amount in fuel. I read a post here
and decided to write one along similar lines. My work days are so full, I don't really know where to start to try and capture them on print.....but I will try.

This was my day on Thursday
* My day was pre booked so I knew I was working, always makes such a difference. Drove kidlets to school, and headed of to my school.
* 8.10am Arrive at school
* Speak with teacher who is having non-contact to attend a meeting with parent while she outlines the day and hands me a folio of the kids profiles.
* Talk to teacher, try to look closely at photos so I know who is who before they come in.
* Read through profiles of one cerebral palsy boy, plus three autistic boys. All are non verbal, cerebral palsy kid can say words when prompted.
* kids arrive into room, and as they are autistic, they need routine, so one thing is already different, I am not their usual teacher. Thank God for program assistants who know the children(unlike my day the other week when both the teacher and assistant were away, and I had another assistant and it was the blind leading the blind).
* Kids all have sensory activities in boxes beside their table, so they sit and 'play'. One boy loves 'trickling', so just sits rocking and trickling through some plastic dinosaurs. One boy totally self motivated, barely looks at me and just sits and works through his tasks one by one, no doubt in the same order as he has done them every other day.
* Meanwhile S is strolling around the room picking up everything he shouldn't be. I let him have some Thomas pictures and coerce/bribe him to sit down. Meanwhile he squeals at me and I wonder how long it will be before my head aches.
* Kids go to music (is my head going to ache here??), Kids sit in a circle with percussin instruments. They respond to music, some singing and rocking, some singing with their eyes closed just enraptured (this was done with two other classes). I hold M's hands and try to get him to play with the rhythm sticks. S holds onto his Thomas picture and just looks at his instrument.
* Last song 'Who let the dogs out' sends them all into a frenzy, they get up and play with ribbons on sticks, while I keep my back to the door, making sure none of my charges 'escape'.
* Come back, D sets the table for morning tea, and they all sit and eat. I disdain at the crap in the kids' lunch boxes. I can't give them the food in the wrong order, D likes to eat in a certain order. M is gluten free and is Mum has sent in a pie for him to eat!! Go figure.
* All can feed themselves so I just supervise and ensure that their routine is adhered to. Kids put their dishes away, can choose a free activity before they go out to play.
* M sits down on the ground and won't go to the playground. We coerce him with a small piece of chocolate.
* Go in breathe a sigh of relief and have a cuppa. One session over and I haven't lost anyone yet.
* Collect charges. Assistant toilets them. Thankfully two of them go by themselves.
* S is determined not to do any work. Pictures on velcroed onto a card show him he needs to do some work before the computer. More screeching, head butting, screaming, (gosh why isn't my head bursting yet). Me just repeating over and over, almost like a mantra to myself. Just complete your work and you can have the computer. Sit down and please do your work, on and on and on and on........thank God no-one's taping me.
* S finally decides to work, takes him two mins to complete a task. Simple tracing over lines, pre writing stuff. These kids are 12 so gives you an idea of their level of intellect. D is quite bright and can write his name, and will pick up things fairly quickly. I am unsure, but I don't think he's had much formal schooling, so this environment will see him blossom - to a degree.
* M is walking around, or trickling again. He sits on a bean bag and seems happy in his own little world. There is no response from him, none at all. He understands because sometimes he does what is asked of him, but that is restricted to 'come here' or 'sit down'.
* S is finally deciding to sit down and place hands in shaving cream. Has a lovely feeling to it, only on kid actually likes to touch it. It's great because you can write their name in it and they can trace over it. And it feels so smooth and lovely, but many of these kids hate the sensation - they will eat mud, or laminated cards but baulk at touching shaving lotion!! S can now go to computer......peace, as he's not screaching at me.
* K partcipates in everything, but needs a constant reminder to wipe his mouth. He dribbles continually, so I felt like I was always avoiding slobber. He's pretty good though, and wipes when reminded, but there's a lot on his shirt . K likes to play in the shaving cream, using my hand!!
* We wash up and play some board games. D is savvy and wants to win, so looks at things before he picks them up. Both K and D are good at matching images. Again I avoid slobber, most of the time anyway.....
* M is sitting in the corner trickling and doesn't smell too pleasant. Apparently Mum demands he wear jocks!! Mmmmmm, not a good idea - what the??
* Pack up and prepare table for lunch. Take children to play area. Am on duty so need to stay. One child runs off, I chase, and then he sits down. He'd weigh as much as I do, so there's no way I can pick him up. Fortunately the teacher in the room beside me, has a tiny bit of chocolate, so once again I can tempt M into the play area. I am on duty with my assistant, so at least I have some company. I have to man the puddle made by the a/c as the kids want to play in the mud. We place a barrel over the puddle and then M spends time trying to push me away to try and get to the water. I sit on teh barrel, and he pushes me off and sits on the barrel himself - rocking.
* I go and have lunch and am feeling a tad weary, but not unhappy.
* More disgrunted behaviour from S ensues as I ask him to brush his hair again. He brushes his teeth with lightning speed too. Have to assist assistant by holding M's head so she can brush his teeth, well his front ones anyway, he just bites the toothbrush.
* M is not happy, so the afternoon bike ride doesn't take place. I ad lib, by reading stories and dancing. Love the kids's faces as I read a spider story and I run my fingers up their arms, they cackle with cool. And they love to dance.
* Day finishes, we have to put their shoes and socks back on, paying heed to do the one last who always pulls his off.... We take them to the bus shelter and I stand and wait until their bus and carer comes and gets them. K is going to after school care so I take him there. He's not happy, as he wanted to go home....
* I had a good day, but a very hard one. Not for the fainthearted.
* I have been screeched at, taunted, yelled at, glared at, head butted, pushed, shoved, and had my feet stood on......over and over again.
* The upshot of that is my arthritic toe is so incredibly sore. It was throbbing and throbbing. Normally I know it hurts, it always hurts to be squeezed, but it never bothers me otherwise........ not until it gets repeatedly trodden on. I had no nurofen in the house, so ending up anethatizing myself with a few glasses of wine and then I got a little relief with an ice pack. It wasn't any better this morning. I went and got some nurofen plus, which helped the throbbing, but it's still awfully tender.......methinks I'll need to wear steel capped boots, a cool look ......


Yummy Mummy said...

Good gos.. what a day. I have been helping at kinder two days a week adn we have four special needs kids in there. What an eye opener!!!!!

Tina said...

Wow Jenny, what an insight into your day. I'm not sure I would be cut out to do what you do. I have very little patience.

I guess it's so easy to take for granted what we have.

Sounds like you had a wonderful easter. I am loving that my kids still believe in the easter bunny but I know it won't be long before they don't.

Chris H said...

Phew! What a day you had... well it makes life interesting eh? Thanks for popping by my blog again, and the goss on Menopause... I will look into HRT if things don't settle down soon... hot flushes are the pits! But I hate the idea of drugs/hormones being put in my body, I've never taken any hormones in my life! Hmmmm, maybe that's why I have 6 birth kids! LOL


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