I feel stressed out.
I get up at 6:50 or so in the morning. I take a shower, get dressed, take my vitamin and anti-depressant, and get breakfast ready for myself (I take oatmeal to work with me and eat it at work) and then I make my daughter’s breakfast (which consists of Cookie Crisp). I then fight with my daughter to get her up and get her dressed.
Even on a good day, this is not easy.
She insists on having the lights out because they are too bright and hurt her eyes, she insists on staying under the covers while I am dressing her because she gets cold, and she doesn’t like to have her hair combed. So I have to take her pajamas off while she’s lying in bed, put her clothes on while simultaneously making sure she remains under the covers, and then manhandle her into position so I can brush her hair. While brushing her hair, I have to place one hand on her head to hold it in place, and I have to be careful not to cause any pulling.
On a bad day, this process entails a lot of screaming, fighting, struggling, kicking, flailing, crying, gasping, and usually two or three outfits before she settles on one that she is willing to wear. Many mornings I also have to take her to the bathroom first, carefully remove her shit-streaked underwear, wash those out and put them in the sink, and then wipe her ass.
Once all this is done, I have to take the dog out, and then we leave to go to daycare. That used to entail a 20-minute drive across town, but since we changed a few weeks ago, it is now just around the corner from where we live. So that is one thing that has gotten easier. However, once at the daycare, I have to stay with her for several minutes, getting her prepared for me to leave. When I finally do leave, I have to carry her over to the teacher, and the teacher has to take her arm or hand; otherwise she clings to my leg and won’t let me go.
I get to work at 8:30 (assuming Hailey hasn’t caused me to be late due to a meltdown – that happens at least once a week). I get an hour for lunch. I usually go home during lunch and try to have a little down time, eating and watching television. Other times (such as today), I have to use my lunch break to study.
My workday ends at 5:30 and I leave work and go straight to school. I have a class each night, Monday through Thursday. The class starts at 6:00 and if you are tardy, it counts has half an absence. If you have to leave early, you also get half an absence. If you get more than two full absences, you are automatically withdrawn from the class, and must go through an appeals process in order to get reinstated. There are no excused absences, no matter the reason. Sick? Death in the family? Hospitalized for Mad Cow Disease? Doesn’t matter. No excused absences.
Classes end at 9:40, although we occasionally get out early – but never before 9:00 at the earliest. So far, it seems that 9:30 is the average for getting out.
I get home at about 10:00.
Monday through Thursday, I endure 15-hour days, if I count from the time I get up in the mornings. Even just counting from the time I leave in the mornings to the time I get home at night, it’s about 14 hours. I typically have two or three tests each week, and I have oral presentations to prepare for in three of my four classes this quarter. Since I have no free time Monday through Thursday, I have to spend a good portion of my weekend studying and preparing for classes.
My daughter is a constant source of stress, as touched on above. In addition to her behavior at home, she is exceptionally shy at school and refuses to speak or eat while she’s there. We have recently been doing some research and have come to believe she may suffer from an anxiety-disorder known as Selective Mutism, which explains a lot of why she acts the way she acts at school (hyper-shy and withdrawn), as well as why she acts the way she acts at home (stubborn, inflexible, overly-sensitive, bowel problems, refusing to sleep, picky eater, etc.). My wife is having a list of providers sent to her in the mail, and we are going to start her in some therapy/counseling to try to help her.
I feel stressed out.
And you may be asking yourself, “Is he going to keep on posting these ‘woe is me’ diatribes the entire time he is in school? Didn’t he choose to go to school of his own free will? If so, why is he complaining?” My answers are as follows:
1) If I feel like it, assface.
3) Shut up.