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Friday, May 5, 2017


Teal for Anxiety
So yesterday, not long after I posted about a likely panic attack, I got a note from Lizzy's teacher.

It was the last straw, and looking back at it today, well... let's just say I have reason to be grateful for that continuing FMLA leave for "primary grief reaction: anxiety."

I was having a pretty good week (as was Lizzy). I can now often use phrases like, "my late husband," or describe myself as, "a widowed mom," without losing it. She can, if reminded frequently, not melt down over tiny issues as she is wont to do.

These are Good Things.

Monday through Wednesday went pretty well, for both of us. Oh, there's the constant background radiation of money troubles (children are expensive, there were some fees that have never been in my name before, etc), and the newer niggling concern about the potential for going on strike with my union (which would exacerbate said money troubles). And the dragging fatigue that comes with not sleeping well (perimenopause? impending weird weather? impending political doom? or D: all of the above?)

But in general, a good week. Even Thursday morning was good; we had a walking/outdoor team meeting, in which I used that "widowed mom" phrase without despair, got some fresh air and sunshine, and a little exercise. From all reports, Lizzy was fine at school Thursday until lunchtime too.

Then the feces hit the rotor.

There was news out of the stupid Other Washington about congresspeople who apparently don't have two flying fucks to rub together about anyone but them, there is clear evidence that we can't count on the company I work for (and love) to have our backs either, should the Verucas in Congress get their way, and a very old friend who has been offline for some time and hadn't heard about Laston's death messaged me with touching concern.

Any one of these three things I could handle. Probably even any two. All three and I was getting very anxious and twitchy, and out fidget spinners have not arrived yet.

Then I got the note from Lizzy's teacher.

I burst into tears (thank Google I was between calls), and set up that FMLA time. I called the school and arranged to pick Lizzy up instead of waiting for the bus and letting my mom get her, as is the usual pattern on Thursdays.

It's not actually a horrible thing Lizzy did in and of itself (it involved snatching something from another kid who was taking too long at his turn, although Lizzy still denies it), but the problem is that when she's corrected for even minor infractions, she often loses her temper (0-60 in 1.5 seconds), gets defensive and snotty, and A Scene Ensues. Her teacher is great, but there are 20-odd other kids in that class, and there is not time to calm Lizzy down to the point where she can have a reasonable conversation.

Anyway, by the time I got to the school, Lizzy had calmed down enough for that reasonable conversation. We had it. I did not raise my voice, although I did remind her about Wheaton's Law, which is inappropriate language for use outside "just us." She was very subdued all evening (highly unusual for her) and even suggested making an "apology card" for her teacher.

Good idea.

Today I took her in to give the teacher the card (don't want her forgetting her good intentions between car and classroom). The baby talked surfaced when she saw one of the other kids and I asked her why; she said he was moving away and he's "one of the very few boys in third grade who's nice." I'll have to tell her counselor that one, because that is a very clear case of I-don't-know-how-to-express-my-feelings-here equaling baby talk.

A random PTA mom - we've met a few times - told me I have to go to Weight Watchers when I was dithering about it aloud, while returning my visitor's pass to the office.

So I did.

Half of the WW group spent the meeting in tears, including me. This is also a Good Thing; it's cathartic.

I don't feel better yet, not much. But I will.

It's what we moms do.