Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Absentee Note

I've been away for a while, haven't I? Excuses forthcoming -
It was school holidays and my computer is in the main living room, so I had NO PRIVATE TIME, and I can't write about the boys when they're reading over my shoulder.
Once the school holidays finished, the first week of school was just horrible.

I've almost recovered from the trauma of last week, but now I'm on holidays, and have been learning to play on eBay in an attempt to clear the junk from our garage. And isn't eBay a black hole? I'll just do a bit of price research, and take some photos of the junk, and ooh, look, a bid... it's time for dinner already. At least it's a fun black hole, unlike the one I fell into last week.

You see, it goes like this - Dreamer is doing a University chemistry subject while at high school. They have classes after school once a week taught by their regular teacher. We'd received paperwork last term about the need to attend the Uni for 3 days to complete laboratory assessments. Said paperwork was promptly filed under 'worry about that after the holidays'.

Picture me making my first morning coffee on the pupil-free Monday at the end of the school holidays. I'm very relaxed, and plonk myself in front of the computer to do my usual email check. There's one from the University coordinator, with attached schedule of what experiments are to be done on which days.

I'm on holidays, the kids are on holidays, do I know what date it is? Nope. But a little warning bell goes off, and I check my diary...

Watch the coffee go flying. Watch Lisa look at the date, and the clock, and run around the house like a headless chook.

It was 7:30am, and Dreamer had to be at Uni by 8:30 to start day one of the practical assessments, and up until that minute, we'd ALL believed that it was going to be a quiet, last day of the holidays, and Dreamer was still asleep, and Dreamer has a - let's say difficult - time with transitions and coping with the unexpected.

I don't know how I did it. I have NO idea how Dreamer did it, but we made it, through peak hour traffic no less, to the University on time. Ideal preparation? Reading the provided workbook for the experiments? Calm and ready for an assessment? No, no, no.

Day one went surprisingly well, and Dreamer received great marks for his two experiments. During the drive home, however, he looked exhausted, and hardly said a word.

Day two was a disaster. It was probably a delayed reaction to the stress of the Monday, something that is a bit of a pattern here. He went all passive resistance, and just didn't get out of bed, and said he had a headache, and dragged his feet, and I pushed and pulled and nagged... but he got there. Fail marks on the first experiment, and scraped through on the second.

Day three was a half-day with only one experiment to do. Dreamer woke, ate breakfast, cleaned his teeth and went to his room to get dressed. I dropped my guard, and popped onto the computer to check emails.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.
He didn't get dressed - he went back to sleep.
I didn't realise until I called him when it was time to leave.

Recriminations, frustrations, encouragement, hair-tearing.

I remembered reading that the lab. doors opened at 8:30am, and closed at the beginning of the assessment at 9am. We were never going to make it in time, but we kept going. I dropped him off at 9:05, and parked nearby, expecting a call to let me know he'd been locked out and missed the assessment.

He didn't call. In fact, he did extremely well in that last experiement.

I felt completely wrung out. I felt like I'd been dragging a dead weight for three days.
He says he really, really wants to do something, and yet continually self-sabotages with his passive resistance.

Was the stress of unfamiliar surroundings and the pressure of  assessment that hard on him? He was at the Uni. from 8:30am until 4pm for two days, and 9am until midday on the third. He was effectively non-functional for the rest of those days.

Very soon, I have to stop dragging him and pushing him, not least because I'm exhausted by it.

If that's what's ahead in his life (and mine) if he goes to University, then I don't think he'll be going to Uni for a few years yet.

She canna take it Cap'n


  1. Glad you are back. Great to hear Dreamer did so well on the experiments.

    I am more than happy to send virtual chocolate, flowers, alcohol etc for managing to survive those 3 days. Just let me know. :)

  2. I think you deserve a medal for surviving those three days! would going to Uni be easier if it was all the time as there would be a set schedule , kind of like school? I have a 6 year old that behaves like this about rushing and changes...tough stuff.