Well, at least I will be tonight. J is going to K's for the first time in I can't remember when. Is 6:30 too early to go to bed? I feel like I could just go home, put on my jammies, turn out the light and crash.
I gave myself a scare last night. J was in his room, getting ready for bath time. I went into the washroom to turn on the security system. It has a delay of about a minute, and while it was beeping as it set, I went into the kitchen. It stopped beeping, I walked into the living room, and.... WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP!!!! The alarm went off. After a moment of blinding panic in which I thought, I just set the damn thing, how can anyone be in the house, I looked at the keypad by the front door and realized that zone 3 was the problem. That's the motion detector in the living room. I'd forgotten to turn it off when I set the alarm (can't exactly keep it on while we're in the house!). D'OH!!!! I quickly turned the alarm off, and J came running into the living room - "Mama, what was THAT?!" He wasn't scared, just curious. I explained that that was the alarm to keep the house safe, I'd forgotten to set it right, and it thought I was someone who wasn't supposed to be there. He was fine and went right on. After my heart settled back in my chest, I waited for the alarm company to call. No call. ??? K called - they'd left him a message on his cell phone that the alarm had gone off. As I was talking to him, my cell beeped, letting me know I had a message. It was the alarm company, saying they'd been notified and had dispatched the police about ten minutes earlier. YIKES!!! (Not sure why my phone didn't ring, or why their number didn't even show up on my phone as a missed or incoming call, but it didn't.) K gave me the number, and I frantically called back, hoping to keep the cops from coming out (J was in the bathtub by this point, and I knew if a police truck showed up in our driveway with lights flashing, I'd never get him to bed! LOL). Turns out they had the OLD house number (as in three numbers ago) on file as the first to call, then K's cell, then mine. Gotta call and change that today - they need the correct home number, and I should be the first one they call. The man I spoke to confirmed my identity and password, I explained that I'd set it off in error, and he said he'd notify the police it was a false alarm. So it all turned out OK, I just freaked myself out big time. LOL
Then this morning really started off with a bang. J woke up not wanting to go to school. I told him he'd get to go to the bitty house with daddy after school, and he informed me that he wanted to go to the bitty house instead of school. D'oh. Anyway, I got things packed up and got him in the car, and he started as soon as we got there: "I don't wanna go to school, I don't LIKE school." *SIGH* We went inside, and as soon as we got near his class he glued himself to my legs. His class was going outside - "I don't like outside". (This from the boy who told K last night that it wasn't dark yet when the sun was completely below the horizon and there was just a glimmer of light in the sky, that he didn't want to go inside yet. Yeah, he doesn't like outside, he'd just live there if I'd pitch him a tent.) He laid down in the floor and wouldn't go. He cried, he screamed. I finally got him outside and told him I loved him and I was going to work, and I could hear him howling as I left: "I want mama! I want more sugars!" I got in the car and just sobbed. K says J is just pushing my buttons. Be that as it may, that's not what I want to hear when I'm that upset - yes, logically I know he's fine once I leave, and some days it's a fight to get him home because he doesn't want to leave. But when he screams like that, pushing buttons or no, it feels like my heart is being ripped right out of my chest and hacked into lots of tiny little pieces. K doesn't normally do daycare drop-off, and even when he has done, I'm not sure J ever does that same kind of thing (or at least not to that extent) with him, so I'm not sure he really realizes how much it hurts to hear J screaming as the last thing before I leave. And, too, I'm not sure how much of it is pure button-pushing on J's part, at least not today. His regular teacher is out, which throws off his routine. He likes Ms. Rachel just fine, but she's not his regular teacher. He's not getting enough sleep - up until 10:00 or later (and by "up" I don't mean up playing or running around, I mean just not sleeping) and out of bed in the morning by 7 on a consistent basis isn't enough sleep for me, much less for a three-year-old. He's been on this little schedule for about a week, so I'm sure he's plumb exhausted. I'm cranky when I'm tired, it's no different for J, I'm sure. And he knew he was going to the bitty house today and wanted to go there instead of school (never mind that I'd told him daddy was at work and would pick him up after school, he wanted to go RIGHT THEN). And those are things I either have no control over (like when his teacher will be back - her son has been sick, so she's been out most of the week), or can't figure out how to change (like him staying awake until after 10:00 - doesn't matter if it's dark and quiet, I can put him in bed but I can't make him sleep, and nothing but nothing knocks J out - not Benadryl, not cough syrup with codeine, not bourbon [yes, in a fit of desperation, I tried once]). A lot of the time he's good about me leaving - Ms. Annie will take his hand, and he'll go on with her with a minimum of fuss. Ms. Rachel doesn't do that so much - I like her, but I like Annie better, because she will jump in and get J's attention focused elsewhere and engage him more if she sees he's having a really, really clingy day. So I'm not sure I agree 100% with K's assessment that J is just yanking my chain - if that were it, I'd think he'd have this howling fit, or something close to it, every single day. I don't know. All I know is, it sucks starting the day hearing your child howl as you're walking away from him.
And now I'm at work. I think I like this new set-up. Yes, it's tons of work, and I'm fried at the end of the day. But I'm not fried in the same way I would be if I were on the phones all the time - that stresses me out more than anything. And John said his wife commented on how much less stressed he is the last few days. He says phone calls are tiring, but to him, it's a good tired, because he feels like he's doing something that can really make a difference to our clients. So hopefully we'll do such a fabulous job that the powers that be will realize that something other than "the model" can not only work, but can be a success. And if we get to keep at it, from my end, a lot of the things I'm really putting lots of effort into right now will be cleaned up in time, and the book of accounts will be a lot easier to manage. Then it will just be a question of annual reviews and cleaning up new accounts that come in. So I'm busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kickin' contest right now, but it can be a big benefit down the road (and will hopefully allow me to do a good enough job to get a raise and a bonus this next year).
Lunchtime - more later!