Hitting the ground running... typical night's sleep... wake up at midnight... and one... and two... and three... and four... finally surrender and get up. Eight hours total... but somehow it feels like not enough. Mess around on the computer for an hour or so... managed to say hi to an old friend that I haven't talked with in a while on face book chat.
Get started on my day... dress, pack lunches, comb hair, brush teeth... take stock... watch, phone, I-pad, cold medicine, cough drops, big cup of hot tea with honey and lemon, purse, lunch, water bottle...yep that's everything. Ready to commute. Find that man in my life and get a kiss on forehead. (He had been hearing me cough, hack, bring up horrible green stuff from what seemed like my toes too much lately to dare come anywhere near my mouth.) Hit the road. Floss my teeth. (This may seem odd... but I use those plaquers type things are easy to use with one hand. Prolly only one one hundredth as dangerous as using a phone... not that I would ever use a phone while I drive). Cough... drink tea... cough some more... drink some more tea.
Traffic was light... get to work at 7:00 am about a half hour before nearly everybody else... put away stuff... Got some more tea... go check the fish tank. (I am in charge of daily maintenance of a very nice salt water aquarium.) Feed, refill water, clean filters and wash the windows. Good to go. Check watch... ten minutes 'til time to get breakfast ready. Stop by copy machine...run some copies for later... 7:30 Run to cafeteria, warm up ovens, take inventory... head to main kitchen... get food ... roll it back to cafeteria... 7:50 Serve breakfast... take lunch orders... keep track of each and every kid who eats. Check their names off on a list. Make sure to smile and wish each and every one a Happy New Year.
8:30 Head back to main kitchen... give cook the orders for lunch...
Head back to de-escalation room. Sit down take three deep calming breaths. Put on shin guards. (I don't get kicked every day... but I get kicked often enough that it is wise to wear the personal protective gear. Find a clean pair of kevlar bite protection sleeves... fill pockets with an odd mix of hair ties, nonlatex gloves and cough drops. Refill cup with tea and lemon. Go check on my assigned classroom.
Peek in window. Good news... only 4 of the 8 kids have shown up. (You know you are starting to burn out when you wish the little monsters don't show up.) And one of my most challenging high flyers seems abnormally subdued... He is actually calm... doing school work... cross fingers... knock on wood... maybe just maybe there has been a med change that finally works. Classroom is running calm and smooth... don't even go in. Take the time to tour the building, touching base with folks... How was your break??? Happy New Year!!! Good mornings all around. Pick up some sign out sheet I will need to do December data. Run some more copies.
Principal gives me a new heavy duty case for my I-pad. Take about twenty minutes to try and figure out how to get it open and put the I-pad in. It totally sucks. The protective rubber makes it nearly impossible to turn on and off... spend another ten minutes taking I-pad back out and putting the thing back in its box. Thanks but no thanks.
Head out to check on my classroom again. Find one of my second graders trying to leave the building. He is pissed. Did not get what he wanted when he wanted. He is singularly whiny. Prolly for good reason... family in total chaos. Mom lost in the druggisphere... him staying with kinda sketchy family, child protective services trying to figure out what to do with him and his siblings. When he gets really mad he screams at me that he wants him mom. Heart break. Now he is "LEAVING!!!!!". I am standing between him and the door... gently, firmly, telling him there is no way I am going to let him. He ends up huddling under a bench, refusing to come out. I sit down on the bench and tell him that we have all the time in the world to figure this out... and wait him out.
Poor little rat falls asleep. Awwww.... he was tired. I gently prod him awake... tell him he is too tired and he needs to take a nap in soft space. We will work this out when he feels better. Guide sleepy little guy to our pile of bean bags and put a blanket over him. (He is out for the next two hours. Typical case of fucked up sleep patterns from being off for two weeks.)
Walk by someone who has a screaming autistic kid in time out. Ask if they are okay or if they need help. They do need help. Autistic kid is repeatedly trying to take his clothes off... "Can you get me his belt... " Head off to classroom. When I get back with belt, kid has managed to pull his pants down for enough to tear his diaper off... we end up walking him to bathroom. (Walking him = one on each arm as he kicks fights struggles...) I restrain him while other guy puts on diaper, pants and shoes. He is not happy but he is clothed.
10:30... time to get ready for lunch. Pick up food from main kitchen. It is a surprisingly tasty looking meal. Kiwis, canned pears, roasted carrots, peas, mashed potatoes, cubes of turkey meat, and gravy... with a whole wheat roll and chocolate milk. Get busy assembling 42 trays in 20 minutes. 11:00 Serve a starving pack of kids. Hand out lots of second to kids that have likely gone hungry more than a few times in the last two weeks. We don't have fat kids... we have hungry kids. Keep track of everyone that eats. Roll the empty cart back.
11:30 go out and supervise kids on playground. Pretty easy... but my high flyer is still subdued. Wonder what they gave him... wonder if I can get some for the rest of the kids.
12:00... time to come in. Three of my four truck right in. One doesn't. One hides. Go stand by him. Remind him he has been having a great day. Encourage him to keep up the good work. Nada... nothing... zip... he growls and hisses. Try to wait him out. Still not moving. Finally get another staff person and take him on hand.. he walks but is not cooperative... refuses to go into the classroom. Take him to the de-escalation room... have him sit at a desk... start ignoring... no attention... positive or negative. He seems happy enough... takes off his shoes and spends the next 50 minutes chewing on his toes. Darn those kids that can entertain themselves. Used the time to start working on data. One eye on kid one eye on papers in hand. Finally switch another staff in and go take my first break of the day at 1:00.
1:30... kids leaving to go to school busses. 1:45 classroom meeting... 2:30 finally done. Hit the road and come home... Somewhere in there I managed to do a load of laundry and go through the address labels and let the secretary know which ones we needed.