Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Adventures of Rapunzel and Mole Boy

I generally try to avoid a lot of negativity or downer stuff here because the main reason for this blog is to promote my books, and since I'm known for writing humor it would kind of go against my branding to have a downer blog. But I will confess to having had a rough month or so. It's not so much because of bad things happening to me -- there are certainly areas of my life that could stand improvement, but there's nothing really horribly wrong right now -- but because bad things are happening to people all around me. I seem to know too many people who are seriously ill or who have seriously ill family members. A friend lost her infant daughter not too long ago. Last week I found out that a friend/former co-worker from two jobs ago was in a coma, they took him off life support yesterday and he died this morning. I'd lost touch with him over the years since I left that job, and now I'm really regretting that because of the potential time I lost and now can't make up. This is all putting my career struggles in perspective, but it also makes it a little more difficult to deal with those more ordinary setbacks. Normally, I can shrug things off or have a mild temper flare-up in the privacy of my office and then shrug things off. Yesterday, I had to stay offline to keep from sending an e-mail that probably needs to be sent but that wouldn't have had the proper tone if I'd sent it yesterday. I also recognize that any big decisions I make right now might be more emotional than rational and not at all about the actual issue at hand.

Strangely, although dealing with the preschoolers is stressful, that was one of the highlights of my day yesterday. It was like a healing prescription to go be surrounded by little people who apparently think I'm awesome. I got lots of hugs, I had kids leaning against me or holding my hand, and then I had kids crawling into my lap. It's like therapy. The girls seem to have decided which Disney fairy princess superhero I am. They were playing with my hair last night and said I was Rapunzel. I am hoping they mean that in a Tangled sense, not like most depictions of Rapunzel (especially not from Into the Woods, though I doubt preschoolers would know that one).

We may be making headway with Mole Boy. There's one kid who will crawl under anything that can be crawled under and hide there. In our classroom, that means under the stack of chairs. I had to physically remove him from his hiding place when we went to the sanctuary to practice for the song we're doing in church Sunday because he wouldn't come out on his own and we couldn't leave him in the room alone. Once in the sanctuary, he crawled under the communion rail and then later the pulpit. I think with this kid we have a deadly combination of shyness and being spoiled. He didn't object to me pulling him out, and I rather got the feeling that's what he wanted me to do. He is truly shy, but he also craves attention, and I think he uses the shyness to get attention in a sort of passive-aggressive way. The other kids will tug on me and shout, "Teacher! Teacher" when they want attention, but he crawls into a corner and expects us to spend a lot of time coaxing him out. That means there's a fine line between really dealing with him in a way that lets him feel loved and catering to him in a way that encourages this behavior. I got a better sense of the situation from talking to his grandmother on Sunday, so I'm going with "we want you to have fun with us, but we're not going to make the world revolve around you." Still, I swear that if we weren't on a concrete slab, this kid would dig a hole and tunnel his way out -- but poke his head up every so often to make sure we knew he was tunneling his way out.

You know, if this writing thing doesn't work out, child psychology is sounding like an interesting career field.

The other bright spot to my day was the announcement that SyFy has renewed Haven. The cliffhanger will be resolved! That show is really, really pretty on Blu-Ray. So many of the shots would work perfectly as postcards. And that's not even getting into the cast. I don't know if it's the balance on my TV or something specific to the lighting/photography of this show, but the blues really pop, and that means blue eyes are even more gorgeous.

Needless to say, yesterday wasn't very productive. I think I have some ideas for fixing the current problem in The Problem Child, but I spent most of the time mentally composing e-mails I should never send while narrowing down on one that needs to be sent. Today I must obtain groceries. I think this weekend I'll make my first batch of veggie soup for the fall. And I think I will allow myself copious amounts of chocolate and maybe some long walks to balance it. It feels weird to be so discombobulated about bad things that aren't happening directly to me, but I suppose I am human and I'm allowed to have feelings. That's why I had the emotion chip installed, after all.

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