Is it? Is it? Could it be…. will I find… Shangri La?

I woke up a few days ago with a dazzling revelation – we were about to begin day 140 in school and, as we know, there are 180 days of school. Know what that means? Only 40 – FORTY – days of home-schooling left!! Mrs. Mom – er, this teacher – has already begun the countdown to the last blessed day. I will shamelessly admit to counting the days, and that Ava’s last day – barring any unforseen roadblocks – will be June 2nd.

These last 3 months have pushed me right to the edge of the cliff overlooking Happy Place, like the Grinch staring down at Whoville on Christmas. Cabin fever notwithstanding, Ava and I have been literally on top of each other with few opportunities for escape since before the New Year. One day she is enthusiastic and independent, but the remaining four (excluding weekends) she wraps herself around me like a boa constrictor and I am forced to peel her off of me and move away fast. I stand jealously by the door to my prison – where the inmates relentlessly pester me over lost tennis balls and chew toys, refuse to work up to potential and forever invade my personal space with constant demands for attention – watching my oldest child hop the bus to the promised land.

Meanwhile, I start video lessons with Ava and she immediately stops them to ask me some unrelated question or need to “get something upstairs.” If she doesn’t stop them she talks over them or sings little songs to herself, and I know she hasn’t heard a word they said. I am constantly reprimanding her for interrupting lessons and stalling. She does enjoy the worksheets and special exercises – anything to break up the unpredictable routine. One thing we can count on here – unpredictability. The monotonous routine we began back in September, well, we needed to shake it up a little. Even sleep-challenged me was fighting the drooping lid syndrome on many a day – only further enhanced by my daughter’s whiny voice and head-on-the-table behavior.

There are way too many days when she insists on sitting on my lap during lessons – for videos and even worksheets – that by the end of the day I have reached maximum saturation for physical contact. Seriously, by 9pm don’t even THINK about touching me. I know she loves me and I cherish our time together and the closeness she craves, but REALLY – there’s a limit to the in-your-face antics, the badgering class clown without a class and the endless neck-crushing hugs she bestows on me throughout her lessons. And that’s when she’s in a good mood.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though – and on day 179 you can bet all the Tylenol in the world that I will be running to the light and if you come looking for me, I will be rolling in the grass under the rainbow with a pitcher of margaritas and giggling like a mental patient. The bouncer at the gate will not be the warden keeping me in – for who in their right mind would leave such a paradise? – but drop-kicking all the whiners and pessimists and absolutely ANYONE under 30 right back to the dark hole they crawled out of. Walk a little farther in – in this paradise there is a white sand beach and crystal blue waters, bright sun and a light breeze, no Wii or chaotic car rides, no insulin pump changes and nobody telling me what I can’t do. You might even see Jimmy Buffett playing Blue Heaven Rendevous or Fins. Mr. Reed Moore, Dr. Algae and Mrs. Triggle are welcome as long as they ditch the scholarly clothes and the cheesy chuckles.

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