Monday, April 23, 2012

Dreams/ Nightmares

When Denis first came home he had a couple of nightmares which suddenly escalated into months of night terrors. Early March was the last time he's had a terror, but he still has a nightmare once or twice a week. Now that he is able to tell stories he is telling me about his nightmares. A lot are about losing me, and not being able to find me.

This the most recent nightmare he told me about.
He told me that a lady was throwing rocks at the house and she broke the house and the snow came in.

Previous nightmares were about the house being hit by a car and falling down.That nightmare happened just after we saw a house around the corner from ours where a drunk parked his car in a strangers' living room. It makes sense to believe the nightmare was triggered by seeing the actual house. So now I'm wondering what, if anything trigger this nightmare. I understand that nightmares don't have to have anything to do with reality, but then again...

On a totally different wave length, during the early months of Denis being home, I was regularly startled by Denis sticking his face into mine in the middle of the night. Talk about totally scared and shocked in the middle of the night. I remember thinking that I finally found out where those absolutely terrifying SciFi monsters came from, the writers and prop guys were suddenly awaken in the middle of the night by their toddler.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday meant PARK to Denis (that's exactly what he said to me when he woke up). As I'm recovering from stomach flu that was about all I could accomplish today.

We found it so warm in the park this morning that Denis wanted to take off his shoes to play in the sand.

And so cool this evening that he has 4 layers on, his hoodie under his helmet and he asked for mittens.

The bike ride went a little too far for Denis, he got off his bike and wanted to walk home about 7 blocks from home. He was so tired walking that I got to hold his hand for most of the 7 blocks. I really enjoyed holding his hand walking, something I rarely get to do, but I really didn't like having to carry the trike home.

He lay on the couch when he came home and didn't argue about going to bed.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Beneficiary Finally

I had an appointment today, so I had to take the day off work. Taking advantage of the time, I decided that I would FINALLY get Denis onto my benefits at work.

When I was home last year between trips, I went to the Benefits Department at work to add him to my benefits. I had my coordinator in Uralsk send me a PDF of the birth certificate and translation.The gentleman responsible for my file told me that he required the original birth certificate (as if he could read it anyway). I told him that I was returning to Kazakhstan to get my son and I would have the original and I would bring in at that time.

The first business day after Denis was home, I returned to the office, with the original of Denis 'new' birth certificate with the translation. However, at that time I was told I couldn't change from Individual level to Family while on parental leave. Great, now you tell me, let's ignore the fact I had tried the week before when I wasn't on leave (and he wasn't in my care, but was mine....yah, let's not go there). The upshot was I had to wait until I was back to work to add him to my coverage. But before I left the office that day, I made sure that copies of the documents they needed were photocopied and placed into my file, and I filled out the proper forms, so that as soon as I returned to work Denis would go onto my benefits.

I went back to work in November and was swamped. I started on Halloween into a class where some of the children had been switched into my class just 4 weeks earlier, and none of the students were told that their teacher was only a temporary replacement. Talk about stress for the kids and the parents, and the stress came to school in the form of very angry letters and phone calls. And then 2 days later it was Denis' 3rd birthday, his first with us (and by the sound of it, his first birthday celebration ever). In other words, I was happy to be just getting up and out in the morning and I forgot to call the Benefits Department. Eventually the gentleman responsible for my file called me, but he had none of the paperwork and I would have to go into the school board office and redo all the paperwork (isn't this something we know well as an adoptive parent)s?).

And that brings me to today. I had planned to go after work one day, but on the days I remembered to bring Denis' paperwork something would stop me from leaving school until the point I wouldn't be there when that gentleman left work at 5 pm. It is a good thing as it took him a good 90 minutes to go through the paperwork. (I have to say I did not think it was that complicated). He read EVER line of the translation of the birth certificate, and I had to keep explaining how it worked, what each part meant. At one point he asked why it said I was the mother as I wasn't his mother. I corrected him saying I was most definitely his mother and pointed out that the date of the certificate was 15 days after the judge said 'yes', not at the time of his birth. 

Unfortunately, Denis won't really be on my benefits until the 1st of May, as they only add people once a month, that means exactly 6 months after I return to work he is finally on my plan.

Now, while I was there I decided to start Denis' Registered Education Savings Plan. That involved a lot more paperwork, by someone who has never done the paperwork before and it only took 10 minutes (and we are involved with the government with this paperwork).

Not sure what this means in the broader field, but wow was it ever annoying. Happily it is done. What's next on the list of annoying things to do? Oh, ya, taxes.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

When Work Is Too Much Like Home

3 year olds are not the easiest people in the world. They want your constant attention. When you can't give them constant attention, they work on getting your attention again, be it touching you (gentleness is NOT a priority) or doing something 'naughty' that is guaranteed to get your attention.They also practice reverse physiology all day long, they always want to be, do, wear and eat the exact opposite of what is suppose to be, done, worn or eaten. And then there are the CONSTANT temper tantrums. Anything and everything can set off a temper tantrum. And as temper tantrums go they are loud and usually involve throwing things.

Denis is truly a 3 year old. And he is a joy, as long as he gets his way, gets what he wants when he wants, and is completely understood, or just after he wakes up. Otherwise, it is temper tantrums, hold me and holding me.

I knew this was coming and for the most part I can deal with it. But it is getting harder and harder by the day. I find myself losing my temper faster and faster with the poking, screaming and throwing. And it isn't Denis' fault for my inability to deal with him. I have to blame one of my students.

I'm teaching a split grade 1/ Senior Kindergarten class. One of my little SK's is going through a really rough patch for some reason (started a month after I went back to work). Her behaviour is completely 3 year old-ish, even though she is 6. All day long I get the constant demand for attention, the constant poking, pulling, and my least favourite of all, hands going into my clothes (ARGH). If I don't give her immediate attention she starts this high pitched whine. Then there are the temper tantrums, running out of the room, slamming of the door, ripping up stuff, etc. etc.

This is the first year of all day learning for our kindergarten students, so I have this little one ALL DAY LONG, 7 really long hours. Oh, I should also mention I do have 18 other students. 10 first graders and 8 other SK's. One little boy is just new to the country and learning English, and another child has a communication disorder recently diagnosed. Somewhere during day I actually suppose to TEACH these little guys. Thank goodness a fluke gave me the gift of another adult in my room in an ECE, but said child wants MY attention. By the time the bell rings at the end of the day I'm beat, both emotionally and physically.

That's when I go and pick up Denis who really is 3, and does the same things as I've had to cope with all day long, some days it is just too much.