Here’s a cliche for you: bad things come in threes. Here’s another: everything happens for a reason. And have you heard the one about the ancient Chinese curse of an interesting life?
Life this week has not been uninteresting, bad things come in more than threes sometimes, and if I’m being prepared to deal with more interesting times ahead, I’d prefer to pass, if it’s all the same to you.
If you read my last post, you know I had an interesting end to the week last week and have been recuperating from a fortunately minor bout of pneumonia. I was feeling well enough to visit my grandparents on Sunday, but easily fatigued. The entire week thus far, I have been feeling about the same: mostly healthy, but completely wiped out. When I am tired, my emotional control deteriorates faster than the control of a Vulcan during pon farr, so as I relate my week to you, bear in mind that things may currently seem worse than they are in my mind because I am and have been tired almost to the point of tears for no reason.
Monday, 11:46 a.m.: Bad Thing #1
Monday brought, by far, the worst moment in my week. A friend called me from many states away to tell me she was in the hospital with a potentially very serious and at that point unidentified affliction. Just for a frame of reference to explain how important this friend is to me–when I email my sisters, Gmail recommends adding her to the list. She’s family. She’s many states away and suffering. The week has brought more answers as to what’s going on, but not the best news ever. Good thoughts, prayers, and being available in any way I can be from hundreds of miles away is all I can offer to help the situation. The best thing that has come of that announcement so far is that my own recent jaunt to the hospital was put into perspective: I was suddenly grateful. Grateful, first because I was in and out in a five short hours with a very effective prescription and second, because the experience gave me a better sense of empathy for those suffering the curious hell that we call “waiting for news in a hospital.”
I would rather have had that negative experience alone without ever needing to translate it into empathy for my friend. If you have good thoughts or prayers to spare, please send them her way.
Tuesday, 8:27 a.m.: Bad Thing #2
At the moment, bad thing number two seems hilarious to me. No big deal. Whatever. The situation has been revolved, all other key adults have given their approval of how I handled the situation, and the child in question has been punished appropriately by his parents. That said…
It started with a card game gone awry and escalated into a battle of wills which ended with one of my students screaming bloody murder on and off (mostly on) for a solid twenty minutes. Normally, I would conduct a child with such a nasty display of temper to a quiet, safe spot and allow him or her to scream it out. Once the screaming had run dry (if a parent had not yet arrived to deal with the situation), I would have a chat with the child about the situation. This child’s timing, however, was just perfect–this fit was being thrown as the school buses were unloading kids into the halls, which meant that this tantrum was making the child late for class.
Parents, I have only one question for you: WHY?!? Why would you deliberately put yourself in the place of possibly having to be the final authority on that sort of problem for eighteen years? I dealt with it for an hour (20 minute tantrum, 40+ minutes of documenting the incident and communicating with my boss and parents) and I was about two screaming minutes more of quitting education altogether.
Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.: Bad Thing #3
I am in education, not healthcare. My program is licensed for school-age children who are 100% potty-trained. Accidents happen on occasion, but generally to children who are capable of cleaning themselves up. Except for today. I can’t give you details. You don’t want details. Suffice it to say that I spent forty gagged, gloved minutes trying to clean up feces and a child who seemed convinced they were a toy. I am seriously questioning my life choices at the moment.
I’m not quite kidding. Mom asked me the other day why I was in education because I had made a wry observation that was not particularly generous towards the nature of children. I laughed her question off. Anyone who knows me knows that I have an extremely cynical streak to begin with, but in dealing with kids I think it sometimes makes me better at my job. I have no rose-colored glasses on when it comes to kids. They are creatures of self and desire who are learning to become part of a community. This does not mean they are monsters–far from it. They’re weird little caterpillars who are quite capable of looking scary at times as they go through cycles of growth. It’s an amazing, miraculous, unique process which takes my breath away even when the frustrations of guiding them in as much as I can makes me want to shave my head and move to Tibet.
But cleaning up poop? Dude, I did not sign up for that.
Wednesday, 8:47 p.m.: Bad Thing #4
Charlie had called me just before I got home tonight, but as I wanted a shower and a meal, I didn’t call her back. She called me again a little later to inform me that our sister Cho is also having some health issues. Her wording was vague yet just precise enough to give me a scare, so I called both my mom and Cho and eventually got the story. Cho is not dying, she’s not in the hospital, but she could also use a serious dose of good thoughts and prayers.
If anyone else is thinking of ending up in the hospital, having an angry meltdown on me, or forcing me to clean up poo…I have a request. Don’t. Stop right there, turn around, and return to a happy, healthy, poo-free status quo. I would be extremely thankful for your efforts in this matter, particularly with the STAYING HEALTHY AND ALIVE bit. Also, I would love to hear epic good news from whoever is hogging all the world’s good karma this week. Share the joyful news, whoever you are, so we can all be vicariously happy, okay?