Puzzling school situations, Puzzling dreams, Puzzling Puzzles

 My husband is leaving this afternoon for a week (then home for a few days and gone for two weeks). For a nice change of pace, the massive snow dump happened just before he left instead of just after - bad for him, good for me. March Break is one week earlier than I thought it was, which is... neutral, I guess, I'm not gasping for it the way I was for the Christmas holidays. Funny thing about my Thursday school, I was almost ready to give notice and then I went in last week and it....suddenly didn't suck anymore. It's almost like it was my vicious winter depression that was the problem and not the school. 

I do have to say, it's been startling and humbling working in a K-8 school (my other two are K-6). There's something about the boundary-testing and defiance and general VERY MUCH THERE-ness of pre-and-early-teens that I'm struggling with how to address. Part of the problem was that I was trying to act from a position of 'there are no bad kids', knowing that sometimes neurodivergence and anxiety is misjudged as bad behaviour. I moved from this to 'there are no bad kids, but there are kids whose needs outstrip my resources', articulated wonderfully by my friend Sasha (HI SASHA). And then my extremely wise friend Kerry (HI KERRY) jumped in with 'uh, of course some kids are assholes, just like some adults are assholes', which blew my tiny, over-idealistic mind. SOME KIDS ARE ASSHOLES. This doesn't mean they're evil or destined for a life of unremitting dickishness, but sometimes they're just being assholes and need to be told to knock it off. (I should have just talked to a teacher, they would have set me straight in nothing flat).

Speaking of friends who are smarter than me, everyone who commented on my last post about the one teacher at my new school who didn't talk to me at all during library period and left without half her class, and said 'maybe she was a sub'? Never even occurred to me and guess what? SHE WAS A SUB. The new school is turning out to be a pretty chill gig. Not to mention I found this while shelving:

Angus had one of these when he was four or so, and it was a Precious Beloved Object. He called it his Masseen Book, and we actually bought a second copy in case anything ever happened to it. He took it everywhere, and would have to come down and get it if he accidentally got into bed without it. 

I have not resumed my organizing/decluttering mission, even though Christmas 2.0 has come and gone, so it well past time (times two) to put away the remaining Christmas decorations. Do you have an addictive personality? I tend to think I don't - drugs and alcohol are fun and all, but I've never once woken up feeling like I needed to blaze (no idea if I said that right) or toss back a shot of vodka. However, there are certain things that at certain times I feel very much that some kind of compulsion is involved.

After Eve and I did the puzzle, I took out another one. My friend Nat (HI NAT) gave it to me for my birthday and it's beautiful and also almost broke me. The picture is upside down because I had to spin it around to work on the top. I tried rotating the picture but then the pretty cylinder container was sort of upside down and it gave me a headache. Anyway. Here's me last Sunday thinking "I will put a puzzle out and every day I will work for the puzzle for half an hour and it will be a calming, Zen activity and it will soothe my nervous system, *gentle chimy music playing*. Here's me every other day last week looking up from the puzzle and realizing three hours have gone by, my eyes are bloodshot, my back is jacked and I'm dying of thirst. But I can't get up until I find this ONE FUCKING PIECE. Oh thank god, I found it. Okay, just one more. I have a sickness. I'm a little afraid that when Matt gets back on Friday he will find my skeleton slumped over at the puzzling dining room table.

On one of Suzanne's (HI SUZANNE) recent posts, in which she was talking about remembering your dreams, I commented that I do sometimes remember my dreams, and when I do they are bonkers, but then I go long stretches without remembering any. Very soon after, I had the craziest, most vivid dream about coming home from some errands and finding that Matt and a bunch of our close friend group had gotten high as fuck while I was out and destroyed the house. Furniture was upside down, stuff was spilled, Matt had poured spaghetti in my Doc Martens. They were all apologetic but incoherent. I have no idea where that came from, it's been like a decade since we celebrated Michael's birthday and broke the coloured shot glasses and discovered exactly how many Burt Reynolds shots are too many and whether or not a toilet can be peed in and thrown up in at the same time. 

To close on a less debauched note, Nicole's (HI NICOLE) last post mentioned not wading into the top sheet debate, which made me laugh because I remembered this post that was practically my most-commented-on post of 2020, and even though only three small paragraphs were about top sheets, that's what most of the comments referenced. I still use a top sheet, my kids still don't.

And now I'm going to change my sheets because not that he's dirty or anything, but every time Matt leaves I revel in the fact that I can change the bed and sleep in the nice clean sheets and read a paper book with the light on for a few nights. 

Now that I've made the word 'puzzle' incomprehensible to myself, happy weekend everyone.


Nicole said…
Lolololol the top sheet. That post was what I was thinking about! The great debate, I tell you.

I feel you on the puzzle. I really like the kind of puzzles that are big but fairly simple, that have a lot of different vignettes to work on. That, I find zen. The puzzles we have had lately are big and fairly HARD, which R likes but I find frustrating. "Just one piece" turns into an epic afternoon of staring at puzzle pieces. I FEEL YOUR PAIN.

That book! We didn't have that one particularly, but we had so many machinery books, and I remember knowing the difference between, say, a digger and a front-end loader.
StephLove said…
That's a sweet memory about the book. When Noah was three they rebuilt a bridge a block from our house and we used to go sit on the sidewalk, just to watch the machines in action. The machinery book I remember best was actually a library book North took a shine to. It was called Truckery Rhymes, I think, and it was nursery rhymes rewritten with trucks and construction equipment as characters. Very odd book that one.
Ernie said…
That book story hit me right in the feels. As a former sub who tried to do the right thing, I thought that behavior sounded un-full-time-employment-ish. Your puzzle behavior cracked me up but not as much as the dream when all hell broke loose. So funny.
NGS said…
There's a dog in my neighborhood who hates other dogs, including my very sweet baby girl. The last time the dog lunged at my dog (the jerk dog was tied out in front of his house while my dog and I were walking on the sidewalk), I just whispered to my dog that some dogs are just assholes. It made me feel better. And some kids are jerks, but, as you say, hopefully they'll grow out of it. Or they won't and they'll find other jerks to hang out around with and lives their lives with!

Team Top Sheet Forever.
HI ALLISON!!! That is a wild dream. Spaghetti in your Doc Martens - can you imagine?!!? I mean, clearly you can.

Your description of how you puzzle reminds me of my husband. He will sometimes amble into the puzzle room (dining room) and then I notice it has been several hours and I go looking for him and he is still there. Puzzling is an activity I do not enjoy, outside of once in a while finding a very specific piece and then moving on.

Now I need to go find your top sheet post so I can embroil myself in some CONTROVERSIAL DRAMA. (I use a top sheet, my child does not. To each her own.)
Tudor said…
This is for you today - https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/interiors-entertaining/a25359069/its-time-to-say-goodbye-to-top-sheets-forever/?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=socialflowFBHBZ&utm_medium=social-media&fbclid=IwAR24LdVqAx-CgpzSPJQW3lViUMIIuZPEdo6mmH2DMtKRLvnfQBsCAK_LGRQ&utm_source=Heels+Down+Spark&utm_campaign=a7643da21e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_03_23_01_24_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f8a5fb1320-a7643da21e-111163893&mc_cid=a7643da21e&mc_eid=dd51b49486
Sarah said…
Top sheet always, and the book memory is so sweet. That's why I love books so much. Just seeing the cover of a favorite from childhood can bring the whole experience right back.
Busy Bee Suz said…
I feel SO much better about everything in the world now, knowing that was a Substitute teacher. *sigh*

You will not believe this, but I am currently working on that same exact puzzle. What are the chances? It was a Christmas gift from Lindsay that I started a while ago, but this week I've had time to get some 'action'. You're still ahead of me, but it's a bender.

That dream is a nightmare. Spaghetti in your docs? THE NERVE.

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