We didn’t have a bad weekend, we just didn’t have a good one.
From the moment M exploded out the school doors on Friday afternoon I had a “feeling” As it was sunny I let her race around the school playing field with her brother and some of the other children for half an hour (we are allowed to use the pitch out of school hours which is very handy as there is a lovely bench right in the strongest sunlight) and then we headed home for some quiet time.
M could not settle to anything. She was more of my shadow than she normally is, to the point that it was unsettling me too. She wasn’t spoiling for a fight, or particularly jumpy but I could tell she was “not right.” It almost seemed as though any second she was likely to burst into tears. So I stuck her in the bath for an hour – all by herself – and it helped a bit. Although I realised when I told her to choose as many toys as she wanted and she just looked at me helplessly and said “but how many Mumma?” that I was right to be concerned.
The entire weekend continued much along the same lines. Uber-clingy, on the verge of meltdown but luckily never getting there, and totally unsettled. I gave out as many super-hugs as I could, but I think it was a relief to both of us when the evening came and the melatonin kicked in. As dd2 and I had finished the trampoline it was lovely to be able to send M outside for some welcome bouncing. She must get one heck of a feedback from bouncing, but I love it as it’s in the fresh air and it’s healthy.
Hubby and I discussed the issue and came to the same conclusion. We think that M has been suffering from a sensory hangover. She has expended too much effort in spending more time in the classroom, interacting with her peers, and socialising at breaks, without having enough of the compensating quiet times. We did think that maybe her eagerness to join in the group work for more than our suggested 10 – 15 minutes was too much too soon but it is very hard to say “no” when M was clearly happy to be more involved.
I wrote in her home-school diary and had a word with her PSA and the head teacher this afternoon. They are happy to be guided by me as to what we cut back on, so we decided that I would speak to M and try to explain, and then any group activities that have been started in the last week would continue but with a strict time limit of 15 minutes; M will then return to her separate desk outside the classroom. Maybe the short walk and the change of seating will be enough to reset her system that little bit it seems to need.
The idea is that I will update the staff again next Monday and we’ll see how this week has gone. It’s such a fine line, and without M’s input it’s educated guesswork, but she is only six. She has no idea how things unsettle her, just that sometimes they do.
It just goes to show after my positive posts last week just how fine the line is between getting it right and not quite managing, but hopefully we can tweak M’s situation to make this week a great one including the weekend.