Thursday, September 22, 2011

Working Girl

So, we are starting to adjust to life in the non-educational working world, and man, it's different. I know that we are now living, basically, the same schedule as 90% of the free world, but it I s quite the radical change from what we are used to living.

As a teacher, your schedule is very predictable. Even the school band directors, who arguably have the busiest schedules, have a very predictable rhythm of life. You have meetings the same days, rehearsals the same days, tutoring the same days, the same busy periods every year, that sort of thing. Give me a week in the calendar year, and I can tell you how many hours per week I'll be at school and what I'll be doing.

I guess the business world is like that, also. If it is, I haven't figured it out in my first four weeks of working. (Ironic emphasis on four weeks, as compared with ten years working and seven years of college beforehand.) We can't make those predictions yet, and scheduling things like lessons and rehearsals and time playing with children is difficult.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. I'm thankful that I have the opportunity that I have, and I intend to work my fanny off at my new job. I'm just noticing that all of us - kids included - are finding it difficult to adjust. My wife is a trooper, and she handles the three children much better than I ever could, but I wish that I could be around to help her more often.

Little Bear might be the hardest hit of all. Having one less adult around, and having a brother who is a newborn, means that he gets far leas attention than he deserves and needs. Grandma does an amazing job of helping out and caring for the children, for sure; but, he's been acting out quite a bit lately because of the lack of attention.

Good daddy moment: we are figuring out how to deal with these mini-tantrums pretty decently. Tonight, on the way home from the comic book store, I strapped Little Bear into his seat. He wasn't happy about this, said, "I'm going to hit you, Daddy," and did. I briefly thought about acting angry or hurt or annoyed or just ignoring him, and I decided against all of those. All he was seeking was attention; all he wanted was some individual acknowledgment. Instead, I pretended to fall over on top of him, which made the bigger boys laugh. He "pushed" me again, and I pretended to fall over even more dramatically.

Thus, his need for attention was sated, and his behavior was redirected from hurting to playing. I'm pretty proud of myself. Little Bear is such a big, friendly, intelligent kid that we frequently forget that he's only 2 years old. Side note: it's actually a concern in education, that kids who are more physically and/or mentally mature than their colleagues are not necessarily more emotionally mature and can't handle being treated like an older child or an adult. This is fairly detrimental to development, as you'd imagine.

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