Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Case of the Magic Desk

The human mind is a funny thing. After our first go'round on the child-rearing front made it so very clear we were in over our heads, it has only become more and more obvious how ancient-mapesque the human brain is with all its unexplored nooks, nuances, micro-biomes and genomes. Thus it didn't come as a surprise when the school psychologist said that Charlie's hand writing problems were seemingly averted by a child sized desk (that couldn't be tipped, moved, hoisted or otherwise diverted from its lifelong purpose of being a desk). What we thought was just a fine motor skill problem, was also (actually?) a proprioceptive problem. He needed to feel grounded. Who knew those industrial strength behemoths used to trap children in the 50's actually had a purpose besides lead poisoning? Truly. 

As a homeschooler, I'd always thought the kitchen table held a distinct advantage, but I'm also fond of unusual living room furniture and decided a (safely) restored vintage school desk had an anthopologie like allure, so off to craigslist I went. (all for the betterment of my child of course)  $10 and a can of spray paint later, I had this.

It was inspiring. I couldn't wait to put it to use.  It said "It's ok Summer is ending because you have a magnificent desk to play 'school' with." and "This is going to fix all of Charlie's problems and he will henceforth be a genius." 

Fortunately I was right (well, maybe he's not a genius yet, but definitely less frustrated).

Unfortunately the magic desk was whispering the same thing to the rest of the people in the house. On the first day of school, Charlie couldn't wait to use it.... neither could Jamie...or Robbie...even the wee babe wanted in on the action. Consequently, what I had pictured as this:

Turned out to be more like this:

Even now, three weeks into school, it's still like catnip to the baby who happily tries to climb off and on it a hundred times a day and usually ends in a scrimmage between Jamie and Charlie. So now instead of just teaching Charlie how to read, Jamie how to do square roots, and Robbie his ABC's, I am also a paper snatcher (from the jaws of baby drool), circus director, taxi driver and most illustriously: potentate of the magic desk.

Clearly a position I've always dreamed of having.

But in general life is going pretty good (even if my lobbying has been unsuccessful to have summer moved to Aug-Sep-Oct, as all of our faces are about to melt into our math books).   The kids "therapy" day is on Wednesday now which is hard coming off the merry-go-round that is Tuesday (Classical Conversations). Julian Charter School hired all new therapists and redecorated the special ed office with a decidedly Azkaban theme, which makes speech therapy a bit of a hard sell. "Yes dear, you have to go in, but don't worry I hear the dementors are still on vacation".

 Mostly I try to be the voice of reason, but I may have perhaps called Jim today in the middle of therapy, panicking about how I was going blind. We've had some weird virus go through the family that is part eyeball ache, part headache, part sore throat and so when I was driving to the charter school today and a traffic light literally wobbled and hopped across my vision...I sort of freaked out. It was like one of those dreams where you have to get to some important deadline, or you're running from something, but you feel like you're slogging through waist deep sand and everyone sounds like they're talking whale. It was like that except I felt sort of like I was walking sideways, I couldn't see hardly anything at all, and everything kept going double. I walked into a door I thought was farther away than it actually was, and I kept missing stair steps I didn't realize were there.

I stayed calm initially. I mean, as a wearer of contacts I know this sort of thing can happen if you've put them on inside out, mixed up the right and left, or are about to die of an anurism. My children aren't big fans of the aforementioned Azkaban redecorating, so when we successfully navigated up the stairs and into the building it felt a bit like one of those funny houses where everything was oddly distorted and my children were hanging onto me like the desk monkeys (but more terrified and less magical). And it only went downhill from there. After the third person asked me to keep everyone quiet and calm (I have no excuses for my children's less than angelic behavior, just that I was relieved to find out the glass bauble pig I thought Robbie was banging against the wall, was actually a hotwheel car), I decided it was time to go sit outside.   Which is (long story long) how I ended up stumbling blind through East San Diego sobbing on the phone to Jim. 

Of course we all survived. I made it home safely and promptly went to the bathroom mirror to assess my likelihood of death by eyeball dysfunction only to discover my contacts were still sitting on the bathroom counter sensibly esconced in their case...

...which meant I was wearing Jim's contacts.

At least I didn't injure/kill/maim anyone?

In my defense, he's using case that looks like one I used for years.

I've never claimed to be a morning person.