Well I didn't exactly plan my children with examinations in mind. Child 3 has just completed KS2 SATs, child 2 started his GCES's last week and Early June sees the start of child 1's A levels. You can seriously feel the stress and tension as you walk in through the front door. The children deal with pressure in different ways, the girls are weepy and spiteful, child 2 is aggressive and angry. It only needs one to kick off and everyone follows suit, especially child 4 who, with his unsettled background seems to absorb his older siblings angst and go into full melt down. Being in school has meant older children, older language and new experiences. He is threatening to stab and kill and our experience has been that if he says something and has the opportunity he follows through on his threats. So if he says that he is going to throw the book in his hand at you, he will and his hand eye co ordination is good enough that you need to move, quick. We don't leave knives or scissors anywhere not even the sink, because, well just in case.
What we have noticed is that he mirrors the behaviour that he sees and hears, so, the best way to deal with his meltdowns is to be completely calm and quiet. You can imagine how successful that is when everyone in the house is shouting and screaming!
I am struggling with all the button pushing myself and I am an adult, so there is no surprise that everyone is pretty unsettled at the moment. I have reverted to a day by day coping mechanism, (it is only 31 more days to go) I am saying no to all requests of help except where there is no choice, so no additional hours at work, no extra volunteer stuff, except governor stuff as we are seeking a new Headteacher, yeah it never rains but pours. I can't remember the last time that I really checked out Twitter, had a quiet evening to myself or just didn't dread the coming evening. My conservatory is a mess, we can't eat in there as the table and surrounding floor is covered with three different types of revision paraphernalia, I daren't even touch it because if something got lost or moved the fireworks would be off.
This blog is being written whilst I sit at a gymnastic competition with child 3. I know that I have lost many of my coping mechanisms (although we got a night out last night with friends, a few hours escape to talk about holidays, food, gin cruises and just a bit of general gossip) then it's back to our "normal" feeding the children with food to aid brain power, emotional support to keep everything as calm as we can and give them the time they need, I am reading essays, marking science past papers, checking grammer and mathematic revision. Giving a hug when asked and often when not, listening to the ramblings of teenage thought processes, stepping in when an argument is brewing, taking child 4 out and away when his emotions start to overflow I need to find time to look after me but someone always needs something, I am one person, my brain can't cope with all the remembering, my emotions are riding high, it isn't going to take much to push me over the edge, I am exhausted nearly running on empty. Then I think I just need to get through the day, it's not long until bedtime, then it's another day and another day. 744 hours to go.