Day 8 is now posted for your viewing pleasure.
Did I just finish Week Four of the class? I can't believe how quickly the days fly by! It went well last night; I didn't speak, because The Problem was not there. It was quite amazing how the others in the class were feeding off this man's particular brand of bullshit! Don't get me wrong; it wasn't perfect. The Bad Mom about whom I have written was there, as sullen and uncooperative as ever, and the Bleached Blond Bimbo was there, but with The Asshole gone, it was relatively peaceful. My friend P. was one of the instructors last night (she has been observing but last night was filling in for T.), and she totally kicks ass. She says things that are so true and harsh that you can't help but stop and listen, and she doesn't do any of this hypothetical stuff. She comes right out and says, "Your child is terribly disrespectful and I can see why." Wow.
Anyway, we did some exercises about communication, which is essential where it all starts AND where it begins to break down. One of the things we did was a sort of quiz thing to see what kind of a communicator we all are. My tendency is to be the Controller/Organizer, which wasn't really a surprise to me OR to P. or probably to anyone who knows me. What was surprising was the while there are certainly negative components to this communication style, there are also a lot of positive ones, and the trick is, of course, to strengthen the positives and weaken the negatives. We did some role playing which I totally HATE, because I always get picked. I had to be the mom and this other woman had to be the kid, and it was really, really hard for both of us, I think. It was interesting, though, because her communication style is the Socializer/Something, and one of her "negatives" is that she wants to make the other person more comfortable, and she was trying to finish my sentences for me-very frustrating. It was good to do the role-playing even though I hate it, because the point is that our kids are not going to communicate the same way we do, and we need to both put ourselves in their shoes (I have done the socializing thing with mine, too, and now I know how frustrated they feel when I am basically telling them what they are saying instead of listening. It was quite fascinating, really. We have homework over the week regarding our individual communication styles, and we are supposed to work on actively listening. Last night, with the worksheet and the role playing, I really felt like we had started to do some work; the basic groundwork has been done, and I think we are beginning to get into the meat of the class. I hope.
I got home and Jacquie had Sam and Owen all bathed and in bed; Owen was sound asleep but Sam was just drowsing off; apparently he was waiting for me to come say goodnight, because as soon as I did he was asleep before I left the room. Jacquie had also put a load of wash in the dryer and started another one, folded up some clothes, and cleaned up the kitchen. It was such a nice, thoughtful thing to do, and I was really grateful; for a change, I was actually in bed by 10:15 last night, and talk about heaven! I did finally have to give in and turn the heat on this morning, though, which didn't make me very happy. Still, I don't think it is very healthy to be able to see your breath in the living room (ok, slight exxaggeration, but it was damn cold).
I got a line on some apples, so we are headed out in the morning to go pick some. The way the weather has been, we have a very narrow window; they are best after one hard freeze, but we usually have a few weeks of cool weather. Now, with snow being in the forecast, we need to go pick them now or they will start dropping all over the place and being frozen hard. I hadn't planned to do any canning this weekend, but apparently the plans have changed. I won't get it all done, but will at least be able to start. Otherwise, I don't think we have much going on besides house stuff-taking out the air conditioner, covering the vent holes in the house, getting some plastic up. With any luck, we won't be in this house the entire winter, so there is some comfort in that. I am now looking at the Classifieds in the paper/online daily, and instead of feeling wistful, as if they are all juuuuuust out of reach, I am actually able to read the ads with a hopeful eye.