Heaving a great sigh, Suisan started writing her long overdue post in order to bring her faithful readers up to date with her life from late August through today.
1. School Board is better. Much better.
2. My youngest is in Kindergarten. Yay!
3. My eldest is in Middle School and loving it.
4. My Son. Oy. My Son. My son's teacher. My son's entire thrid grade so far.
5. Because number 4 has been so stressful, I've been glomming most of the Risky Regencies backlist. I've read an insane number of very well written Regency novels. At some point I'm simply going to type the titles out with a quick recommendation on each. But not today.
Let's go back to Number 4, because it's the one area of my life which has completely absorbed me. School started August 21, and since that time, my son has visited the Principal's office a record number of times. He tests at being at "advanced" levels for English and Math, but he's getting D's and F's this year. Essentially because he a) hates his teacher, b) refuses to do work for her, c) loses his temper whenever he's frustrated, and d) is much more frustrated this year than ever before.
For every misdemeanor, every infraction of rules, he receives a further restriction in his activities in school. He missed a field trip to the Monet exhibit (and neither my son nor I can actually remember *why* his ability to go was yanked), he's not allowed now to go out on the playground before or after school and is not going outside during recess. He's eight. No recess.
The school is trying to test him into Special Ed. I'm meeting with psychiatrists, having phone consultations with therapists, and everyone agrees that something has to be done for him immediately. Except "immediately" in the public school system takes about three months.
We're working on the diagnosis that perhaps he has Asperger's, or ADD combined with Depression, or some combination of the three. In any event, he's oppositional and rageful. He tears papers if he cannot understand the directions, he flat-out hates his teacher, and he's having a miserable year.
So, of course, everyone else is fairly miserable too. And, really, if I were a different sort of person, I'd ambush his teacher after school and dip her head in diesel fuel. I've come to hate her too. We've met. We've talked. We've met with the teacher and the principal. We've met with the teacher, the principal, and the school psychologist. I've asked the teacher repeatedly to be communicative with me so that I can support her from home.
She smiles. She talks in a high baby voice, and she smiles again. She sings a good morning song to the kids every morning. Third Grade. Third grade songs? I hate her. She also enjoys whispering when she's beginning to get angry. I hate her. She pretends that she's listening, but then she comes back with, "The other children in the class are able to take responsibility for their behavior."
Fuck you too. Because if my son could truly control his behavior he would. Instead, I come to pick him up at the school office to hear him say, "I had a brain stem problem today." Or, "I couldn't stop being angry." Or, "This is a horrid experience." The principal loves him, gives him hugs and tells him how proud she is of him when he's calm. The custodian puts his name in for recognition for helping him, without being asked, to clean up under the tables after lunch. The librarian giggles with him over the newest book he's reading. But his teacher reminds him again and again and again that he's not like the other kids in her class.
I've told her again and agan that my son cannot cope with abrupt changes in his environment. The principal has told her this too. On Monday, the entire class left the classroom (Warning Bell Number One should go off here) went to the library and had a lecture from a parent volunteer (Bell Number Two) and were introduced to the PTA book sale. "OK kids! Here are all the books you can buy if your parents sent you to school with money. If you don't have money, then just fill out this form, and maybe your parents will buy you what you want." (Bell Number Three--tell an angry, disappointed kid to do paperwork?) Instead of telling me, the parent, beforehand that his class was going to visit the library and get a sales pitch from a parent, she waited until he blew up. I would have come to school to help him. To Help You, Ms. Teacher. Instead, she called me and asked me to come pick him up from school because he had already lost his temper. I hate her.
I kept him home yesterday. We took the dog for a walk by the ocean (my son fell in, but enjoyed himself immensely), played Yahtzee, and did his schoolwork. This morning he's at school again in the morning, and then I'm pulling him in the afternoon. I told the teacher this morning. She says, "Oh. Is there a plan I'm not aware of?"
Yes. The plan where I have to step in and protect my kid from your passive-agressive whispering whiny behavior. The plan where I've been at the school for meeting after meeting, crying in the principal's office because my kid got slapped around again by you. The plan where I simply cannot take this anymore and will hold him home for as many days as I can until we FINALLY get some fucking assistance for this child and get him out of your class. That plan.
But, you know, the school board stuff is really getting quite a bit better. It's good to have balance in one's life.