Sunday, December 02, 2007

Black Moods and Peaceful Cabins

I'm totally in a pissy mood.

I keep wanting to come and write about it, but even that gets me ticked off. Why should *I* have to take the time to write about what is pissing *me* off? Huh? Huh? Got a problem with that?

After a while, I eventually float to earth like some oak leaf in autumn, sort of lazily drifting down from the heights of nuttiness, floating to the left, taking in the scenery, turning to the right, catching the light, flipping over on my back to get a new view, until I land on the ground and say, "Whoa. Why was I so pissed off?"

If I take a few seconds to examine what's been going on, I can get to the place where I say, "OK, that's justified anger. You've been going through a lot." Or I say, "What else is new? This is the same crap you've been dealing with for about two years now. Get to a solution already. Stop whining and do something that makes you feel better." But most of the time, just reviewing this crap gets me angry all over again. And then we are UP in the stratosphere again. Goody.

A year ago, my son's life basically exploded. And I spent all last year fighting with the schools to help him. Nothing's better. They're still screwing around. His annual IEP review was to have been completed on October 17. After a five hour and an three hour meeting, and a few emails back and forth, I still do not have a legible COPY of the IEP that I can review, so I haven't signed it. December 2. Bit late, no? (That's OK, they don't have the program set up for him yet that they described IN the IEP, so it's all just a shell game.) Monday I'm sending a certified letter of complaint to the Director of Special Ed asking for a Due Process review unless this program is put into place in the next ten days.

Neo is getting grumpier and grumpier. School isn't going well, and she's spending a lot of time in her bathrobe. I've got her going to a therapist starting Wednesday, so we'll see what comes of that. I dunno. She's sort of slowing down --

Phe, the youngest, is just making me crazy. She's entered into the yelling if I can't get it or whining until Mommy's head explodes phase. She's cute. I know she's cute. But I sorta can't deal right now. I wish I had an older female relative who lived nearby I could just push her off on. Here. Take her shopping or something.

My parents left, yay, and my mother-in-law is coming. Gah. I love my mother-in-law, more than my mother actually, but there is going to be NOTHING TO DO with her while she's here. Dec 20 through early Jan. All the performances shut down right after Christmas, so there'll be no taking the kids to the ballet or other such things. Well, maybe on the 22nd, but that's only one day. So we're looking at many days of her sitting on the couch, doing her best to entertain the kids while she exclaims once again at how much laundry I do. (Yes. Eight loads a week minimum. I've counted.) And then we bump into the fact that all three of my kids are different. (There's a shock.) But there's no one activity that will work for all three. So whenever we have guests it becomes my job to cheer up the child who feels left out. Ugh. Great. Let's have more company over.

School Board -- This Thursday is my last day. There'll be cake, and a swearing in ceremony for my replacement. It's good, I guess. I dunno. I have very low expectations for the evening. (Or very high but they've already crashed?) No one on the board is expressing any regret whatsoever that I'm leaving. Which really is lovely, after having served so long and dealt with such crap alongside the rest of the board members. Want some cake? Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Dear Butcher and I have been working with a group of parents to get a support group for Special Ed parents set up. Which sounds like a good thing, and will be a good thing, but we've had to work with a couple of loonie birds to get it up and running. One of the loonie birds REALLY wants to sit on a committee. It will make her feel all important and tingly. OK fine. Turns out there is a defunct committee within the District for discussing Special Ed; all it needs is to be staffed. Once it's staffed, then the District can give it a small budget, and free meeting space, and the committee can sponsor the support group. OK fine. A few weeks ago we all went to a meeting to staff The Committee. I had the bylaws from the old committee, but I hadn't really read it closely. Holy Christ -- this thing calls for SEVENTEEN voting members.

Seventeen? Gee, I wonder why it never got anything done. I wonder why it fell apart. Hmm.

Seventeen? Are they out of their gourd?

The Committee was staffed by putting up big pieces of paper on the walls, and having people write their names under an area they were interested in. So I'm in charge of Publications (Resources was already taken, and I didn't want to step on anyone's toes), and Dear Butcher is in charge of Support Groups along with another woman. So now once a month, DB and I will have to trot off to The Committee to sit in on a Committee Meeting along with 15 other people, where we will vote'm not sure what we're voting on. I can't even figure out what The Committee is supposed to do. Once again, I wonder why the last one fell apart. Ha!

Sucky thing about The Committee is that the woman who attacked my son and wrestled him to the ground last year, even though she was not his aide, a woman who really has no business being around children at all, wrote her name down on a big piece of paper, so she is on the committee. Fuck me. Her best friend, a woman who has no special ed children and who does not work with special ed children, wrote her name on a big piece of paper, so she is also a voting member.

The second woman has a Thing about my son, and tracks his movements at school. If he acts up, even if he's with an aide, she writes a letter to the principal reporting upon his actions. In her last letter (to the Superintendent) she also said she would take it upon herself to inform other parents of "his history" if he lost control again. Great. This is exactly the reason I am a) not on the School Board anymore, and b) keeping him home from school until the his team can get their act together and build an appropriate program for him. And I get to work with these womyn on a trumped up committee, just so I can get a support group going. What the hell.

This is usually where my cabin fantasy comes into play.

One day I plan to live in a cabin. I've had the interior of this cabin marked out in my head for years, down to the scruffy green paint on the kitchen table and the coffee can filled with pencils on the window sill. It has an old fashioned bathroom done in funky tile colors and a large seedy sofa which wraps around two walls of the living room. The screen door, which is wooden, makes that "rrrR? CLACK!" sound when it closes. There's a woodstove on the first floor, and the only bed upstairs is right next to the chimney up in the loft. There are cats, big windows, and lots of comforters.

When I was walking precincts a few years ago, I knocked on the door of a seaside cabin in the old part of town. The elderly woman invited me in for a glass of water (which you are NEVER supposed to take them up on), and I talked to her for a few minutes about my campaign priorities, all the while eyeing her bookshelves which ran up the side of the wedge of her staircase and framed the living room in floor to ceiling clutter. She asked me a bunch of very probing questions on what exactly I meant by "Accountability", as it was a word so often misused. After a few minutes she said, "I'll vote for you, and I'll tell my friends to vote for you. You're a good person."

I thanked her and told her I was very honored to have her think highly of me.

I keep thinking of that woman and that brief conversation. It keeps jumping into my head at odd times. I think because that conversation marked the point in my campaign when I knew that my running wasn't just some made up thing, but that I really DOing this, and that I had a good chance of winning, and that meant that I was going to serve at some point. Somehow the books and and bookcase made it all real. I think I also want to be that woman and live in her cabin. And I'd like to think that a person like that would like me. And that I'd recognize a person like me if she were to show up on my door.

And I'd like to think that a cabin like that, or maybe the cat who lives there, would keep the black moods away.


CindyS said...


And my cabin is so remote that you need to fly in. I realized this didn't fit with who I am since I need to get out of the house on a daily basis. Then there would be my need to have everything be clean. My fantasy soon turns to dust after that ;)


Kate R said...

the thing is you really do have things to whine about. You're legit.