So let's see, where were we?
The teacher that can't be bothered to "trouble shoot" (direct quote) my son sent him home after a mere half an hour in kindergarten on Tuesday.
My emails to the Principal and the counselor have gone unanswered, though I finally received a return phone call from the assistant director of special services with the school district, who I resorted to calling Tuesday afternoon. Since I feel my concerns aren't being addressed, I've taken the liberty of elevating things. I am not certain this is a good move or not; by getting the district involved I risk alienating the people I am counting on to help my son. On the flip side of that penny, I fear if I don't take some sort of action to push things along, we might make it through the entire year of kindergarten without my son learning anything more than the fact that his teacher can't spell his name right.
Yes, that's correct. His teacher sent home a sheet for the children to practice writing their names. She was kind enough to give them a model to follow at the top of the sheet...except she spelled my son's name incorrectly. After everything else that has happened it was...I can't even find the words. Insulting? Last straw? Proof? Don't know.
There's something about talking to school administrators, who must be very carefula bout how they choose their words in order to avoid any appearance of acting outside of rules and regulations (and federal laws) that makes me feel somehow shamed. As if my son's problems are MY fault. The result of poor parenting. Because maybe when he was born I just took a big ole' hypodermic needle and shot him up full of anxiety and ADHD and manic-depressive illness. Because, you know, that sounded like FUN. And so, feeling somewhat on edge from the phone call I had with the school this afternoon, I trudged happily off to choir practice knowing that it would make me feel better to do that and that I could then come home, throw the little guy in the tub (his sister's at their dad's) and relax with a nice glass of H3 Cab.
That was a very good plan, until I sat down with my freshly poured glass of wine at this computer and opened my email.
"I wanted to talk to you in person but it’s hard to find a moment to do that without little ears around. So, forgive the email. I know time is of the essence. I’m sorry to put you in this position but I have decided that it’s best that I do not continue watching _____ & _____. I didn’t want to quit on you or the kids, but I think it might be for the best. ______ & ______ are great kids and I see the good in them. However, it is overwhelming and I am thinking of my little ones. _______ is impressionable and copies [sic] everything older kids do; we just feel that it’s best to go with our instincts on this.
I regret putting you in this position but I also need to be honest with you. If it was just me watching _____ & _____ (without my little ones); I wouldn’t mind. However, I realize now that I need to look out for their best interests.
I plan on still watching them tomorrow (as you did pay me through this week), and maybe that can give you the weekend to make other arrangements?"
I see. My kids are "great kids" but your kids are impressionable, and so what, you don't want them to COPY THE KID WITH ADHD. Which I get, really I do, but maybe you should have thought of that BEFORE YOU ACCEPTED THE FUCKING JOB. I totally understand how being involved with me and my broken, special children isn't in the best interests of ANYONE. I do. And I forgive you for it. And no, you don't need to watch them tomorrow, dear lady, because the last thing I want to do is send my children back to a home where the adult in charge thinks that they are a BAD INFLUENCE. We get enough of that everywhere else, thank you very much.
And as you might guess, I am now sipping that nice glass of cabernet, plotting my revenge trying to wade through all of the anger and guilt and shame in my head and figure out just what on God's green earth I am going to do next. I am simultaneously thanking that same God for my boss, who when I called him trying to explain what was happening without dissolving into miserable tears, reassured me that I was valued, appreciated, and to please not worry about taking a day tomorrow to try and solve this problem. To not worry about doing anything that was needed to take care of my family.
And then I came here to post, and I read the really supportive comments a few of you really amazing people have left for me on the last couple of epistles, and I know that I am not alone. I know that I am not the only person who is trying to make chocolate chip cookies out of a steaming pile of dog poop, and I know that this is not the worst thing ever that could happen, even if it feels like it right at this very moment.
And I am not giving up. I am not going to concede that my child has no value, regardless of what some educators and caregivers might think. Yes, he can be terribly difficult. Annoying. Crazymaking. He is also adorable and loving and articulate and SMART oh my God smart, and he has the best smile in all the world. When we do songs and stories at night, as I tuck him in, we do a hug, he kisses me on the cheek, and I say "I love you, C." "I love you too, Mommy." "I love you more." "No, Mommy, I love YOU more." "I love you more than anything, C." "Well, I love you more than the whole EVERYTHING, Mommy."
You win, buddy. You win.