This week has been a long one and I am hoping that by saying I am glad to see it be over that I am not also simultaneously cursing all of us and causing next week to be somehow worse.
The only place that seemed truly safe and sane was home, where it was just SG and me, the kids having been with their dad all week.
I don't really talk much about work here and that's not going to change. Speaking in generalities, though, CRAZY WEEK. So many metaphorical fires to put out!
It was the second week back at school for the kids. This is a big year for both of them; Amazon Girl started middle school. For the first time in three years the kids are in separate schools. I know this is simultaneously scary and tremendously freeing for both of them. They love each other so much, even with all the fighting they do. Race Car Man has always had his big sister there to depend on and now he's learning to be in the world on his own. Amazon Girl has always felt the need to look out for her little brother. This year she gets to worry about herself and I know that's a big weight off of her.
Both kids have had their challenges already, only two weeks into the school year.
Race Car Man has had a combination of great/bad/OK/good/terrible days. There's no pattern with that one. It would be great if we could predict with any certainty what kind of challenges he is going to have; that way his teacher and classroom aides could at least have an idea of just how much wine they were going to need (or not) at the end of a given day!
Last year at two of his IEP meetings I brought up the thought that he may need an aide who is primarily dedicated to helping him but who could assist his teachers when he was coping OK. His teacher was for the idea but no one else seemed to want to pursue it.
On the third day of school I ended up writing a letter to the district formally requesting an aide.
I am very pleased that I received a phone call very quickly from the Director of Special Services and we have a meeting set up for Monday.
Amazon Girl has had different challenges.
To add some historical context: In the third grade a boy in her class fixated on her for some reason. His obsession expressed itself in constant teasing, poking, touching. She finally complained to me about it and I brought it to the attention of her teacher and school administrators. They observed, confirmed, and promised to keep an eye on things. Eventually he escalated to pushing, yelling and finally hurting her. The day he bent her hand back so hard we had to have her wrist x-rayed was the day I went a little ballistic with the school, and the other student was disciplined. They put my daughter in a different classroom, which I was not happy with but they were separated. Ultimately we ended up moving her to another school, not because of this boy but so that she and her brother would be at the same school after he was placed in his special ed classroom.
Fast forward to sixth grade. The middle school she now attends has students from several elementary schools in the district, including her old school. Guess who also happens to be at her new school? He is not in her homeroom classes, but he ended up in the same rotation for the last class of the day -- Health/PE. Apparently he started right back in with the verbal harassment, which I wasn't aware of. But on Wednesday he crossed the line. As she was walking out of her health class, he shoved her from behind, so hard that she slammed into the metal guardrail of the portable walkway. Her stomach was still hurting the next morning. She didn't tell any adults at school, but met her father in the parking lot and after telling him what happened, called me at work to let me know as well.
My ex and I went together to the school at 7 am the following morning and filed a complaint. The complaint was taken seriously, the boy was interviewed. Amazon Girl texted me later that she had met with the principal and told that the boy was being transferred to a different afternoon rotation so that she would not be in class with him.
I am very hopeful that this is the end of the problem. If he touches or harasses her further we will be contacting the police. I suspect that there are things going on with this kid that I couldn't possibly know about, and I have sympathy for that, but he can't be allowed to hurt my child and cause her to be scared to go to school.
I've told my daughter to find an adult right away if he comes near her or speaks to her. But I've also told her that if she can't find any other help and can't get away from him that she should defend herself.
Right now she's happy because she doesn't have to be in class with him; we can only hope that this is the end of it.
It hasn't been a total wash, though. My stepson Josh finished his Navy flight school testing and has been accepted to fly jets! He's moving to Mississippi later this month. Before he does that he gets to go to Texas to do this test where they put him on a centrifuge and spin him both with his pressure suit and without until he passes out. I am told this is to measure his G-force tolerance. Personally I just think the military gets its rocks off on making people incredibly dizzy. After that he takes a short vacation in Hawaii and I am also told I am not allowed to hitch a ride in his suitcase. On a very sincere note, his mom and dad and all of the rest of us are incredibly proud of his accomplishments. Congratulations, Josh. You are a terrific young man and I believe you really can do anything you set your intentions toward.
As for the rest of it, I would just like to know what it is that I could possibly say or do that for Pete's sake would convince the universe to let us have a whole lot of nothing happening the rest of the school year. I'm open to suggestions.