I know, I know, It's been a month. My plan was take August off and get to blogging as soon as school started. Well, in much of the country, school starts today, so I'm still good. You'll forgive me, right? here are my thoughts:
I was a strict parent. An I don't take any crap! kind of Mom. Not a mean tyrant, but NO! meant NO, everybody knew what was expected of them and there were no shenanigans, hootenanny or wreck less hoopla. It worked out well for many years. Kristin was an angel & although Doug was hyper and pulled some yanks at school, he was great at home and we lived in a happy, calm environment much of the time. Then, one day, all that changed. Suddenly, I was doing everything wrong. I had to change. Everything I had ever learned, that had been working well, needed to go. I felt like a 19 year old, green, terrified, first-time parent. This was uncharted territory! Well, another 6 years has passed and I am still learning. Every book on the subject of raising a kid like this has a different theory, a different way of doing it right. These books talk about healing and structure and attachment and empathy and self control. they push therapy, although unconventional therapy, and we jumped on the band wagon, only to be told, "He's great! You got one of the good ones!"
"But... but... but..HE IS CLIMBING OUT OF MY CAR ON THE FREEWAY! Ok, whatever.....fast forward.
Now this kid is (most likely) a teenager, and everything is changing again. Again, we are reading & searching for answers, looking for new ways to channel his awkward, endless(yet selective) energy, get him critically thinking, pull out some effort in school and work, tone down his hormones(oh.my.god.) and instill some kindness and concern for others(HE HAS ABSOLUTELY NONE). The ball game has completely changed again, Yogi & I are down 3-zip and we are reeling from it. The summer actually went extremely well, overall. Other than his severe kleptomania and bed wetting(well.. the crap that goes along with it more than the actual wetting), no major infractions. BUT-then school started & he had a "Birthday" all in a 2 day span and all hell broke loose. No physical fights, he's not into that anymore, but a bit of yelling(by yours truly) and some complete shut down, regression, refusal and HOW BAD CAN I PISS THEM OFF BEFORE THEY SLIT MY THROAT? CUZ THAT WOULD BE SICK! action. siiiggghhhh. Let's just say, he was quite disappointed when we stood our ground, acted appropriately and called on teachers, friends and each others to help us get him back on track, or, "regulated"@@ (that, by the way, is the dumbest word in all those crappy books. THERE. I SAID IT.) I'll show ya regulated lol.
To put it all down on paper would take years but I will give you the Reader's Digest Condensed Version:
1. 7th grade. Middle School. Huge place. i worked as a para professional, but i never taught there, its a new building, so i know everyone, but do NOT know my way around. Yesterday was day 7. He still can't find his way to any of his classes, even though he attended summer school there. He's nervous, anxious as hell and embarrassed. Most realize that he's truly lost, but a few have beat him up a bit, verbally, accusing him of being a PITA.
2. In most subjects, he's a 3rd-4th grader in a 7th grade environment. IEP's take time to be read, analyzed and implemented. Rome wasn't built in a day. There are waaaaaaay needier kids than he. (him?) So...no resource room or ESL class yet(mostly for language arts/writing and math). He is sitting in a math class, mixed ability grouping, learning to convert math problems and answers INTO CHINESE MATH. NO LIE. OY. The homework is insane. I modify it, cross off second pages, write things like "You're kidding, right?" at the bottom of pages and send them back. LOL. Thank GOD I have a clue. Last night, after a HORRIBLE Tuesday night, I took up a better approach. Front & back of a spelling worksheet took an hour and a half, after having him erase all the "answers"(he just put a word on each line and wanted to hand it in, just to get through it FAST) I explained each section, defined all the words, and then he could do 65%-70& of it. After LOTS of erasing and promises of cell phone usage he had a much better attitude the 2nd time around. You have to be soooooo chill with him, so calm, or he just shuts down. It's tough not to rip out your hair and cuss, but I try. Then his Concerta wore off and we were pingin'. But we came out the other side. Did you know that Iditerod dogs are also called Maneuver Dogs? who knew? Anyway.....it was WAY above his head, honestly. He did a 4th grade spelling program last year, I'm hoping they get it all worked out very soon. Libby gave me some 5th-6th grade workbooks, maybe I can implement some of that and trade it out while we wait? LOL. My friend Cheryl called and told me to push the school. She says there is no reason why they can't simplify some work during this transition and send it home.. They say they are "pushing independence". Um....HE CAN'T FIND THE SHITTER! Much of his teaching team are old friends/colleagues so it's tough...I went to the Open House Tuesday night, as tired as I was after all that bitching & moaning, and chatted with the Special Ed. teacher and 2 subject teachers, they are doing their best, I think. I will give them more time and one good thing came out of it- They are now helping him get around. He is being shadowed by Sally Smart Ass, without his knowledge. Follow the snob in the plaid skirt!
3. Birthday. Wanna do something fun? no. wanna have cake? Invite some friends over? no. "just get me a cell phone." I took the easy way out and did it. BUT he can only use it if he brings home ALL materials, puts in EFFORT, acts APPROPRIATELY and behaves in school. That worked yesterday. we shall see.....
I WILL NEVER GIVE UP. HE WILL GRADUATE. HE WILL LIVE INDEPENDENTLY. HE WILL FIND TRUE LOVE. HE WILL SURVIVE. HE WILL SHOWER REGULARLY. OR I WILL DIE TRYING.
I better go, my foster dog ran out of bladder control pills and well, yah. BYE!