On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Happy Hump Day

The battle continues.

While Sissy comes unglued at home because she is back in school and being asked to do things she doesn't want to do (in other words, education = no coloring and listening to Michael Jackson ad nauseum), I suit up and prepare to do battle on her behalf, again.

OK, so it is a bit of a joke that it only took her 17 days to get ISS.  But the reality is that it's the school's fault.  Yes, my daughter should be held responsible for her choice to cut PE by going to the bathroom for 45 minutes and not telling any adult where she was going or what she was doing.  But I've told the school and the county time and time again, she can't have that much freedom.

Look, if I have to make my daughter sit in a lawn chair in the driveway while I mow my front yard, a job that takes only 20 minutes, because she gets into too much trouble if she is unattended in the house while I use the toilet for 5 minutes, then clearly my child can not be expected to walk from one wing of a middle school building to another with the other 900 students all moving at the same time AND be expected to GO TO THE CLASS SHE HATES.

In short, she's a liability.  A walking lawsuit waiting to happen.  A flight risk.  Vulnerable prey to a predatory hormonal male student that sees her wandering the halls alone, unsupervised.

At home, it's clear to me.  With that much freedom, she panics.  For Sissy, that means be bad, be very bad so you get restrictions that limit your freedom!  Of course, if you ask my daughter if she's doing it on purpose she'll deny it flat out.  But if you ask her, "So... why do you think you keep making poor decisions?"  She'll answer quickly.

"I can't take it!  I just can't take it!!! It's too much for me!!!"

Because it is.  And if my mentally ill and developmentally impaired child knows that it's too much and can SAY SO, then why is it such a hassle to get the county to agree that a more restrictive learning environment is what she needs?  Why does it come to a battle every single time?  Why does it require that I call the state so THEY can call the county and tell the county to call me back because the county WON'T call me back unless I play hard ball?  All it does is make me look like a brute of a helicopter parent that enjoys fighting and tantruming like my daughter does.    When in reality, I'm a mother fighting for what is right, fair and appropriate for my child.

When asked about ISS, my precious daughter said with excitement, "It was cool ! We got our own special toilet time and lunch time, separate from the rest of the students!"

This is NOT the voice of  a child that is remorseful for her actions.  It is the voice of an emotionally disabled child that is functioning at age 5 on a good day but who also has the uncanny ability to speak the truth about herself without saying it outright - she needs a learning environment in which she is separate from the rest of the general population and then she will be happier than a camel on hump day.


Maebius said...

Sometimes that is the most frustrating part. The kids -know- where they are happy and can function best, but when the adults (school, etc) stick closer to dogma (or "normal procedure") for whatever reasons (and I've also heard them all: budget, integration, convenience, etc) and ignore the Child's voice it can drive you mad.
Hang in there SuperMom, it's worth it for those moments of joy when everything works outtemporarily! :)

Lisa said...

I am totally stealing some of your lines here! My son just left for his 4th day of school. The first 2 days he was over the moon excited (giddy, goofy, giggling - actually a bit disturbing to see him in this artificial state of bliss). Yesterday he called to say he forgot his biology book - oops, Mom isn't running things to school anymore now that you're in 9th grade (high school here) and I had very clearly handed him the book the night before and instructed him to put it in his bookbag. A few hrs later he was calling because he needed to come home (stomach ache). No again, Mom is going to finally go to lunch with her bestie that she hasn't seen or spoken with since last April (specifically due to dear sons constant need for attention). This morning he doesn't want to go because kids are picking on him (he's small for his age). The teachers won't give him his textbooks because he has a $1.10 library fine from the middle school last year (news to me) - which makes zero sense (probably cuz it's not true). Oh yeah, and despite being in high school now, NO HOMEWORK AT ALL. I am gritting my teeth and waiting for the teachers to finally call because my pat answer this year is going to be, "Have you read his file?". No matter what I say, they are sure I am being that helicopter parent and I am just fed up. We really don't have a "good" self-contained EI classroom for high school in our county. The one that exists "sounds" like it might work, but it's a case where what they say goes on - doesn't. What they claim to be restrictions - aren't. Almost like a bait and switch dealie, except they aren't advertising for any new students - EVER. It's a big secret that it even exists.

He is thrilled with the lack of supervision and unlike Sissy, craves the lack of it, is almost like a junkie getting his fix in any way he can. Of course, it never works out well for him. He also gets into trouble if left alone for even 5 min. (most times, less). Why in the world would we make this crap up??

Keep fighting - they're just people too, no matter how much they want to act like they're the gods of education.

Lisa said...

It becomes a battle because they (must) have been trained to deny, deny, deny. They wouldn't want word to get out that parents can "make it easy" for their children with all kinds of services. This "least restrictive environment" bs is getting under my skin. What parent would automatically stick their kid in a lock down environment if they could handle a regular one? We KNOW they will fail in the general population of students because they aren't like the other kids. My sons new tactic is coming to class without his book and then pulling out a library book (that HE chose and HE is interested in) and sitting quietly reading. His teacher was praising this yesterday and I warned her that this was his plan and that it would become a problem if she let him continue - he has not turned a single assignment in all year thus far and she found a worksheet she gave him hidden on a shelf in her class. If he cannot come prepared to class, he needs to keep his book in class and bring another one home for homework so he's never without one. Hmmmm....why am I telling her these things when it should all be written down in his file (that she assures me she read)? Communication!!