I’ve had a bit of a busy week between IEP prep and meetings, tutoring, pumpkin patch preschool field trip and Halloween approaching. I also still had this lingering cold from last week, so tried to take it as easy as possible to take care of myself. But mostly I dealt with a good five hours an afternoon and night trying to help Captain Comic with seeing his homework through all subjects, and finally the past two afternoons and eves, that seemed mostly a success without as must angst involved. It’s been tough, but I’m not complaining. I consider it a success that he seems to be finally acclimating to middle school, and getting the accommodations in place at school that will ensure his success as a student.
Then yesterday, two solid hours were spent in a conference room nitpicking and better defining measurability of goals and how best to meet his needs in school and beyond as we rewrote his current IEP as a team. I am hoping we came away from it on the same page. It seemed so.
I slipped from room to room,
opening curtains and windows
for a breath of fresh air.
In first son’s room,
he who loves the dark,
I drew back the yellow curtain.
Dark of early morning mid fall, I
looked down to the deep grass,
wet dark fence,
jasmine vines still green tangle,
one burst of red among the leaves,
a cardinal alarm to wake the day.
Later, I return from drop-offs,
I find myself still alarmed,
want movement and more air.
I find the bicycle tires flat,
Forego resuscitation, and grab the leash.
I ran, the dog ran, too.
She wondered what to make of it -
rare beyond rare –
through the traces of fire in the trees.
The sky greyed up
more so than that early hour,
and the black birds repudiated
the gifts the sky brought in fat wet drops
to wake relief in the dank morning.
Below is the content of an email I sent to Captain Comic’s teacher during particularly dramatic homework avoidance:
Apparently he’s willing to go to great lengths to avoid doing his homework. Currently, there is a missing ransom note to pay a mystery person $1000, no more, no less, that he received on fri, but threw out and forgot about until it was time to do his chapter 6 WYAR.
Now he wants to call in the SWAT team or the National Guard, or I’m going to die tomorrow, because we don’t have even 20 bucks, let alone $1000.
Gee, I thought I’d be worth a bit more than that to him.
And that about sums up what it has been like to do homework with him of late. It included quite realistic and dramatic emotional expressions to go along with the concept that his mother was to be killed tomorrow. He agonized about my death. He wailed, he sobbed, he put on an excellent show.
I knew the theme of my prior post would not last long.
The rest of this week won’t be, so this morning, I am enjoying the quiet. Then the mayhem will resume.
but for now, I can finally load photos again, so here are the purple mums from my front yard from last week:
Today I am finally going to go out to buy yardage of black material to accommodate one size 14 boy Grim Reaper and one size 3T or slighty smaller, Witch.
This makes me giddy. Maybe I’ll find a skull pattern to belt them, too.
And yes, the character choices are their own. Those choices are favorites of their mom, too.
I did today.
Lucy had to bark and click clack her terrier claws around the hard wood floors we recently put it. She would not settle down for about the first half of the meeting. Of course this happened largely in the livingroom dining room area where all my guests were attempting to write or edit on their laptops.
I was in the office, trying to coax Lucy back with treats to stay with me or lock her out of the house in the back yard. It is a beautiful day, the sun is shining, and she scratched on the slider like her life depended upon being inside.
Captain Comic called repeatedly from school trying to avoid something, putting on quite a dramatic show of a stomach ache, with no fever, no vomit or diarrhea.
Two of the writers needed to leave about thirty minutes earlier than usual, so I left to pick him up. I got him home and he aimed straight for the brownies. He scarfed one down with a big glass of milk. Promptly, he then corralled Lucy for a walk and flew out the door with her. Clearly he was healthy.
I did managed to knock a decent editing dent in my manuscript. I also researched online about the locations of certain astromical asterisms for my book. I found a lot of conflicting info and incomplete info for the purposes of my book.
Anyway, I did accomplish something more than I had before. I just hope the other writers felt they could work among the residual mayhem.
Grandma picked up Toots from preschool today and took her out shopping so we could meet, so at least we had that slice of quiet.
Hmmm, I wonder if we’ll meet here again anytime soon?
I usually have a pretty good attitude, even when I’m grumbling.
Today I feel like crawling under a rock and staying there for a while. Possibly setting up house.
I had a terrible allergy attack yesterday, still trying to breathe today and trying not to take more meds for it so I can sleep tonight. I have also had many in the past couple of weeks, more than I’ve had in the past 6 years.
I have an IEP meeting at Captain Comic’s middle school tomorrow, and I feel like I have conflicting communications from them. I get calls from teachers about problem areas, and I email with his case manager about her concerns as well as his teachers. Then when I put it in official language what he needs in place as to accommodate him, she backs off and says he is doing wonderfully, and they are accommodating. When I reinforce that he needs a paraeducator in every class and with specifics details re: the para’s function to address the concerns that are brought to my attention by them, she backs off again and says he’s doing fine.
When my conversations with his case manager are not in an official documented capacity, she swears she is, and asks me to trust that she is really advocating for him. As soon as anything looks official, suddenly I am a pita parent asking for too much, when I’m only asking for what has always worked for him. When it’s not in place, we get what we are seeing now, and it will only continue to get worse until he has the support he needs in place.
I’m not asking for anything for him, that I have not provided myself for higher functioning students than he is. I provided classroom support and learning center support to students at the high school level. He is in 6th grade, and I am only asking for classroom support. I am telling them exactly what works for him. It’s four points of support. Nothing extreme. It’s less than I have provided for other students twice his grade level, who were more capable of self directed coping skills.
I have worked in classroom support in a 5th and 6th grade classroom with a student who presented extremely similar to Captain Comic in his needs to function successfully. There is no way, no matter how wonderful the teacher I worked with was, and how aware she was, that he was not going to miss instruction, assignments, understanding of material, if I did not keep an eye on where he was, what he was focussing on and if it was relevant to the task at hand. I checked on his understanding of the material regularly. And this is all I am asking for Captain Comic.
He is not going to fit a neat box of the types of supports they have for more remedial students. He is extremely intelligent is some ways, placing him in higher academic classes. If he were in remedial ed, there would naturally be para support in every class. But he is not, so only receives it in certain classes.
He’s twelve. He just started at a new school, with a new schedule, new team, new teachers, new everything, and he is lost at sea. Because of this, he is struggling at home, too. It’s tough on all of us, and I feel I have to translate what’s going on for him, and how to deal with it for everyone. He feels like everyone at home is on his case, and in a way, we are. But we’re only trying to help him.
I’m exhausted and I just want to breathe. But really, I want to clean house, go adventuring, love everyone a little more. It’s been a tough week. Thanks for listening while I try to work out some of this outside my head.