Weight and See

Dear Dude,

I’m writing this on the eve of a big moment in your life: your kindergarten entrance test. I’m terrified. I do believe that at any moment I might cry. Or throw up. Maybe I’ll do both.

I know, I know. This all sounds so stupid and dramatic. It’s kindergarten for crying out loud. But you see, we live in a region of the country where most schools just aren’t that good. I’ve visited some. I’ve seen the performance data from them. Hell, I briefly taught earth science in one of them. The fact that I’m not teaching, despite the fact that it was probably my true calling, is a testament to just how unfriendly some of these schools can be.

Your sister got you an “in.” Once you hit kindergarten, sibling preference kicks in and as long as your grades stay good, you’re all set. You just have to pass this stupid test. That’s a huge deal for this ultra-popular magnet school. And it’s a wonderful place. Despite a few negative individuals, I adore everything about the people and the place. They push STEM so much, and Dude…. science is your language. I think that’s why pre-K hasn’t been such a good fit for you. They don’t do much science that I can tell, or at least not on your level.

So tomorrow you’ll be pulled aside in the morning, hopefully while the meds are fresh. You’ll likely sit in front of a computer and have to identify letters and numbers. I guess. No one tells me anything, which is the most frustrating thing in the world. This random test will see if you’re “smart enough” to stay in this school.

I am crossing all my fingers and toes that this goes well for you- that for once you decide to toe the line and perform. We’ve done hours of ABC Mouse. I’m bribing you with a new pet (a fish of your very own) and a new cactus. One of your grandfathers is primed to order you a trilobite on Amazon.

I know in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal. But yet it is. There will be bigger and badder things to worry about later, but for now you simply have to nail this. I need a momentary break from the worry, especially when a teacher in carpool today informed me that your sister was sobbing at recess, saying that no one would play with her and her “life is miserable.” Yes, I know she’s simply trying out her dramatic emo facade, but that kind of stings my mom heart.

Be cool, be bright, be awesome tomorrow.

I love you,

Your MyMom

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A Trip Off the Olde Block

I can explain.  No really, I can.  We went on vacation.  We went on quite a proper vacation.  No 3-4 day weekend.  We packed up, we climbed on a plane, and we left town for an entire 7 days.  Since then, it’s been a mountain of laundry and what feels like hundreds of missed emails and messages at work.  I haven’t even gotten around to sweeping and mopping my floors, so if you swing by I’ll probably slam the door in your face.

I won’t attempt to describe our entire trip,as we crammed as much of the Virginia Beach area in with my dad in tow as was humanly possible, but I will provide a few succinct bullets:

  • It’s hard to pack a family of 4 into one suitcase for a week, particularly when you’re going somewhere a bit cooler which obviously requires denim.
  • Denim weighs big.  I know this because Delta (Please present middle finger here.  I’ll wait.) wanted to charge me $100  for an extra 5 pounds in the suitcase (Not a typo.  I repeat, not a typo.).  Oh.  Hell.  No.  It’s cheaper to jettison your clothes and just buy new shit when you get there.  Instead, we were one of those families rifling through our bag at the gate, shoving jeans into backpacks.
  • Dogs suck.  I know I’m going to catch some heat for that, but I promise I will explain in a subsequent post.
  • Kids are not always amazed by the same stuff that amazes adults, but sometimes the stars align:
    • Williamsburg is not a good place to take kids.  On the surface it’s fine, but once you get there prepare to hear about it.  I asked my dad if I was just as much a pain in the ass as my kids were being, and he confirmed.  So there.Jamestown is a fun place for kids.  My kids loved the indian village and the reproductions of three old ships which brought settlers over.  Y’all, our ancestors had cajones!  Those ships are tee-niny.  I can’t imagine crossing the Atlantic in one of those things.Yorktown is also fun, as you can run through surviving trench-lines that early colonists and their French allies dug while fighting Cornwallis’ British forces.
  • Busch Gardens is universally appreciated, unless you’re my dad trying to buy beer.  He got so irritated at one point that he shot a beer seller the bird.  Sorry, dad.  Flipping off a vendor is just too damn funny not to share.
  • Not all landfills are gross and disgusting.  Mount Trashmore is a rad park constructed in the early 1970s out of an old landfill.  It’s amazing.
  • No matter how much epic fun you’re having, A) it’s always good to get home, and B) too  much Togetherness can become a problem.

So that’s it.  We will now hunker down and wait for summer, where we’ll largely hibernate from the burning sun.

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2nd Graders of the Lost Snark

Once again I’ve reached one of those parental milestones, albeit a subtle one.  I think my children – especially Stella – and I have spring fever/end of year burnout.  And yes, as much as I have and still do bitch about summers and what to do with my kids and how the lack of routine has appalling results (and it does), I’m still pretty much ready for school to be done with a big fat old letter D.

Exhibit A:  My daughter’s behavior

She’s just kind of been an asshole lately.  I mean, I hate saying that about my kid, but it’s really the best word in my vocabulary to describe it.  There’s whining, bitching, occasional minor deliberate look-me-in-the-eye-while-doing-what-I-just-damn-well-told-you-not-to-do defiance, and arguing.  Getting through homework gets me more anguished howls than Vlad the Impaler ever evoked. Last night we actually had a disagreement over whether or not homework could  kill a kid for real.

I will interject here that this one is hard for me.  I fundamentally agree with her.  The homework is insane for a 7 year old kid.  Philosophically I disagree with a whole lot of what goes down in early education.  But I can’t do a damn thing about it other than make my kid do her f’ing homework and listen to her bitch about it.

Everything is just so dramatic.  Moo-ooom, you were allowed free dress every day?  You didn’t have these stupid old uniforms?  That’s not fair!   She may as well never go out to recess again because Girl 1 wouldn’t give her a turn on the spinny thing and now Girl 2 won’t give her a turn either so she just hates recess, it’s the worst ever.  I’ve actually started looking into whether 7 year old girls get hormonal.  Thanks to some of the other moms on my Facebook page, at least I know I’m not alone.


Exhibit B: My own behavior

I’ve already written about how I no longer respond to the Evil Villain’s behavior charting anymore.  That does not mean that I don’t pop off at home about it.  And I think it’s all been leading to this growing angst about this situation with my son: this pending test to get into kindergarten, how high those stakes are, and how absurd it is to put a 5 year old kid (and his stressed-out mom) through this.  I mean, I can’t even think of what will happen if he doesn’t do well.  It makes me kind of physically ill.  He’ll get eaten alive at a regular school.  No one will support and nurture his love for science and the natural world.  Dammit.

Moving on.  I had a phone call recently with someone in the school about trying to set up support for the Dude.  I don’t even know how to describe this phone call, other than a mixture of Who’s On First with Nurse Ratched from Cuckoo’s Nest (and I don’t even know which of us was the nurse).  It was just a baffling, confusing, and frustrating phone call for both of us, and it really shouldn’t have been.  I can’t even figure out why other than I’m just kind of over this stuff right now.  Normally I’m a bit more coherent and delicate than that.

There was also a text exchange between a few of us moms, wondering if there would be free dress on Thursday, since it’s the day before spring break and most of the day will be parties and such.  I replied first with something to the effect of no since the kids would enjoy it.  A few moments later I went on a diatribe about they may indeed allow free dress but only if we all have to frantically run to the store the night before and find something in the shade of sea foam or lavender with at least one bunny on it.  That then got me stewing in my own head about the lack of notice for school stuff and how it’s just impossible to plan with no notice and….

And I realized that damn, I was feeling and acting downright snarky.  I really do love my kids’ school, minor bumps with the system aside, and do everything I can to volunteer and support it.  But I am over it.  I’m done with 2nd grade.  I’m done with pre-K.  I’m ready to  move on.  More than that, I’m ready for a break.

This is my normal face now. Angry snark face.

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I’m At a Boss for Words

Some folks just have a way with people, with getting people to do what they want.  It’s a powerful gift that can be used for great good or great evil.  Look at Dr. Jonas Salk, for instance: first he develops the polio vaccine, then he advocates mandatory vaccination and bippity-boppity-boo the US has been polio-free since 1979 (according to the CDC).  And I’m sure convincing the masses to get jabbed with a needle and shot with stuff was not easy, particularly back in the day.  Dr. Salk was a pretty awesome dude who did the world a whole lot of good.

On the flip side of that coin you have monsters like Adolf Hitler.  I can remember all of us questioning our middle and high school history teachers about how one  man managed to convince an entire country (and then some) to go along with such absolute horror and insanity.  Hitler was a terrible dude who persuaded his way to WWII and the Holocaust.

My son has something in common with these men: he is almost scarily charismatic and persuasive.  Wherever he goes and whoever he meets, he  manages to get at least one person to do his bidding.  We were just at a party with some of our dearest friends; they were in town visiting for the first time in ages, so they had loads of family present.  Felix managed to get a nice lady – a great aunt, I believe – to hold his dirty, wet ball for him while he went inside for some snacks.  Later on, this same woman approached me and complimented me on how cute and charming her master was.

No, I didn’t give my kid betel nut to chew. This was after he convinced me to give him frozen blueberries again after I swore he would never get them again (he would paint the counter with them).

This is just one tiny example.  I’ve seen him walk into his school’s science lab and sweet talk his way into a free mineral sample.  He manages to get my mother to build Lego contraptions to his specifications.  He doesn’t build with her.  He is very clearly the foreman.  He and I were home sick Monday and he talked me into all kinds of obnoxious stuff, such as making a “rope ladder” out of this plastic string.  It had to be “long enough” before I was allowed to stop tying knots.  He goes to my in-laws’ to visit and talks them out of all kinds of stuff, also enlisting their help in building – and then carrying for him – whatever machine his mind has come up with.  When we went fishing, he was fishing, but I was holding the pole for him.  He needs his hands free, you see.  He can talk an old lady out of candy or ice cream faster than a hummingbird flaps its wings.

He even seemed to be able to persuade this bowling ball…

to straighten up. He ended up beating his sister 2/2 games.

I’ve seen him “persuade” an older cousin into picking up piles of sticks with him and then placing them exactly just so according to his directions.  And when this poor girl tried to take a lunch break, he paced like a tiger, frequently asking her if she was done  yet so they could get back to work.  I’ve come home with dead bugs in baggies in my purse despite my objections.  I have all manner of contraptions and machines all over my house, even stuck to the wall (after he talked his father into giving him a bunch of museum putty) and dangling from the ceiling.

Look at this creepy shit! He calls it his “microphone” so he can talk to his imaginary friend Video. It looks like something out of True Detective Season 1.

I’m simultaneously proud and terrified of my son.  I’m also crossing fingers and toes that he does NOT go into politics one day.

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The Lady and the Camp

I think I forgot to talk about camping.  Yep, we went camping last weekend.  We had planned a longer, three night trip during the Mardi Gras holiday last month, but the forecast ended up being dreadful.  Think 90% chance of rain each and every day and night dreadful.  Of course, none of that rain actually manifested, but hey: why should the weather people know what’s going on?  In any case, we cancelled because the idea of the 4 of us stuck together in a tent surrounded by water and mud is the stuff horror movies are made of.  For whatever reason, the kids’ school gave them a random day off last Friday, so I figured it was the perfect time to squeeze in a trip before it gets just too damn hot to think about tents.

It was a good trip.  The forecast had looked pretty gnarly, but until Sunday morning (more on that later), it stayed clear and dry.  And hot.  We were sweating all day Saturday.  We hiked.  We went fishing twice.  We actually caught a couple of small fish.  We visited the local Walmart.  Walmarts are really universal experiences, aren’t they?  You always know what you’re going to get.

Don’t let this picture fool you. Felix’s idea of “fishing” is to have his MyMom hold the pole. He graciously agreed to hold it himself so I could take this picture.

Sunday morning was intense.  We paid for all that pretty weather when the sky just opened up at 6:45 AM.  There was nothing to do but start ripping down camp and shoving wet gear into the car.  We were ankle deep at one point.  There was no coffee, no campfire breakfast.  Felix got so cold I had to almost strip him down in his seat and he rode home wrapped in his blanket.  We’re still trying to finish drying and storing our camping gear.  My car smelled like a landfill for 3 days.  Ah, memories.

That was some serious rain.

All of that is probably why I’ve been dragging physically and emotionally this week.  The pre-K classes had a special spring lunch with parents yesterday and I had the hardest time with that.  Normally I’m into it and enjoy chatting with the teachers and other parents.  This time the Dude and I sat alone and I almost jumped up and ran away when some of the other moms tried to talk to me.  I did not have the energy to be nice.  It was one of those times when I knew I had nothing nice to say so I kept my mouth firmly shut.  And I certainly knew enough to stay far away from the Evil Villain.

And I faked it long enough to take this picture.

This sentiment carried over last night when I was supposed to be taking my kids to Wellness Night at school.  It’s one of those things where you visit different breakout sessions and at the end get a ticket for a free dress day.  But the idea of five 20 minute sessions at the end of a day after trying to fly through dinner and homework then get home late in time to jump straight into the bedtime routine….  I just couldn’t do it.  Instead, I bribed them with a trip to Baskin Robbins.  I’m an asshole.  Not only did I deprive them of a chance to dress up cute today, but I took them to have fatty ice cream when they were supposed to be learning about healthy habits.  Whatever.

I’m hoping the weekend is peaceful.  I could use some peace.  It occurs to me that I am the Keeper Togetherer of the Family Merde.  I gotta get my own merde together.


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Calma Mater

My MIL just posted something on Facebook this morning.  It was one of those inspirational-type pictures with a message that read something to the effect of “You can’t calm the storm; you can only calm yourself and wait for it to pass.”  Usually I’m not one for inspirational-type messages, but today I needed that.

Part of that was because of Facebook itself.  Obviously today must be “post your favorite picture of dead/tortured animal day.”  I guess I should be grateful for a break from the endless barrage of “Trump is a dick” messages. Not that I disagree.  But shit, y’all.  I’m sick of looking at it.  I mean, yesterday in Girl Scouts I learned about the horrendous water crisis in Cape Town.  A major city of 4 million people is weeks away from running out of water.  I had not heard a peep about that.  To be fair, that’s on me.  My active avoidance of too much media is alive and well.  But come on, Facebook.  This not sexy and horrible enough for you to talk about?  No one has any clever memes or gifs? No online petitions?

Anyway, yesterday was one of those days.  It shouldn’t have been.  It started peaceful.  I made a good breakfast for the kids.  It got eaten.  Will took the kids to school and himself off to work and I got to feel that “Aaaaaaaaah!” moment, when the house suddenly and almost violently goes quiet.  It’s very much like when you’ve had the worst day ever and you drink that first swallow of wine and you feel your shoulders spontaneously unknot a bit.

Then Felix’s teacher called.  He had shat himself and would probably need a bath.  Shit, indeed.  I was on the couch in my PJs reading a report – the joys of telecommuting.  I had to throw on clothes and some mascara and haul ass out the door, only to receive another call.  She had somehow – bless her heart – managed to clean him up enough to stay at school.  I didn’t have to pick up my kid, bring him home, bathe him, and take him back to school.  Later I  learned that he was crying so hard that the passing guidance counselor heard him and pulled him out.  She took him for a walk in the garden, which I know he enjoyed.  I know this because he told me about it roughly 6 times.  He was unable to tell me why he was agitated in the first place.  The best approximation I got was something about being “stuck in a chair and having to punch and kick myself until I was dead.”  I think I have to call shenanigans on that explanation.

Stella was just bitchy.  I swear, y’all, at 7 she’s acting hormonal.  I know it’s just the oppositional/defiant component of her particular flavor of ADHD.  But dammit.  She showed her butt at Girl Scouts.  She showed her butt during dinner.  She showed her butt during homework.  She showed her butt during snack time.

And this part is something I don’t talk about much, and I feel kinda like an asshole/whiner for doing it now: my husband is having a depressive episode (good old fashioned clinical depression – NOT bipolar) and that just makes things suck so much more.  I feel almost like a Capri Sun juice pouch with about 6 straws in me.  Everything sucks my energy completely away.  And I feel guilty for complaining or feeling sad/resentful/insert-any-other-word-for-shitty about it, because I know he’s suffering and does not choose to have a brain that’s different like this.  I’m sure he’d rather not come home from work and flop on the couch in front of his laptop, either unable or unwilling to wade into the grind of getting kids fed, bathed, homeworked, toothbrushed, storied, and tucked in.  But this is also why I actually fell asleep in Felix’s bed for 45 minutes last night after reciting Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and why despite his asking  me to stay up with him past 10:30 or 11:00 at night to watch another episode of Jessica Jones I just can’t.

So today I’m looking for my calm.  I’ve been doing some things to help myself.  I’ve done a bunch of batch cooking lately.  That helps with meals.  It’s a silly little thing, but it takes planning, time, and energy, so goody for me that it’s done.  I’ve made a decision to “consciously uncouple” myself from my dance with the Evil Villain.  Sure, I glance at his behavior chart every day to see whether she’s awarded him yellow or red (apparently Felix will never see another rainbow or green day from this malevolent beast), but I don’t acknowledge this.  I don’t initial each day like I’m supposed to.  I don’t respond back to the notes, which surely is a relief to her, as the month of March is full, front and back.  So sorry.  Save it up for April.  I’m not wasting energy on someone who simply refuses to try to understand what is a pretty obvious situation.  And I’m trying not to waste energy worrying about Felix going to school and feeling henpecked every single day by this person – never hearing anything good or positive about himself.  For starters, he does love his teacher (the real one), and he has other adults that do care about him at school.  Secondly, Felix could quite frankly give zero F’s about this woman and what she says.  He’s pretty unflappable that way.

Maybe I should just take my cue from my son.  Only call for help if you see me starting to build a sonic elevator lawnmower out of pens, silly putty, MDF, and toothpicks at my desk.  I may be taking the calm thing too far.

This is not the best picture quality, as it’s a screen grab from the kids’ Xmas program at school This was the moment Felix saw me sitting in the audience. This smile makes my heart feel full. I watch this video all the time.

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Deed Between the Lines

In this day and age, we all have lots of friends due to the presence of social media.  Social media makes that easy.  And no, this is not a post in which I intend to debate whether or not that’s a good thing.

I’ve been ranting a lot lately, and I apologize for that.  I have no excuse other than this place is a good dumping ground for me.  I still suffer from that mom disorder – you  know, the one in which we moms don’t have time for luxuries like brow waxes or friends.  I always say I’m working on that, and I do try.  Or at least I mean it when I say it.  Anyway, lest you all think that I’m some miserable troll who does nothing but fuss about stuff all day, I figured I’d change my tune today.  This is also partly due to my mother, who asked me on the phone the other day if I had anything positive to say.  That kinda hurt my feelings, but point taken.

See? Not a troll.

Actually, I did just go out and do something normal just last week.  A friend of mine from work and I met at a bar and competed in one of those trivia games.  Y’all, I had so much fun –  more fun than I’ve had in a long time.  I felt rejuvenated the next day.  I hope I get  to do something like that again soon, and I must give a shout-out to Will for encouraging me to go.  Our team name was the Brains of Castamere, for all you Game of Thrones fans.  I thought it was cute.

We have survived Girl Scout Cookie season, and I must say it was a good experience.  I still adore the videos we made, and I confess that I go back and watch them pretty often – especially the one with Felix acting like Godzilla wrecking a city.  I’m proud of that.  Stella did really, really well, and was a trooper during our 2 hour cookie booth outside of a Sam’s this past Saturday.  By the end there was some whining, but that’s a long time for a 7 year old to stand in the sun.

And speaking of cookies and Girl Scouts, I did one of those random good deeds that left me feeling pretty happy (until I got the  note from the Evil Villain, but I’m moving on).  Last year, I ran through a local Starbucks drive-through for a coffee before a  Girl Scout meeting.  There was a nice kid at the window who saw my shirt and asked me longingly if I had any cookies.  Our girls didn’t sell last year (too young), so I promised him I’d bring him some this year.  I stopped before yesterday’s meeting to grab a coffee.  After I had ordered and paid, I handed a bag to the girl at the counter.  I could see her expression at first, likely thinking “great, another asshat who’s handing me her trash to dispose of.”  But she and the other employees were really excited once I explained and she saw I had given her cookies rather than garbage.

So go do something nice, y’all.  I know nothing compares to Girl Scout cookies, but I trust your creativity out there.

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Beat, Drink, and Be Merry

**I’m writing this here rather than send it to the school, whereby I would certainly be considered inappropriate at best.  Bear with me.**

Dear Evil Villain,

Wow.  March already, eh?  Of course, it must feel like school started four score and seven years ago to you, no doubt.  I say this based on how unhappy and downright – shall we say – bitchy you seem when I see you or we have cause to speak.

Now that the pleasantries are done, I suppose we should address the elephant in the room, post-haste.  My son.  More specifically, my son’s talking “issue.”  See, I know it’s a problem.  Believe it or not, he talks at home as well.  Do you want to know who his absolute most-favorite person is to talk to?  Me.  His MyMom.  That boy will talk to me all the live-long day when he has the opportunity.  It’s rather unbelievable.  It would be impressive if it weren’t so maddening.  It makes me feel drunk, only without the benefit and fun of actually having drinks.  In any case, I can be pretty sure he talks at school as well.

If I were in doubt, believe you me, you have obliterated erased those doubts by way of all the helpful notes you send home on the back of his behavior chart.  Last month alone, 7 notes were send home.  Based on my own amateur-hour handwriting analytical prowess, I believe you are responsible for at least 5 of these notes.  7 notes in a month.  Wow.  Impressive.  Particularly since the kids were only in school for 17 days in February.  Wanna know what else I noticed? Some variation of the verb “to talk” was used 16 times in your notes.  This does not count words like “speak,” “being loud,” or “visiting.”  I really like “visiting.”  That’s like calling that 500 square foot house in the real estate listings “cozy and intimate.”

Now why am I tallying?  I suppose I feel inspired by today’s note, the note in which you informed me that my kid wouldn’t wait his turn to speak and spoke out of turn (I like that – using “to speak” rather than “to talk.”  Refreshing.).  What’s more, according to you, he spoke out of turn “over 40 times.”  Holy moly, madame.  I am in awe of you.  Not only can you help manage a pre-K classroom, you can keep that kind of detailed metric.  You should be working for Nielson, or one of those political polls that get hot and heavy around election time.   It’s quite apparent: You are a maestro of data.

Ok.  I confess.  I’m being a teensy bit sarcastic.  What I meant to say is that you are obviously a bitter and intolerant old battleaxe, with very little  mastery of early childhood psychology, not to mention a rudimentary working knowledge of ADHD.  You see, this kind of thing – the talking – is one of the most-cited symptoms of the disorder.  If you don’t believe me, do a quick online search.  You can even add search terms like “Harvard,” “Mayo Clinic,” or “DSM.”  I’ll wait.

See? He’s so upset he can’t finish his sculpture

Look what you’ve done. He’s so upset he can’t even build his sculpture right.

See?  The talking.  It’s a thing.  And yes, I fully acknowledge it’s irritating.  But you see, I  know about the talking.  And yes, I have asked for feedback about my son.  We are trying to regulate his meds.  I need to know what’s going down during the day.  But the talking thing?  That horse is dead.  Please stop beating it.  If you cannot provide me with useful information, take that pen and shove it somewhere unmentionable.  What you’re doing is a waste of my time – not to mention it’s downright inflammatory at this point – and is serving no purpose.  It would be akin to me writing you notes, letting you know that “I woke up again this morning.  I’m still female.”  Or “I had to chew my food in order to swallow it without choking.”

I’m starting to have bad flashbacks to Stella’s kindergarten year with the Harpy.  Don’t make me start a 3″ binder.  I can and will out-data and out-document you.  I can and will be a real pain in the ass.  This is my kid we’re talking about.  He’s just a little boy.  He has a disorder.  He needs your help and support, not your fucking nit-picking.  He will outgrow some of this.  He will learn self-regulation.  He just hasn’t developed this skill yet.  Help him.  Think outside of the box and find ways to really connect with him.  He’s awesome.  He’s also smarter than you.  Hell, he’s way smarter than me.  I can’t wait to see what he ends up doing with his life.

Now I hope you do have a wonderful day, and that no one spills their juice during snack time today.  And please don’t hesitate to communicate with me.  Just make it useful.


Felix’s MyMom

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Hit Me With Your Test Shot

The clock is ticking for Felix.  Soon, he’ll have to take some kind of screening test to ensure his placement in kindergarten at his school.  It seems so damn stupid to say that out loud: a kid has to take a placement test for kindergarten.  In my day, we all went into kindergarten as Jon Snows, knowing nothing.  I know, I know.  I’m an old fart who ate dirt for breakfast every morning and was happy to have it, picking sediment out of my teeth as I walked 24 miles to school uphill both ways in the snow barefoot.  But y’all, I’m a nervous wreck.

I know my son is smart.  I also know that his ADHD is mind bending.  He gets in his head and sometimes it’s hell on earth trying to get him to come out.  He’d rather be in there with his machines and plants and fossils.  As far as he’s concerned, you can ram the letter K right up your ass.  It’s simply not relevant to him.

I’m terrified he won’t be able to focus, to show that he is bright and belongs at this magnet school.  He’ll be eaten alive in regular school, or at the very least he’ll lose his spark.  No one there will appreciate his affinity for science and absolutely anything to do with the natural world.  Do you know what he and I did the other day?  We watched a 15 minute YouTube video about barnacles.  What other 5 year olds want to learn about barnacles for crying out loud?  Fortunately for me he got up to run and grab his shell collection right as the narrator started talking about the barnacle’s super-long penis.  Yeah, I did not need him to hear that bit, and I certainly cannot unsee it.

I’m feeling massive mom guilt.  Sure, I’ve talked to the counselor at school, and briefly with our school district’s pupil appraisal folks.  They knew he was being diagnosed, or at least that ADHD was on the table.  There were off-hand suggestions that “maybe we can observe him and offer suggestions.”  But I don’t think that ever happened.  I certainly never forced the issue, insisting that we go ahead and have a formal evaluation, which would most certainly lead to and IEP (’cause I don’t think a 504 plan will cut it for this one).  I guess I took cues from the people I talked to: he’s young. We don’t usually treat/evaluate/offer services for pre-K.  He’s on meds and adjusting.  We have time, right?  Only now we don’t and I’m so damn angry with myself for not getting in people’s faces and insisting that they take this shit seriously.

We have about a month or so before this test can’t be put off anymore.  In the meantime, we’ll continue drilling him on ABC Mouse and some other school-recommended program.  He kicks ass when he tunes in.  Otherwise….  I just need this to go well.   It’ll be at least partly my fault if it doesn’t.  So much hinges on this stupid test.

Cross your fingers and toes for us.  Light a candle.  I’d say sacrifice a chicken but don’t do that….unless you know for sure it’ll help.

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To She or Not To Be

This will be a quick one, y’all.  Busy, busy, busy.

Yesterday I had the best experience.  Our Brownie troop had the opportunity to open a city council meeting by saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  Somewhere along the line, I had gotten the idea that the girls would get to meet our mayor as well.  I was wrong.  Turns out the mayor doesn’t typically go to these meetings.  Oh no, I said to the councilwoman.  Our girls will be pretty disappointed.  Next thing I know, the mayor’s staff was graciously leading our girls to the office so that they could go to school the next day saying “I met the mayor.”

We had about half our troop show up, which wasn’t bad considering A) each girl had to be signed out of school early, B) each girl would need a parent to take them to city hall, and C) parking downtown in the afternoon is a bloody nightmare.  But come they did, and did amazing.

My biggest glow from the whole thing came as a result of a conversation Stella and I had before we went.  She wanted to know about getting to meet the mayor.  Yes, you’ll get to.   What will I say to him?  You won’t say it to HIM.  Our mayor is a HER.

Normally I don’t get all wrapped up in stuff like that, but yesterday it was awesome.

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