Thursday, November 21, 2013

Parenting and Responsibility

Now, this post is probably going to get me into a lot of trouble with a lot of people but, today, I don't even care, it's not like it's not all true. If anyone should happen to be reading and don't like what I have to say, please do not call my husband to tattle on me. That is annoying. If you have reason to be offended, you probably have my phone number. If you don't have my number, there's a reason for that.

I am indignant. I am mad. Still. Even after talking to that lovely man at the middle school.

Ok, so, what started my descent into airing the family's dirty laundry for all to see? This...

I went to pick Walter up from tutoring as I always do. Walter looked upset when he got into the van and he says, "that woman." Huh? That Woman was upset that Walter was not picked up at 3:55. She wanted to know where Walter's parents were after tutoring, Walter told her that I had to get his brother off of the bus and it would probably take about 15 minutes. She said that was unacceptable because tutoring ends at 3:55 and I should be there at 3:55. He repeated that I had to get his brother off of the bus, she told him that school starts at 8:00 and asked if he would leave the house at 8:00 to be there on time, she said that I should leave earlier to get there on time like any responsible parent would.

Now, I really don't think there's a way to misinterpret "like any responsible parent would." Not for Walter, and not for me. and I am mad.

I bust my ass for these kids every. fucking. day.

I have been with my husband for almost 7 years now. I helped him bury his daughter, I was there the whole time. I was there for what came after. I have helped him decorate her grave every year and tried to incorporate her into every part of our life. I have helped him raise his boys since they were 13 and 11 years old. We have been through nightly homework battles, refusing to go to school, sick cats, the loss of a first pet, the fighting over chores, the missed buses, the asthma attacks, alcohol abuse, drug addiction, rehab, teenage pregnancy, teaching them to drive, making sure they got to work every day, first tattoos, first dates, THE talk... I have been there every step of the way and I didn't back down no matter how hard they pushed or how loud they yelled. Through it all, their mother couldn't take care of them because she has substance abuse issues and a tendency to make bad decisions that take her away for 6 months to a year at a time.

I had a niece that lived here for 2-3 years because her mother was sobriety challenged, between homes, and wasn't able to provide for her. For the time she was here, I made sure she had a place to sleep, a place that was her own, I got her up in the mornings and made sure she went to school, I enforced the chores and rules, I helped with homework, I did the day to day care.

I had a friend of the oldest living here for almost 3 years because his parents couldn't handle him and just tossed him out. I made sure he did what he needed to do. I made sure he got to school, I made sure he got to and from work, I made sure he had a roof over his head, food in his belly, and the knowledge that someone cares enough to do so.

I've had my nephew every other week for the past 2 years because there is no one in the family who is suitable enough and/or available to take care of him while my brother is at work. That boy knows he's loved here. He knows there are rules, expectations, routines. He knows when he is here, he is home and that will never change.

My grandbaby has been here since July because her parents need a chance to get on their feet and get stable enough to give her a good home and take care of her. She has stability. Security. Routine, structure, the adoration of 3/4 uncles and devotion of grandparents all around. She is an important part of this family and never has to question if she belongs.

On top of all of THAT, I have the three kids I gave birth to to take care of. Walter's father bailed as soon as he heard "pregnant" and Alex hasn't seen his father at all since last May... And *I* am the irresponsible one!? Are you kidding me? *I* cared for all of these kids. Their parents trusted me enough to be a *responsible* caretaker that they left their kids in my hands while they got their shit straight and I think I did a damned good job.

I am doing the best I can. I'm not perfect, and I'm damned sure not a saint, but there is no way in hell I could be called irresponsible.

When I signed Walter up for tutoring, I told them that I would be late because of Alex's bus and asked if Walter would have a place to go every day for 10-15 minutes. The secretary told me that would be fine. Like any "responsible" parent would, I notified office staff ahead of time and made arrangements for the time between when tutoring let out and when he could be picked up- before I even turned in the permission slip.

I went up and talked to the principal today. He does not think I am irresponsible. He understands the reason I am late, that it was approved ahead of time, and he says those few minutes are NOT a big deal. The teacher who made the comment is upset that there are parents who are abusing the tutoring, using it as childcare and not picking their kids up until 5:30. Because of this, the teacher isn't able to be home for her own kids. While I can understand her frustration, I am not abusing it. I have a valid reason for being 10, never more than 15, minutes late to pick my son up. I thought, since she has worked in the Special School District for more than a few years, if she saw Alex's Behavior Intervention Plan with the documented behaviors of dropping and eloping, and the Notice of Action for a Physical Therapy evaluation because of his difficulty with stairs she would understand why I can't let anyone else get him off of the bus outside of the times I have absolutely no other choice, but the lovely man said she doesn't need to know my reasons. I have reasons and it was approved ahead of time and that is enough. Works for me.

Before you judge someone on what you think you know, think twice because they don't usually tell you everything.

1 comment:

  1. You are awesome! Whoever that woman is, she is obviously not awesome <3

    P.S. That was me who accidentally commented above, with wrong account. Sorry!