I think my sense of humor has become absurd.
Tuesday morning, I was happy to get my heathens ready for school. 3 days at home is more than enough for them and me. I love them, but I love them better with a break. So, I get Alex up at his usual time, shower and dress and all that fun stuff, we wait for the 7:40 alarm that lets us know the bus is coming and happy dance to the front porch, chanting "school bus, school bus, yeah, yeah, yeah!" all the way. 7:45, the bus will be here any minute. 7:50...any second. 7:55, I'm checking the school website to see if he even has school. 8:00, I'm frantically ringing the door bell to try to wake the Goofy Child up to get himself ready. 8:05, I'm calling the bus garage. I have to admit, when they told me that they called me Friday and left a message on my phone that they changed Alex's bus, I got a little snippy. There's no way in hell any phone call goes to voicemail on my phone, and I would remember that call. I call bullshit. but whatever, they say the bus is running late. Well, that's nice and all, but Goofy has 10 minutes until his bus comes and he's not even up yet. That gets them moving and they decide to check bus times. Alex's bus won't be here until 8:28. 4 minutes after Goofy's bus. Alex was not happy to be dragged back into the house, he wanted that school bus. We chanted, for the love of Pete! When his bus finally came, the way he looked at the driver, I fully expected him to refuse to get on.
Later that same day, Alex's teacher emailed me to discuss scheduling an IEP meeting. Now, you know how those two little words can freak me out. I freaked. She reassures me that she has no intention what-so-ever of changing his IEP, she just needs to update it. I'm suspicious of this "updating." What exactly does "update" mean...is that code for "change something"? So I ask for notice on anything a member of the team would like to change so it can be discussed, I asked for a copy of the draft IEP to look over before the meeting, and my usual copy to read along with in the meeting. She agreed to all of it. and she's wondering why Alex was on a different bus this morning. Huh. Me, too. We should totally start a movement for transparency in the bus garage. Picket for explanation. I would make a riot joke, but I think that would be inappropriate considering Ferguson was just like, last week. Anyway, the other bus people were frigging awesome. Well, the bus driver was. The aide didn't seem to be too capable of anything, but the bus driver more than made up for it. He walked Alex to his seat and buckled him in every day. Alex loved him. The new one gets dirty looks and stays in her seat.
Wednesday, Alex came home from school all hyped up as usual. I take his vest off, unzip his jacket and hold the back as he runs out of it, just like always. Watching the jacket peel off of his arms, inch by inch of skin being exposed as he goes, my eyes widen as I catch sight of a fresh bruise. It's not big, but that doesn't even matter. I know where this motherfucker came from and I am not happy. I told them not to hold his hands, I told them not to hold his arms. For years I've been showing them bruise after bruise that staff is leaving while trying to hold onto him. We had a plan. They didn't follow the plan! and I'm telling myself, "woman, just chill. It could be from anything." (*snort*) but I calm down...ish. I write a very polite email. Seriously, when I'm polite, it's not a good thing. I usually have to be pretty fricking irritated to be polite. By 5pm, I've got myself all worked up. I'm drafting emails and ranting in my head. I have Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It, and Three Day's Grace's Let's Start a Riot looping in my head. I'm pacing the front porch, chain smoking and cussing up a storm when I catch myself. This is ridiculous! I'm all mad and cussing at them because they might not respond to my email with an acceptable answer, when I know damned good and well they won't even get the email until morning. I sent them a whole list of things that could have happened, it could be any of those things. Just because it looks like a thumb, doesn't mean they are holding his arm to walk him. I laugh at the absurdity of my reaction.
Until 24 hours later when I still don't have any response- acceptable or not- from any of the three people I emailed. I am going to school tomorrow. and I already have a fully drafted email to Special School Administration sitting in my folder, waiting to be sent.
I'm thinking at this point that it's not so much me that's absurd. What's absurd is that school staff is refusing to use a walking harness for Alex because they worry about how it will make them look and what people will say about them more than they are worried about Alex's safety or how it looks that school staff is bruising him, hurting him, because they refuse to acknowledge that there is a need. In the eyes of administration, there should be no difference between a using a gait belt and using a walking harness other than looks and small minded people's opinions. The harness just happens to be more appropriate for Alex. Different is our way of life. What can I say? We are definitely not typical, and that's not going to change just because someone doesn't like the way it looks.