I made a big mistake with him this school year. He's been having a lot of trouble since we moved, mostly on the bus and at home. I considered transportation as a related service, I told you about it a while back, I'm not sure if you remember. I mentioned it to the school and was told no. I was told that there wasn't enough documentation of incidents to show a problem. I asked for documentation and it didn't happen so I decided to do it myself. Every day the Goofy Child came home with a story from the bus, I sent an e-mail to document it... until the assistant principal figured out a way to fix that. Email can only be counted as documentation with proof that the email was read- which would be a response. He stopped responding. I ran into him in the hall and asked if he read my email, planning to write his response in my communication log. He said no. That's it. just no. So, ok, fine, I see how we're playing this. My life is a mess, my kids are a mess, my home is a mess, and we're doing everything we can to just survive so standing in the hall, looking at him, I'd had it. Fuck it, fuck him, I don't fucking care, I don't have time for this. I gave up on school. The kid was only going to be there for another few months and his next school sounds like they are a little easier to work with. We stopped homework, I stopped looking in his backpack, I stopped the extra work. I gave up.
Looking in his backpack at the end of the year, I missed a lot. I missed his MVP award and the jersey we were supposed to decorate. I missed the movie day at the high school that I was supposed to sign the permission slip for- he didn't get to go. I missed his week as student of the week and all of the activities I was supposed to help him with. Looking at everything I missed, I can see why his counselor is saying Goofy is desperate for my attention, and I feel horrible.
He was supposed to go to summer school. He needs all of the help he can get and he doesn't qualify for ESY. I signed him up, I talked with the summer school principal. It was planned. I sent him for one week. With fewer kids going, and fewer needing transportation, the schools are all put on one bus route, that means Walter rode the bus home with him. I finally had someone who could tell me exactly what was happening on the bus. Walter begs me not to make him ride the bus. He says those kids are horrible, Goofy's bully is a little jerk, and Goofy keeps getting in trouble- he won't listen. Goofy is enough of a problem that he's sitting in the front seats. Do you think I've heard a word of it from the school or seen any kind of documentation? Not at all. I'm irritated, and this month I really don't have time to argue his existing IEP, accommodations that we agreed on, or adding transportation as a related service. I just can't. So I gave up. I called the principal and I told her, I don't have time right now and I'm just not doing it. He won't be back. I give up.
The difference is this time I'm not giving up on Goofy. We need this time together. We need to work on us. This summer I am learning to enjoy my children again, learning to play with them, remembering why I think they are so wonderful. Since I pulled him from summer school last week, we have been more relaxed, fighting less, cooperating more, and our routines are getting done. Goofy has been more willing to be the "big" kid and take on more responsibility. He helps me clean the house, helps with my errands, he helps me with his brother and his niece. He talks to me more about things that interest him, he laughs more, he spends time with me. He is amazing, and hilarious.
He's decided that swordfish are a real threat. They have swords on their face and they can stab you with them and you will die. He laid out a pretty convincing argument on why he needs to have a weapon with him at all times... I didn't have the heart to tell him that he probably won't run into a swordfish in Missouri. There is, however, a possum that likes to potty in our yard and a groundhog/squirrel team that likes to bait cars up the road. They could be as dangerous as a swordfish, I'm sure. He's learned to figure out how many guns he can buy with his birthday money. I knew his rockstar math skills would come in handy some day. He now has two new guns and a bow with arrows to keep me safe from invading swordfish. My hero.
We're doing good, we're getting to where we need to be. And the summer school principal is his assistant principal for next year. She is aware that I want an IEP meeting at the beginning of the school year, and she is aware that this time I'm not giving up. Right now, I need to work on us but I'll be ready to fight for him when school starts.