Bloggy Moms

Thursday, May 22, 2014

On Being the Mom My Kid Needs

Today there was an incident that reminded me of why I do what I do for my daughter. It went like this...

Yesterday I received a phone call from Princess' teacher during the school day. My heart skipped a beat because in the past phone calls meant one of two things and never anything else: either my kid hurt another kid or she was hurt or sick. Never once did I get a phone call complimenting my child. Yesterday's phone call was neither. It was about changing the time the van picks Princess up in the morning. It worked out wonderful for us this morning to have almost an extra hour.

Then today I did get one of those dreaded phone calls. This time it was that my child was injured. I should be upset because another child pushed my child into a wall which injured her already delicate back. I'm not angry though because my daughter used to be the one hurting other children.

Princess' school therapist/case manager called me to tell me about the injury and to see if I wanted to pick Princess up. She informed me that Princess had asked for me to come get her. Since I had not had to do this in a very long time, I agreed.

One of the reasons I thought I should come and get Princess was that I wanted her to know that I cared. I envisioned her sitting there wondering why her mom didn't pick her up. As I was thinking about this I recalled a time when I was a child when my mom did not come and get me. I still remember to this day that I was in 6th grade when my period leaked through my white pants. For whatever reason my mom could not take off work so the male principal drove me home. Once home I discovered my two brothers were home from school sick that day. Since my older brother was of age, he stayed home to take care of both of them. It was an awkward and embarrassing moment to be sure.  I was surrounded by all of these males in the middle of my female crisis. Don't get me wrong there were plenty of times that my mom took off to take care of me but this one time she did not.

When Princess was littler and even last year, we got a lot of phone calls from the school telling us that she had hurt herself. Most of the time my husband went to get her because at the time he was the primary caretaker. There was one time that he was substitute teaching and I was teaching full time. Neither one of us could get away easily and we didn't really have any friends or relatives who could come and get Princess. I ended up being the one to go get her. It ended up being nothing but I was glad that I went nonetheless.

Now that I am home full time, I am able to be available for little snafus like today. Unless I am in a very important meeting or too far away to get there in time, I want to be the one to help her. I understand that there may be a time where my husband or a friend might have to come to her aid but I hope that my daughter doesn't have to encounter the embarrassment that I did.

Update-On the car ride home I asked Princess what she said that ticked the other child off. She said that she did not say anything but rather gave her the "Chinese" middle finger. Apparently it is to stick your pinky in the air. I told Princess that she won't be doing that next time this other student is upset.

Princess is now happily playing with her dolls. Pretty soon I'll try getting her to do some homework. She seems to have fully recovered.

Is there a time when you had to pick up your child from school? Is there a time that you were unable to be there when your child needed you? Is there a time when your parents were not there for you in your hour of need? Please respond here or on my Facebook page- Raising a Drama Queen: Insights and Musings in Bipolar Land

Monday, May 12, 2014

Remembering My Mother

I was going to post this yesterday but I just ran out of steam or motivation or whatever.
Don't get me wrong I loved my mom dearly. I miss that she is not here to see her grandaughters grow up (my brothers each have 2 girls- no boys in the mix). I miss that I can't talk to her and get advice or just tell her about my day. We were very close before she became ill.
Before my brothers and I were born she had what is now referred to as a psychotic break. She spent several months in a mental health facility. Somehow once she came back home she was able to resume her life for a very long time without any medication. That is until all of us kids left home.
My dad also suffered from Mental Illness. My parents divorced when I was 7 because my dad became very unstable. My mom feared for our lives. My mom raised my brothers and I by herself. She made sure we were fed, clothed and had a roof over our heads. She made sure that we went to church and that we desired to become productive citizens. She gave up so much to ensure our happiness.
One by one all of us left the nest. First my younger brother left to join the Army. His intent was to only enlist for 4 years but you know how that goes. Before you know it you are married and signing up for more years. Then my older brother got married and started a life apart from my mom. I went away to college but I was still close by. When I finally married at age 33, my mom held it together for a few more years but eventually we saw a decline in her health and her mental health.
A few years after I got married, my husband and I were training for a marathon. My mom scheduled a knee replacement surgery right around the time of the marathon. Since I was flying out of state to participate in it, I asked my mom if she could post pone it but she said couldn't. As these things tend to happen, things did not go well. Two days after her surgery, my mom suffered a major stroke that landed her in the ICU of the hospital that she was recovering in. I  told my husband that he could go on and participate in the marathon but he felt he needed to be by my side.
Shortly after this event we saw my mom's mental health decline rapidly. The life that I had always dreamed of was not my own. I was signing my mom in and out of mental health facilities quite often. When we saw that my mom could no longer care for herself, we moved her to an assisted living facility close by where her apartment had been. That proved to not be a fit for very long. Next we moved her to the first of several board and care facilities where her needs could be better met.
I tried to see her when I could but it was very hard as I was really trying to live my own life. Around this time my husband had cancer twice and I was pregnant with Princess. Somehow we got through and fumbled along for almost four years more.
One day I was at the dance studio with Princess when I got a call from the doctor at the hospital telling me that my mom had been admitted with pneumonia. I'll never forget this doctor's words of "You better circle the wagons." I could not believe my ears. I did what I always did and pulled it together for my mom. I went to visit her in that hospital room where she lay comatose. I know she recognized me by the way her foot moved when she heard my voice. A few days later, she was gone.
It was interesting because she always identified with St. Patrick's Day since she was named after him. So she hung on a few more hours past midnight on March 18th.
I share this story to explain that I have experience with Mental Illness besides just my child. It is in my DNA. It is also in my husband's DNA. I had hoped it would skip our child and not manifest in her but it has. I truly believe that God needed a special mom and a special dad for this little one. So He chose us.
I take this responsibility very seriously that is why I fight so hard to get Princess everything she needs.
Blessings to you and yours on this day after Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I Think I Might Spit Nails at the School

Disclaimer: I apologize ahead of time for any poor grammar I use or if I offend anyone.

For the last few days I've had a blog topic swirling around in my brain. It's a pretty good one too that I don't see addressed anywhere but alas that will have to wait as I have a more pressing topic that is just begging to be written.

I like to be pretty methodical and to think things through when I write but sometimes that is not the case. Today is a vent or a rant. I'm calling this my creative vent and yes I coined that term. You may borrow that term if you wish since I did not copyright it.

But I digress.

On my Facebook page which you can find here, I have been writing about the possible new school that we are looking into Princess attending in the Fall or possibly in the Summer. Two weeks ago I sent a letter via certified mail to Princess'  school district case manager  and another to the  NPS administrator telling them of our desires and why. Last week was Spring Break so Princess' current school did not get the letter until Monday. Ever since then they are putting up a fight to hold on to Princess. Unfortunately they are going about it the wrong way. I'm hoping that will work to our advantage but in the meantime I'm getting angrier by the minute with their treatment of my daughter.

Yesterday Princess informed me that her class watched a Goosbumps movie at school. I have a few problems with that the most important one is that Princess gets anxious after watching these kinds of movies and has nightmares afterwards. I had previously told the school I didn't want Princess to read any of the Goosbumps books for this very reason. Silly me I forgot that was two therapists and three teachers ago. (Yep my daughter, who needs stability, has had three therapists and four teachers this year at the same school. Just one of the reasons why we are asking for another NPS placement.)

After Princess left for school today, I emailed her school therapist and her classroom teacher my concerns about this and a couple of other things. To her credit, the school therapist emailed me back rather quickly. She stated that since it was windy yesterday the class stayed inside to watch a movie. She said that the movie was rated G so they thought it would be OK. My husband said that just because the Motion Picture Association of America gives a movie a G rating doesn't mean it is good for all kids. Parents and teachers must still use their common sense.

Once I read the email, I requested that the school give me  advanced notice of when they were going to show a non-educational movie. So we could choose whether or not to opt Princess out of the show.

At the end of the day when Princess got home she was so angry with me. Apparently not only did they tell her that I said she couldn't watch movies and would have to sit outside while her class had fun, they also told her that I wanted her to practice her cursive more. Smooth move school to pit my child against me, to make me out to be the bad guy here. What about an apology to me for  subjecting my chhild to something that could cause her more anxiety? What about telling my child, "It is important for you to learn your cursive so that you will learn how to write your signature, a skill that you will need all of your life."?

I was going to get on the phone right then but since I am creating a paper trail, I did not. What I will do next time is make the phone call to clear this up and then follow up with a phone call. (Don't you just love hindsight?) I chose to shoot off another email but this time I CC'd everyone who has any part of my child's education or mental health so they will know what is happening. I got a response right away stating that the school doesn't know what I want. What?? The therapist also said she wanted to discuss this further at my daughter's IEP in two weeks. So what is going to happen in the meantime? As a side note: I have had no communication with the teacher, just the therapist. I want to know her thoughts on all of this.

I am going to call the school tomorrow to request a meeting with the classroom teacher and the therapist to see if we can get this cleared up so that my daughter is not singled out and that they stop telling her that it is my fault for xy and z. I am not sure why I cannot talk to the teacher directly but this is the protocol at the school so I must follow the rules.

OK, Thanks for letting me vent. I feel better already. I still might need some ice cream though. LOL.