Saturday, November 25, 2006

Oh it's so un-American!

What?? An American who doesn't post a "what I'm thankful for" post on Thanksgiving??

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's almost a requirement of being an American blogger, but I just didn't want to. I haven't blogged in a good week, I haven't posted to my board in a week (again ladies, I'm sorry), I don't think I've even answered emails. I've kind of been cyber-hybernating. Cybernating? Heh... that's kind of cute, actually. I just haven't felt up to it. Too many things stressing me out, too much to complain about and honestly, who wants to hear it?

Not me, that's for sure.

Don't get me wrong, I AM thankful. I've got a million blessings -- 2 beautiful, healthy boys, a loving, supportive family, warm home, my car, my job, far too much food on the table and friends who e-Bay for me because even tho I think e-Bay is the devil I can still use it as long as it's not me who's bidding. But sometimes you've just got to take a break, take stock of why you're doing what you're doing. I work because I love my job and I need to support my kids. If I didn't love my job and had enough money so that I didn't have to work, would I? Probably. I can't see myself doing the whole SAHM thing. Ugh -- so not for me. In a dreamworld or for a week, maybe. But forever? I just couldn't. It's not in me.

I am afraid tho that I might have that opportunity forced on me sometime soon, and that stresses me out more than anything. It's no secret that the company I work for isn't exactly financially stable. I'm not sure why, I don't know much about the incoming and outgoing cash flow, but I do know that we've been hanging on by a thread for a while, and from the small things I've heard lately I wonder if I will be looking for a new job in the new year. It's scary. Graphic designers aren't in high demand around here (too many people have photoshop and think that makes them a designer -- sorry guys, it doesn't), and I need a certain level of income to get by. It's not a high level by any means... but it's still necessary.

Not only do I love my job, but the perks would be very difficult to duplicate elsewhere. My boss is awesome. She doesn't realize just how great she is, but she is. I work 4-day weeks... who's going to let me do that? I can talk to principals and teachers and even my mother on the phone when and if I need to without raising eyebrows. That probably wouldn't go over too well anywhere else. So very many reasons to be grateful for where I am. And yet, I don't know how much longer I will have it.


So yeah, much, much stress. Not just work, but this week it's been weighing on my mind quite heavily.

I am thankful... more than I can say. But sometimes I just wish for simpler... and maybe a shower without someone banging on the door screaming "Mooommmmmyyyyyyyy!!!!"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Needles to say…

Yeah, I saw that somewhere earlier today and it made me giggle so I had to share.

Okay, so the school is going to let the little punk get away with beating on my kid. Apparently so are the police. Not happy. When they finally spoke to the police, the mother told them that Jaben had hit them first – even tho nobody saw it – and chasing him up the road, knocking him down and kicking him and beating him was all in self defense. And the police in this amazing town seem to be stupid enough to believe it. And the school? Remember that zero tolerance policy? Um, yeah, that’s just for looks, I guess.

Interesting tho, turns out this isn’t the first time the police have been called on these children. A couple of months ago, they were throwing rocks at some other kids (little kids) who live up the street. Their mother came out and told the kids to leave, and they told her to fuck off. For real. So she said if they didn’t leave, she was going to call the police. They told her to fuck off again and that they could do what they wanted. So she called the police and they went to talk to the parents. Once the police left, the dad went down to this woman’s house and screamed at her that his kids could do whatever the fuck they wanted and she couldn’t stop them.

Yeah, they’re nuts.

Legal action (backed by at least 4 families on our street) pending. Not that the cop ever called me back – but that’s fine, I can get the police report without his help, and we’ll be getting a lawyer. Several families on the block would LOVE to take legal action against these nuts. Not sure what we can accomplish this way, but if the police won’t protect our children from these delinquents and their oh-so-proud parents, then we’ll do it ourselves.

Oh, and I AM enrolling Jaben in a martial arts class too. He’s excited – he’s wanted to do it for a while. Now I just have to find him a good school. And the hitting ban has been lifted. If he’s hit, he’s to hit back and make sure to inflict damage. Remember – we TRIED to do things the right way, but look where that gets ya. So… if he has to fight, then fight he will.

And they DAMN WELL better not try to suspend him.

Friday, November 10, 2006

It never ends, does it?

I haven't posted about my nut-job neighbors before, but now I have to. They are a couple with 2 kids. The children belong to the mother, they are one year apart and have 2 different fathers. Not judging, just stating. The guy is the stepfather -- I think. I don't even know if they're actually married.

Anyway, they rent the house next door. We were actually happy when they moved in because the kids are close to Jaben's age -- the boy is 11 and the girl, I think, is 10. They're both in Jabe's grade at school. Unfortunately, they've been nothing but trouble since the day they moved in. They have broken my swing set, the boy has taken one of KYAN'S toys (remember he's 11) and took it into his house. When I went to get it, the mother verbally attacked me. I mean really - an 11 yr old taking a baby's toys is OKAY with her? Explains a lot. Every time Jaben walks out the door they scream "fag" at him... nice kids, huh? The boy sits in the tree in his backyard when Jaben is outside and yells obscenities at him. All this is absolutely bad enough, but recently it has become physically violent.

Last week, the boy shoved Jaben into the bushes and hit him enough to leave bruises up his side. Not a lot I could do about it... no witnesses and like I said, the mom is nuts. And the step dad? Like, 6'4" and scary with a temper. NOT the kind of parents you approach. They probably taught him to act like this. The girl has verbally attacked Jaben at school, but no teachers saw it so she got away with it.

It all ends today.

Today, they jumped Jaben on the way home from school. The two of them together pushed him down, and while the girl kicked him, the boy walloped him with his backpack. Jaben got up and ran away, but they chased him and did it again. Normally there wouldn't be a whole lot I could do because it'd be their word against his. Except today someone saw them! THANK GOD! Justin's (Jabe's friend) grandmother was watching out the window for the boys to come home and saw the whole thing!!! She called me to tell me what she'd seen, and said she was absolutely willing to talk to the principal as well as the police!! Finally - an adult witness!!!

So, rather than go to my parent/teacher conference, we went to see the principal. Seems like they take a pretty tough line on this -- zero tolerance policy in the schools (we'll see HOW zero), and he encouraged me to go see the police. I told him that was our next stop. He wanted the name of the officer we talked to when we were finished because, he said, the police and the school work together on these things. Good to know.

Next stop -- the police station.

Now, let me be the first to say, I really didn't want it to come to this, and if there was any other way to protect my child and just make it stop, I'd have done it. But there wasn't, and there isn't. And now I have a witness to prove what they've been doing to him. So, we talked to an officer. I gave him the grandmother's name and phone number and told him she said she would tell them what she saw, so while Jaben was writing out his statement, he went and called her and she and Justin came right down. She told the officer what she saw and gave him a written statement as well.

He said they'd go talk to the neighbors and get their side (which I expected) and then come Monday, they'd talk to the school and everything would be submitted to the prosecutors office thru juvenile court. Fortunately it shouldn't be too rough since we've got a credible adult witness and it wouldn't be just the kids' words against each other. I don't know what happens to the kids, what the punishment is, but I really wish it was that they had to move out of the neighborhood, because I'm afraid at this point that's all that would work.

So, while Jaben's okay, things are ugly and I'm afraid that once the neighbors find out that we've pressed charges against their little darlings, it's going to get uglier. I have no shame for telling the officer that I'm afraid of the step father. For that matter, the mother could take me, easy. I'm not a fighter and I haven't raised my kids to be either. That's just not the way we do things. I hope they just accept what their kids have done and deal with it, but there's always a chance, knowing how they are, that they'll somehow blame US.

NOT the way to start the weekend.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy (belated) Halloween!

So trick or treat was last night. My guys were a cute little green dragon and a scary, bloody insane clown. Guess which kid was which? LOL! The dragon was in NO mood for it last night tho so I got no good pics of him. I have one from the Cub party last week so at least that's something. The little dragon and I went for about 1/2 hr, then the big, scary clown and my sister went for the next hour while we went home (he screamed the WHOLE WAY) and handed out candy. Ky kept getting into the candy bucket and every time he did I'd tell him he had to say "trick or treat!" He fell for it for a while and then would give me this "look" and just fall back on his usual "peas?"

Jaben and Keli had a great time together tho. I swear Kel is just an overgrown kid! And we've got enough candy to last for months!!!

On a less-than-fun note, it seems that this ADD thing is one step forward and 2 steps back. I got a detention notice from Jaben's teacher. Generally, when they forget supplies they lose 5 pts. But according to the detention slip, she says losing 5 pts doesn't seem to phase him so she's giving him detention.

My first thought upon reading this was "Huh?" That makes absolutely no sense to me. I can't see how sitting thru detention will help him remember his stuff. So, I may have put my foot in it, but I signed the slip and sent a note along with it saying that I'm not sure detention for this is productive for my son, and I think other strategies need to be implemented. I told her I thought I needed to speak to the counselor again and see what can be done since testing thru the school hasn't begun yet and the Dr doesn't want to treat until we get him set at school. I just don't think detention is the answer.

So I called the school, and the counselor isn't in today but they said they'd call him at the school he's at today and have him call me. There's just got to be something we can do to get Jabe thru until we can get the darn testing done!! This kid went thru this in 3rd grade and it got to the point where he was begging to be home schooled... I can see this year heading in the same direction and I absolutely refuse to allow it to happen again. So, something different has to be done. He's a good boy, very sensitive and all this over-the-top "discipline" BS is doing is scaring him and making him feel bad about himself -- exactly the opposite of what I, at least, want to accomplish.

***update from later in the day***

I did hear back from the counselor and he agrees with me that detention for forgetting something is counter-productive in Jaben's case and said that he will speak with the teacher when he's at the school tomorrow to see what they can come up with, strategy-wise. He also said that he will talk to Jaben to see how he's doing, where he feels he needs help and maybe to give him suggestions on how to make things work a little better for him.

He is giving the ADD testing over to the other counselor tho, and that kinda sux. Because I feel comfortable with him, but the other counselor is at the school more, so he feels she should handle it. I understand, even if I’m not thrilled. I LIKE him, he “gets it.” Gosh, before I hung up he commented on how my involvement and support goes a long way toward helping Jaben – and that just blew me away! I’m not used to getting that from the schools.

I should hear soon about the first meeting with the teachers and psychologist. I’m not excited about that part… not knowing what to expect and so much negativity over the years has made me leery. But if we can get thru that first step, maybe we can get my boy some much-needed help and treatment this year before we end up with a repeat of 3rd grade.

Just for the record… ADD can bite me.