Monday, March 21, 2011

Living on quicksand....

Am I?

Unable to take a stand


Am I?

Standing by my convictions
Standing on solid ground

I. Don’t. Know.

In regards to the “situation” at school with Watermelon…I just don’t know. Instead of feeling more sure of my stand on the whole thing – I am more confused than ever.

I am ever-changing and evolving and there is much to be said for the whole – “take a step back and cool off” method of parenting that so many swear by.

I will tell you that Thursday night when my child came home crying – I could have ripped a fire-breathing dragon’s head off. Hell – I *was* the fire-breathing dragon. In that moment – I could have fought any war and won.

And now? Days later, tons of viewpoints later, emotions calmed down later….I don’t know. I am faltering instead of standing tall as a mother with convictions and it doesn’t feel so good.

I feel like I'm living on quicksand.

I want you to know I read every comment from all of you and I took them all in. I got multiple viewpoints from my relatives too. At this point – my anger is from my child being reprimanded by a teacher’s recess aide…who is known to hate children (um…fired from bus driving) – and not so much from the fact that she was in trouble to begin with (screaming probably isn’t appropriate). I am enraged that my daughter who I have explained is sensitive and emotional – was in a room with that woman – alone and telling her she had no character – with the door shut…to fend for herself.

Part of me wants to protect her from that and part of me wants her to see sometimes life sucks and it’s not fair – BUT – she survived and beyond that environment – she is loved beyond belief.

Can I always rescue? Should I? How the hell do I ever know the tone, the volume of the teacher’s aide’s voice, the things that were said, how it went down?

I cannot. I should not. I will not.

And so Rambo and I have a meeting tomorrow night with Watermelon’s actual teacher and the Principal. The aide will not be present. If I’m honest – I don’t know what I’ll say. My anger has faded a bit. I feel deflated. I am questioning whether I have the right to ask that my child not be reprimanded by an authority figure without my presence. Is that realistic? If every teacher had to have a witness to discipline – not much would get done. Don’t I have to trust teachers to do their job?

Maybe. And that’s the key. This was not a teacher. No training, no degree.

Oh and by the way, said teacher’s aide pulled Watermelon aside Friday in the hall and said, “Watermelon, are you alright? I thought about you all night.”

WHAT? I thought Watermelon was the one at fault and in the wrong and worthy of a lecture alone in a room by you? The one with no character or self-control? The one you left sobbing? And now you worried about her all night? Is that the definition of a mixed message or what?

I think you felt guilty. You may have gone too far. You may have found out about the meeting we set up tomorrow. I think you’re covering your ass – cuz you’ve been down this road before.

Beyond this “crap” happening, I went to a family outing on Rambo’s side this weekend. I did well…minimal hives and stomach upset. I was proud of me. Physically my body said different. When I got home I got sick. Whatever.

Today I work a good 15 or so hours. Mentally exhausting brain-work and some of that involves going to another person’s house and working side-by-side with someone for 4 to 5 hours. Believe you me when I say I’ll be mentally preparing for that event all damn day.

But I’ll go and I’ll do it and I’ll survive and I’ll conquer and I’ll be a stronger person for it. Rambo will be moshing the night away and at least my own hives will keep my worry about him away.

Not to mention it makes me realize the man Rambo is…he pulls 16 hour days with minimal sleep all the time. Me? Just this once. And you’d think I was climbing a mountain barefoot with one arm and no eyes.

So to all my followers who work 16 hour days with worry about your children and husband always in the background and hives up your ass and dreams of napping in your head….I’ll get through this day for you. It’s seriously impressive.

And tomorrow? Well…let’s just say I can’t think about that today…..because the truth is I don’t know donkey shit about how the school meeting will go or even what I want from it or even if anything I want is realistic?

Who has the “How to Raise a Child” book right now? I need to borrow it. For – like – ever.

Today is my bestie anniversary with Jenny!  2 years ago we had a ceremony and made it official.  I'm kidding.  LOL.  Ah...where does the time go?  I love you the moon and back again.


Jen said...

Love you more!!

Lonicera said...

For what it's worth, I think the angle of your meeting should be that a person who is (a) unqualified and (b) has a bad record, should be disciplining your child unsupervised AND in a closed room, because it scared the hell out of your child instead of "making her see the error of her ways", i.e. it didn't achieve its purpose.
I would lay bets that after the last incident THEY are nervous of YOU.

Read said...

Can I say I love you and Jenny too!! Happy BFFisversary!

Tomorrow will bring what tomorrow will bring. The principal will have an agenda. She wants to protect all of the cildren under her care and this is the second time you've had to talk to her about Watermelon - it doesn't matter that it's for different reasons - in both cases she was wronged. The bottom line is you don't want her to ever be put in a possition where an adult is terrifying her. Or another child for that matter. What can they do to provent that or make the likelihood of something like that happeneing again as small as possible? Ask that question - calmly - they will work to find an answer that works for all of you.

Good luck - I'm sending extra strength your way today and tomorrow!

Karen Butler Ogle said...

Absolutely there should be a witness to any discipline that takes place in school with a child. I said that watermelon will have to get used to a certain amount of teasing, yes, but it was inappropriate to single her out alone and say horrible things to her. That should be the issue. The aide who took her alone and jumped her and insulted her. That is what I would focus on in the meeting.

Dawnya said...

Happy bestie anniversary!!!

Tell that principal to "man up"!! Watermelon deserves respect from both children and adults. You and Rambo keep your cool at the meeting. But let them know you mean business.

Tell Watermelon she is awesome everyday. Tell her to be who she is...everything else will fall into place.

Ice Queen said...

Okay, Draz, here it comes. Love from your Queen, 'cause I know that under your hives there lurks a steely eyed missile woman with fire in her belly and total mama bear passion in her heart.

It is time for you to set aside the gentle soul that is you and become a virago in defense of your offspring. What that bitch did to your child was absolutely unacceptable. The word kidnapping comes to mind. So do the words mental and emotional abuse. And for the school to allow someone who is not properly trained to have that kind of access to a student and do what she did is beyond the pale. And someone has to stand and make it crystal clear to the admins that what happened Can. Never. Happen. Again. Not to your little one. Not to any other child in that school.

While I agree that Watermelon responded in an inappropriate manner, I completely understand why she did. I spent almost every moment of my public school years being relentlessly and often brutally bullied. This was back when the one being bullied was often blamed, seen as the odd duck out, the weirdo, the one bringing it upon themselves and was told to "do better to fit in" and "Just forget about it and smile". Oh, yeah. I am not joking, here. So, I know where Watermelon's scream came from.

Whether it is one child or an entire pack of them, the bullying on any level has to be stopped, my friend. Bullying does an incredible amount of damage. It does that devastating damage at a deep, fundamental level and it has lifetime implications. Watermelon doesn't deserve that. No child does.

So, my dear... Set aside your gentle soul, stoke the fire in your heat, if you need her, you may borrow my dragon. She will fly to you in an instant if you call her. March into that school, be strong, firm and unbending in your insistence that the bullying be bright to a stop and that when Watermelon needs help in dealing with her frustration and anger and fear about what is happening to her she not be taken into a room and mentally and emotionally abused by some psycho.

And what the fuck is with that broad, anyway? Talk about highly inappropriate! Not only is she a kidnapper and child abuser, she is totally whacked out nuts on a stick. She thought about your daughter all night? Say fucking what?????? That person needs to be nowhere near children. Seriously. Geeze! Just thinking about that person makes me shudder.

Anyhoozle. This is a book in your comments. Sorry about that. But I feel pretty passionately about this kind of thing.

Okay, shutting up, now.

Amanda said...

Everyone else has said it so well. And yes, to echo others, focus on the fact that your child was singled out, isolated, and insulted by a known incompetent (who then tried to cover herself).

You'll manage this. Hug Watermelon -- she'll get through it too.

Food Freak said...

She "thought about" Watermelon "all night" because she was afraid of the outcome of her behavior. Damn straight she was covering her own ass. She already has a record of bad behavior and uncontrolled behavior in her personnel file and one more just might result in her termination, since they have a paper trail and don't have to worry about unjustifiable termination anymore.

Insist that your daughter never be berated when alone with an adult. When a teacher corrects a child, s/he does so in a controlled way in a room full of witnesses (the rest of the class), not behind closed doors.

I think you'll be satisfied after the meeting. Just keep your cool.

Beth Ann said...

As I've said before, I have no kid experience, so I can't help you there. But in my job, I do deal with a lot of conflict management. One thing I know is that the person with the most common sense that can state their case in an concise, common-sense sort of way, usually comes off the best (provided the people you are speaking with are competent.) Figure out what you think appropriate and ask for it and explain why. They want Watermelon to have a good school experience too, so hopefully they will work with you to get you what you need. Hugs!

MandaPanda said...

I have no better advice to offer than what's been said here but I Just wanted to offer my support. It's true that it's unrealistic to think that a teacher is going to have a witness every time they reprimend a child but if that child is removed from everyone else and taken to a room alone, it's inappropriate. Period. Stand firm.

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

There is a pre-established discipline protocol that the school has in place. I guarantee it. Simply as what that protocol is, and point out the discrepancies.

I don't think it's reasonable for you to be present during every disciplinary interaction because Watermelon needs to be redirected in the moment. But it should be a fair warning system, with a note home to explain any and all incidents. This did not happen.

I don't feel like there is a need for a reprimand ever. Not without you.

Lee Ann said...

You aren't being fickle. You are not wishy-washy. Now that you've had some time & a little bit of distance, you've cooled off a bit---that's all. At first you probably wanted her head on a platter. And maybe you still do. Sounds like you aren't sure what you want out of this meeting....Here is what I would want: If it were me, I'd just want to state my child's version of events & my concerns regarding the situation. I agree that the aide's actions were inappropriate, to say the least. VERY inappropriate. The school needs to know how the aide handled the situation. I don't think it's ever appropriate to isolate a chid behind closed doors while yelling. That is 2 things I don't agree with---isolation and yelling. It just can't be justified in my opinion.

I don't know if I've ever said on my blog but I used to be a teacher before I was an OT. I would sometimes pull a child aside or out in the hall for a private discussion and I guess that might be considered isolation but, I think that's different, because someone could have come around the corner at any second and I had no reason to be ashamed or hide behind doors with regards to how I was speaking to a child.

Kristin said...

You poor girl. I missed the earlier post about the incident, but I know these school issues can suck the life out of a parent. Hang in there. xoxo

Dazee Dreamer said...

I'm still of the opinion that the "aide" should not have pulled her aside and yelled at her. If she had a problem, she should have headed to the principals office and had him in on it. She was in the wrong. You need to still be there for watermelon. She is still young.

LDswims said...

I agree with the few comments I've read - that aide's response was inappropriate and out of line. You have every right to be angry about that. It doesn't matter if Watermelon didn't respond well. Two wrongs don't make a right and damnit, Watermelon is 10! She's still learning how to respond and abusing her isn't going to teach her how to handle such situations! It's not ok to take someone who was horrid at driving buses and keeping kids safe onto a playground with the same responsibilities. It is your right to speak up and say "it aint ok". Cause it's not. Period. You have done nothing wrong, Watermelon didn't deserve what she got and if you don't protect her, who will? The principal will be on your side, I believe, but the pricinpal does not have eyes all around nor does she (?) have the ability to be in all places in that school. She needs to know these things.

Or is it he?

Loe you!

LDswims said...


Love you!