Full disclosure

Since this thing just keeps getting more and more ridiculous, I figured it was time that I just laid out the entire story from start to finish in one place.

Last year when it got time to start thinking about Em’s placement for this year, I started questioning another mom whose child had moved into the 2nd/3rd combo class. The story I was hearing was frightening. The teacher was not at all cooperative, gave up quite easily if the child was one with issues staying focused, and honestly, just sounded wacky.

In the beginning, I was taking things with a grain of salt. This particular child had been in Em’s class the prior year and I was well aware of his behavior. To say he was challenging would be putting it kindly. I listened, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, “well, I get being frustrated with him, so maybe it isn’t that bad”.

I started talking with the aides in Em’s class and her teacher. I heard not one positive thing about this teacher. While always being very careful to not say anything horribly negative, they made it quite clear that she was “a different breed of teacher”. When Emily’s teacher approached her about Em transitioning to her class, the instructor uttered these words: ” That is the Down syndrome girl? My aides aren’t equipped to handle her pull ups, so therefore, I will move to have her transferred.”

With those words, Ms. Z said no way and the decision was made to keep Em and two other children in her class and do second grade work in that setting. One parent decided to proceed forward with the new class and that left Em and her BFF in with Ms. Z. I knew last year that the two aides were not happy about it. They felt they should be transferred to another school to a “moderate/severe” placement. Ms. Z declined and thus, here we are today.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine these two women that have been with Em since Kindergarten would turn out to be her two biggest obstacles. Emily and I did everything we were supposed to do this summer. We worked hard on learning the cues of when she had to stool and two weeks before school started, she had it down. We never looked back thinking all this nonsense was done.

Day one went fine and then the perfect storm hit. Ms. Z had to take eight days off for medical reasons and the sub they brought in was the bitch that likes to throw around the R word in front of myself and my daughters. I wasn’t happy, but I kept hearing Ms. Z was due back on this day and then it was that day and before I knew it, she was gone for eight days.

My options were severely limited. I couldn’t allow Emily to miss eight days of school and trying to talk with the principal about my concerns regarding the sub went unheard. I just hoped that the aides would keep her safe and Ms. Z would return so life could go back to normal. Never have I been so wrong about something.

Now, not only am I hearing “when she soaks through her undies” (NEVER happened) and “we all know she will be placed in moderate/severe somewhere down the road” (Um, I don’t know shit about that) I just want to scream. Today I was told she had regressed since last year. Okay, in all honesty, how the hell would you know? You were with her the first day of school and didn’t come back until last Friday. You were absent more than you have been with her, so perhaps she is just being like every other eight year old back in school and seeing how far she can push things.

Today the whole hair situation seriously pushed me right over the cliff. I was told that “her hair gets in the way when I try and place a sticker on her shirt, so she needs to have her hair pulled back daily”. Okay, I will totally admit that Em has a hair thing. She HATES it off her shoulders. Whereas I like mine behind me off my shoulders, Em insists hers cascades down over hers. Does it get in her way when she looks down? Yes. Does it make me crazy? Yes. Am I going to cut it? Hell no.

I won’t cut hers for the same reason that Caleb has this ridiculous blonde streak in his. It is their hair and within reason, they are allowed to wear it as they like. Yes, I can put Em’s hair up, but I promise you that by the time I drop her off, it will be either all the way down or well on its way to being down.

I really feel that this is just a way to push her out of the class. The pull up issue didn’t work so now lets say her hair is “impending her ability to work” and see what happens. Honestly, what next? Her shorts are disrupting the focus of the little boys and therefore she must wear a parka?

I hate what this is doing to my beauty queen. Today I came early and she was at recess. Instead of running and playing, she was sitting on the play structure alone. This is not typical of her. She loves to run and play and she is a shell of herself while she is there. The other day she actually said to me “Mommy, I sorry” when I took her to the bathroom and she had a small amount of stool in her panties. I almost cried sitting on the edge of the bathtub.

My heart is breaking and I know the only thing I can do is pull the lawyer card or remove her from the school. I’m not ready to concede her remaining in special education for the remainder of her school career. She deserves the least restrictive environment and this is far from what she is getting.

As for tomorrow, I have no intentions of putting her hair up unless Emily is okay with me doing so. I also need to email her teacher (again) and discuss the difference of what she is being told and what is actually happening in regards to her pantie issue. The aides are changing her out of completely clean panties and placing her in the extra pairs I send daily  and apparently telling the teacher she has had multiple accidents.

I have one job right now and that is to be her advocate. Time to put the boxing gloves on and go kick some ass. You have messed with my beauty queen and I won’t stand quietly to the side.

Wish me luck. I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do, but I do know that the days of Emily being singled out are over.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shit happens

I am still reeling from yesterday’s incident. So many things are going through my head. I knew something didn’t feel right to me, but I kept putting it off to her teacher not being there. However, there is so much more than that. It is little things that in the grand scheme of life might not seem like a big deal, but in Emily’s life, it is a big deal.

Every single day she comes out and both her shoes are untied. Yes, on the surface not a huge deal, but it is something that in the two years prior did not happen.

Her face is always dirty when she comes out. Again, kids get dirty, but this is something that never happened before.

One day last week (the only day she was not wearing shorts that just pulled up) she came out and her zipper was down. Again, it happens, but why is no one noticing?

There are four adults, three aides and a teacher, and eleven children in the room. I find it very difficult to understand how with that ratio, these things aren’t being noticed. Last year and the year prior, there were only two aides, so adding the third seems to have been a bad idea.

I am not “that” parent. I fully appreciate all the work the aides and teacher do each and every day. I know shit happens and things get missed. I’m not up their asses about it. I simply tie her shoes, check her zipper, wipe her face with my ever present Boogie Wipes,  and we move on. After yesterday, I don’t think I can ignore what I am observing.

The store I was given yesterday was that she had an accident without telling anyone and (gasp) sat on the carpet and left a stain. Two things make this story unreal. 1. She was wearing the exact same clothes that she was in when I dropped her off. 2. Her panties they changed showed no signs of this “accident”. Was their a small amount of stool? Yes. Did it somehow leak all over everything except her clothes? No. No one cleaned the carpet because there was no “accident”.

My other big issue is that no one discussed it with me when I picked Em up from class. Two of the aides are women I have known for 2+ years. We have always had excellent communication and if there were something they felt needed to be addressed, they should have addressed it with me immediately. Having the office call me completely set the situation into a much larger issue than was necessary.

I am with this child 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I have seen how far she has come in this potty training journey. To hear a woman that I trust say that in her opinion Em has made no progress was a dagger in the heart. She HAS made huge progress and what she is unable to do is not her fault. If people could see her face when she is able to do what everyone else takes for granted, they would see a beautiful little girl doing the impossible.

Imagine spending your entire life constipated. 24/7 having the feeling of bloating, the feeling of being blocked, and be expected to live a normal life. This is Emily’s world. To say she has to go back to pull ups because it would make your job easier is saying that all her accomplishments mean nothing. I’m here to say IT MEANS EVERYTHING.

I have spent many hours in the bathroom with her. We both bring a book so that we don’t get bored. I have watched that beautiful face struggle and I have seen that beautiful face break out into a smile when she accomplishes the impossible. How dare anyone try and take that away from her.

The bullshit about “there is no barrier so we are only concerned about germs” would be laughable if it weren’t so stupid. She has the exact same barrier as she does when she is wearing a pull up. The pull ups are thin. This year she doesn’t have the pull up as her safety net. She always makes it to the potty for number 1 business. Last year? She would often soak through the pull up because no one took her to the potty while at school. They came to rely on that pull up. I refuse to allow that to happen any longer.

As of today, I am willing to wait until Miss Z is back and see if things change. Miss Z “gets” Emily. Hearing her discuss her yesterday brought tears to my eyes. She explained my child almost as well as I would.

Emily is sensitive. Emily needs quiet time if someone else in class is acting out. Emily loves her books. Emily needs far more time in the restroom than other children. Miss Z 100% supports Emily and I couldn’t be any more thankful for her. She sees Emily when she looks at her. She refuses to say she can’t do anything. She is exactly the person we need in Em’s corner. I just want her back so that I am not fighting this alone.

Shit happens people. Stop telling my daughter she can’t and just step back and let her show you that she can.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer ends

To be perfectly honest, I’m only writing because Em woke me up at 5 and if I don’t do something, I am going to fall asleep. Having said that…an update…

School starts on Tuesday. I’m not ready. We have had a quiet summer and I’m going to miss having Caleb and Emily around during the day. I’m sure I will adjust the second I realize this means I can take a much needed nap, but for now, I’m going to miss those two.

Emily is completely out of pull ups. She has been in her panties for a few weeks now and no accidents. Her teacher is going to be so happy. This was the one hurdle Em faced when being considered for main streaming. I’m still not completely convinced that is the way to go with her, but now the option is real and we can have a discussion without this hanging over us.

Emily also outgrew every single item of clothing that she owned. I get spoiled with her because she typically can wear the same size for two years. This year she had a huge growth spurt and I had to buy all new stuff. I’m not complaining. I love watching her grow. Both she and Caleb are set with clothes for the start of school.

Caleb scored a backpack and school supplies from a local youth club he attends. I felt a bit guilty at first thinking this was geared more to children that can’t afford it, but the youth leader assured me that it was intended for all the kids that were regular attendees and I should just say thanks and move on. I did indeed say thanks and plan on donating some supplies to the school program in an effort to pay it forward.

This really isn’t helping. My mind is completely foggy from lack of sleep and I’m not positive I am forming sentences that make sense. Off to splash cold water on my face and hope that does the trick.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spirit of Giving

Mompact and Boogie Wipes have come together to try and promote a sort of Christmas in July. It is basically a way to promote that old adage, it is better to give than to receive. They are offering a great giveaway over here. If you love supporting small business and want a chance to check out how you too can get into the spirit of giving, hop on over there and enter their raffle.

If you need a few more ideas of how to spread the love, try these easy ideas:

  • Hand out water bottles on a hot day.
  • Give your child’s teacher the gift of Boogie Wipes. Trust me, they LOVE them and you will quickly become their favorite mom.
  • Get your kids involved. A lemonade stand with free lemonade outside would be great if it is as hot where you are as it is where I am. Have them go through toys they no longer use and donate to a local charity. The ideas are endless and your kids will not only learn a great lesson, they will be helping others in the process.
  • Head to your local park and hand out some sandwiches to the homeless. Don’t forget a cool drink and of course, some Boogie Wipes to help them clean up after the delicious meal.

Ideas are as unique as each person. Find something positive to do and not only does the receiver feel good, but so do you. Come join me in this #SSGiving now!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You don’t know me

I fled; yes I said FLED; Texas in 2002. I had many reasons to leave and those that were there during that time may try to pretend they have no idea the reasons, but trust me, they know. I’m not going to rehash those reasons now. It really no longer matters.

It is now 2015 and I have been through hell and back in these past thirteen years. I lived through an extremely abusive relationship. I gave birth to two more beautiful children. I watched one of my children fight for their life only moments after being born. I have met new people, learned new ways to look at life, and learned to accept my mistakes and do my best to not make the same one twice.

I have made mistakes. Leaving Texas with my tail tucked between my legs and pinning my hopes on some sweet talker that promised a better life for me and my kids being one of the big ones. I know now that what I needed to do was stand up to those that were raging their own personal war on me and tell them to back the fuck off. I was/am a fucking good mother. I love each and everyone of my children beyond reason. Anyone stupid enough to play the “she left for a man” card need to seek therapy immediately. I left because I was being attacked from all sides. CPS was at my door so often that the case worker became a close personal friend. She even agreed to testify on my behalf in court when the ridiculous UNFOUNDED allegations were brought up again.

I digress. Yes, I have made mistakes, who hasn’t? The point of this blog is that you people seem to want to continue to paint me with some fucking paint brush that was distorted back then and even more distorted now. I’m not that scared little girl. I don’t need to try and please you. I am an adult and I am sick of the little mind games. The snide and backward comments.

You do not know me. Do you know where I go when I need to shut down from the world for a bit? Do you know how I interact with Caleb and Emily on a day to day basis? Hell, do you even know the name of their damn school? Do you know what my major was in college? Do you even know I went to college? Do you know that when any of the older kids calls me and asks me for money, I drop everything and make sure they get it?

Could you tell me the name of my best friend? What I enjoy reading? How I have learned to deal with the stress of life without hyperventilating? Did you know when I got married? Divorced? Do you even know my former married name because anytime I get mail, it is something different.

Do you know that every single night I thank God for giving me this opportunity to do things right this time? Do you know that even now my fight or flight is still very much a part of me and it takes all I have not to run at the first sign of trouble.

Do you know that in spite of what you told people, I have never once taken an illegal drug? Never smoked a joint, never stuck a needle in my arm, never snorted a line. I barely like taking the anxiety meds prescribed to me because of those past allegations.

Do you know that I rarely drink? I have the sole responsibility of two young children. Emergencies can happen at any time and I will never be too impaired to step in and get them where they need to be to seek help.

I am a rather quiet person. I rarely become more than just friendly with anyone in my area. I would rather stay at home with Caleb and Em than go out.

I read a lot. I work. I keep a clean home. Caleb and Em are amazing kids. They both love me almost as much as I love them. There is nothing better in the world than waking up and seeing those two faces.

The girl you knew died a long time ago. Her death is the reason why I have been told many times that I have no heart. The person I am today does indeed have a heart. I just choose to put my walls up and not allow you to see me crumble. I will smile. I will say “Okay”. I will then come to this very blog and write all the things I want to say. Most won’t get very far. I might post them with a password so that only a select few can read. I might just keep it private. Hell, I just might post it public and let the shit hit the fan.

My name is Ange. I’m a pretty good friend and one hell of a mom. Too bad you don’t know me.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Protected: The struggle is real

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Posted in Uncategorized

School clothes on a budget

I love to dress my kids up as cute as possible. Unfortunately, my budget doesn’t support my designer dreams. So, how does a mom make the most of it when she is living on a very limited budget? A mom looks to her other moms and discovers a great site that not only offers gently worn clothing, but benefits schools to help them keep a music program within their schools.

Okay, for my budget mommies. A friend directed me to this site. It is gently worn clothing that you can get pretty much free if you follow these steps. 1. Use this link https://www.schoola.com/stitch?ref=cp-3X3wv3TWH. That gives you a 15 dollar credit. (Must do this from the computer or choose the “full site” option on your phone.)

After that you “make a collection”, name it, and add a few items to it. That will give you a 10 dollar credit. (25 total thus far)

Continue putting clothes in your cart until you hit 32 dollars. At that point they will send you a 25% email code. However, right now if you instead enter “FUN” in the promotional code area, you receive 30% off.

This makes your items free or very close to free. I paid a few dollars because I went over a bit. Once done, share your link and for each person that makes a “purchase” using your link, you receive another 15 dollars of credit. My friend ended up with almost 300 dollars worth of clothes for less than five dollars based on her shares. The clothes are gently worn and there is no returns, but if you pay attention, you can clearly see the condition described.

And finally, each sale benefits a certain school and helps them keep a music program within their school.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment