Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jinx

I hope I'm not asking for trouble, but we've had two relatively drama-free days at school.  (I say relatively, because in the scale of things, SG calling someone an idiot today is minor compared to the full-scale f-bomb meltdowns he's been having lately.)  I still feel like I'm walking on eggshells to the end of each day, listening for the sound of raised voices from the room next door while I'm teaching my own students.  I would love to live without anticipating and expecting bad news.

It doesn't help that my own classroom has not been the most stress-free zone while I've been there.  I'll be having a talk with the principal about some issues and concerns I've had, and I'm not sure what the end result will be other than clearing the air from my end.  Obviously I can't (won't) share specifics, but I'd appreciate prayer for wisdom as I have this conversation with my principal (who is a fair-minded man who is not likely to bite my head off).

I'd like to sleep for a week.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Positive

 The old Palatine Church, Fort Plain, NY, built in 1770.

I am really trying to be positive today.  It hasn't been easy, but I'm trying.  I don't want my blog (or my life) to be a constant downer, even though sometimes life IS a downer.   I know this season of difficulties isn't forever, and that change and better days will come.  Just as mountaintops don't last, neither do valleys (although admittedly the valleys are more common).  So here goes some genuine gratitude:  

Thank you, Lord, for my family and my life.  
Thank you for a job that I genuinely enjoy most of the time.  
Thank you that my kids are healthy even in the midst of their other 
      troubles.  
Thank you for friends and family who will pray with us and for us, 
      encourage us and hold us accountable.  
Thank you for good counsel from friends, family and 
      professionals.  
Thank you for the little pleasures in my life - pets, plants, and 
      books.
Thank you for my husband, who loves me.
Thank you that spring is almost here in CNY, that I can hear the 
      snow melting and the birds starting their spring songs and see 
      the flower bulbs sprouting through the snow. 
Thank you for the hyacinth flowers perfuming the air in my house.
Thank you for loving and holding me, Jesus.

Thanks.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nope

 (from Pinterest)

I feel like my life is the rock, 
and everyone around me is the guy in this picture, 
only more kind of like Wile E. Coyote 
jumping up and down on it.


Well, Safety Guy had one day of ISS, one good day in school, then crashed and burned again yesterday in class, and again today at home.

Gah, I am really having a hard time with all of this, this DRAMA going on this week.  I'm getting it from all sides - my own kids, work (staff AND kids), and spouse.  I feel like I've talked everyone else away from the edge of the bridge/down off the cliff/out of their tree/off of the ledge/away from the cutlery.  Every day, everywhere I go, I've been dealing with other people's issues.

Now that everyone else is (temporarily, at least) on solid ground, would someone please come talk me down, or at least bring me a ladder?



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Calm the Seas

The Princess with my Bad Cat.  

Here's an update on the situation with Safety Guy from last week:

We kept him out of school for three days (Thursday/Friday last week and Monday), and he got a bonus snow day off on Tuesday.  It took a few days, but the med adjustment seems to be helping.  By the end of the weekend we could see that he was a bit calmer, more so than just the time off would account for when compared to his behavior over the past couple months.  The pediatrician upped his med dose again on Monday, to a maintenance level still in the mid-range of the dosage for that med.  Safety Guy is a BIG GUY, so it's no wonder the initial dosage of the med he was on had ceased to be effective as he grew.  Parent guilt alert:  I wish we'd addressed this months ago.  Hindsight is 20/20.

By Tuesday, I could really tell the med was helping.  SG and the Princess were interacting better than they had in months.  The Princess could tease, and SG wouldn't fly off the handle - he'd take it and tease back, appropriately.  They were watching TV together ("Top Gear" - I find it really amusing that SG got her to like that show), with no conflict, just good-natured enjoyment.  And then the real test came:  the Princess got snippy and snotty when I called her on a poor choice.  At that point recently SG would interject something and the Princess would yell at him or say something rude and he'd go ballistic.  This time, he heard the whole exchange and SAID NOTHING. NOTHING AT ALL.

Oh my goodness, I was so happy about that, I can hardly describe it.  The absence of friction, the ability to not get involved, the decision to keep out of it on his part - GOLDEN.  No, DIAMOND, with platinum accents.  I was that thrilled.  

Today Safety Guy was back in school, in ISS (one left over from the meltdowns last week).  Now, I know, it doesn't seem right for him to be punished for what he wasn't totally in control of.  However, we agreed that he needed the consequence for the behavior, AND the ISS is really more like "time out" for him, quiet and with 1:1 from the teacher in charge.  SG returned to a quiet day, with a chance to catch up on missed work.  It was not a bad thing.  Tomorrow he'll be back to the real world, among his friends and classmates.  THAT will be the test.  

A couple of the kids in his class have asked me about SG.  I just told them he was not feeling well.  I had a talk with SG about what he should share about the past week.  I told  him that he should be careful what he said, since some kids would not use the information wisely and he could open himself up for teasing.  But, I also said that a number of his friends take meds for various issues, and that there was no shame in saying something about that if he chose to. 

That's where we are now:  hopeful, and wondering how the next couple weeks before spring break will go.

Also, I finally have a tentative end date for this sub job, on May 1st.  I'll be glad to hand this class back to their original teacher.  I'm glad she's feeling better, and I'm ready to take a break from the full-time routine.  Just having an end date in sight makes this job easier for me.  We'll see what the fall holds as far as full-time job opportunities.  For now, I'll enjoy the higher pay, which will allow us to replace one old car with a newer used car, and take a couple family trips this spring and summer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Aaaaaand CRASH!

Safety Guy is having huge, huge problems today - anger, aggression, outbursts, followed by remorse, tears, fear, sadness.  This is absolutely heartbreaking.  I'd appreciate prayer for him.  We'll be adjusting his meds per the doctor on call at the pediatrician, leading up to an appointment Monday.  I'm keeping him home from school tomorrow and Friday; obviously I'll be with him.  The school will just have to find a sub and deal with it. . . .

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My, How Things Can Change Overnight

Ostrich ferns just starting to unfurl in the spring.

I don't know if this was a case of a guy talking to a guy being more effective than a lady talking to a guy, or good timing, or the way my husband said what he said, but after he sent his email to the school this morning regarding Safety Guy and the bullying problem, things started happening quickly.  By the end of the day the assistant principal had called my husband, talked for a few minutes, and arranged for my husband, Safety Guy, and both the assistant principal and principal to meet at the school to talk tomorrow morning.  Also, the principal had called several of the repeat offenders in the bullying-go-round to his office to talk to them 1:1 about their bullying of SG.

Part of me is delighted that SOMETHING appears to be happening at last to get the school to take some action on the bullying.  A small (but loud and very exasperated) part of me is dismayed that after several months of me working through the school, talking to SG's teachers, working with his school psychologist, and even occasionally giving the bullies a scare (when I'd walk up on them talking with SG and catch them unawares and they'd look guilty for a second), that a SINGLE EMAIL from my husband has kick-started what should never, ever have taken so long in the first place.  

Aaaarrrrrggghhhhhh!!!

But no matter how or why it has happened, the school is starting to take some action.  FINALLY.  Hopefully between the actions of the school and the help of SG's counselor and pediatrician, we can help SG make it through the rest of the school year without getting into major trouble or hurting himself.

So thanks for the prayers, friends.  I hope the conference between the guys (father, son, and both principals) works out well, and that this turns the corner for SG.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Beyond Beyond

I thought I was beyond a week ago.  I think I've gone past that point and then some.  Some things I can share (SG is having huge trouble at school) and somethings I can't (marriage stuff).  I feel like a circus performer spinning plates on tall sticks, frantically trying to keep everything from crashing around me.

So I'm having trouble concentrating and sleeping - stress, obviously.  Too much for my single soul to handle, so I alternately get busy with house and school stuff to keep at least a semblance of order around me, and sit in front of the computer and let my mind go blank, because thinking too much is easy - and depressing.  Escapism and prayer, focus and woolgathering, peaceful bits in a sea of turmoil, little victories and big struggles.  Such is life for me right now.

I don't want to go into all the details.  SG is having trouble in school, related to bullying and anger management issues.  Counseling isn't enough; a med change may be in order, and we'll be seeing his pediatrician next Monday.  The school isn't doing enough to quell the bullies, and presenting no alternatives other than to try to help Safety Guy control his own behavior.  I'm way past frustrated, and my husband is going to be calling the principal to put in his opinion.  I think Tech Guy thinks I'm being too nice about all this.  I keep trying to tell him that I'm stuck - I WORK there, I have to follow certain protocols and procedures, I can't talk about the other students to him, I have to get along with the other staff who work with our son.  There are some things I can't say (or at least can't say in the way he would like to say them).  I hope Tech Guy does write to or call the principal, who is a genuinely good administrator.  Sometimes it takes a man to talk to a man.

If you pray, please pray for SG for the rest of this week.  He's been so angry and frustrated that he's wanted to hit someone, and rather than hurt someone at school he's hurt himself.  He punched a wall in gym class today, rather than hit the trio of bullies picking on him, and bruised his hand.  Last week he almost put his knee though his bedroom door during a meltdown after a bad day at school.  He's been in more trouble at school in the past week than in the past year put together.