I Feel Like I’m Failing My Children…

parenting, school issues, speech issues, parental fails, non-supportive schools
I’ve been parenting for 25 years now. Not just parenting like most. I’ve had littles in my house for the entire 25 years. I should be a pro. I should have school issues down. I should be serving my babies well. But I’m not. I feel like I’m failing my kids. Today was the day I almost had a meltdown, a failure as a parent, because this school year has been full of trials and tribulations that I have never experienced in all of my years of parenting. Are the babies feeling the pressure too?

I try to shield them from the bad stuff, but this year has been a struggle. Let me just say that in all of my years as a parent, I guess I’ve been lucky. I’ve really liked most of the kids’ teachers, the schools, the experiences. We’ve had a few bumps along the way, but that’s normal and I handled them with grace and dignity and the schools, the teachers, always worked to improve and fix anything that might have gone wrong. That’s to be expected. That’s how it should be.

But this year has been different. Y’all, this year has been BAD. From speech therapy issues, to a very non-nurturing Kindergarten teacher that literally expected my son, at the age of 5, to enter the “outside world” for the first time ever as a high school student full of responsibility, to a crossing guard that practices unsafe habits, to a principal that doesn’t give a damn about any of the above.

Today it all kind of came to a head and I feel like I’m failing my kids.

Let me explain our year in a nutshell. Bubby has a speech delay. He’s no dummy…quite the contrary. He’s quite brilliant. But his speech isn’t clear and he can’t pronounce sounds, mostly blends, well. I tried to get him into pre-K, but they denied him because we are above the income level and don’t fit the other criteria for free education at the pre Kindergarten level. So he stayed home and I worked with him. Come to find out, that was a violation of the IDEA Act by the school. They fail, but I still feel like I failed him because I didn’t know.

He has a bully (why are some kids such assholes?). Awesome. He has trouble saying the Z sound so his name comes out sounding more like Daiquiri than Zachary. His bully pointed out, in front of all of the kids on the playground, that he was named after a drink. Not sure if I should be more concerned that the kid knew what a Daiquiri was (sounds like some issues at home to me) or the fact that my kid is being bullied and laughed at while no teacher, no adult, did anything to stop it. Anyway, the teacher won’t help, the principal won’t help, so I got in contact with the head of the speech therapy program for the district. She wasn’t amused and the wheels were speedily set in motion. The counselor (very nice) and the diagnostician (very nice) are involved and we’re well on our way to FINALLY getting him in the therapy program. YAY for that! I’ve been maintaining my cool although I did point out to all of them that the IDEA violation was nothing to joke about. I’ve hid this all from my kids.

I talked to the principal about this. She told me there was no violation. There was no problem. The SCHOOL was handling this as they should. The SCHOOL had this under control. But no, they didn’t. I had it under control. I did this. She took credit and gave herself accolades. Strike one.

I talked to the principal about his teacher. I said I was sure she was effective and a great teacher, but she wasn’t the best fit for my son, for our family. Could we just switch classes? No. She’s the team leader for Kindergarten. She’s the best they have. We just need to adjust. End of conversation. I conceded, tried to deal with it, and failed my son.

Then, of all things, an issue came up with one of the crossing guards in the morning. She doesn’t protect those children. As they are walking across the road, still in the road, she starts flagging the cars to move through. NO! There are babies in the road. Just no. So I stop my car, leave it running every morning, and quickly walk my children across the school parking lot myself, then scurry back to my car and pull off. My children deserve to be safe. All children deserve to be safe.

Apparently, I’m breaking the “rules” by doing that. Apparently, I’m the problem. Well, me and the other 100 or so parents that do this exact same thing every morning for the very same reason (hey school people, we talk to each other too). But the difference is, I had the nerve…THE NERVE…to say something about it and tell her, when asked, that she should really be a little safer in her practices.

Back up…NO…I’m not one of THOSE people. I don’t complain about everything. I make it a rule to not complain at restaurants or my children’s schools. The first could spit in my food, the second could hurt my babies. I’m the snack mom. I send in too many school supplies. I’m asked to be PTO president every year (NO thank you). This is the first time…EVER. It’s that bad!

Yesterday, the principal called me (man, she yells a lot). She wanted to know what MY problem was. Well, if she had answered her messages or seen me on the 8 occasions that I waited in the office to talk to her about this, she would have already known. But anyway, I told her. I explained the unsafe practices. I explained (again) the speech therapy issues, I explained that we were unhappy with one of the teachers. She told me that I’m breaking the rules. She yelled that I’m breaking the rules. I can’t call the admin office, I can’t walk my kids into the school, I can’t…be a parent I guess?

I’m done! DONE! This morning, when I went to drop off the kids (the kids that I’ve requested be moved to another school repeatedly to this principal), I parked in a line behind 10 cars. Not the drop off line, in the side parking lot. She came rushing (seriously she rushed me with a gym teacher as a pseudo body guard?), to tell me I can’t park there. The others were parked there. There are no signs. I asked why that was OK. She said…dudes and I quote…”because” and “you’re not the boss here”. The heck?

I guess I got her in trouble with the speech thing initially. That’s all I can figure. But she’s gunning for me and I finally just broke down. BROKE DOWN. She rushed me and did all of that in front of my babies. In front of the other parents. Like the bully that rushed Bubby on the playground.

Done.

I talked to the Superintendent of Curriculum’s office the last 2 days. They’re looking into transferring the babies to another school this year, even though that’s not the norm. I don’t know how much more I can take. The babies are starting to feel the pressure and that kills me. This all started because of some failure on the part of the school. I’ve been trying to keep my cool, I’ve been keeping my cool. They’ve gone too far. We all make mistakes. I know this. But to play the blame game and make children uncomfortable when they screw up? Not cool at all.

kids bright

Tonight, I decided to just let the stress melt away. I took some time off. Time to play with and enjoy my babies. No one will get the best of us. EVER. NO ONE. Schools have a lot of power over our future. Some teachers, some schools, are absolutely amazing. All teachers, all schools, should use their powers for good. Teach our children well, nurture them, help those of us that want the best for our children to make this world a better place.

After spending a little extra special time with these babies tonight, I realized that I’m not failing them. The system is. I’m a lover not a fighter, but they’ve failed big time and I’m ready to make a change. I’m ready to work this system like my bitch. Don’t mess with my babies. Don’t EVER mess with my babies!

Latex or Lidocaine? Something Attacked My Baby at the Dentist!

Disclosure: I’m not a sicko that goes around taking pictures of my baby when he’s sick. I took these for our doctor’s appointment to show them just how bad this was. I wanted to let you all know why I’ve been so absent so I’m posting this here. 

allergies, childhood allergies, lidocaine allergy, latex allergy

Our weekend didn’t go so well, as you can see. A simple trip to the dentist for a teeny tiny cavity for Bubby resulted in this. It didn’t start out like this. But this was the result. It was not good, not good at all. Let me back up.

Saturday morning, Bubby and I headed out at 8:30 am for a 9:00 am appointment to get this itsy bitsy cavity filled. We were the first ones at the dentist office so that had to be a great thing. He went right back. They gave him happy gas because he’s a twitchy little patient (I was happy to pay the extra to make him “brave” as he called it). A smidge of Lidocaine to make the area numb, minor drilling, a little filling, and they were done. We were in and out in less than an hour. Awesome! But, not really.

We headed home, did a few things around the new house, then the whole family loaded in the truck and we headed to Home Depot. Seemed like it would be a great day and Bubby’s face wouldn’t be numb for long, so all would be fine. We had a lot to do. But at some point in Home Depot, we all noticed that Bubby wasn’t looking good. No, his face, his lip, was swelling. Quickly.

lidocaine allergy, latex allergy, childhood allergies

I did what any self-respecting parent would do. I panicked (quietly, hoping he didn’t notice), then I called the dentist. They told me to come back in as they were still there. The first photo here is from 5:30 pm, the one just above is from 2:20. At the time I called the dentist, it was about 12:30. We loaded up our supplies from Home Depot, quickly checked out, and headed straight to the dentist. He went straight back. She immediately thought it was an allergy to latex. OK. Next steps. He was breathing fine and was uncomfortable, but overall, he was fine. She said Benedryl and rest and the swelling should be gone by Sunday. But as you can see from the first photo, that wasn’t the case. It got worse. He got worse.

I continued to panic and watch him like a hawk (seriously, y’all, I didn’t let him see me panic). Around 5:30 pm, I called the on call nurse at his pediatrician’s office. We went through a crazy series of questions, and after about 15 minutes, she told me to take him to urgent care within the next 4 hours. Four hours? We were out the door in 4 seconds.

Our trip to urgent care reminded me that things at urgent care just don’t seem very urgent. It’s pitiful and my lack of patience (and the fact that my kid kept swelling) was very evident. But we were seen. The doctor was very nurturing and extremely nice. She was truly impressed with Bubby’s intelligence and asked him to come back for laughs when he was well. She was leaning toward a drug allergy to the Lidocaine since I’m highly allergic to pain killing drugs. I’m leaning toward that too. Anyway, we went home with hopes of a deflated Bubby in the morning. We were to see an allergist ASAP.

Lidocaine allergy, latex allergy, childhood allergies, parenting nightmares

Obviously, that didn’t happen. Sunday afternoon didn’t show much relief. He was eating well, he was playing, he seemed OK, but this thing was NOT letting go. I was certain he’d be better by Monday morning and ready to face his 3rd week of school. I had a plan of action. I’d call the pediatrician’s office and get a referral to an allergist. Surely they would see him immediately. Surely.

childhood allergies, latex allergy, lidocaine allergy

This is today. He’s definitely better but I kept him home from school. I wanted (needed) to watch him. He’s having a little trouble at school already because of his speech and it’s definitely much worse with this lip thing going on. Plus, eating food is not easy (or pretty) so I figured I should keep him here and keep pumping him with medication that will eventually make him his comfortable, happy self again. Tomorrow he’ll go back. In the meantime, I spent a LOT of my day on the phone. The allergist (seriously, I was ready to cut a bitch) initially gave us an appointment on November 21st. Yes, more than 2 months away. I might have showed my momma hen side…just a little. We’ll be seen on Friday for testing.

Both latex and synthetic drug allergies are cumulative. We need to know what this is. Each exposure only gets worse. I can’t handle worse than this with my baby, my Bubby. He can’t handle worse. Fingers crossed y’all that this allergist knows exactly what they’re doing and we know what to avoid from here on out. If it’s latex, there are a host of things we’ll need to avoid moving forward. If it’s synthetic pain killers, let’s hope this poor little thing never breaks a bone or anything (hello getting your entire elbow region rebuilt and only being able to take Darvocet to deal with the pain…ouch, that was a painful 6 months for me).

Either way, my baby could use some kind thoughts. If you’re a praying person, please remember him when you say your prayers. If you believe in happy and healing vibes, he could use some. I love this little guy and he tends to get the raw end of the stick way too often. He’s awesome, he’ll be fine, and he’ll do incredible things in life. I know this and I’m so very proud of all that he is. But for now? I’m a worried mommy. Friday can’t come soon enough. Wish us luck!

Naked Moment: I’m Not Comfortable In My Skin

comfortable

I’m not comfortable in my skin, at all. It’s something I should deal with, but I can’t. I can’t get passed the woman I see in the mirror. The aging woman. I just…can’t.

It depresses me. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about ending it so that I can go out with a gust of glory. Then I think about B, and the kids, and I move right along. And then I remember that my gust of glory, as I look in that mirror, passed me by some years ago. Depressed.

I can’t do much about my aging face, about my sagging skin. I do all I can. I exercise. I drink plenty of water. I pay copious amounts of money, quarterly, to reverse the signs of aging, but that only masks the signs. None of this gives me the results I long for. None of that…brings me back to a place and time when I was comfortable in my skin.

It probably doesn’t help that B is 10 (oh let’s get naked…11) years my junior. He never complains about my looks. Quite the contrary, he tells me I’m beautiful, constantly. But my strolls passed the mirror, speak louder than words. I’m not pretty anymore, not on the outside anyway.

Inside? I’m gorgeous. I’m fun. I’m humorous. I’m one of the most caring, giving souls on the planet. Inside is what counts, right? Not so much to me, anymore. I can’t stop looking in that mirror. I can’t stop seeing the wrinkles. I can’t stop seeing the droopy skin. I just, well…can’t stop.

I see the droop, I see the sag, I see the ugly. I forget about the inside. And I’m sad. I’m through. I’m ready to give up more times than not. I cry often about this. That’s pitiful in itself. Is that really important? I don’t notice others’ wrinkles. I don’t judge them based on their wrinkles, nor their looks. Why do I have to judge myself so harshly?

And, then there’s my friends. My young, beautiful friends. We joke, amongst ourselves, about my age. It’s funny, right? I guess, but not so much to me. It hurts me. The jokes. At my expense. All in fun. But it hurts. Depressed.

Ladies and gentleman, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about ending it all. Just to get rid of this vision that is now my face. Not a single day. But my husband? My kids? My babies? My grandbaby? They need me. I need them, and I want to be here for them. I want to see their successes and achievements in life. I want to be here. I really do.

How do I deal with this internal battle? How do I deal with…my face? How do I…just get passed this?

I’m not comfortable in my skin, but I love my family. I want to put that thought of laying down and going to sleep, for good, out of my brain. I want to STOP seeing that sagging face in the mirror and start seeing the HEART and SOUL that is still beautiful.

How do I just get comfortable in my skin again?

Y’all, I’m so sorry for this public pity party, but I thought you should know. I play a pretty mean public social media game. In public in my “real” life, both outside of the home and in, I appear to be vibrant and happy. I want to make those around me laugh and smile. I want everyone to be happy, always. But honestly, when I’m alone, just me and my skin, I struggle in silence. There’s the naked truth.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programs. I just need to figure out a way to be comfortable in this saggy skin again. I can do this!

My life is good. I have a beautiful family, I have great friends, and I have an amazing job. Yes, I CAN do this!