Creature of habit

14 Jan

Since M was little, we have had a string of people make comments such as, “I don’t know how you deal with him?” or “He just doesn’t care, so why should I?” Coaches, daycare workers, teachers, babysitters… It has been a nightmare. M is indeed a special child who requires special handling. Considering the school setting, M requires a teacher that is firm yet acknowledges when he acts positively. Last year’s teacher was too soft. She babied him and he took full advantage of the situation. If he didn’t want to work, he didn’t. There wasn’t a thing she could do about it. This year, he has the opposite – someone who stands over him, with a loud and abrupt voice, letting him know what he is doing wrong.

Have you ever had someone tell you that they cannot be your 4yro’s tee-ball coach because they can’t deal with him for one hour twice a week? It is a horrible feeling. What makes it worse is that we also have B, who is the typical, all-American, eager to please child of the same age as master M. It is easy, yet wrong, to compare the two. Unfortunately, it happens often.

Due to the past dealing of teachers telling me that they are giving up on him or that he should be isolated (and so on), I have become very protective over my son. If I feel the slightest bit of animosity directed towards him because of something he did or did not do, I go into fight mode.

My latest fight with the school completely left me blind sided. They misinterpreted my protectiveness and anger with THEM as frustrations toward my child. It literally felt like I had been sucker punched! I have led the fight to help M. I have been there as he has been tossed from one school to the next. I have monitored counseling sessions. I have driven across the state for him to see professionals as I feel that my local professionals are out of their league.

One random day… I received a snippy note written directly on my son’s paper. It said that it took the class 10minutes to complete a particular task, where as it took M nearly 40minutes. She had written comments in the past about his lack of focus before.

These notes are written on his papers, where he can read and see. His teachers constantly tell me what a strong reader he is, yet they seem to forget that when putting him down directly on his paperwork. Of course, I jumped in. I rebutted with my series of snippy notes and letters…. Yes, I know he can be difficult. Yes, we have had these problems in the past. You’re not telling me anything that I don’t already know. Yes… Yes… YES! You’re the teacher. Surely this is not the first time you’ve dealt with a child who requires more time then most. Get creative.

My final snippy letter in which I declared that I would not meet with the teachers for parent/teacher conference resulted in the principal’s intervention. The last 24hrs have been a hot mess. Exhausting.

I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream.

My husband says that I am simply an abrasive person – a bitch, basically. That I come off with a snobbish attitude and that people automatically do not want to give me the time of day. He’s right, of course. However, what my husband and I both know is that I am NOT a snob. Sure, I can be a bit of a bitch, especially if I feel like my child is being singled-out… again… My issues rest mainly in my lack of sociability. I am not a social person. I am quiet, for the most part. I am an observer. Unless I am severely angered, I think before I speak. Little things annoy me – for the most part, I let it go, but if it is something I see repeatedly, I will bring it too attention. Several of my closest and dearest friends have told me that they didn’t particularly like me when they first met me because I have very obvious walls around me. It is as if it is stapled to my forehead “Don’t talk to me.” These same people will also tell me that, once they did get to know me, I am one of the craziest (in a silly sort of way) people that know. I enjoy hobbies and activities that are often associated with extroverts (such as snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, polo… I’m dying to parasail and surf!), although I am an obvious introvert.  Out of fear of incriminating myself, I won’t go into anymore, just know that, deep down, I’m a nut!  A nut with a social phobia who usually doesn’t socialize outside of her tight circle of friends. If it comes off as “snobbish,” I apologize. I am not a snob. I am a loner. I choose to work alone.

I met with M’s school counselor today. I explained to him that my behavior stems from how I have perceived the way M has been treated – he isn’t happy. His teacher writes snippy notes. He’s constantly in trouble. I feel that he is being picked on and, because of that, I am going to butt heads and fight back to stand up for the little guy. They may not like me. I don’t really like them. And we don’t have to like each other but, as the mother, I am going to call out what I see and step on as many toes as I need to to make sure my child is treated fairly and enjoys his time at school. The counselor assured me that M is treated justly. He also commented that he is glad that I came in because it gives him some insight on my reactions. He seems to think that this blowout has been one giant miscommunication – a messy one at that.

Maybe now something will get done in terms of helping M enjoy his classroom experience. Because, as it currently stands, he does not want to be there, period.

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