*Meeting with school officials occurred and some justice was had. Teacher who saw boy's behavior went to meeting at our request and told everyone there the boy did shove my daughter twice. School officials would not interview witnesses who saw daughter being thrown, but we have it on record of the names, what happened, and that the SCHOOL, not us wouldn't do the interviewing. I also wrote all teachers involved with my daughter regarding the ridiculous behavior of school/principal and one of the boy's football coaches received it. He went to the principal and to this boy to tell him if one more incident of ANY kind occurs with my daughter, he is off the football team. This is on record as well. (This is a huge blow to this kid as his father would probably disinherit him if he didn't play and a big win for us.) We're drafting a letter this weekend of the entire events and sending it to all appropriate channels so the Board of Schools on up knows exactly what went on here and then we are putting this to bed. Thanks for all comments. Just so you know, you cannot sue a school unless your child's injuries require hospital care. Many of told us to do this and we contacted many lawyers, from big firms to private practices with the same answer. Thanks again for letting me use this place to vent. I'm looking forward to a peaceful summer!*
As you can see, I'm now using my blog to promote my latest obsession -- Dexter. A Showtime Original that airs Sundays at 9pm. So good, NBC is running a tamed down version as well.
Dexter is a what 24Crayons called "a missionary killer." Sure, he loves to kill, he IS a serial killer, loves blood, and to hunt, BUT he only kills other killers, pedophiles, rapists -- your basic garbage in society. And as a personal aside, he looks soooo hot taking out the trash. And since these people are "bad" people, who cares? Cut them up, I say.
This brings me to my latest familial plight. My daughter was pushed ("thrown down" as witnesses described) down to the ground by her ex-boyfriend in school AFTER he threw a cup of ranch dressing on her last Friday. He ruined a shirt, a purse, but more importantly, skinned her knee and threw out her hip. After all, she's only 105 pounds, he's 230. More than double her weight.
Apparently, since he is also what the principal told me "a future football star," he was not given the full punishment nor was he even admonished. I actually had to sit and listen to this bizarre and ridiculous woman tell me about the "future football star" for about 10 minutes. I would try to say, "Excuse me ... you're not actually listening to me ... you're just talking right over me." This big boy was given one day out of school suspension (for apparently just "fighting back"). My daughter was given one day in school suspension. Why was she punished? For spreading rumors about him and even though she was told the rumors were "true," it's still not nice to talk about someone. I agree, but isn't it worse to abuse a girl? I mean, even the teacher who had her in in-school suspension for the day yesterday told her, "I've never seen anyone punished for rumors ... ever. And what they gave to [ex-boyfriend] wasn't right."
Needless to say, my husband and I have been dealing with quite a mess. Now the superintendent has been informed that we will be seeking legal action. This man assures me that if anyone did not punish this boy because of football, he will. He's reinvestigating and that means actually asking witnesses that saw my daughter's ex do what he did instead of believing his word against hers.
But it's day two, he still hasn't called back and I know for a fact no one was called down to the office for additional investigation. And the boy's parents let him go to a party over the weekend AND took him shopping all day yesterday. What punishment! Of course, they believe their son did nothing but defend himself ... against my tiny daughter.
This is one of those times I could use a Dexter. A nice clean-cut fellow who would pay this boy a visit, stick a needle in his neck to subdue him, strap him onto a table, cut him into pieces, bag him and throw all those messy pieces away -- just like garbage.
Even the superintendent not being a rat bastard and actually possessing common sense would be good.
Scene: Mother (me) outside bathroom with two teenage children. Teenagers upset because mother (again, me) drank 44 ounces of water right before going to store and now must use bathroom. ABSOLUTE MUST ... and as using public restrooms causes germaphobe mother (that's right, ME) to take 30 minutes instead of the usual 5, well, you get the picture. Kids are not patient creatures.
I walk in bathroom, scan for people, hit my purse against germ-encrusted doors searching for cleanest looking toilet. Settle on middle one. Before entering I am startled to hear female who is invisible, shout: "Do you have the time?"
Me: "Uh, no. Sorry."
I temporarily forget about wanting a better planet and line toilet seat with 3 toilet seat covers quickly as bladder is about to explode. I haven't used paper towels in three months, after all. Sitting, staring at filthy booger-covered walls, I hear Invisible Woman (angrily): "Guess I'll go home and watch that damned TV. "
Me (wondering if woman is talking to me or herself or perhaps her silent invisible friend): "Uh, yeah."
Invisible Woman (less angrily): "Is that what you do? Watch a lot of TV?"
Realizing I'm done and have been done for a while, but am just sitting here feeling trapped by Invisible Woman who seems to be in desperate need of a friend or a better TV set, I reply: "Uh, sometimes." (My speaking part could be from a Beavis and Butthead skit)
Invisible Woman (a bit angry again): "Well, do you work?"
Me (now rather strangely affronted, but pensive. Wondering if I answer wrong, will Invisible Woman turn into Invisible Serial Killer Woman and pour acid over my head): "Uh, I work, I mean, not for pay though. I garden. I move things. (move things?!?) I just do a lot of things ... for no money though, but yeah, work is a part of my life ... without the money though." (Wondering if I really had to stress that I work so much for zero dollars. I'm not Mother Theresa or a coal miner.)
--Silence for a bit longer--
I keep waiting. I hear nothing else. No stall door open and close. No exit door open and close. After another minute, my ego now focusing on metal germ stall I'm encased in, I get ready to leave. I leap out to the sight of no one and begin my 5-minute public restroom hand washing ritual. Luckily, Wal-Mart's sensors for nearly everything (water, hand soap) make this a bit easier than normal. (no feet necessary)
I exit the bathroom to see my two disgruntled teens standing there looking exasperatedly back at me.
Daughter (visibly upset): "Oh my God, twenty minutes just to pee?"
Me (ignoring daughter): "God's all yours, huh? Seriously though, did you see a woman come out of the bathroom?"
Daughter: "A woman? No. You mean, besides you?"
Me (hurried): "Of course besides me. Why would I want to know if you just saw me come out of there? I saw you seeing me come out!"
Daughter (not really listening anymore): "What?"
Me: "Never mind. I just want to know if any woman exited this bathroom before me, like maybe a few minutes before me even as the whole hand washing thing is a nightmare for ...."
Daughter: "Yeah, I know about your freaky hand washing skillzzz, but I saw no one else."
Son: "Can I just ask how much longer we're going to be here?"
Me (to son): "You didn't see anyone else either?"
Son: "I didn't realize we were supposed to stand guard, but I didn't see anyone else except you. Are we leaving now though?"
--Cue creepy music.--
Apparently, instead of going on a nice picnic or camping trip for the holiday, I had a conversation with an odd, invisible woman who either needs a friend or kills unsuspecting lazy people she finds in Wal-Mart bathrooms. I hope your Memorial Day was a bit more fun and interesting.
Sure, we're heading for a recession ... or are we officially in one? Still, that's no reason to let your yard go to Hell though. Or is it? Okay, let's decide it isn't so I can bring you the mighty, the cheap, the beautiful Dianthus flower.
The first time I was introduced this to this flower was about four years ago, right before Mother's Day. My son bought one in a styrofoam cup from school and snuck it home to me (since he was officially to old to be cool and buy his mom flowers anymore) I didn't know what it type of flower it was (perennial, annual, strange visitor from an alien planet), but put it in one of my flower beds anyway. I've transplanted it once since then and I can tell you -- it's the easiest flower I've ever had that's turned into it's own bush.
You can get them at discount centers for under $3 for six (yes, six!). One of these flowers will grow about 8" tall, but spread out about 2' into continuous blooms that weeds canNOT penetrate.
And caring for them? Stick them in the ground (not a wet area) where it'll get at least 5 hours of sunlight and water them once a week. Yeah, I wrote it, just once a week, not daily! In urban locations, put them in the center of a pot (in a few years, they'll fill it). Dianthus will bloom and bloom and bloom all throughout summer and into fall (mine goes well after the first frost). If you want to deadhead (pinch off dead blooms) you'll have more flowers and a bigger plant, but it isn't necessary. This is a no care flower that gives you lots of beauty without any fuss.
Dianthus comes in a few different colors and styles, but the above is the from the variety and color my son gave to me. His one little 2" flower is now over half a foot tall and a foot wide. Not bad, especially since he paid a buck in total.
So, what's your miracle plant/flower inside or out?
... no matter what your kid looks like or acts like, you believe they're the most adorable, best looking kid on the planet. Genius? Are you kidding? Your kid is always the smartest. Even in modest parents (parents who don't say it out loud), they're still thinking it: "My kid's better than your kid."
It's only natural. It's how our species survives, keeps populating, keeps thriving. Even after your kid breaks that one-of-a-kind antique you'll never be able to replace because really, it actually was ONE-OF-A-KIND, you can still look at them later (albeit a few weeks later), sigh and think, "Geez, he's just the bee's knees."
I get this. I accept this. I'm a part of this. I must admit, as my children aged, I stopped clinging so heavily to the concept that they were infallible, however, but not in the case of my two youngest kids. Oh, but you thought I only had 2? No, no, I have the 2 I talk about ... and then, there's the two I don't. The two who really do no wrong. All they do is bring the family pleasure and love, that's it, and oh yeah, they are perfect looking, thank you very much, but both are mentally-handicapped. A fact we haven't been hiding from anyone, but it just usually doesn't come up in pleasant conversation and has never been actually diagnosed.
So this Mother's Day, instead of telling you how great the oldest 2 are or how well my husband did or didn't treat me yesterday, I will instead formally introduce you to the other half of the brood.
Meet our 8-year old, Scully:
We call him "Skull" as it makes him feel more manly and rugged. In reality, he's much more like Lenny in "Of Mice and Men." In this picture he's saying, "I am tired from all dat huntin' last night, Mom, and I jus' need to sleep. I like bitin' da soft things, Mom, and you need to stop puttin' dat camera in my face now." Long ago some mean girls were throwing him (as a kitten) back and forth on a trampoline, high in the air. Just for fun! My children stole him, we had him live as a stowaway with us until we could get him to the vet. When the mean little girls came calling for their kitten, "Pumpkin," a few days later, I told them, "There's no Pumpkin here. There's a Scully whose just had a big vet's bill, but no Pumpkin. Run along now." Scully's likes: seafood, crunchy mice (the real kind), and long walks through the forest. He also adores head scratching, chin scratching, and cheek scratching. His dislikes: Water, birds (he can't catch one to save his life ... or end theirs), and the child below. Which brings us to:
Our 5-year old, Drusilla:
Drusilla was adopted from a pug breeder who smoked many cigarettes, but had few teeth. She was the runt of the litter and the last one left on the day we showed up. I did not want a black pug. I did not want a female pug. I wanted a fawn male as I have always had.
The teeth-challenged breeder said, "Pick her right up and handle her for a minute." I shrugged, then did. She snuggled in my neck and whimpered, then rooted in my neck, and I felt my resolve fade. My husband said he literally watched a human melt that day. The breeder said, "Take her home for the night and see how she grows on you." Five years later and I can safely say, she's my favorite kid in the bunch. My oldest know this as well. If I tried to lie and say she wasn't, you'd be able to see it. Wherever I go, she goes and if she can't go, she howls like a wolf until I get back. It's very bad this attachment I have to this youngest child because like all relationships, someday it mustend, but let's not think about that.
Drusilla's likes: Chocolate (which is poisonous to dogs and therefore strictly forbidden), grapes (which cause kidney failure in dogs and also are forbidden), cat food, sleeping in bed with her parents in any position that makes her father have to pull his legs up under him like a fetus all night long, and long walks with her mom through the forest. Dislikes: Being away from her mother, Scully, and sleeping on any surface that isn't cushiony soft.
So, there you have it. In case my oldest two children see this, I will write long, loving sermons of devotion to them another time. Happy Mother's Day (belatedly) to moms of every kind of creature!
There are certain phone calls some parents never think they'll receive. On Wednesday, I received one of mine, which roughly went like this, "Your son is in my office. He's been suspended for fighting in school. You can come get him now and discuss the matter with me or wait until tomorrow." It was the principal from the middle school and I opted for "now."
Apparently, a large boy in my son's study hall was repeatedly hitting him with a flyswatter. A used, bloody, and disgusting flyswatter. The first day this happened, the study hall monitor walked in right as it started and took it away. The second day, the boy went in for the flyswatter, my son jumped up to grab it and shouted, "Oh, hell no," and and shoved this large boy back before he could be hit by it. The boy pushed my son back, which ended in my son punching the other kid in the eye and then busting him in the jaw ... for good measure.
In the office, hearing the principal tell me the story, one part of my brain said, "Violence is bad. Violence begets violence. I wish the study hall monitor would actually be their to MONITOR the study hall," while the other part of my brain actually had me smiling at my son. That part of the brain had me thinking, "Wow, my son DEFENDED himself. Two good shots and the bully with the flyswatter wouldn't even retaliate. Not bad. Violence good. Violence thrilling, in fact."
Let me just say, this was the first time my son has ever fought in school. Let me rephrase that, this is the first time my son has ever hit anyone in school. He's 14. He's not a bully and doesn't have pent up rage a la Pearl Jam's "Jeremy." My son was simply sick of being swatted by a filthy flyswatter. Even though this was his first offense ever, he had a mandatory 3-day out of school suspension. This is school board policy because we are a "sue happy" society and if my son had broken this kid's jaw, who knows what would have happened to the school? Blah blah blah.
The good news was if my son attended a class at high school for 2 hours daily, he wouldn't be marked absent and could do his whole day's work in those 2 hours, so wouldn't be behind when he gets back to school. We definitely took the school up on this offer.
In the end, I didn't punish my son at all. I'm surprised my husband didn't buy him something big, sharp, or threatening as a reward. My husband was actually relieved and ecstatic at how my son reacted. And my son celebrated his 14th birthday last Friday by having Chinese food, a carrot cake, a friend stay over and seeing "Ironman." After all these years, he still likes superhero movies. Maybe the idea of those movies have really stuck with him. The idea of sometimes if you don't stand up for yourself, you'll spend the rest of your life being pushed down.
So, the question for the week is, when was the last time you had to stand up for yourself and did? When was the last time you should have stood up for yourself, but didn't?