Yesterday I had a meeting with Rose’s teacher, principal, EC director, speech teacher and some other people. Apparently, M either forgot to mention a few things to the school in Alabama when it came to Rose’s Individual Education Program (IEP) or she lied by omission. The latter seems more inline with her character. As it stands, I am in a holding pattern, waiting to see what happens next. Based off of Rose’s original NC IEP, she needs to be in a self contained classroom with one on one attention everyday. Unfortunately, her current school doesn’t have any self contained classrooms, which means she would have to move schools again. Under the AL IEP, she is in a regular classroom with speech therapy on a daily basis. This would allow for her to remain in the school that she is in and continue mission. After explaining some flaws in the school staff’s understanding of the situation, they informed me that they had to go back to the drawing board and figure out where to go next. I had pretty much been told that I would need to get Rose enrolled in a different school that had a self contained classroom by the end of the week so she could start there on Monday.
The problem with this new school is that it is based off of my address. Which means, I would either have to take her to school every day and pick her up, or she could be picked up and dropped off by a special transportation bus. Both of these options would require me to be in a job that was more flexible to the fact that I am a single father with a child in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), who needs my attention first thing in the morning and in the early afternoon. Kat, my babysitter, wouldn’t be able to be in two places at once, picking her son and David up at the current school, and then either picking Rose up from school or meeting the bus at our home. The dilemma is as much fun as putting my phallus in a meat grinder. My unit isn’t exactly flexible in regards to a soldier’s family. I am trying to find the best option for my children and still be able to perform duties for the Army. My only issue is that when push comes to shove, my kids come first, career be damned. If it comes to the point that I have to be discharged due to my parental status, then I am going to move on without any regrets. Honestly, I have spent too damned long giving the Army everything I have and all that I am, to just be expected to concern myself more with it than with my family.
So, as I said, I am on stand-by. The EC Coordinator had to go back to the drawing board and see what to do in this situation. The IEPs from the two states are completely different. They tend to have to go by the most recent one established, which would be the AL one. Honestly, I hope that is the case and Rose can remain in the school that she is in. She improves all around educationally, verbally and inter-personally every day that she is there. When she was in an EC class, she picked up a lot of bad habits and traits from other students who seemed to be worse on the spectrum than she was. Until she had started going to her last school in NC, she never threw tantrums that involved her banging her head on the floor, arguing with her parents or teachers, or any of the serious negative behavior that she displays.
Monday, I had to conduct some corrective actions with her in regards to her behavior at school. Kat told me that Ms. M, Rose’s teacher, had told Rose to get in the lunch line. Rose decided she wanted to be belligerent and contradictory and screamed NO at her teacher and then proceeded she was going to “Snatch you up and smack you.” Yeah, she didn’t get that phrase from me. I don’t really spank anymore. I give time outs and lost privileges. Rose definitely works better on a obedience versus reward system. Basically, she is learning about consequences. “If you continue with X, then you will lose Y (time, television, toys, dessert, etc).” I pretty much learned that method from the lovely old United States Army. I’ve had to give the same type of punitive measures to soldiers who couldn’t act like adults and remove their heads from their asses.
Each day is a learning lesson for my children and I. Each day we get a step closer to getting to where we need to be. Time will tell how successful we are in regards to that.
The new job I wrote about last month has kind of gone by the wayside. Division has decided that it didn’t want to release anyone to go perform duties there. You can imagine how displeased with this turn of events I was. I honestly needed that job, simply based on the freedom of movement and ability to spend more time with my children. Today I plan on asking for an exception to policy on this decision. Otherwise, I need to decide whether or not staying in the Army is really what is best for my children. Yeah, I’m back to that old dilemma, which I had thought I had solved some time ago. Now, with changing circumstances, I am back to deciding whether or not I charlie mike or I ask for a hardship discharge. I don’t want to just let go of my decade long career, but it seems to be contrary to what is best for Rose and Dave. Hmm, I don’t know, I’m not sure at this point. I need someone who understands how the Army operates to be my sounding board and give me advice on where to go next. I have people I can talk to, of course, but most of them are civilians with no military experience and I really don’t feel like extending the conversation by having to backtrack just to explain Army procedures and such.
“Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.”
It’s 1445hrs (EST), and I am sitting in the “kiss and go” lane, waiting for the kids’ bell to ring. It is awesome to actually get the chance to be here to drop them off and pick them up from school. Rose and Dave both love going to school. My wild ones definitely have their father’s nature about them. I loved school at their age. It wasn’t until high school when I got bored with it. The problem is, although I was bored with it, I still had a 3.75 GPA. I just didn’t find it mentally stimulating. I think Rose is going to have that problem too.
This week has been fairly hectic. The kids are now on their second school of the week. Let’s hope it is the last change of the year. It is fortunate that this is still the first week of school. I put in a Voluntary Transfer Request in last month. On Monday, I got a call from Ms. W at the School Board’s Student Assignments Office and was told that our request had been denied. I had to do some react to contact and scrambled into action to enroll the kids in the school near our house.
Ms. W had suggested that I appeal the decision with one of the Assistant superintendents. The one she named wasn’t just the lady in charge of student assignments, but she also happened to be the military family liaison for the school board. This week has seen me stuck at work until late Monday and Tuesday and I wasn’t able to do more than send an email to Dr. B on Monday. I laid out our situation before her and explained why I needed this school transfer. Apparently, what I had to say was enough and she granted approval of my appeal.
So, the kids were on Day 2 at their first school while Daddy was running around behind the scenes, reacting to contact. I got them enrolled at the right school, did some housework and grocery shopping all before I picked them up from their other school. I had went there before going to the new school and informed them of what was happening. They were very obliging and were sad to see Rose and Dave go because they had already taken a liking to the minions. (Those kids really are lovable.)
This morning, I brought them to school and met their new teachers. Both ladies appear to be highly intelligent and motivated educators. I think the kids are really going to enjoy their school year here. As was the case on their first day at the other school, I was handed a giant pack of paper and instructed to fill it out and return to the teachers on Tuesday. Well, I was feeling rather motivated this morning and I headed to The Coffee Scene for a Super Mocha and a sausage, egg and cheese croissant. I sat there and consumed my breakfast while filling out the myriad of forms required to educate one’s children.
It took me about an hour and a half to finish them. I decided that instead of waiting for Tuesday, I might as well just make the short drive back over to the school and drop the overstuffed envelopes back off. With this complete, I headed home and cleaned out the car. It had taken on the appearance of Rose and Dave’s bedroom. I threw away the trash and took everything else inside.
My lovely, elegant, wonderfully future ex-wife was so kind to finally furnish me with banking information. (Did you catch any facetiousness in that?) For someone who claims she wants absolutely nothing from me, she sure calls my commander a lot demanding money. Hmm… 8-/ So, I took a few minutes to share her banking information with every hacker I know…. I’m kidding people. Chuckle chuckle. It was a joke. Or was it?
Okay, no, I didn’t do that. I did log the information in to my transfer accounts on my online banking. Until I am granted a waiver to stop paying her stupid ass, this will be easier. Then maybe I will give out the information. 😉
Anyway, the kids are out of school. I have to go now. Have a good one. Good bye, dear reader.