The Ramblings of a Mad Man

Posts tagged “single dad

Challenges in Life & Parenting

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.”


Life as the 3 of Us

I want to know why as soon as my daughter gets upset and starts crying, she starts apologizing saying that it is all her fault. What the FUCK has my future ex-wife been saying to her? This isn’t something a 7 year old comes up with on her own, it is a learned behavior. Some days, I would very much like to have a discussion with her mother and find out just what the hell she has been doing. And then I would like to have her tossed into shark infested waters. I am not very pleased with her.

She has taken to calling about three times a day. Leaving the loveliest messages. 😐 Sarcasm. Hope you sensed that. Her latest said, “Once again, I have called to talk to MY children, and once again you will not let me.” Well, perhaps I should apologize for protecting myself from her liar’s nature. She has already filed one false police report claiming I violated her protective order, which I hadn’t even been served with yet. So, sue me for protecting my children and my own ass by not answering the phone for a child abusing, lying, manipulative, thieving, kidnapping skank that I want nothing to do with. As soon as there is an order in place saying that she has a right to contact them, or she drops her bullshit restraining order, the kids would love to talk to her.

I was on the phone with a close friend earlier, heading home with the kids in the car, when Dave just says out of no where, “Daddy, I love you, but I don’t like Mommy.” I told him that wasn’t very nice, she is his mother and loves him very much. He didn’t say anything for a minute and then just said, “I don’t want to stay with Mommy, I want to stay with you.” I have my earbud in, since the state of NC is a hands free state, and my friend asked me if he really said what she thought he did. I was a little shocked and told her yes, he had really just said that.

Anyway, I picked the kids up from their sitter’s house at about 1030 hrs EST. I had to reschedule their doc’s appts last week on account of being stuck in court. They were back to back with the same doc. They were well behaved and I didn’t have any problems out of them what so ever. They both were very polite and courteous to both the nurse and the doctor. I had the doctor put in a referral for Rose to get seen at Duke Children’s by the Hematology/Oncology department. I don’t know when the last time she was seen for her maintenance phase of her leukemia protocol, so I figured it would be best that we get in there as soon as possible. The doc was very obliging in my wish there.

After their physicals, we went to the referrals office and got Rose’s referral pushed through to the insurance. Then we walked across the clinic to Immunizations. Let me tell you, my kids know EXACTLY what goes on there. They both burst into tears and started begging me to not make them get shots. I had them sit down and walked over to the counter to ask for copies of their shot records from the nurse. She called me back to the computer, and I started to bring the kids with me, but they just turned up the volume on their terror. Poor things. The nurse suggested I leave them sitting in the chairs while she talked to me about their records. I was about 30 feet away from them and making faces at them the whole time she talked to me. The nurse probably thought I was crazy. Well, nothing to argue about there. Lol. Dave was up to date, but of course Rose having had an immunodeficiency causing cancer, she is way behind on shots for her age. I told the nurse I would discuss it with the docs at Duke when we get up there and if she is capable of getting anymore vaccines, I will have them give it to her there.

As we were leaving the clinic, I got a panicked message from my supervisor about a tasking that he deemed to be of great importance and priority. Personally, I think it could have waited until I had taken my children to lunch. We ended up heading back to my office and the kids sat taking turns playing Angry Birds on my iPhone while I typed up a tasking memo. Silly people. My supervisor is a nice guy, and he will give me what time I need to handle my personal affairs, but he does not multitask or delegate authority well. Give him one task and the time to do it and he will very well. The problem with our job is, it is never going to be just one task and most of the time, we are playing react to contact with new things flying in from the good idea fairies.

Anyway, the kids and I had a great weekend. On Saturday, we went to a place called Monkey Joe’s here in Fayetteville. It is a big, indoor playground that is filled with inflatable slides and bouncy houses. Kat, the kids’ sitter and my friend, joined us with her son. All three kids had a great time running around and bouncing. After that, Rose, Dave and I headed for home to enjoy some quality time in the pool. That has to be their favorite thing about our apartment.

Once we were done with the pool, they took an hour nap and then we headed out to a cook out that we were invited to. The kids enjoyed just being kids. Running around the yard playing. I love to watch them have fun and most of the time will join in with them. I have missed out on so much time with them that I am trying to at least make up for it in some way. We got home around 2100 hrs EST. I was feeling the day and I know the kids were too. No sooner had they gotten baths and into their PJs, they were ready for prayers and night night kisses. They were out within 20 minutes of being home. I’ll admit, I was out within 25 minutes. They are good at wearing out daddy too.

Sunday we went to church. I am trying out a new way of doing the A-Team to make sure that I am close to the kids at all times. I started out doing usher duty in the sanctuary. That way I could stand near the kids and still pitch in with ushering people to seats, passing out the elements of communion and offering. I still cannot bring myself to take communion or make an offering. It is written, but I’ll paraphrase, that of you hold a grudge against someone, you should leave your offering on the altar and go make amends. That way you can make your offering with a pure heart. Dear reader, I just can’t forgive her for the things she has done yet. I don’t know when I will be able to. Hopefully someday soon.

Since it was the first Sunday of the month, we will normally do things like dedicating children and praying in or out military families. I felt it was important to rededicate the kids back to God and let Him guide me in their raising. One of the elders, and a good friend, started the prayer. He knows the whole situation and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Thank You Father for allowing Chris to be able to stand up here with his children.” Just writing that brought tears to my eyes. My friend knows the hell I have been through in fighting for them and their safety. It was a rather poignant moment, to say the least.

Anyway, dear reader, it is a quarter till midnight. I am feeling the day. I am worn out and have to get up at 0430 EST to get the kids to their sitter’s house and get myself to work. Tomorrow should be another fun filled day in 1 Panther. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on that tomorrow.

Good night, God bless. I hope we all find peace in the morning.