Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm his mom, not a magician!


    Yesterday was another day from hell for Nixon. And unfortunately, I'd told the vice principal she could call me the next time he had a really awful day.
     She took me up on that "offer" yesterday.

    It started as I was home pondering dinner. My phone rang and I, unknowingly, picked up. No, I knowingly picked up, I didn't know what the school wanted.

    Nixon had been having a rough morning. He had been out of the classroom for over 2 hours. He just couldn't get his shit straight. He wasn't throwing/hitting/kicking, he was crying and screaming (he has this god-awful ear bleeding pitch that he can scream at for extended periods of time!).
    The vice principal asked if I could "come by and talk to him, maybe stay with him the rest of the day?". I was able to come by, and I did, but I couldn't and honestly, just plain wouldn't,  spend another extended period of the school day with him.
    Why not?, one might ask. I'm not on the school payroll. I'm not teacher material. And unless they're telling me Nixon isn't welcome to the school anymore and I have to homeschool him, I've chosen to let other people educate him.
     But yesterday I had other things to do and literally could not stay with him.

    I got to the school and found Nixon, with the special education teacher and the aid standing near him, sitting in a chair. I sat cross-legged on the floor and had Nixon come sit with me. He hugged me and started to cry. He claimed he missed BeBe, but I know him well enough to know that "missing" something is an emotion he falls back on,because he can't/doesn't know what he really feels. Nixon can't always recognize his own emotions, so he'll say one that he does know, even if it isn't what he actually feels.
    He sat on my lap, crying into my chest. I held him and spoke softly, gently. *I should add that when Nixon first saw me, he asked if I was staying the rest of the day with him. I said "Nope. Know why? I've done all my years of school and I'm not doing it again". The special education teacher, whom I could see from the corner of my eye, looked shocked at my handling of Nixon!*

    After a few minutes, some deep breathes and a couple more tears, Nixon was ready to go to lunch with his class. I walked him to the cafeteria and talked to the aid.
    Apparently, Nixon started doing the classwork just fine. Then he realized it the same (shit) stuff the class has been doing almost 3 months now. The assignment is to cut the objects out, then paste them under the letter the word begins with. When Nixon realized there were 4 letters, he got upset! He told me "I've done it all", when I was calming him down. It didn't make sense until I talked to the aid.
    He's bored and annoyed that they are still doing the same thing! I get it but he just doesn't have the skills to express himself . He gets annoyed and becomes fueled by his impulses. Those impulses are not the best. He doesn't think ahead about actions and consequences, he's very in the moment.

    I mentioned this to the VP as I was leaving the school. I told her he's bored by the same work. I also said I felt the computer needs to be a reward for a job well done, not a coping mechanism as I feel it was being used. In addition I said I didn't want him segregated from the class, that if he wants to be a part of the class group time, it should be encouraged.
   She agreed and said they are working on a plan that helps him.

   Later I called and asked for the assignment he didn't do (and any other assignments he missed while out of the class for so long) to be sent home. Because that's just common sense to me. If he's acting out and not finishing his work, the work comes home.

   She called me one last time. He was doing his work, but he was doing it in spurts. He'd act up then recover and go back to his work. She asked if I thought talking to me would be a good solution. The only thing I could do was answer honestly: I don't know. And I really don't. Nixon doesn't respond to phones very well. He'll talk to his grandparents on the phone but he's not "present" in those conversations. SO I don't really know if talking to me will help him pull it together.
    She seemed kind of peeved that I couldn't give a magical answer to make him pull it together. I don't have that answer. I don't have a magic wand. I can't even explain how we do things at home because I've built self-coping methods into our way of life for so long I can't even remember how life was before. But what works at home will not work at school. Why? Because school has more distractions/kids/stimulations than we have at home.

    If I had a magic wand that would "fix" Nixon, I'd have used it by now. I'm giving the tips I know when I think they'll help, but not all of them are being implemented and that's not on me.

   Before I go, I'm going to share Nixon's homework last night. In addition to cutting and pasting, he had to write the words of each object.
I'm probably the bane of Nixon's teacher's existence. I help him spell words at home, but I do not write them like the kindergarten kids are supposed to do it. Like my t's. And of course, Nixon is copying my t's! But even funnier than just that, is Nixon's take on this assignment. Wrote the entire word right to left instead of left to right. And I love him for it! He did correct it and complete the entire assignment correctly.  

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