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Tag Archives: school

Dear Target

6 Jul

You know I love you. You and me, we’re bffs4evah.

However…

Nine days ago was our last day of school. NINE DAYS. We’re just now getting used to our summer vacation routine. Needless to say, I was highly unprepared to see ALL the “Back to School!” stuff out at our local Target.

I should’ve seen it coming. Land’s End has already sent me their “Back to School” catalog (which arrived a week before school was over). You started clearance-ing out summer stuff a couple weeks ago, which led to my hasty buying of lawn chairs and outdoor lighting. You’ve been slowing putting up those “dorm life” end caps.

Still, I didn’t expect to see the fully stocked school supply section today.

And I had Maura with me.

Thus began the Great Backpack Struggle 2017. We go through this every year. Maura sees that wall of backpacks and becomes a bit rabid. Backpacks are her thing. HER THING. She just got a new one two weeks ago, after I smuggled out several old busted ones from her room, and hanging up the four she had left. She’s been very happy with her new backpack.

Until two hours ago, when she desperately needed a NEW backpack.

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I said no.

She tried to put it in the cart.

I said no, put it back.

She threw the backpack at me.

I told her we were leaving.

There was a meltdown. We spread disability awareness in that particular store. Loudly. Along several aisles, as she was all “Fine! I’m leaving!” and stormed down a few aisles.

But she calmed down. It was very impressive how she pulled it back together. So we got the cart, left by the backpacks, and despite a few longing glances towards the backpacks, we got the heck out of that section.

Oh sure, we ended up with a Poppy from Trolls doll, which made the world better, and is cool because Maura didn’t have a Poppy doll and is obsessed with Trolls, but that’s not the point.

The point is – why is back to school stuff out NINE DAYS after school let out? Seriously? Why? We’re all broke here from end of school stuff and trying to buy all the summer stuff just as summer was finally starting here in the PNW. Now we have to nab up all the pencils and notebooks because they’ll be all gone come August 15th, even though school doesn’t even begin until after Labor Day in September, and some of us won’t even know what we need until the, but by then it’ll be too late to buy school supplies and the Christmas lights will be out…

I know that some of this is being location-specific. I know that some areas of the United States have been out of school since the latter part of May. And that you’re running a large corporation that has to suit the needs of all states. Whether or not that timeline suits everyone involved.

All I know is that for the next six weeks, I can’t take Maura to her favorite store because I don’t need to deal with a meltdown over backpacks every. single. time.

It’s not me, it’s you.

I’ll catch you on the flipside!

 

 

 

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Apparently Maura had shopping plans

8 Feb

I get interesting emails from Maura’s teacher. Things like “She’s bringing home food, check the backpack!”and “So Maura brought in a white cell phone that obviously doesn’t belong to her” and “Hey, so Maura brought in some sort of wine glass and a curtain? Just so you’re aware, it’s in her backpack, wrapped up safely.”

Oh yes, I’m always eager to open up an email from Maura’s teacher because the possibilities are endless.

BTW, the cell phone was her brother’s, and it wasn’t a curtain but the fancy tablecloth – because Maura’s always prepped for a fancy dinner.

Today, an email pops up from Maura’s teacher.

Hi Phoebe, 

Maura brought a Dooney and Bourke bag with about $120 in cash in it to school today.  I hid the bag in my filing cabinet.  Do you have time to pick it up sometime today?  

Well, don’t we look all fancy pants?

This is the purse in question –

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A couple of weeks ago, our local Goodwill moved into a new location, and to celebrate, pulled out all this high end stuff. My friend spotted this bag and was all “OMG Phoebe, you must own this purse!” And so it came home with me. Maura spotted it and instantly went “Ooooo….”

Last night, she ventured into my room, and came out with the bag. I was all “You can’t steal my purses!” and her response was a non-verbal “You can’t stop me!”

Now, I’m not big on different types of purses, but I realized after doing a Google search why the teachers were all “OMG, she has THIS purse here” – because it’s like a $200 purse.

What can I say, Maura has good taste.

I went up to the school to retrieve the items. Maura’s teacher retrieved the purse, which Maura instantly latched on to.

I looked at her. “Maura, you know you’re not supposed to take Mom’s purses.”

Maura just ignored me.

“I’ll make you a deal.” I said to her. “You can keep the bag for the rest of the school day, but you have to give me the money.”

Maura sighed loudly in true teenager fashion and said “Fine.” before reaching in and giving me a wad of $20s.

She probably had a shopping trip planned for that money. Meanwhile, I need to figure out who’s missing cash in the house.

I’m not THAT parent…I’m thaaaaaaat parent

8 Sep

The good news is, Maura has the same teacher as last year. So she is wise to my ways, no warning is needed.

However, I can admit, I am thaaaaaaat parent.

Which is different from THAT parent.

Let me explain…

THAT parent is a term in the special ed world for those parental units who come in with their heads slightly spinning, flames shooting out their ears, quoting educational laws while working very hard to refrain leaping over a table or saying “Are you fucking kidding me?”

I’ll admit, at one point in Maura’s educational career, I morphed into THAT parent. But I earned that title when the special ed director told me she didn’t need my signature on the IEP, I didn’t have to sign it…after a long year of this woman treating me like I was demanding unicorns and limousines for my daughter when I asked for seizure training for staff (who were like “Um, yes, please”) and a proper emergency health plan.

I know. I’m so unreasonable.

So yeah, I turned into THAT parent. It’s a bit like Bruce Banner going Hulk. It’s ugly and not fun for anyone involved, but sometimes, it’s necessary.

However, I’m really more thaaaaaaat parent.

Let me explain…

Thaaaaaaat parent is the one who has been in the world of IEPs and interrupted sleep and has watched the same episode of The Muppet Show, with very special guest star, Sandy Duncan, about 389 times that week.

You’re tired and maybe a bit socially awkward, and definitely hopped up on the caffeine of your choice. You’re not quite fit for human consumption, and you toy between realizing you’re in desperate need of getting out into more normal company and knowing you probably shouldn’t be allowed in polite company because you might talk about poop or your theory about Dora the Explorer.

After years of jumping through flaming hoops and having nonsensical arguments with your offspring over underwear, thaaaaaaat parent has definitely cracked up a bit. Add some natural sarcasm and lack of organization, and I’m sure I’m a joy to work with for some school staff. I mean, I’m the gal who at the last IEP meeting spilled an almost full grande latte across the table. I did manage to only get myself, and restrained myself from sucking the coffee out of my jeans.

And when presented with 193 school forms to fill out every year, I get ridiculous. I may also want to see who’s paying attention, or give them a laugh. Because if we can’t laugh at the sometimes ridiculousness of our lives, well, what’s the point.

That’s why, in filling out an information form for Maura, I did this –

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See? thaaaaaaat parent.

Meanwhile, as I was trying to organize my kitchen/dining room yesterday, I found a crumpled up sheet of paper with words on it. I smoothed it out and saw it was the “student technology equipment user agreement”. You know, the form I sign to allow the school to give my kid a laptop for the year, promising we won’t swim with it or eat the keys, and if we do eat the keys, we have to pay for the cost of new keys? The form I totally signed for one child?

I looked at it and thought “Hmm…I bet this is Maura’s.”

I checked my email later on that day and find a note from Maura’s teacher about how she sent home a new form, can I please sign it and return it so Maura can get her laptop?

I replied with “Hey, found a crumpled up one just today myself! Haha! I’ll send the form back in tomorrow.” Took the form out of Maura’s backpack, along with her student planner they give every student and we use for communication.

This morning, I go to sign the form…and can’t find it. I check around, and still can’t find it. I do find the crumpled copy though, and went “Well, it’ll do.”, signed it, stuck it in Maura’s folder, which I then put in Maura’s backpack…and wondered “Hmm…planner’s missing…”

But since we’re playing “guess how early the bus will be today?” this week (13 minutes from time we were told, four minutes earlier than yesterday) I threw the backpack at Maura and she ran to the bus. Emailed the teacher from my phone that she was getting the crumpled version back because I lost the new form.

Then sat down at my desk. Checked Facebook. Sipped on coffee. Moved my keyboard a little. And found the form and planner just there. Under my keyboard. Where I’d surely notice it.

So yeah. I’m thaaaaaaat parent. I warn the school I’m thaaaaaaat parent. Not that they couldn’t guess after I showed up at the IEP with green hair, spilling coffee everywhere.

It’s okay. Better to be thaaaaaaat parent than have to be THAT parent.

 

Post script – I love Maura’s school and the people who work with her. They are not only great with her, but great with me, lol! We’re very lucky to be in such a fantastic situation. 

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