Thursday, May 21, 2009

IEP, yeah you know me!

The title of this thread is for all my friends that remember going to school dances and the cheesy pseudo rap songs for all the popular kids to dance to. (If you didn't get my pun, then skip to the next paragraph.)

On to more serious matters. My vacation is over. I had a wonderful time and I'll be posting my short video clips soon. They were so fun to put together, that I cannot keep them from my friends and family. They must be shared, talked about, and laughed over for at least 10 minutes.

So why does everything have to happen at the same time? Life never seems to spread things out and to make it more manageable for working parents. I'll be honest...being a working mother has been one of the hardest challenges. How can I possibly be the superstar mother of the year for my children and be an awesome employee at the same time.. The truth is I'm failing at both. (or so it feels that way.)

I won't sugar coat has been very hard lately. Quinn has had several appointments via the school district psychologist, special education teacher, and speech pathologist to assess his level of functioning. At first, Quinn performed eagerly and cooperated with the teachers. During this process, I decided to take a trip out of country to see Japan and catch up with my big bro. It was poor timing... Since I've returned from my trip, Quinn has been making me suffer for my time away and has begun to act out in school and refuses to cooperate with testing or his speech therapy. When I drop Quinn off at daycare in the morning, I try a Mission Impossible sort of covert action to leave him there without making contact with the teacher (Ms. Asha.) Unfortunately, she pulled a ninja stunt move and blocked my exit from the classroom yesterday and gave me a list of things that Quinn refused to do.

I'm sure Ms. Asha used more sincere and polite terms to describe Quinn's behavior, but what I heard was....

"Your kid is a punk..he wont listen to anyone...he doesn't participate in class...when confronted about his inappropriate behavior he karate kicked a teacher and used preschool slurs like "poo oo head." He's've failed as a mother..and your son will grow up to be an even bigger punk, loser, and delinquent...Call the closest military school and beg for their mercy ASAP."

Then this morning, Quinn went to speech therapy where he refused to listen to the speech pathologist and glared at her as if she were the object of his hate, pain, and misery. He ended up hiding behind a poster stand and only came out when he could see my eyes turning red and the steam seeping from my ears. Before we left, the speech pathologist asked if "something is different at home."

What is different? Should I tell her that I filed for divorce, that I killed Chase last night in his fit of rage over a juice sippy and then buried him in my flower bed? I hate my job...but that's nothing new...and I've been leading a double life and my trip to Tokyo was a cover for my covert Mission Impossible jobs. NOTHING IS DIFFERENT!!!!

These are the questions I've been mulling around in my head. The only change I can think about is my trip to Japan. But I've been home for nearly 2 weeks. Could Quinn still be fretting over my trip? Is he sick of all the academic testing? Why is he being a punk? Why won't he listen to me? Why has it taken this long for an African-American president to be elected?

And then I noticed on his IEP (individualized education plan) letter that there was a box marked for "special day class." I'm not sure if that was a mistake or if the school is actually thinking about placing Quinn in a "special day class." I can not stop thinking about my sinking ship of a dream for Quinn to snap out of it and start acting like his peers and attend "normal kindergarten" as all of his friends are. I've even watched as the other kids in his speech therapy class have graduated out of the program and are moving on while Quinn is still there.

I'm preparing for the meeting tomorrow and I'm bringing tissues. I've attended hundreds of IEP meetings for clients at work and watched as parents broke down in tears hearing about their child's disabilities. Now I understand what it feels like to be a parent with all of your hopes and expectations for your child as a team of "professionals" talk in matter-of-fact terms about your child's deficits. I really trust this team of professionals and they know that I'm well versed on the in's and outs of IEP meetings. I know they will do their best to offer help for Quinn as he starts Kindergarten. This is my stuff. My feelings.. my own mommy guilt.

Next I have to figure out how to help Grant back off and let the professionals play their part in offering help to Quinn. This has been immensely difficult for me but probably more so for Grant because he's never been to an IEP meeting and does not understand all the psychological terms.

I'll post more about the results of the IEP when it happens.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lost in \Translation

There are lots of buttons on the computer here in Kyoto and I have no idea what the heck they do. I just wasted about 20 dollars worth of minutes figuring out how to turn the Kanji characters off. I cant seem to find the punctuation either.

I:ve seen lots of neato stuff and stayed in a traditional style Japanese hotel. The owner got down on all fours and bowed to me when I arrived. Grant doesn't even do that for me. I went into a traditional Japanese bath (onsen) and forgot and wore the wrong slippers into the bathroom. (\this really freaked out a Japanese lady.. oops) I went for a walk last night wearing a kimono and wooden slippers. I:m sure my underwear was hanging out the back.

This morning I fish, rice,and pickled vegetables for breakfast.  I:ve eaten so much raw fish and meat its unreal.  I:d love to go into more detail but my time is up at the internet cafe.  ¥this message probably cost me about 30 dollars.  ha ha..

Miss you all.

Pictures to come when I get back.  

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I'm not the tallest person in Tokyo!

Rumor #1 is dispelled. The Japanese are taller than I thought. I'm tall too, but not the tallest. The Japanese women are so beautiful and skinny.. It's not fair. I'm probably in the running for the fattest woman in Japan right now.

I know it's been ages since I updated the blog, but I thought I should share a little about my trip over seas. The is the furthest I've ever been away from home and the longest I've ever been away from my boys.

I won't bore everyone with all the details of my trip and the names of all the cities, blah, blah blah, blah. I've read about a trillion emails from friends and family that describe their trip in so much detail, that I walk away angry and jealous that I wasn't on vacation with them. I'll leave you with some tidbits that I discovered while I was here.

#1 Japanese women are very shy... so shy that they can't pee if someone else can hear them peeing. Some of the public toilets will make a rushing water sound to mask the sound you make when you go pee. (As my ass hit the toilet seat, I jumped at the sound of rushing was like the sound of my water breaking except I'm not prenant or in labor.)

#2 The grocery store is much like going to an auction. Employees sell the food to you by yelling out about how fresh and delicious it is. People are eveywhere. I took a video of this and intend to post it later so you can see how crazy the Tokyu Food Show is.

#3 Some toilets will squirt water up you ass if you press the wrong button. (No explanation needed.)

#4 Bow a lot and learn to say you're sorry over and over again, even if it's not your fault. It seems like this would be a good cusom to adapt in the U.S.

I have to run now. I have no pictures to share because I forgot my USB cable at home.

More to come...