Monday, October 20, 2008

Tonight

Eldest Twerp got in the car today from school only to realize - even before we could get out of the car rider line -that she forgot her reading book. And she is trying so hard to be a success. So I pulled into a parking place and let her run in to get it. She returned empty handed.

When I asked her where it was she replied, "When I walked in Ms. W said "Well, I guess that is your problem, not mine. Too bad so sad. Buh Bye.'"

Eldest Twerp was not complaining. Not upset. No taddling. Just stating the facts.

I asked her to wait in the car until I got back. I went to talk to the principal. And I am NOT a talk to the principal kinda mom. And, YES -- I have already spoken to the teacher - 4 times via letters and once in person.

This was the last email transaction:

ET needs to take 2 AR tests on Small Steps and Nancy Drew. She says she is having a hard time finding an appropriate time to accomplish this. Can you please help her squeeze in time this week that is convenient to you? Thanks so much.
CG


This was the reply from Ms. W:

ET chooses to talk or do other things instead of AR tests. She can do it in the morning when she comes in or during class time. They have known that from the first week of school. I have told her this numerous time, if she listens. I write it on the board every morning. Tomorrow is the deadline and I have told them that also all week. Hopefully she will find it important enough to take care of before tomorrow. If not, maybe next grading period. Ms. W

And there you have it. Now listen I am all about a student being responsible for their actions. Really. And ET asked for 3 straight mornings and was told, "Not now. We are busy."

So, she has not taken the tests. I am not intervening. This is not where the issue lies with me; but rather with the attitude of you are not only on your own; but I might try my hardest to see you fail. This has been a REALLY hard transition for ET.

But today when I got back in the car she asked if I was angry. I told her no...I just needed to pick up some forms and we would just have to do the reading as late work. After over 3 hours of homework and a 2 page 5-paragraph essay on How the First Quarter of School Went - in which ET had nothing but love and affection for Ms. W - I gave her a break. A 30 min break to go play outside with her dog and eat. She came in and asked if she could take Jeter for a walk. It was already 6:15 and I was a little doubtful, but her eyes were still red from the tears and her breathing was still a little irregular from the sobs; so I said yes.

She asked if me and the boys would go with her -- ya know, for family time. AND I SAID NO! I SAID NO! The boys still had to eat and they needed baths and I had laundry going.

At 7 pm, I started the boys baths and just knew she would be walking in any minute. She was just having fun. I opened the front door at 7:15 and started yelling for her. No response. No where. And it was getting dark. I was feeling uneasy.

I got the boys out of the tub, dressed them and still no ET.

It was dark.

I walked around the neighborhood yelling her name -- no response.

I was starting to panic. I threw the boys in the truck and off we went.

I swear if that stupid 100 pound dog did not protect her, he was going to the pound.

My window was rolled down. I was in the panicked mother yell. The boys were crying. Asked where is sissy? It seemed like hours had passes. What if the dog got lose, she chased him and got turned around. What if someone stopped to help? What if? What if? What if? What if she needed me? I SAID NO!!!

Okay. Deep breaths. One more time around the block and then 911.

And there she came bounding round the corner - that big ol dumb dog walking her. I was so relieved. And then I wanted some answers. She knew the minute she saw me.

She was walking Jeter and he - WHO HAS NEVER GROWLED AT ANYONE IN HIS LIFE - went after a man "older than daddy but younger than grandpa" who was on crutches. Then the guy started talking to her. He was SO nice. He use to have a chocolate lab too. He wanted to know her age, her birthday. He told her what her horoscope was. He asked her IF SHE RODE THE BUS HOME. He was so so nice. And they talked forever. And she felt so bad about his hurt leg. But Jeter really did not like him. But he was just so nice.

At this point I was trying with everything in me to hide the absolute panic in my eyes. I think the goth/smokey-eyes did it.

She then says, "I am so sorry I worried you, I just did not want to leave and hurt his feelings!"

Who in their right mind would sit and talk to a 10-year-old for an hour on a school night? Even as it got dark? And move to the side yard? To get out of traffic??? On a cul de sac???

So we laid in bed and talked about how I had made a bad choice and some better decisions we BOTH can make in the future....then she said this...

"Ya know mom how I am adopted? "

"Yes"

"And how I really like cafeteria food?"

"Yes"

"Like all of it?"

"Yea..."

"And how, well....I am just different?"

"Special, ET...special."

"Well, sometimes, sometimes at school...I wish I was just like all the other kids....and not so different. I wish I had friends and was not so annoying."

I am so glad it was dark. So glad she could not see the tears or witness the ineptness. I just hugged her tighter.

And her words just resounded in my head....Mom, that guy was just so nice to me.

Oh sure I wanted to march myself over to his house. And it is by no means over. But IJ is out of town. It was almost 8 at night. I have 3 kids. And I am a lover not a fighter. But this pushes my bounds.

We are moving. Seriously.

I have an appointment Wednesday afternoon and then you know what we are doing? I am picking her up form school and we are going to Disney World. And we are bonding and talking and hanging and hiring a real estate agent. Seriously.

She has always wanted to see the princesses. And this week, she shall. And this week I will make her see the princess she is. Cause life is too short to rely on others to help you see the princess within.

And then I am gonna beat the crap out of freak-o-neighbor. OK...not really. But I am gonna have a talk...with IJ by my side. And a large gun.

I kid. I kid. I don't even own a gun...yet.

I might close the comments. Please don't judge. Not today.

Love,
CG


39 comments:

The Kelso-Winter Family said...

never mind ET, i got big ol' run down your face tears. Thank God, ET has a guardian angel and that the dog did not like him. DOGS know! don't let that guy get away with that. look up on the registry and see if he's on it and even though it seems over the top, report the conversation to the police even though they may laugh at you. this same thing happened to my friend's daughter in ohio and she finally reported it to the police and they had other girls come forward who had never reported their encounters and the guy is finally behind bars.. cause he progressed from 'talking' to 'peeping' at the library. sorry to be so long on the comments part but i feel strongly about this. and tell little miss 'different' that many folks are different in their younger years and then as they get older people they have cool artistic and clever stuff that they do and everyone wants to be like them!

Chelsea said...

Ok. First things first. Please report the creepy old man incident to the police. In these days adults should KNOW BETTER that to talk to young children in situations like that. The fact that he did talk to her and asked such personal questions would absolutely freak me out. Please report him.

Second...ok there is no second. I was going to say a few things about mother/daughter relationships but I am all worked up about the creepy guy.

Sorry.

Adrenalynn said...

Oh, honey. I just want to hug you right now! My prayers are with you all! I can relate to ET's feelings about not fitting in, and I know that eventually, she'll find her place. But until then, you're her safe place :) You're such a wonderful mom, and a good role model. Keep at it- and go kick some neighbor behind!

Lindsay said...

What a horrible, horrible day. I am so sorry. Positive thought and love are being sent your way ... hang in there ...

Anonymous said...

You poor things...a big hug to you both.

My daughter (who is now 24) was an only child, and a military child.

I have lost count of how many moves we had where poor Lauren was the new kid all over again, just wanting someone to be nice to her.

One year after a particularly bad week I took her to Disneyland instead of school (even pretended she was going to school but not). It is one of her single best memories of her childhood.

Take her for some princess love (we call it Mickey Love here)and kick both the freaks and teacher's ass! Sorry, pardon my French.

RAchelD. said...

Wow, that is incredibly scary! I don't blame you for wanting to beat the neighbor up. No man should ever do that to a child. Have you checked out your area for sex offenders? You can get a free report online or from your police station. You can never be too careful with your kids when it comes to things like that.

Laura said...

Hugs to you and your hurting heart from one mama to another.

Jackie said...

It is sad, isn't it, when our children's teachers show disdain and the strangers on the street show interest. But that man should know better, and sounds seriously creepy. I would definitely check up on him, and a visit with IJ is certainly warranted. Most perpetrators of child crimes check out the parents first, and when there's a smart parent they will (sadly) move on to someone without that support network firmly in place.

Poor ET. I think a trip to Disney is a wonderful idea. Hugs to you!

Mila in PA said...

I don't even know where to start. I love your blog and have never commented. But I am reaching out as a mom and a sista cause this is too much. I detest teachers that are condescending and break a child's spirt. Not to be tolerated--kick ass, CG. The 'neighbor'--- creepy with a capital C. I know you can handle it.
Your daughter will find her self, her center with all that love you give. My girl had a rough time of it around 5th-6th grade and it broke my heart. Now, I have this cool, confident 9th grader with spunk and compassion.
Disney is fabulous medicine,,, let her rock her inner princess.
Hugs for you both.

Marchelle said...

jackie nailed it. what is wrong with people???
i'm so glad she's ok, but i still feel so bad for her. bless her poor little heart!!

CindyDianne said...

No judgement from here. You are handling it so very much like I would. Except, well...maybe better. Because I think I would beat the neighbor with his crutches.

So sorry for ET. She's really struggling - bless her heart.

Tracie said...

Oh, this post broke my heart! I had been so hoping that ET was fitting in now. I hate it when our kids are hurting. I know you are there to remind her that she is special and to keep reminding her all the time.

I agree with every one else on CN (Creepy Neighbor) THe man is either a preditor or an idiot!

((HUGS)) to you & your fam.

Lo said...

wow. i am sitting here at work with tears in my eyes trying so hard not to cry. phew. i had to literally walk away for a second. the 'anonymous' poster above is my mom. i'm Lo aka Lauren. i grew up bouncing from one town to the next. i was in southern california when i was ET's age. i was just like her. i tried really hard in school. i wanted people to like me. i tried SO. HARD. to have friends. i was always alone. i moved so much it just seemed futile after a while to even bother. how sad for a nine year old!

it caused me to have a few issues with self-esteem. i still have them today but try to work thru it. the only advice i can give you is to show her just how much she matters. seriously. it helps that she has a strong, big family. it was just me and my mom most of the time, my dad was deployed a lot.

just make sure she knows how smart she is, how funny, how special. how truly unique. how no one else in the world is like her. bc she is. she's beautiful and smart and she is going to be JUST FINE.

now the part about the man talking to her. that gives. me. the. chills. bc that same thing has happened to me, as a child, more times then i can even tell you. and THANK GOD ET has a guardian angel. i had one too when i was younger bc nothing ever happened to me- and let me tell you, looking back? good lord. i was one lucky kid.

i know that she will be okay. she has you :) but honestly? take her to disney world. bc for me? that is the single greatest memory i have from being a kid. bc for the most part? i was lonely, self-conscious and sad, bc i was different and no one liked me, i didn't fit in.... and my mom always, ALWAYS let me know she was in my corner. to this day she is the closest friend i've ever had.

and bc of her, Disney is, and always will be, the happiest place on earth for me.

jeez, now i'm cryin' for real :)

Lesa said...

I think that you should talk to ET and tell her that Creepy Neighbor might be a good guy, but little girls can not take a chance to find out. That something might happen that she will never ever forget, and hurting his feelings is much easier than her being hurt. Check him out! If he isn't on the registry, he soon will be with actions like that! Thank god she was walking the dog and not just walking!
As for school, I have been through that 100 times with my son. I guess through the years I have learned you have to take the bad teachers with the good. I too emailed and complained and even had him moved to another teacher before. I pray that you two make it through the year with this one!

ptamom3 said...

I am so sorry for all that was wrong with your day yesterday. I agree with all comments above- (1)check him out- (2)you are a very good mom- and (3) your daughter is very special and smart. She will get her toughness from her mom and become a very confident women in her years ahead.

Jenn said...

No judging here. The teacher issue really makes me mad - these are the people that are supposed to be on our kids' side, helping them LEARN. I'm not sure what that teacher thinks she will prove by being so dang rude. But poor ET - girl can't catch a break! I can understand her feelings in wanting to talk to the creepy guy because he wanted to talk to her and know about her and I'm guessing that's more than she gets at school. And there's a good way to explain to children that we just need to be cautious with strangers because we don't know them or what they want. And I know you will explain is just right to ET. HUGS!!! And have fun at Disney - it really is the best medicine, as everyone else has said.

Lo said...

No Judgment here! I had teachers like that in school and they made it to where I just didn't care about school. You are a great momma. My instinct is beat all of them up! Momma Lion syndrome I guess. Hope today is better for both of you.

Mishel said...

I'm on my way to help a sis-tah out. I'm packin' heat...okay its a Red Rider BB gun...I can at least shoot his eye out!

Kyleigh said...

All I can say is WOW. That is crazy. I have no idea what I would do! Oh yeah, and we are banning A/R at our house. That mess gets on my nerves!

Anonymous said...

CG-Prayers for you and ET. I would check out your neighborhood to see if the guy is registered. Here is the link to the Georgia (pretty sure thats where you are) search site- http://gbi.georgia.gov/00/channel_modifieddate/0,2096,67862954_87983024,00.html. You sound like a wonderful, fun mother. Speaking from experience, ET will be ok. It is crappy now, but she has you and IJ, and good parents are so important.

SondreLyn said...

Wow! I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said above. So I will just say Ditto. and Amen!

Dreams of a Country Girl said...

i love you all.

she ended up sleeping in my bed halfway through the night.

checked the sex offender list. no one in my neighborhhod on there.

packing for disney. she has no clue.

pray. pray for wisdom for me and grace for her.

again, thank you. xxxooo cg

Hope4Grace said...

Hugs your way honey!!!!!!!!!!

I recommend a 9mm....

Annette said...

First of all that school needs to chill out and be glad she cared enough to go right back and get her book. I know that they are trying to push responsibility and that is fine but they are still kids and sometimes they forget things! You can not tell me the teachers are so perfect they never forget anything ever!

I would definatly report creepy guy. In West Virginia we have a online sex offender registery that shows people by county and it shows their pic, address and other info. Ya might check and see if GA has one and check out your couty.

I was in tears reading about ET, she is at a hard age and I'm sure the move has changed a lot of things for her. Heck I'm 32 and are having some trouble with our move! For me their came a point where I realized I was not going back. It felt like we were on vacation for a while, exploring our new town and area, painting and decorating our new home, lots of famiy and friends driving up to come see us. Then reality came and the vistors stopped and I did not have a job,any friends, did not know the area well and It hit me like a ton of bricks one day. It takes time and when your ET's age I sure it seems like things will never get better. But This to shall pass.

Don't blame ya for wanting to move, I would be wanting to find something with no neighbors, maybe a moat or fence with lots of guard dogs! I would like to take creey guys cruch and beat him over the head with it! If he was a normal guy (which we know he is not) he would have more sense!

By the way your "Smoky Eyes" looked good, your lucky you have the right coloring to pull it off. I am very pale and with light blond hair, I have to stick to lighter tones or I look like a racoon!

Hope today is a better day and everyone is well!

Dana Jones said...

I don't need to tell you anything, you see it already. You are smart.

embracing you with strength today.
love, dana

Anonymous said...

HECK---I'M AN OLD GRANDPA AND YOU HAVE ME FURIOUS AND WITH A LUMP IN MY THROAT.
JUST KEEP LOVING HER AND SHE WILL BE FINE---I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE

GRAMPS

Becky :) said...

CG~
I'm glad that she was found safe and sound. I would have been scared to death just like you.
She is so special and nothing should make her think she is ever different. You have an amazing family and the love that you have for your twerps is amazing. Those kids will grow up with so much love from both you and IJ that they will never go without.
The school needs to chill and her teacher needs to remember what she became a teacher for.

I think it's awesome that you are taking the kids to Disney World. Go forth and have some fun, you all deserve it!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

My Princess -
First, I wouldn't hire that teacher to work in a dog pound. Kids have enuf to deal with: media, peer pressure, hormones. I am sure that you, as an educator yourself, have been more than restrained in dealing with the situation, and I am proud of you for that. It sounds like parents need to band together.
As far as perv-man. You hold him and I will tie it into a knot and while he is trying to untie it, IJ can try some "enemy interrogation" tecniques (pre-Geneva convention) and let him tell his side of the story.
As one of ET's former CC teachers, I know she is special. Special like a freshly mined jewel that continues to shine brighter as she is polished by her family's love. I was so impressed when I saw her in MWC. She is such a smart, articulate mini-adult, in some ways.
Have way too much fun...ILYA
Your Queen in MWC

thedomesticfringe said...

What a scary encounter. I'm so sorry you're having a rough time. Hang in there and I might bring the gun when you go talk to that man. That's just NOT right!

Sarah said...

Just know that we are keeping you & your family & both situations in our prayers. Again go with your gut & do what you feel is right, mom's just know. I really believe the things I truly regret are the times when I don't listen to my gut.

Deb said...

CG...as a wife of a police officer I would recommend you report that conversation if for nothing else you will actually have it on paper, a report on file. And as for that SNOT of a teacher, I would have done what you did. Have you sent the principal a copy of the email that she sent? I would. Although in my experience some teachers and principals just cover for each other. Not all but some!!! If you don't see a change in her attitude toward you then smash her. That is NOT to be tolerated!!
Your sweet girl, boy my heart hurts for you and her. These moments always made me feel alittle helpless but w/ the Lord we made it through. My girl is 15 now but at one time she always felt like an outsider. She still does at times. We prayed together alot and talked alot. I probably intervened too much but somehow we always made it through it. I just always told her 2 things, that the kids that seem like everything is perfect for them probably feel this same way and she doesn't realize it and the kids that act like they have it all together, could the same ones digging ditches as adults. Popular doesn't always mean success in whatever area of life. My prayers are with you both and give her a huge squeeze from my family. I wish we lived closer cause my girl is very compassionate and is drawn to the those she sees are struggling. They would be fast friends!!! Maybe she could send her a card or something!!! Let us know if you think that is a good idea....take care and have fun at Disney!!!

Lo said...

okay. i'm guilty of posting twice. i just wanted to tell you AGAIN what a great great GREAT mom you are. and person. you are an amazing and inspirational person.

sometimes when i'm having a crapola day and i'm driving home wallowing in self pity i think to myself, 'hey, cg wouldn't do this, snap outofit sista!' and i do. :)

you make a huge difference even if you don't notice how much.

have a wonderful time at disney. make sure she takes a pic in front of the castle. and on main street!!

Megan said...

This just breaks my heart. I was so ET when I was 11. My family moved right before I started 6th grade, and it was the worst year e-v-e-r for me. I didn't know even one person. Not one friend at my new school to my name. I just couldn't find my place. I cried about every other day and begged to go back to my old school. I struggled in school, when normally I excelled. It was rough. Eventually (and believe me...it took time) though, I found my niche. I made the best group of friends, and my summer was filled with weddings, and baby showers for all these girls. Tell ET to hang in there, because I know how hard it is. I know she will find her place too, even if it takes some time. Keep doing what you're doing, because I know I wouldn't have made it through that year without my momma. Disney sounds like the perfect getaway, those princesses are magic workers.
As a future teacher, I have lots to say about ET's teacher, and how her snarky emails and treatment of ET are benefiting NO ONE...but I have rambled on long enough. Sorry for the long post, ET's story just stirred up all those old feelings in my heart. I will be praying for you both.

Linda said...

1)check him out- (2)you are a very good mom- and (3) your daughter is very special and smart.
Rinse & repeat.
P.S. GOOD DOG! -growling at the creepy guy probably using crutches to elicite sympathy from little girls. Did he hava puppy and candy too? Eww!

spanki said...

my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. you gather that precious little girl up and go have the time of your lives at disney! sorry i have no more encouragement than that, my mind is whirling with emotion, this is a tough world to live in! have faith in God and lay it at His feet, he will lead you in the right direction for your family! can't wait to see pics of disney, we've never been!!

The woman said...

I know hope4grace has a gun...... What a scary thing to have gone through. An eye opener for sure. God Bless

Keli said...

Ok, I'm so behind in trying to keep up with all the blogs I read. I can't believe that man! And that teacher!

You are a wonderful mom and I would never pass judgement. Your daughter is beautiful and you have a wonderful family! Just keep doin' what you're doin' and she will be just fine!

I'm with my sister, Mishel, we are on are way! : ) xoxo

k8mc said...

what a great mother you are. Absolutely no judgments here, only applause. Hope Disney was a blast!!

sulli said...

Ive got a couple of big ole guns if ya need one...