My in-laws came into town this weekend to say good-bye to my father-in-law's mother. The nice thing for us was that it meant we got to see them, too.
Saturday afternoon, my mother-in-law and I took my girls shopping for clothes and sparkly things and just enjoying a moment of girliness in the midst of an emotional weekend. At some point during the afternoon, the conversation turned to #3 and public school. She wanted to know how he was doing and if we were still feeling as if we made the right decision.
I explained to her my mixed feelings and growing unease about the entire situation. He likes school, and our household is calmer during the day without his hyper energy. These are the pluses. On the minus side, is the shift in his attitude toward us as the main authority figures in his life, the bad words he has learned (but doesn't repeat.....yet), and this new defiant attitude he has discovered. Plus, we miss him. I miss being his mom during the day. I want desperately to bring him home, but know that the help he needs is in the school. If only he were getting it.
All of the negative would be counter-balanced by the help he was getting in math, if only he were getting help. He's not yet. The school has a new psychologist who has to go through the files of every child requiring special help. She began with the children who were already in the school, followed that up with the inter-district transfers, and on October 2nd will finally begin to look at the paperwork of the new students. She should be getting to his file during the second week of the month. He will have been in school for 9 weeks before they began to even think about what to do with him. We should be having his IEP meeting in November. As I feared, we have wasted an entire semester and he has fallen further behind.
I fought back tears as I explained this to his grandmother. She can sympathize with my pain, but I don't think she understands it. When he boys were young, you sent them to school and didn't agonize over the things which keep me up at night. She tried to tell me that this was just the way bureaucracies work and that I needed to make peace with this fact. They have hundreds of children to help not just my one little boy. I need to be patient.
Logically I knew she was right. The Christian in me said that all children deserved to be treated and helped equally and that my one child was not more precious than any other child in his school. Then the mom in me screamed "NO!"
I understand that what she says is true, but I refuse to accept it. I can not worry about those other children. They are not my responsibility. They have mothers of their own and they are not me. As much as my soul rebels at demanding preferential treatment, I have to do so. If I do not, he will not get the help which is the sole reason for his being handed over to the government's school.
I was patient and waited until the parent teacher conference last Friday. When I learned that he hadn't even seen the tutor, met the psychologist, or even been assessed in the entire time he had been in their care....I decided that my days of nice are over. All children may be precious and it may be wrong for me to ignore their need, but if I do not then I have failed as a mother.
This child was entrusted to me by God. It is my job to love, protect and educate him. I can not fail in any of these. I must set my love of others aside and become only his mom. I have to ignore the tug in my heart and the prick to my conscience and learn to demand. I have to become the loudest voice insisting upon their attention. We have only until we move in May and then we will have to start over again. I have to get him all of the aid I can in the short time we have left.
I have heard a line about squeaky wheels getting grease. It just means that she who screams the loudest gets the help first. I'm preparing to hop him to the front of the line. I have to learn to yell