Going Crazy Again

Jack is watching u-tube on the T.V., some monster truck thing. Fiona is watching a unicorn video on my i-phone. This is the second time I have let my kids, Fiona being the only one so far, watch u-tube on my phone. The reason this happened was because yesterday I downloaded Care Bear ASL for Fiona. She loved it until she went on u-tube and found a dress up unicorn thing. Super annoying. She likes it though. Today was difficult in kid land. Jack said he was tired and didn’t want to go to school. I needed to do yoga so I made him go for an hour. The whole time in yoga I thought about Jack. I worried the teachers were calling to tell me he threw up. I imagined him lying on the couch in the office. I tried to breath and stretch during my downward dogs and child’s poses, but felt stressed still. When I picked up Jack after yoga he looked fine. He was playing with friends and the teacher said he acted normal all day. After we picked up Fiona Jack said he didn’t want to go to gymnastics, he was too tired. Fiona cried. She was so upset. I thought it was unfair, that Jack could have just sat quietly by me and waited, while Fiona did gymnastics. I thought, he must be very sick. I parked the car at home and Jack said, “Tricked ya”.
I said, “What?’
“tricked ya, I’m not tired”
It put me in a bad, but withdrawn mood.
I also can’t stop thinking about Fiona and CSD. I got several responses from the paper I wrote from people I shared it with, and I talked to all Fiona’s teachers and my close friends and relatives. Not everyone, I haven’t had an in-depth conversation about it with some people who are very close to me. Some people said absolutely not to the idea of Fiona going to a bilingual school that is an hour and a half bus ride. But some people said do it! I am worrying, spinning, but I acknowledge I do this with big decisions. I never expected to feel this way. I was unhappy with the large class size here when Fiona’s mainstreamed. I was unhappy with the lack of sign language. If she stays here, I have to build in sign language lessons somehow. I still feel like it could be part of her public education because she legitimately needs to learn sign language. The hearing aids are great a percentage of the time. But there is a lot of time they don’t work well. In noise, in water, when her ears are infected, when a word is too hard for the speaker to say verbally so that Fiona can understand it. This is my experience.
I worked so hard on my IEP, and I was feeling free. Now it’s like I’ve been kicked back a hundred feet. I’m going to let Fiona make the final decision though. I have a date for her to spend a whole day at CSD this summer and she can start her neighborhood school in the fall, then Fiona will be able to verbalize what feels best, I hope. She’ll still be young. I wish I had my own expert to do an observation of Fiona in both places. Someone totally experienced but totally unbiased. Education is a trip! I can’t believe it’s hitting me like this.
The first battle was the local school fight. The Great Schools battle. The segregated school surprises. Realizing that some of the liberal democratic people I know and live by are perpetuating systematic racism by following web sites like Great Schools and not doing any research into the systematic racism of American schools. Then driving their kids’ miles away from their home to the whiter public schools, charter schools and private schools. This has all been a shocking, mind altering, depressing, learning period for me.
I stated that the most important thing to me was for my kids to go to our closest neighborhood school. Then I saw a perfect classroom for Fiona a million miles away. A quiet learning space where she will have the best chance at communicating with her peers and learning with a teacher trained to teach kids just like Fiona. Plus, she’d be bilingual. I wish Jack could go to a Spanish bilingual school, or ASL. It would be so cool for Fiona if Jack learned ASL. He said he will. He’ll have to learn with Fiona. Even Fiona’s best friends need to learn because at the pool Fiona and her friends can’t talk. They can’t play how they want to. They want to play imagination or with mermaids and they keep saying stuff to each other, they talk louder and louder, they yell and try to understand each other. Then Jack starts doing it, then me, then everyone’s just talking louder and louder and no one can follow anything that’s being said anymore. And we all go quiet for a moment. The last time I convinced the kids to get out of the pool and put back on their hearing aids, so they could play. It’s the same for the girls in noisy environments. Why am I stressing about this? I gotta stop. Fiona’s best friends will need to learn sign too if they want to communicate in all the places that hearing aids don’t work. But the schools so far away and she might not like it as much as I think she will.
“Fiona, you’re horrid, horrid, horrid” says Jack from the living room. A few minutes ago, he went and tried to grab an electronic stand that Fiona has the iPhone on. Sometimes he can be awful.
And every time I say something to Jack Fiona says, “What?”. I tell her what Jack said and what I said.
I must turn off these u-tubes. I’m going to go crazier. Tomorrow is a studio day. I can not wait to paint.

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About Dirty Laundry Blog

Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist