Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's bad to find out the making the news.

No news is good news, the saying goes. As a substitute aide and health aide in the schools this is one of many sayings that are near and dear to me along with but not limited to: Let sleeping dogs (and children) lie.  Beware of Greeks (and students) bearing gifts.  If they are quiet, they are up to something. and of course Fever Free for 24 hours before they return!

After enjoying the long weekend together with friends, movies, sleepovers, pizza, and too many late nights no one was looking forward to school on Tuesday. Not even me. I headed back with my youngest son because I was subbing at his school.  This would be a new position for me, it was someone I had never subbed for before and those days are always rough.  There is no learning curve for a sub - you are jumping into someone else's shoes and you need to hit the ground running. Which we did not. My son was throwing a fit about shoes (apropos) and I got to school about 20 minutes late and totally flustered.

But the first hour was without students so as I took a breath, acclimated myself to the Aide's schedule and ran errands and copies for the teachers. Just as I was feeling like I might be able to handle the rest of the day the announcement came; "Teachers and staff please evacuate the building immediately. Evacuate just as you would for a fire. All staff evacuate the building."

Being without a class I was almost the first out of the building.  I watched as teachers and students calmly and quietly filed out of the building and into place. Teachers counted and shh'd while other staff members took up their posts and made radio contact with administration.  There was a lot of speculation among the crowd both from students and adults. I could hear both saying things like "Do you smell smoke? I do!" or "Do you think there was something wrong with the building?"

It was literally less than two minutes before we heard two short whistles and the Principal shouted to teachers to get students to the very back of the property but to stay as far away from the building as possible. One teacher right away said "It sounds like we are getting what's been going around the state." What the Flu?? For this no-news watching person it would be another 10 minutes before I was told there was a bomb threat called into the school.

Now, Let me say that having a background in safety, my first clue that it was not a fire was that there were no fire trucks pulling up to the school only 6 police cars. As we walked the students to a location a safe distance from the building, I could see that there was an ambulance parked in a cul-de-sac that butts up to the property, but not in plain site of the students.

It was a beautiful fall day - a little chilly if anything but a great day to be outside.  Let's keep it that way.  Every teacher, aide, custodian, cook, and volunteer there focused their attention on the students. It became clear we were going to be outside for quite a while and staff was briefed quickly every 20-30 minutes and the message was consistent. Teachers started games of all kinds. I saw popcorn, hot potato and simon says.  They practiced vocabulary or math facts by scrimmaging other classes. Those of us not with a class jumped in wherever we could, finding tissues for the bloody nose, band aids for a splinter, and soothing words for a tummy ache.

I would not find out until later that night that we were one of 7 schools that day that received a bomb threat and many more around the country in the past weeks.  What is this all about- Fear? Probably. Many parents came up to school and pulled their children out saying I just want to hug them. I get that....but what if that is exactly what someone intended. Get as many people there as possible, and then reek havoc.  Is the intent that our schools are not safe and they can't handle a situation like this?

Let me tell you from what I saw that day and every other day - those teachers are the front line.  They may not be sworn in but they take their job seriously. To TEACH and PROTECT.

The need to hug your children close when you hear of a mass shooting, a natural disaster or bomb threat will never go away. I know. My mom called me when she heard.  I just want you all to know, as a parent and a substitute I want nothing more than to send your child home to you everyday a little better and a little brighter than they were this morning. And I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. I Promise.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Quote of the day today....

and some days those kids are my own....and some days it's me!!  i love that my own kids can see when I am the one that needs the hug, the support, the love. 

yesterday morning in the stress of getting out the door on time for both of us, my husband pops in to eat breakfast before going back to work which throws my son off task completely.  i start snapping and biting at people for no reason and then feel awful....I stopped my youngest before we get to the bus stop and say "I'm sorry I don;t know why I am acting this way" and he hugged me and said "It's OK Mom you're just nervous about working at the high school today." 

last night trying to get the oldest to get up and get ready for soccer practise and stop bouncing from screen to screen I finally gave up and went and sat in the car.  he came running out with all of his gear and said "Sorry! I didn't know you were waiting in the car." i just shrugged to exhausted from fighting with him every minute of everyday now on every little thing.  we rode in silence about two minutes then he put his hand on my shoulder and said "It's all going to work out Mom I promise. The kitchen looks great, the van is good, and you and dad will have it all paid off before I am out of high school!" 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015

One of THOSE weeks.....

Have you ever had one of those weeks that wouldn't end? The kind of week where by Tuesday morning you are questioning every decision you make? By Thursday you start to wondering if drinking at noon is really such a BAD idea?

Ok - that was my week. I am not sure when I am technically suppose to start the week, but this week started last Saturday.  My oldest son and I were at a soccer tournament when he decided to head another player and not the ball. We spent the rest of the tournament watching the team but not any screens. When was the last time you tried to entertain a twelve-year old boy with out electronics or any physical exertion. It was a long weekend.

Monday started with getting one to rest, one off to school, and making an appointment with the concussion clinic...for late in the afternoon right when the other one gets off the bus. Perfect. More phone calls and coordination to get that covered. Then groceries and  more policing the screen time for concussion kid. Appointment, pick-up, dinner, homework wars, and soccer for the one with out a concussion.

Tuesday is a half day at school for concussion kid and starts with a meeting at the Nurse's office before bra, make-up, or dawn. (Don't worry the weather finally changed I was wearing a sweatshirt.) After getting the next kid up and off to school I took the dog for a walk because she hadn't been out in days? it is Thursday right?

Then it was time to answer emails that had piled up because while concussion kid was not allowed to have screen time - No One should be allowed to have screen time. Whatever!  Then back to school to pick up concussion kid who was suppose to be wiped out from having the concussion and going back even half day...He was not.  I made dinner, policed screen time, quizzed on homework and missed assignments and struggled to figure out with to do with the child who is SUPPOSE TO BE SUFFERING FROM A CONCUSSION. What he does suffer from is lack of screen time which causes severe moodiness, irritation, mouthiness, and boredom.

One more kid to get home, feed, and police, not to mention a husband who throughout all of this wants my attention. Oh yeah - and he could help, maybe, if you tell what to do. Back to soccer for concussion-less child and home to homework that he "suddenly" remembered and a dinner that finally looks "OK to eat?". Help me Jesus it is truly only Tuesday?

Wednesday concussion child decides he can make it all day.  HALLELUJAH! Wait, what about the amount of time that he is spending at school with his face in a screen? Will that cause permanent damage that I have not already inflicted from general poor parenting? Should I email the teachers or do they know not to let concussion child sit with his face in the screen for 4 hours. This is exhausting.

I get everyone off to school, the dog gets walked, and I take off to finally keep an appointment to look at Granite counter tops to finish the kitchen. I forgot to eat. Well, three out of four ain't bad.  The laundry gets done, mostly, dinner gets made, homework, policing (damn these screens), and plenty of screaming and gnashing of teeth. We are darn near back to normal. Except that now I am sporting a pounding headache. But there is no soccer tonight. Yippee Ki A.

It's Thursday. Concussion child is making it through school all day and I have had a productive meeting regarding our kitchen counter tops however it was an hour drive - one way.  Crap- I have a doctor's appointment that I forgot about. Good bye Thursday's productivity. It's time for concussion child to get home and the dog really needs a walk so does concussion child because he is bouncing off the walls. Is this a good idea? What were the doctor's instructions again besides limit screen time - which I have done SO great at anyway.  I think he was actually taking the dog for a walk then I step outside and realize that he used the dog as a cover.  He is standing outside the neighbors front window watching their TV. Ugh. I made a decision right then and there. "Get dressed you are going to Cross Country practice." I took him back up to school told the Coach he was cleared and sped away.  Of course after words I thought what the heck am I doing? What if he truly has a horrible concussion and I just ruined his brain. Help me Jesus! or Calgon! Or vodka!!!

The husband is home, again. He wants attention. He wants to know what I'm doing. He wants to know what's for dinner. I want to know what the sentence is if it is not pre-meditated? Number two son comes home and we once again fight over getting homework done, getting ready for soccer, and life in general. I'm done! I'm pooped - parenting sucks. And I STILL HAVE A HEADACHE. Dinner is leftover's the soccer bus leaves at 6:30. I'm going to my room.

Yes - husband MY room. You are not invited. sighhhhhhhhhh.

I pick up concussion child from Cross Country practice praying that not getting a phone call was a good sign. My usually bouncy, rambunctious, energetic child saunters over to the car. Crap. I ask tentatively, "How did it go? How do you feel?"
AWESOME I rocked the sprints I beat Jacob then I .......

Thank you Jesus. Score one for me - it only took till Thursday. Night.
Now I can ignore the remainder of the screaming, yelling, and gnashing of teeth that I have yet to endure this evening and go to bed with the satisfaction that just once this week, I got something right.