....of being emotionally beat up. I have bawled more in the last few weeks than I have in a long time. Today was the last straw. I came home from an after school meeting with the school district nurse regarding Blake's good-bye issues.

Today she decided to come to the school to see how he was doing. Instead of observing the progress he had made with one of the teachers at the school, she stepped in. Blake didn't handle it well. And the bummer was, he was making such progress with a sweet teacher that was so willing to help. They had a deal....if he cried, he owed her chocolate. If he didn't cry, she owed him chocolate. Well he wasn't given a chance with her today. The nurse stepped in and was firm. I'm not opposed to being firm, but firm on a day that could have quite possibly been our best day was a bummer. Instead of him being in class within 5 minutes, she fought him for 20 minutes. He kicked her, which is unacceptable, and took a lot of time to calm down. He lost his morning recess. I feel like the nurse is addressing what she thinks is a behavioral problem, not a transition problem and it is frustrating.

I had just met with the Principal the afternoon before and she told me that he was doing so much better. That there was less anxiety in his cry and he was easier to console. Today I was sad and worried all day for Blake.

After school the nurse asked to meet with me, Blake and his teacher. I was excited to share what I thought was going to be a great plan, building on what was already happening...getting some much needed support from his teacher and relying on this other teacher was going to be key. She started by telling me that Blake was able to get himself under control today and was in class in 20 minutes. She thought that was great. I wanted to tell her it was 5 yesterday and today really threw him off having her step in. Then she told me that she would be back tomorrow and if he couldn't get himself together again he would lose recess again. I started to say that I thought this other teacher was going to be key in this transition and she instantly shut me up with, "I'm not here for you to be adversarial (which I do believe is not the right word, not only in my description but in use). It confused me. I was not even being argumentative, I was just thinking we were there to talk about what best was going to work. When I tried again just to say that I think the sweet teacher and him had made some progress, she again said that this wasn't open for an argument and she wasn't going to argue with me. I then spoke up quite boldly and said, I don't believe that I am being argumentative. She told me she would like to talk when we could act like 'adults' and that we needed an adult meeting. That was it. In no way shape or form was I acting like a child. The tears started to run down my face as she firmly told Blake to look her in the eyes while she was talking to him. He was hungry and had just pooped and only wanted out of there. So he didn't look at her and at that point I didn't make him.

For the rest of the few minutes I just sat unresponsive with tears streaming down my face and holding Blake while she laid out HER plan. I was livid, but couldn't talk because she said it wasn't open for argument. I wasn't trying to argue, I was trying to discuss the best for my child but I guess it doesn't matter at this point what I believe to be best as his parent. I am not a push over mom. Blake is held accountable for his actions. In fact, he will apologize to the nurse for kicking her and he is willing to do that. But he is at a new school, with new aids, making new friends and a whole new environment. Instead of disciplining and being rough and firm with him, I believe that this should be a loving and encouraging environment. Her idea of loving and encouraging are different than mine.

Anyway, like I said above, I'm done being accused of things that I truly feel I haven't claimed to have done. I went into that meeting so positive and encouraged and excited to finally share what I believe was huge progress....no fits at home, no crying in the car, no sitting on him to get him dressed in the morning and putting on his shoes five times. No...he gets ready for school very eagerly. He jumps in the car really wanting to not cry and lose it at the good-bye time. I didn't get a chance, instead I felt judged and looked upon as being adversarial. That is about the furthest from my personality that you could get. I'm tired of bawling. I hate crying headaches. I'm hoping that my crying so hard when I walked out the doors of that office and in the car and in my bed this afternoon will have some effect on Blake. I hope tomorrow he doesn't want mommy crying anymore. With my luck he won't cry but unfortunately the nurse will think her tactics worked and she will have no idea. I just want him to go to school happily. His teacher said that he is an absolute dream in class. He finishes all his work, got 100% on his spelling test, has no behavior issues and plays well on the playground and always follows direction. I knew things were going well, because our mornings at home were going so well. Tomorrow might be different, now he is scared that the nurse will be there tomorrow. I'm expecting huge anxiety, but not giving off that vibe.

If I really wanted to be argumentative and adversarial, I would just keep him home tomorrow. Ha. I could do that. I'm the mom, but that isn't really me. Sometimes I wish it were. It might make me feel better. Uggggh.

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  1. Oh, that is awful! There is a huge difference between being 'adversarial' and speaking your opinion on what has been working with Blake's morning transition. It's the difference between a one-way lecture and a two-way conversation. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I hope tomorrow goes better for Blake and for you!!

  2. I agree, maybe Mr. Webster needs to define for her the true meaning of the word "adversarial". Hang in there, I hope it gets better.

  3. April~
    I just want to validate all your feelings. Your words make it very clear where your heart is and I only wish I could say something to ease the ache.
    Sending prayers from San Diego.

  4. So much for public schools. That's lame. I think you should write them a letter, and send it to the district. Better yet, just email them a link to the blog. Public school, they have to do as YOU want, sorry, that's just the way it is. I'm sorry you had to go through all of this. Tristan had some separation anxiety issues that lasted through 1st grade. The teacher would pull him in the class, as I threw the backpack in, and closed the door with my foot. It wasn't a 20 minute ordeal, but it was hard. I hope today goes well. The nurse isn't his aide too, is she?

  5. What the HELL? Who does she think she is?? April he is YOUR kid and she needs to step off. He is not hers to do and say as she sees fit.

    You can and (imo) should excuse her from the equation and tell her that her services will no longer be required. You have that right.

    Write her a letter outlining everything the way you have here and cc in everyone you can think of. But really, be firm that she is not invited to the next drop off.

    I'm so sorry ((()))). I would probably have punched her. (I'm secretly applauding Blake for kicking her).

  6. I'd have kicked her too....sorry, I know that doesn't help....so sorry that someone who THINKS they're an adult (really can't believe she said that to you!) actually is able to work with children....how sad....she's a bully.

  7. April... TOTALLY unacceptable. Violating MANY of your and Blakes rights in the CA school system. That nurse is COMPLETELY out of line and you DO NOT have to accept it!

    Is Blake on an IEP? And does your school district have a parent advocate? Get on the phone to day and find out. Seriously, you have to stop this early because school nurses can make the whole process HORID. I have been there with an EVIL one, which sounds like what you have. Find out those two things then email me. When I get home from work this afternoon I will look us some of the CA reguslations that we used and send the to you.

    {{{{BIG, HUGE HUGS}}}

  8. Oh April I am so sorry!! I want to cry right now. This just breaks my heart. I have know idea how you must be feeling. I am torn up inside right now, and I have only met Blake once. I have all these feelings like, "if that was me I would never let my child around that 'adult' again," but I know that you have already thought those things yourself. I know that you will do what is best for Blake. He really is sweet and hopefully things will get better. Best of luck to you.

  9. Basically I would love to tell that stupid nurse, "Blake does great as long as you are not there!" Don't back down, Mama. You and I know how to fight these fights, and although they break our hearts, try our patience, and force us to deal with people we'd rather not deal with, our children become the victors in the end, and THAT makes it worth it! I had a horrid issue with the school bus system last year, and almost gave up. In the end, they gave me what I told them she needed, and Emma is happy and secure. I HATE it when people think they know what is best for our child. It is OUR CHILD! Ooooh, I want to tell that lady off! Hang in there. (And use the crying headache as a lovely excuse for a yummy vanilla coke!)

  10. April, you have the RIGHT to tell that nurse to back the F off. And do it. We had some teachers that worked great with us when my stepson was transitioning and actually having behaviorial issues, and we had some that didn't. We told the ones who weren't helpful that THIS was how it would work best for him and if they weren't willing to cooperate, then we'd simply remove him from that environment. We had the principal on our side and it worked. STAND UP and be heard. Tell her it isn't a dictatorship around there and that you and the teacher observed improvement UNTIL she stepped in. You have that RIGHT. I do suggest, however, that you speak like this to her when Blake isn't around to hear you. :)

  11. My heart hurts with you. I will pray for your family and the school people involved. Be strong and don't back down. Keep good communications with the great teacher he has. She will be key and on your side. If worse comes to worse call me and I'll have a talk with the evil nurse out in the wood shed.

  12. My son has Tourette's and anxiety. Last year he had a wonderful teacher in all regards but she was just too strict& unbending. We sat in the car each morning at drop off time with my son not wanting to go in and me trying to convince him how important it was for him to be there. As a mother it was heart wrenching to leave him there everyday. I offered to home school him but he wanted to be at school because of his friends. This year he has a teacher who is wonderful and less strict. I haven't had a problem with him not wanting to go to school. I think that people don't realize that children with special needs need a little more compassion and a little less rigidity. I think you are right for standing up for your son and what is best for him. If you don't do it, no one else will. I wish you the best.

  13. I am angry right now. I'm not even sure how to put in to words exactly how I feel. Blake is YOURS. YOUR baby. He needs someone kind and tender to work with him on his good-bye's. I have become somuch more confrontational in my old age. :) Especially when it comes to one of my children. Do NOT hurt my children. Obviously they need structure, consequences. They do NOT need the impression that someone is angry with them when they are anxious or afraid. I would have sat there bawling right along with you, until my blood boied and I let the nurse have it...sobbing all the while. I think you handled it well though. To yell at her (like I'm sure you wanted to) may make things worse for Blake and his interactions with her. If I were in your shoes, I would probably talk to the principal and see if you could make the transition period for Blake between him and his teacher. The nurse doen't need to have anything to do with it. You are his mother. You know what is best for him. Only you.

  14. April, so as you can tell I'm not much of a comment leaver, but I just couldn't pass this one by. I'm really sorry you were put into this horrible situation and that Blake was too. Like mentioned above, you truly are your sons expert, and the school is there to support what you feel is best, at least that's how it's supposed to be. One of my previous jobs I was a social worker/advocate for children in stiuations like Blakes. I would specifically go to their IEPs and school meetings to make sure the childs needs were being met and that's the parents voices were being heard. Maybe the nurse was having a bad day or something, but being that she's on the district level she really should already know these things. It's in no way shape or form up to her to determine solely what is best for Blake. I agree with what the gal above said, in that I think it'd be helpful for you to look into if there are any advocates available-to go to these mtgs. with you, in WA it's thru a nonprofit called PAVE. They're sole purpose is to meet with you before and during these school mtgs. Schools here hate it when they get involved I think b/c they realize they've done something wrong...which they have. Anyhow, I think you allowing this nurse to express herself then you being firm and then backing down when you realized it'd get you no where was the right thing to do. She obviously is very insecure in what she is doing to have felt the need to put you in your place. (and your time will come to really let her know how her comments affected you) What I would have given to have had your principal or her boss as a fly on the wall in that mtg. She'd probably be fired. Anyway, I'm rambling, but this really got me going. I think you are such an amazing parent and God knew clearly what he was doing in sending Blake to you and Dave. You are his best advocate. Miss you April. Laura Gehring (temple)
    p.s. Something I would try my hardest to have the parents do is what you are already doing - and that's focus on what your child is doing right. And even more so - helping the schools to see this progress, even if there still are a lot of stressful things going on too. Kudos to you. Blake will latch onto these positive reinforcements and it WILL make a difference...already has.

  15. I'm so glad for you that things went much better this morning!!

  16. Wow! I can't believe the nurse did this. I too would have kicked her, and I know that's not what you want to hear. But sometimes, just maybe, mommy knows best. What an awful example she has been to Blake. I can almost hear your heart breaking for him.

    You've gotten lots of great advice and support from all these comments. And I have to say that you should do what makes you feel comfortable. Definitely look into all your options, and try to keep positive. And you are the one with all the rights, not the nurse. You can tell her how this will be handled.

    I was lucky last year with Caroline, she could have no activity at all for several weeks, and the whole school helped us. We were so blessed to have them want us to make the plans and them do what they could to help. I'm praying for y'all...that things can be done in the best way and environment for Blake.

    Hugs & more hugs~

  17. Hey April - I have been thinking about this post alot! I thought that maybe my gut reaction was too harsh to share with you and that you needed to focus on responses that were more Christlike. But - my thoughts have not changed much so I will tell you what I think. I hope that if you ever have to deal with that woman again or if you have that adult meeting, that you set a few things straight. I would tell her first of all that until she can show proof of having given birth to Blake, or spending over 7 years being his mom, or crying countless tears because of your concern for his well-being, or hugging away his tears and calming his fears that she has no business deciding what is best for him. I would have told her that the minute she invested even one ounce of the love that you have into Blake then she could tell you how to deal with a situation. I would also tell her that if she were half as smart as she should be that she would rely on the knowledge that parents have about their children since every child is so very different. April, I am so sorry that you had to be in the middle of such a horrible situation. Hindsight always gives clarity and allows others (like me) to say what I would have done but to be honest, I probably would have had to go back to do the above. Shock would have kept me quiet as well. You have a very special little boy and that makes you a very special mom! Have a great week!


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