She belongs to an elite group....this daughter of ours. Kaia is an older sibling to a child with special needs. Those siblings make up an elite group. At least in my eyes. She sometimes goes without because of Blake's disability, without much complaining. She carries a heavier burden with the responsibility of a younger sibling with hourly medical needs, at her insistence. She is tender and understanding and amazing at coaxing and handling Blake when difficult times arise. She wishes often that people would know and understand why he sometimes throws fits and not just think that he is being a baby. She sometimes suffers consequences because of the actions of her little brother when it really isn't her fault at all.
So when I found out that she was getting 30 minute lunch detentions because she was sometimes tardy to her first period class, I went in and had a chat with the Assistant Principal. While mornings are going much more smoother in our home, Blake still has a rough go sometimes with his morning routine. Getting out of bed to be exact. Some mornings he is awake but won't get out of bed. Pulling him out of bed just does more damage to our morning. Babying him doesn't help either. It is just one of the behaviors that we deal with and while we can't really explain how it is associated with Spina Bifida, I do often remember that just because Blake looks healthy and normal doesn't mean that his body functions like the rest of ours. His body takes so much of his mind, strength and energy to function. More than we can comprehend or 'see'. He needs down days. He needs space. He needs time to process ideas, change of routine, everyday things that we take for granted. So mornings are delicate around here.
But back to my chat with the Assistant Principal. I explained to her that Kaia would need to be excused from any detention that was associated with tardies because 99% of the time, they weren't her fault. She is most always sitting in the car waiting for us. I explained that we have special circumstances at home that involves a younger sibling with a disability. I told her that we can get up some mornings at 6:30 am and still be late for school because of a potty accident right before we walk out the door. I went in there firm but nice and when she started to offer a few alternatives...like can she get a ride to school from someone else...I quickly stated that we rely on people often for help and that our morning routine is something our family needs to handle as a family. Blake needs to feel responsible for helping our family get into a good morning routine and that we are dealing with this issue as a family because it is daily. I had a comeback for any option she was going to throw at me. What it came down to was this....Kaia belongs to an Elite group and will be excused from any detentions relating to tardies. She smiled and agreed. And I think she really did get it.
My feeling is that school is the one place that Kaia gets to just be herself, without a little brother with special needs around. She shouldn't be reminded of that there while sitting in detention. Although she didn't really complain about it. I did. That's why she was called to be in the Elite group.
And one sweet note about Blake. The last time we were late because he wouldn't get out of bed and then sat on the floor and wouldn't get dressed (and trust me, I was THIS close to man-handling him...really it pushes every button in the morning for me...but I know I can't beat my child into getting ready in the morning...what good would that do...plus it is against the law) Kaia announced on our way to school that she would probably end up with a detention, which she did. Blake told her that he was sorry and that he would be willing to serve her detention for her. To just have her school call his school and he would serve the lunch-time detention. Kaia and I glanced at each other with the same smile that said....'he is so sweet'. Another reason why she's in the Elite group.
I hope you stop back by tomorrow to see my 'so not classic' Halloween costumes from when I was a young teenager. I'm scanning them today!