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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Blitzen is teaching a special course at her school again – she is working with the music teacher and teaching a group of 2nd graders how to write songs.  Blitzen is quite the lyricist, by the way.  I am sure that no one is surprised by that.  I can’t wait to hear the future hits this group produces.

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I’ve decided, for my own sanity, to no longer participate in things like IEP meetings and court.  Andrew has agreed to take these tasks on.  I feel a little guilty, these jobs suck.  But the more time goes on, the more and more I am aware that I  simply cannot do these things.  If I use up my patience on these endeavors, I have nothing left for Blitzen.

There was an IEP meeting yesterday. Or I should say there was supposed to be an IEP meeting. It was rescheduled to yesterday so that Blitzen’s mom could come – everyone worked around her schedule.  And she didn’t show up. So they didn’t have the meeting.  Yeah, that is right.  And I just can’t.  So I am not.

Court is scheduled for Friday – we’ll see if anything happens. I am not going.

 

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I like a plan, I like to prepare.  On Sunday afternoon, Blitzen had an early afternoon playdate.  When it was over, she started to get upset as she often does at the conclusion of things.  She began her usual – you never let me do anything, you always say no, I hate you monologue.  But I was feeling particularly zen.

Carrie: ‘Blitzen, it is Sunday afternoon and we have no plans.  What would you like to do?’

Blitzen: ‘You’ll just say no, you only want to do what you want to do.’

Carrie: ‘Hmmm, it probably does feel that way a lot of the time.  What do you want to do this afternoon?’

Blitzen: ‘I want to go to Chelsea!’

Carrie: ‘Ok, what would you like to do in Chelsea?’

Blitzen: ‘I’ll tell you when we get there!’

Now, I started to think about asking a bunch of questions but instead I took a deep breath and just said, great, let’s go.

I think Blitzen was pretty surprised.  I know I was pretty surprised with myself but it was the right thing to do — it was a lazy Sunday afternoon, we had no where to be, why not have an adventure.

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I am pretty angry and stressed and really very sad because a year ago we were in one place and now we are in a totally different place in regards to reunification / TPR.  There is too much s@*t to even explain but Andrew summed it up beautifully, ‘It would be one thing if we were (and by we – I really mean the agency) engaged in concurrent planning.  But instead, we are simply not planning for anything at all – we are non-current planning!’  We are adrift.  The agency is not trying to meaningfully engage and support the biological parents but they also don’t seem to think that TPR is really feasible.  And they are suddenly paying attention to the rules – mom has to be at the IEP meeting, they say.  Yes, ok, I get it and I agree.  But you never gave a flying fig newton about that before and why did you wait until 48 hours before the meeting to invite her and then send us frantic and frankly snotty emails about how we are not allowed to set up meetings without bio mom.  We didn’t ‘set it up’ – this in NYC and the DOE has attitude.  They sent us a notice that said come to the IEP at this meeting date, time, place – they were not interested in our calendars.  And then we SHARED the notice with the agency.  And they sat on it for  10 days and then yesterday frantic, crazy, stupidness.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it is my deepest fear that I will have to be a foster parent for next 8 years….I just can’t.  Of course I will, but it will leave me a broken, hollowed out shell of a person.  And I don’t think that kind bulls#%t non-permanency would be good for Blitzen either. Reunify or TPR – after 6+ years, simply no excuse for any other course of action.

GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

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So we got our pjs on early, crawled into bed to play go fish and read. And then Blitzen fell asleep early.  Andrew came home and teased me – that was like your perfect night, he said.  You are going to start rooting for sore throats!

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Go Fish

We played, without incident, as a family. 2 rounds.  Everyone (especially me) appreciated it in the moment.

There are people out there going, ‘So?!?’ Well, it was a small thing but a big deal.  We have not had many moments of calm enjoyment lately and I  am attempting to celebrate each and every one.

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Sometimes when Blitzen is blue, she texts me all the sad or mad or whatever emoticons from her little itouch thingy.  I got several this morning.

I emailed Andrew: Tough morning?

To which Andrew replied: Yeah, it was a slow, whiny morning.  “Where’s Carrie?  I want Carrie.  Get Carrie.”  The only thing worse than having you there is having you absent.

As I have mentioned before, mornings, Blitzen and I do not mix well.  My actual presence in the house does not appear to matter….

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/07/opinion/blow-the-passion-of-parenting.html?_r=1&

 

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We met with Blitzen’s teacher yesterday.  Parents and students have a conference with the new home room teacher before school starts each year. As the discussion was unfolding, I was thinking back to last year – Blitzen was so anxious and nervous.  This year, much more relaxed and confident – much more able to engage in a meaningful discussion as well as identify some areas where she struggles.  She confessed that reading makes her frustrated and tired but it is better if she uses her glasses.  This among other insights that I just don’t think she was capable of a year ago.

She was very thoughtful about her new set of classmates – she knows them all but only one of her bestest buddies is in the group and she totally rolled with it.

She saw her teachers from last year, said hello and gave hugs.  Lots of catch up, smiles and excitement to be back.

My favorite part of the day was when we strolled past the office of the head of Blitzen’s school.  He was in a meeting so she just quietly waved.  But he called her in for a high five and a hello.  He later said, “Oh, hi, Carrie.” That Blitzen is in a place where everyone is so excited to see her and that they see her  before they see me, has made such a difference.  Kid focused, kid friendly, kid empowering.

All that said, I am very nervous, of course, because that is who I am.  But also, I think 4th grade is hard. Andrew thinks I am crazy.  We’re probably both right.

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We’re trying to convince Blitzen that tutoring will be really great – practicing reading and getting good at it is just like practicing backbends and cartwheels – you just keep at it until you get it right.  We’ve also mentioned that a reading tutor is like a gym coach — sure, we could do it at home but we’re not very good at it, so it is best to enlist the services of a professional that can teach her all the best tricks.  She has almost bought in.

Andrew recently described our dream tutor as :

My fantasy tutor would be a fun, energetic person of color with expertise in literacy and special ed and experience with traumatized children and/or kids in care. 

Let the search begin!

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