Posts Tagged parenting

When It Rains

Today I took Indy and Watson to go visit a friend. The friend has a big interesting yard with lots of things to smell, and since Indy spent time there before she developed CCD, she still recognizes it and gets a lot of stimulation out of being there, without any anxiety from being someplace unfamiliar. It is a nice safe dog park experience for her, where we don’t run the risk of running into a dog who might knock her over.

She even has a boyfriend next door. There is this sweet looking husky mix who lives next door, and they interact through the chain link fence, and he likes her and whines for her attention and she plays flirty little games with him, as if she is young again.

Today Watson wandered over the the chain link fence to meet the strange dog. He made friendly puppy body poses, but the other dog was suspicious of Watson. The other dog felt a bit territorial. So, he hiked up his leg and peed on the chain link fence. Except, you know, chain link fences are more air than substance, so mostly he peed on Watson.

“Eew, no. Watson, don’t just stand there. Stop peeing on my dog. Come on.”

Watson sniffs the chain link fence, and takes a step back, so the dog circles and lifts his leg and pees on the fence, and Watson, again.

“Nooooooo. Don’t pee again! Watson…”

Unluckily for me, dogs don’t mind being peed on as much as I might hope they would, so Watson had a great day, despite, or perhaps even partially because, he was peed on three times.

The afternoon was spent with dogs running and playing and sniffing and exploring, and finally I made my way home, to walk right into an educational clusterfuck.

See, one of the things about the online charter school is that they help educate students by locking the students out of their curriculum whenever the student does something it deems a lockout offense. For instance, if they fail a quiz, they are unable to move forward until they’ve spoken to a teacher and figured out what the problem is. In theory, this sounds kind of reasonable, but since the teachers often take a long time to respond, it really slows things down.

On Wednesday evening the kid spectacularly failed a chemistry quiz from the future. She finished her lesson, and the online program served up a quiz for a completely different lesson, that she had not yet been exposed to, so she didn’t know any of the answers. She guessed her way to a 42%. She couldn’t NOT take the quiz, because once you start the quiz, you have to finish it and submit it, or you automatically fail it anyway.

She immediately sent an email to her mentor teacher and her in person science teacher, because she already knows that they respond more rapidly than the online teachers do. She sent screen shots proving that she had not been given the correct quiz (in case it was a one time glitch), but of course, nobody replied until Thursday morning. The local teacher reported the problem to the online school, looked at the content of the lesson, and gave her a quiz that actually quizzed her on her current lesson material. She got a 100%. He then submitted the corrected grade to the online people.

By this morning, the online school still had not unlocked her chemistry class, so she still couldn’t do her chemistry work. At that point the local teacher stepped in an unlocked it for her, even though that is not the “procedure”. She was left unable to work on her class for more than 24 hours.

When I arrived home today, she had been locked out of ALL of her classes. Her teacher sent her an email telling her she would be locked out because she hadn’t turned in a form (where we initial a calendar saying what days she was doing schoolwork, even though the online program actually keeps track of all logins and the amount of time spent), but she had turned in the form on Monday. She was working on schoolwork, so she didn’t get the email until a half hour later, at 4PM, and by then nobody would reply to her phone calls or reply to her emails. This leaves her unable to do any schoolwork for the entire weekend. She started the school year late, so she is “behind” on schoolwork. Meaning, she is doing more than the required standard student minimum each week, but she is not currently at the point she should have been at had she started on day one and been completing the minimum each week. She is on track to complete everything by the end of the semester. Each day she is locked out makes a big difference, because then she has less days to cram this extra work in to. Plus, she has a friend coming in from out of town on Monday, whom she hasn’t seen in more than two years. Without being able to work this weekend, she basically cannot spend time with her friend on Monday.

It sucks.

That is what I walked into the door to discover, as I directed her to try emailing different people, and I emailed and tried to call people, and basically just frantically tried to get her back into her school program before the day was totally gone and there was no chance.

We had no luck, and finally she sat dejectedly down next to Watson for comfort. She snuggled her puppy and told him how frustrated she was. Then she said, “You always come back from his house smelling so doggy.”

“Oh,” I said, “he got peed on.”

“What?”

“Yeah. Three times.”

“You couldn’t have told me that before I hugged him?!”

“I was distracted by all your school stuff.”

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Ways to annoy your teen #143953

Teen: Can you get out the milk?
Me: *gets milk out of the fridge and holds it up for teen to see* Yes. *puts milk back in fridge*
Teen: *makes disgusted noise*

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it takes a village

Today we left the house.

*shudder*

We were driving along and passed a street called Friendship Village Rd.

kid: Do you want to go to Friendship Village?
me: No.
kid: But it sounds nice and friendly.
me: I want to visit Mind Your Own Fucking Business Village.
kid: THAT really wouldn’t be a “village” then.
me: Mind your own business.
kid: *silence*

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Protected: My Maternal Instincts

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eavesdropping

I went out to breakfast by myself this morning. I normally try to avoid paying too much attention to what other people are talking about, because I prefer to pretend I am alone in the world after some sort of armageddon, but I do not always succeed in this fantasy.

A teenage boy and his father sat at the table right next to mine. The boy looked to be about 16, and something about the way he phrased things and his speech pattern reminded me a lot of the kid, so I began to half listen, because it was familiar and comforting. They were waiting for a couple of other people to join them, and making bits of smalltalk, mostly about what to order.

Then the father asked “How is [girl’s name]?” And the boy said, “Fine,” in that age old teenage way that could mean anything from she is totally amazing to she died 5 weeks ago, and I’ve already forgotten her.

Then there was a pause.

And the boy said, “I don’t know, Dad. Sometimes, it just seems like it is so hard to talk to her. It is like I have to PRY things out of her. I have to ask all these questions because the conversation just doesn’t happen easily and feel comfortable. I don’t really like it. I WANT it to be different. I can’t exactly say that to her. I can’t tell her that I wish our conversations felt more comfortable, because that will just upset her and I don’t want to do that.”

There was a longer pause and the boy was looking intently at his father.

Finally his father said, “Yeah, uh, conversations can be difficult. I’ll be right back.” He got up and went to the bathroom.

The boy sat for a few beats, and then pulled out his cell phone and started texting.

I wanted to cry into my coffee.

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