Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Update on Franken-Finger boy

Day 2 of mummy-hand is going OK. He slept well during the night, for which I am eternally thankful. He woke cranky at first but when I went to get him out of his crib, I noticed the poor bloke had his leg caught in the bars of his crib.

I think he needs to get back to childcare so that he does no further damage to himself while under my care....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Warning: Not for the faint of heart...

We've had a rough couple of days around here. More accurately, Christopher has had a rough couple of days. Matthew is running a close second. We need to go back to school to make sure we don't kill ourselves!!

Spring break began with a call from the school nurse to come get "your son" because he had thrown up all over the science room. "Which son" was asked, but the messenger had no idea. Call to find out it was Matthew. Grandpa and Grandma were arriving this day - what a grand welcome - say a quick HI from afar as not to get sprayed... Luckily, it worked its way through his system by Saturday night.

Sunday, with me no more than 10" from him, Christopher fell into the pool. I knew it would happen... but your heart still stops for a second when it does. I took two steps and was able to yank him to the surface by his shirt. He was angry and scared and very wet and cold, but survived OK.

Today, again with me just thismuchtoofar away, he was sitting in one of our patio chairs. Hangin' out, chatting with Grandma, watching the birds fly.... then he decided to stand. The chair had other ideas and he went toppling head first off the back of the chair.

More specifically, he went hand-first. His left hand broke the fall, and in the meantime the fall broke the finger. And - warning, here's the be ready for it or skip this part - tore off his middle fingernail. I have to stop and shake my hands just reliving it... Whole thing - gone - OUCH TO HOLY HELL.....

He screamed, there was blood everywhere, we tried valiantly for what felt like days to get it bandaged and stop the bleeding. The big boys were really amazing, calm, called both their father and dialed the doctors office...

4 hours later, the hand was still bleeding. Not really badly, but enough to warrant a call to the doctors office again and a visit, which lead to the emergency room to make sure he did not do more damage. He didn't - just what we had originally thought... got all cleaned up and bandaged to look like mummy-hand and off we went.

Poor kiddo - franken-finger and mummy-hand... luckily he will never remember. Unfortunately, I will never forget....

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Things don't always turn out as planned...

It has become a weekly ritual. Saturdays I threaten the boys to within an inch of their lives that they need to get their rooms cleaned by a certain hour or I will be up with an enormous trash bag and toss everything that is not in its rightful place. It usually takes tremendous cajoling, more than one vailed threat and lots of yelling, but the room gets cleaned.

This was not the day for them to try my patience. I woke with the general demeanor of an orgre this morning and it was NOT a day to mess with me. They were well warned. If the tone of my voice was not sufficient, the dagger-stares that shot from my eyes all morning should have tipped them off. I was trying my best to be patient while seething over inside. At the appointed hour, rather than hearing the frantic attempts at beating the clock, they boys were in the yard "helping" their dad with cleaning out all the dead remnants of our hard freeze back in January.

Remember, folks, today mom was truly an ogre.

Remember, they had been warned.

Remember, they knew they were up against the clock.

Today, the clock expired on them. It took 2 large, drum liner, 50-gallon sized bags, and I was ruthless and tossed nearly everything that was not nailed down. I was devoid of any emotional attachment that either the boys or I would have to any particular thing. It all went, with satisfying crashes, into the bag of doom.

I expected tantrums.

I expected cries and pleas and tears.

I got...

"gosh, mom, I think I like it better this way".

I saw that all playing out very differently in my head....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Definitive Reasoning behind Teacher Shortage

Robert Frost is my absolute favorite poet, ever! I could read about mending fences or swinging on birch trees or yellow woods for days on end. I should have followed his advice and taken the road less travelled by, because the one that is well trodden has led to nothing but dead ends, red tape and frustrations.

4 years ago, I decided that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I had thoughts about it earlier in my life, applying to only 2 colleges with specific majors in mind (USC as psych and BC as education, for those keeping score at home), and after a lifetime of other roads taken, I found myself back where I started.

So, how, exactly, do you go about being a teacher after a lifetime of other roads taken? Certainly at my age, going back for a BA in ED is out of the question. Too costly in both time and money for a degree that would, in essense, make me repeat the same classes I took at SC. I was not entering into this phase of my life empty handed - I had my BA plus my MA in Counseling. 7 years of schooling. Certainly, someone would find me qualified to teach, right?


Ok, fine - I get this - play along... I go back for a second Masters. I hear my father cringing from many zipcodes away... will this child EVER get out of school??? My program promises me, before I attend my first class by the way, that at the end of it all, I will be able to be certified in both Special Ed as well as Regular Ed. Cool. Kill two birds with one stone. Great!

The classes are boring, mundane and make me long for the ivy covered walls of some wonderful Jesuit institution (I've attended two, and loved both) but I go through it. Jumping through hoops. Get it.. playing along...

I graduate. Yipee!! I get my first job as a special education teacher. Yipee. That was 3 years ago. In that time, I have had to prove myself qualified 4 times, been observed 8 times, been asked to submit transcripts 2 times, and had to deal with the most frustrating population of students on the planet. If I am lucky, I teach the same thing only 5 times, in 5 different ways, until they get it.

Now, I would like to see how the other half lives. I'm not exactly burned out in special ed, but definately smouldering.

Again, let's review - (1) 4-years degree, (2) 3-year masters' degrees and now (3) years in the classroom. With me so far? Now, in order to prove myself "qualified" to teach regular ed kids, because evidently they require more than special ed kids do (????), I have to take another state test, to the tune of $135 (remember folks, we are still paying off the Masters that started it all, and I've already paid to take 2 of these tests, as well as 3 additional classes).

I pass. Yippee!!! (truly, it was not hard. If I had not passed, I'd have crawled under a rock)

I take my new test score sheet, my contracts showing hire date, my additional $120 to pay the state for the certificate and march down to Dept. of Ed.

Do I walk out with my certificate??


I now need additional original transcripts as well as letters from the Superintendant or his designee, stating exactly when and where and to whom I have been teaching for the last 3 years. Maybe then, MAYBE, I will get my certificate to teach regular ed.

And we wonder why we can't hire competent teachers. Seriously.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I put little faith in the "Fill out these questions and we will tell you all about YOU" sites. They can be entertaining and yet often just fall flat.

Imagine my surprise when I went to "Which Birth Order Are You", thinking myself oh, so clever and trying to fool them because I'm an only child...and instead I saw this...

You Are Likely an Only Child
At your darkest moments, you feel frustrated.At work and school, you do best when you're organizing.When you love someone, you tend to worry about them.In friendship, you are emotional and sympathetic.Your ideal careers are: radio announcer, finance, teaching, ministry, and management.You will leave your mark on the world with organizational leadership, maybe as the author of self-help books.

Ok - the organizing bit is really deep in there - in my "inner" me, its just that the inner me is burried under piles and piles of junk, trying desperately to push through. On the surface, it looks like she's loosing the war. Not sure my mark will have anything to do with organization - but then - maybe the computer-psychic sites know me better than I know myself...