Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Down But Not Out

I am worn out. For the first time ever, I actually feel defeated. I am a royal pain in the butt, I never let anyone or anything beat me. But now, I am done. I am tired, just plain tired. That does concern me a bit, I am not really that type of person. Truthfully, I am more of a bitchy, aggressive type. Maybe it's all this snow we've been having. Or the eight snow days my kids have had in less than a month! (I LOVE my kids, but EIGHT snow days in Missouri in less than four weeks does not happen here! MAYBE eight in a winter!) And there was Martin Luther King Day in there, too, just to bond some more!

My day started with the insurance company. What could be more fun? Why can't they just pay their part of the bill? Why do I have to call them three times and listen to that lovely woman who provides the voice for their automated voice response system tell me over and over that she can't understand my response? I am from Missouri- the part that doesn't have an accent - and was calling Massachusetts. My response was "ONE!", how can she not understand that? By the fourth time I had to repeat myself, the whole state of Massachusetts understood my response. Give me a break!

Then on to the State of Missouri. Yippee! This got even better than I dreamed. This was supposed to be taken care of before January 1st. But for some reason, Alex's case manager can't get Alex's therapies organized. Alex has had the exact same therapy program since he was three years old. I write it, hand it to the case manager. The last ten case managers signed of on it, turned it in, therapists came, all is well. Why is this one different?

And to top it off, we have school... yes, school. Every one with a special needs child loves school. You remember Mrs. Teacher and Mr. Principal from Middle School? Oh, how we love them! I wrote often about how great they were, and I knew they'd be hard to top, (actually impossible) but jeez. All I want is some one to help Alex learn to read and function as an adult. I know this is shocking to many people, but we don't send Alex to school for daycare. He has potential. Lots of it! Dad and I are doing our part, so is Twin Sis, so are Alex's friends. Why can't the school? Kind of backwards don't you think?

I think my problem is that I don't think I should have to be dealing with any of these things. I pay the insurance company to take care of their part. My claim is not even questionable, just follow the rules (that they wrote) and be done with it! The case manager is just, well, I am not sure what is going on with him, but he best get his act together soon! It's his job to organize Alex's therapies, I have already done the hard part of his job for him, he just needs to turn in the paperwork. And as far as the school, isn't it their job to educate students? Why am I having to fight tooth and nail to get these people to just do their jobs?

I expect my insurance company to pay my claims according to my policy. I expect Alex's caseworker to handle Alex's therapies in a professional and timely manner. I expect a teacher to teach.

What is wrong with me?? Don't these people know I have better things to do with my family? And why is it that they can't do their jobs without my assistance? I'm a little ticked off too, they're getting paid to do these jobs that they're not doing! I could use that money, and I'm the one doing the job! Again, what's wrong with this picture?

I do, however, have this feeling that in a couple of days, I'll be ready to take them all on again! That's who I am, I am just on a little break. I wish my break was on a beach though!

Look out, here I come! .... just not bronzed!

Monday, January 24, 2011

THAT stupid word !!!

Yesterday I did something I don't normally do to kids I don't know. I embarrassed them. I REALLY embarrassed them! I didn't feel too badly about it either... well, maybe just a little. It's not their fault they are uneducated. So here I am educating... ha!

I was sitting in the waiting area of the community center watching the football game while Twin Sis and her buddies were off playing basketball. I was astounded at the number of people that just dumped their kids off and left. I was also horrified by the number of people who were not paying any attention to their toddlers as they were yapping with their other adult friends. I saw one child that was probably a two year old walk out the front door while his mom was chatting away with some other nitwit... She didn't even notice, it was only fifteen degrees and nine inches of snow outside, no big deal for a two year old... come on people!

As you can tell, I don't have much tolerance for stupidity or lack of common sense. That's why I felt a tinge of guilt for the kids I embarrassed yesterday, they probably had parents like these. They just didn't know better.

Anyhow, I was sitting in this little - very little - common area waiting for Twin Sis and the girls to finish up their big game. For the biggest part of the time, I was in there by myself, which was nice, but soon here came a group of 5 or 6 young teenagers. They were probably junior high school students; old enough to notice the old lady sitting in the middle of the room!

They had obviously been sent to the community center by their parents for the day to get them out of the house. Now, I am certain my kids are not little angels, but I am also positive that if a lady they didn't know was sitting in a tiny little room with them, where she could hear every word they said, my kids and their friends would be fairly selective in not only their topics of discussion, but their language as well. (Score at least one for Mom!!) About those kids whose company I was forced to enjoy at the community center? WOW, could their parents could use a good bar of Ivory!

Something about this lovely encounter was very surprising to me... And it is not often that I surprise myself!! I found that their vulgar sexual comments, and horribly foul language, and terrible talk of school, classmates and parents didn't really offend me. I just sat there, occasionally glancing their way to check their ages, took it all in, and kept thinking "Where did they learn this stuff?" and, even more, "Please, oh please, don't ever let Twin Sis or her friends sound like this!"

I was very angry, though, while listening to their conversation. As I sat there for about forty-five minutes, those kids used the word "retarded" thirteen times. I didn't say anything, I just fumed. They called each other retarded. They called other people who weren't there retarded. They called classes they disliked retarded. One of the kids apparently had a retarded phone. Really???

I sat there and listened. I am oversensitive to the use of the R word. Absolutely! I know I am. I am supposed to be though. That's part of my family's world. That's one of the descriptions of my Mom job!

When I left that room, I asked those kids if they would stop using the word retarded. Only one of them looked up at me, so I repeated myself. The girl that looked up didn't know what to do. "Hey you guys, don't say retarded anymore," she told them. Big eyes, not sure what to do. Who could blame her? "Crazy lady talking, come on guys, help me!" None of them did. (She really needs some new friends, I wanted to tell her.) I went on and said that I have a mentally retarded son. Her eyes got bigger. I told them all that I would appreciate it if the next time they thought about using the word retarded, they would think about what the real meaning of the word was, then see if the meaning fit how they were going to use it.

I am not sure if I did any good or not. I believe Big Eyed Girl might think twice next time she calls a cell phone retarded. She was pretty taken aback when I told her I had a mentally retarded son. I hope she gives it some thought, I also hope she tells the next person that says the word retarded to her the story about that crazy lady at the community center. Maybe I made her think. I am not sure about the rest of that group. But, I guess every thing happens with baby steps.

For those of you that haven't, go to the link at the end of this post and take the pledge to end the R-Word. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that a cell phone can't be retarded. It doesn't take a nuclear physicist to realize that if someone calls a cell phone retarded, it means they don't like it.

The word retarded does have a medical definition, but like so many words in the English language, it has changed over time. It has now become an over used adjective with a very negative connotation to it.

While Alex fits the medical definition of retarded, there is nothing about him that fits the newer adjective that so many are using. Everything about my Alex is good! Well, for the purpose of this story anyway. So lets get rid of it! It hurts to hear it!