Friday, December 14, 2012

Homeschool Mom Sends Kid to Public School - a Possible Disaster in the Making

Yesterday was my seven year old son's first day of school.  We had been preparing for days.  The school uniform had been bought and tailored to fit (I was hemming them an hour before we were scheduled to leave the house) and inspected (we picked all the little white puppy dog hairs off the black shirt) and located a couple pencils and a backpack that had a working zipper.  I located three *important* pieces of mail to prove my address (my mortgage statement, utility bill, and a piece of unopened junk mail from Discover card that I thought could pass for a bill). He had to have a school physical first, so we went to the doctors office and got the necessary paperwork.

We made the decision to send Micah to school for a number of reasons, not because he was not learning at home or was being difficult, but because we need the resources the system offers in a way that we would not get without him being enrolled.  The doctor said that the was "very interested to see what happens."  Hopefully, this will help us in our journey to help Micah get a good diagnosis or help confirm the one he now has. Micah was super excited and honestly, so was my husband.  I think he was glad I was doing something "normal" for once......

Anyway, back to the first day of school. I had my 2 youngest daughters with me so the 4 of us went into the school building.  The girls were pretty thrilled to see the inside of the school.  Quin, my 7 year old, asked if she could go.  She said lunch smelled good.  We gave all the appropriate paperwork to the office staff and were walked down the hall to meet the teacher and the class.  The teacher invited us into the room, introduced Micah, got him situated at a desk and then the trouble came.

Teacher to me: "Did you bring any supplies."
Me: Blink. Blink. "Uhm. Well, we found a pencil this morning, I uh, guess we left it at home."
Teacher to the moron mom (me): "Oh, well, I will loan him some of mine, but he will need supplies."
Me: "Of course! So, uh do you have a list or something?" (I can feel the 6 and 7 year old students judging me.
Teacher: "Yes, this is a list" (hands me a  list).
Me, seeing it is mostly normal stuff, rambled:  "Oh! Good, we have a lot of this stuff at home because you know we homeschooled and we have supplies - most of the supplies on the list as a matter of fact - and I just did not think about sending this stuff, but we homeschooled so we have like, scissors and glue and stuff and you know, supplies."
I try to offer one of my smiles that others have claimed to be "beautiful"  and "lights up a room" - and stuff....

Teacher, looks at me, unimpressed and makes a sound that sounded like she choked a bit. Probably biting her tongue to keep from saying what she really feels - That I am acting like an idiot who has no sense of the real world and probably need some socialization.
Me: "So er, what is the difference between a word tablet and a writing tablet?"
Teacher tries to explain it to me but I start looking at all the kids looking at me and seeing my little baby boy sitting at a *school* desk with is big beautiful brown eyes and I feel the tears start to well up as I start thinking about how I am going to have to leave him there all alone in this cold, concrete building.
Me, trying desperately to pay attention, and to regain some of my composure:  "So, does the tablet actually say "Word Tablet"?"
Teacher, sighing: "As I was explaining, you will just give us the money for the supplies and we will get those for him from the supply room."
Me: "Oh. Okay, then.  Do you guys take a check?"
Teacher: "Yes, just write it out to Pope Elementary."
Me, rummaging for the checkbook in my purse:  "Oh okay. I can do that right now."
Teacher: "Well just send it with him tomorrow, you interrupted my lesson."
She then goes on to tell me that I need to send field trip money and homemade cookies as well.  partners (people who .
Me: "Oh uh sorry, yeah, I will send it back to you and the money for the field trip and I will send the cookies on Wednesday.  Got it."
The teacher starts escorting us out.  I stop and tell Micah to have a good day and that I love him and we walk out of the classroom, the teacher shutting the door behind us.
I start feeling my eyes get all watery and my face is hot.  I start sniffing.
Then I hear:
"Mrs. Carter!"
I turn to see the teacher walking very quickly to us.  I match her pace, because darn it, she needs me for something and I have a purpose and I am not an imbecile!
We meet up about halfway.
Teacher:  "What about lunch?"
Me: "Lunch?" Blink. Blink.
Teacher: "Yes, his lunch money."
Me: "Oooohhh his lunch money."
Teacher, sighing: "Yes, he needs $1.70 cents. Just give me $2.00 and I will have him bring back change."
Me, opening purse and beginning to rummage: "Oh yes, I have that.  But my change purse is empty and so it is in here in the bottom of my bag, but I have that..." I begin showing her hand fulls of change.
She looks at me: "Don't worry about it. I need to get back to my lesson.  Just send it with him tomorrow."
Me: "Oh.Well okay but I have it, I have right here in my purse."
Teacher: "That is alright, I will just get it from him tomorrow."

She turns around and goes back to her classroom.
I walk to the van and get the girls situated.
Then I went to Panera and had an early lunch. Then I went shopping at Lane Bryant.
I am sure all those people thought I was an idiot too, you know, since I was randomly crying.

The school called me 3 times to find out various information about Micah's diagnosis and about how to obtain his records from our cover school. I almost had a heart attack each time.

He rode the bus home yesterday and was thrilled.  He had a great day and was excited to have been able to go.

This morning he got up and got ready.

We missed the bus but dang it, he had 3 pencils and a backpack.

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Noteable Scraps said...

I feel for you. Praying for you in this transition!!

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Jess. It will get better. We are all praying for you. =)

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