Thursday, April 14, 2011

[angry rant]

So, I have something on my heart today that I need to get off of my chest. Also, I might say some unkind things, but this is MY blog, and I started it as a form of therapy for myself and I refuse to censor it... So I am not going to apologize for saying unkind things *at least not right now!*

Firstly, my son is a GOOD kid. Scratch that, he is a GREAT kid. Not only does he have a kind heart but he has a brilliant mind as well. He knows the difference between right and wrong without having to be told, and he is honest *not because he fears what will happen if he isn't, but because he knows in his soul that it's the right thing to be!* He helps other people when they need help, he is polite, and he treats other people the way he wants to be treated. Don't get me wrong, Trey is a handful! He can be obnoxious and overly energetic at times... and he is a typical 8 year old boy, but he has a good head on his shoulders and his heart and mind are in the right place. I attritbute this to the fact that he has been brought up the right way... not only thanks to Frank and myself, but because of our extended family as well. I am not meaning to "toot our own horn...," but Trey has proven again and again that what I said above is factual.

Any way, since we moved here, I haven't really been that impressed with the kinds of kids he is ending up running around with!! I know that sounds like a bitchy thing for me to say, but as a mother I care about the caliber of people my children interact with from day to day. If that makes me a bitch, then I will wear the bitch hat proudly!

When we first decided to move here everyone had such great things to say about Blanchard. "Oh, the school is SO great!" "This town is quiet and clean and a great place to raise a family!" Our landlord told us that our apartment complex was very strict about who they rent to and that they run a tight ship around here. We have come to find out that a lot of what we were told isn't completely true. The complex we moved into is full of children whose parents don't watch them. Period. Most of them are between the ages of 4 and 8 years old and they run around like wild turkeys with no supervision... they have NO manners, no limitations as to what they are or aren't allowed to do, and it drives me up the wall! Naturally, Trey wants to play outside and run around, so the kids that live around here have become the kids he plays with (and telling him not to is rather hard, considering!)

When we first moved here, a 2nd building of our complex was being built across the way. They just finished it about a month ago. The new tenants of one apartment happen to the the Great-Grandparents of a student in Trey's class... who I am going to refer to as "Joe!" "Joe" spends a lot of time over at his Great-Grandparents house, which has led to Trey and "Joe" hanging out. Now, at first, Frank and I had no problem with "Joe!" Seemed like a normal, energetic, and friendly kiddo!

Well, it turns out that "Joe" has caused nothing but drama for Trey this last month or so. A while back there was a bullying incident at school and Trey ended up in a headlock for defending "Joe"... who was being bullied on the playground. After I looked into what happened, I find out that "Joe" has some learning and behavioral issues. I actually found this out by speaking with "Joe's" Grandmother *who has been raising him since he was very young!*

Now, I would NEVER tell Trey that he should not be friends with children who are different or have special needs JUST because they are different or have special needs. I would NEVER tell him to discriminate or to exclude these students. But, do I have concerns that since Trey started hanging out with "Joe" he has gotten into trouble and been distracted in class, ended up in the Principals office on more than one occasion for a number of things, and ended up in a headlock? Absolutely. Am I concerned that "Joe" has a track record of telling "stories... " such as the one he told Trey about a homeless man with a large knife that lives in the fort on the dirt hill outside of our apartment* which had Trey scared to death for 3 nights in a row! Finally Frank had to take him out there one night and SHOW him that no one was there.* ABSOLUTELY. Am I concerned that it might not be in Trey's best interest to be hanging out with a child that acts out in class, handles situations differently than Trey would based on his maturity level, and has a tendency to evoke strong responses from other students based on his attitude and behavior in the classroom... yes. Again, I'd never tell Trey to automatically NOT be friends with someone due to a condition they can't help, but when it proves to interfere with my sons ability to focus in class and lands him in situations he shouldn't be in, maybe I should!

After the headlock incident I started to watch the situation closely... and ANOTHER incident was brought to my attention. A while back "Joe" let Trey borrow a book of his. I recall Trey bringing the book home and reading it and then taking it back to school the next day. Trey says he took back to class and put it on his desk and went to gym. When he came back, the book was not on his desk. Trey asked the teacher if she had seen the book, and she said she recalled seeing "Joe" with the book that same day. Any way, Trey came home and told me what happened. I told him that when he borrows something from someone he needs to make sure that it is returned safely to that person in the same condition that it was in when he borrowed it. That is just the right thing to do.

The next day at school "Joe" accuses Trey *in front of everyone* of stealing his book. "Joe" then goes on to say that his Grandmother and Grandfather demand that Trey pays "Joe" for the book because THEY believe Trey still has the book and is lying about what happened so that he doesn't have to return it. Trey then explains that he was indeed wrong for leaving the book on his desk, he should have kept it in his backpack, but that he is not lying, he did not "steal" it, and then he even asked the teacher if she knew what happened to it *because it was in her classroom* and she said she remembers having seen "Joe" with the book. "Joe" then says that it's no big deal and acts as if nothing happened! This was roughly 2 weeks ago.

So, this part may seem like it doesn't belong with this story, but it does. Yesterday, Trey and some other "neighborhood" kids were out playing on the dirt hill outside of our apartment (which is there because of the constant construction! Another thing that irks me.) The gentlemen that owns the complex, Tom, is a really cool guy. Very laid back and down to Earth. The contractors just installed sod around the new building and he was watering the sod with one of the hoses. Trey and the other kids were playing with the OTHER hose, spraying one another and spraying the grass. Obviously Tom had no problem with them doing so, considering he was right there watching them do it, and Tom isn't one to NOT say what's on his mind *but always in a kind and considerate fashion!* Any way, "Joe" was out there with the other kids for a little while... and then went home to his house.

Moving on, today I went in a little early to pick Trey up from school and I just stood out in the hallway and observed his class. Ive had concerns about his lack of homework and some other areas regarding the quality of education so I figured I'd just go on in and take a peek. In the 10 minutes I stood there and watched, I saw "Joe" disrespect the teacher at LEAST 3 times. I saw him get out of his chair and wander around the classroom, TWICE trying to talk to Trey in the middle of a lesson! Naturally, Trey had seen me standing there and didn't respond, but had I NOT been standing there, there is a good chance Trey might have! *Which has been a complaint of Trey's teacher once or twice!* (Of course, this validates my concern that "Joe" is distracting Trey is class and behaving in a fashion that I don't approve of!)

When we get home, Trey says "Mom, "Joe" told me today that my teacher and my principal and his Grandparents all think I am a liar, a thief, and a tattle tale and "Joe" isn't allowed to hang out with me anymore because they all think I get him into trouble and that i'm a bad kid and that I stole his book, and "Joe" is telling EVERYONE that! And "Joe" said that he and his Grandma stopped and talked to Tom last night and Tom said that I didnt have permission to play with the hoses and that Tom is mad and says that I break the rules at our apartment."

Now, firstly, I am angry that "Joe" would lie to my son and try to make him think that adult authority figures have a negative opinion of him. Secondly, although I firmly believe that Tom, Trey's Teacher, and the Principal do not feel this way and have never said anything to the contrary, I believe that "Joe's" Grandparents DO (which I will mention again later.) I know that my son is NOT a liar, a thief, or a tattle tale. He does NOT get other students into trouble... in fact, he put himself into harms way to DEFEND a student that has been constantly distracting him from lessons and telling him lies to work him up!

I am a mother, and when my child is hurting, I hurt. When my child gets their feelings hurt or has things said about them that aren't true, it pisses me off. I know that children say these kinds of things because they are children, but it still makes me angry. *Grumble* I have noticed in the last few weeks, however, that "Joe's" Grandmother has stopped letting Trey come over to play like he did when Trey and "Joe" first started hanging out... and she has come up with every excuse in the book as to why. It makes sense now. Do I want Trey over there, nope, but I am naturally upset at the thought of someone pegging my son as being a bad kid when he isn't.

During one of the FIRST conversations I had with "Joe's" Grandmother she had NOTHING nice to say about anyone... and filled my ear with gossip. I chalked it up to her frustration with having a child with special needs and her age. Yeah, I said it. So now that all of this is going on, the thought that she might give OTHER parents the wrong idea about MY child or encourage "Joe" to inadvertantly pass their judgement along to other students makes my blood boil... and I am giving SERIOUS thought to calling them up and getting to the bottom of this entire mess, but right now, I feel like I might say things out of anger that wouldn't help to resolve the situation.

I know that I can't MAKE a kid stop saying things that hurt my son. I know that I can't parent this child because it's not my job! I know that I can't change the perception or opinion of other people regarding things such as these. I know I can't MAKE the teacher keep this student clear of my son to ensure crap like this doesn't happen... because they are in the same class and the classroom is only so big. What I CAN do is write an angry blog entry and BITCH about it until my heart is content... so that is exactly what I did. -Sigh-


  1. Actually, your teacher should be able to keep Joe away from Trey. She needs to have more control over the situation because a classroom should be a safe environment for all children.

    Trey needs to stand up to this guy and tell him to leave him alone. It sounds like he's not a good kid to have in Trey's life.

    Welcome to the age where the kids have to start fighting their own battles. He has to make his choices and learn from them. You have every right to stand up for your son. Don't ever think differently!

  2. We are going to put Trey into private school next year, and as soon as our lease is up we are moving to Norman. These last three years have been a huge dissappointment regarding Trey and issues we have had with school. We are also teaching him more at home then he is being taught in the classroom. Right now I am just angry and fighting my bad temper... but something has to change before Trey develops a resentment for school.

  3. We have run into similar problems with a girl in Em's class. It started last year and has continued into this year. Emma has lost friends, I've lost friends, all over this one stupid little girl. I blame the mother for raising her that way, and normally, I'd cut the mom a little slack until I knew for sure it was her doing vs. her kid just being a brat, but the mom is the one who started the whole problem. Ugh. Sometimes, the politics of being a parent, are way more complicated than the politics of running a government.

  4. True words Megan, true words. *Shaking my head!* Being a parent is the hardest job we will ever love. I just wish it was easier sometimes.