So the new school year is starting. This is good. All parents know that feeling when they FINALLY go off to school again. For us it is that, but then it is also a bit stressful when considering all the school meetings that will ensue in the near future because my kids are autistic.
The teachers will scrutinize every single detail when it comes to my four year old, as they did last year, I’m sure. I dreaded those meetings because it was mostly the teachers pointing out all the things that I did wrong. Every single meeting was basically them listing off a bunch of ways in how I suck as an adult and parent. So I am, needless to say, not really looking forward to this years worth of “fuck your parenting skills” meetings. I’ve decided to speak up more and to be more prepared for these meetings this year. This year I will be making my own lists to bring with me. Things that I wanted to say last year.
Last year’s meetings were basically the teachers being condescending and pointing out all of my shortcomings, combing through them with an incredibly fine toothed comb.. one of those weird lice combs, I guess. I mean every. single. thing. was mentioned. At the beginning of the school year I was dealing with a lot… I have health issues, learned later that is Fibromyalgia, and I am also Autistic and while I knew it, I was waiting for a dx and services and to figure out ways to adult as an autistic. Learning new skills. Figuring out how to handle my work load as a single mom. Learning how to keep track of things, to do the things that most people can so easily do. I know these things are easy for others because I have been repeatedly told “you should be able to do this, it’s EASY.” I could make a really, really long list of things I have issues with and that is just inside the apartment… But that would be beside the point. So back to what I was talking about. Ah, right. My health, my Autism, my single parenting, I can’t adult, apparently.
So throughout the year I was getting the help I so desperately needed, becoming more of a grown up, learning where I needed the most help in, taking long hard looks at myself and figuring out ways (or trying to) to work with it all. Over time I was getting better and remembering to check the kiddos bag to make sure she had all she needed, but of course with the way things are, it sort of fluctuates, and I am far from perfect, as I am made so fully aware on a daily basis. Anyhoo… As it stands now, I do manage to get more done around the apartment. I have always been able to at least have what the kids needed, yknow, food, water, roof, clothes. However, this school seems to focus on every little thing. Right down to what kind of clothes they wore, and whether or not their socks match. I mismatch my socks on friggin purpose.. However, when the kids end up with non matching socks it’s because I cannot find the other, I guess the washing machine ate it or its hiding in a dark corner of the abyss somewhere in the sock dimension, so at the very least I make sure the brands are the same and to me, and I guess only me, the mismatching looks kind of cool.
There is one particular meeting that has been replaying in my mind over and over, which actually prompted this post. At this meeting, it was brought up that my four year old Destructo Beast showed up to school in just stockings -which also happened in previous meetings but this one sticks out to me- which is bullshit, because that never happened like they say it did. What DID happen was when we got there the DB wanted out of her pants and I left them in her cubby. Well maybe one other time she wore only stockings under a fucking dress.. But even then, a change of clothes in her bag, and a pair of pants in her fucking cubby AGAIN. While at this meeting I remained silent, in my head I was screaming– maybe look In Her FUCKING Cubby!!!!!! Other things were brought up about me not sending her with gloves, which is also bullshit, and not sending warm socks, also bullshit. I remember picking her up on SEVERAL occasions wearing clothes that belonged to the school, then looking in her bag and finding her change of clothes completely untouched. And me being me, the introvert, the autistic with communications issues, never spoke up. So I’m sitting here thinking of ways to make sure I do speak up when this stuff happens. But how the hell do I do that? In the moment I just can’t. I can’t. Then I go home reeling about it… and thinking well the next time, but again, I can’t. But one thing to remember, she will be in a different class this year with a different set of teachers. Things are done differently so maybe this year will be different?? Jesus fucking christ, I hope so. I don’t know if I can take that condescending bullshit anymore. Note to self: Work on speaking up this year. Don’t let this shit continue.
I wonder, the way these teachers were towards me during these meetings, is this just how they are with all the parents or am I a special case because they know I’m Autistic? Do these teachers talk to other parents like they are morons when it comes to things like bathing their fucking kid. Swear to god, I was asked if I give mine a bath, because her nails get dirty quickly, because she is a fucking kid. Um, no, I just let her wander around all day in her own filth. Come. On.
What I wish I would have been able to do was counteract all of their “you suck” points with my own “you suck more” points. Because if you really want to get technical, there have been times when I’ve picked the kid up and she had shit in her diaper, and it had been there a WHILE. Or other times when I was left notes like “needs gloves” when I know I brought them, and oh my god there they are in her bag…. etc. These teachers obviously had their own issues with keeping up with her stuff also, so often when I know I had brought her gloves I couldn’t find them when it was time to leave, they brushed it off like oh well she lost them. Bitch, you tell me to get MY act together??? Fuck.
I refuse to let it go down that way this year.
(Edit: I should add that the meetings weren’t always like this. Mostly they were about how the DB was getting along and what needed to be done for her to succeed, and shit like that. In this post, however I am only focusing on the negative aspect of, well, every meeting that always ended with them pointing out all the things I needed to work on, after, of course, focusing on the kid and how to best help her and how far she has come.)