Pushing the car.

Best Advice
I used to have horrible cars, because I never had money, so I’d always end up broken down on the highway. When I stood there trying to flag someone down, nobody stopped. But when I pushed my own car, other drivers would get out and push with me. If you want help, help yourself—people like to see that. –  Chris Rock

 

I read the above article around the time I suspected my Singaporean goose was cooked.  What got me at the core was the bit about the car.  Was I doing enough on my own behalf?  I can honestly say, I wasn’t.  That’s even hard to write, but it’s true.  I could have worked more hours, I could have dedicated more time to fleshing out more feasible better planned fundraisers.

Would these things have made the financial difference that landed me in school this year vs. next year? Probably not, and since I’m drinking from the fountain of self honesty, on my gut level I knew this.  My credit rating, an F.  My current student loans, while not in default, are a reflection of my youthful (and not so youthful) wastefulness. Add what I owe in taxes, and my day to day bills, and making it over without a wealthy sugar daddy or a co-signer (which would have been an incredibly irrational direction) was going to be highly unlikely.  Even with all this reality lying in wait I prayed that somehow my effort (albeit half-hearted) would part the heavens and allow for some Dickenesque Christmas Carol resolution that would allow for my passage into all that I’d wished and hoped for.  But, a wise man did once suggest that I wish in one hand, shit in the other and see which one fills first.

I could see this experience as one of the most humiliating in my life (and it probably is), go hide, and give up on the idea of grad school in general, let alone on the other side of the world, but that would make me a quitter. Quitters suck (unless it’s self defeating behavior then by all means quit dammit!). No, I shan’t quit, and while I appreciate all the support I’ve been given, the reality is that I have to push my own car.   I have to take this year to get my shit together financially, physically, and emotionally … basically shit I need to do anyway. I have to go back to working night shift (bleh), pick up extra hours (bleh!), and many other things savory and unsavory … all legal I assure you. In short,  I gotta know on my inside space that I gave this shit everything I got before I’m willing to give up.

So here we go world. With the help of a HP with a fairly wicked sense of humor,  I’ve got 365 days to make this thing happen. Help is still appreciated, but it’s time for me to get out and P.U.S.H.

Watch me work.

Rosie.

 

Uncle 2.0 (A kinder gentler surrender.)

When I began the graduate school application process I tried to maintain the belief that no matter the outcome, “good” or “bad”, that it had nothing to do with my ability to write or my value as a writer. I probably should have taken it to the next level and said that it had nothing to do with my value as a human being, because ultimately it doesn’t.

Grad school was to me was about what I valued.  I value education.  I enjoy becoming educated. Academia is my home girl.  However, I do realize that there are non-conventional ways of receiving the education I desire, and if it ends up that those are the avenues I have to stroll down that it is okay.  The sting of my experience comes from valuing the means of getting my education more than I do the education itself.

There is a balance I seek to find between my desire to achieve and the realization that my achievements do no supersede my humanity. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me wanting to succeed, but that success should not come at the expense of what really matters, my life and happiness. Looking back over the last few months I can see that I have been highly driven, but not exactly enjoying my life, even during times that were intended to be enjoyable.

I’m entering an easier phase of surrender as I continue to raise my white flag and wave it at Tisch Asia (the game is not entirely over, but it appears to be a blow out). At this point, I’m not too clear on “what’s next”.  I’m still feeling some residual yuckiness, but I know it is dangerous for me to live here.  I want to hide because I am embarrassed and ashamed, but I won’t.  Instead I’ll volunteer to be the fool that is brave enough to fail fantastically and be willing to tell the tale.

Rosie.

Throw Stacey On The Plane

Dearest From the Rose’s Mouth followers and random finders of my writing,

I have been accepted to NYU‘s Tisch School of the Arts Asia for dramatic writing with a concentration in playwriting.  This would requite me to relocate to Singapore for two years, an extremely exciting yet extremely expensive endeavor.  You can help me get there!  Besides getting my tuition covered – a scholarship and loan are helping with that, my next biggest hurdle is affording the trip over.  I’ve set up a fund to cover the cost of travel to and from Singapore for the duration of my time there.  Any little bit that you can give would help tremendously! Also, PLEASE feel free to pass this along to any giving soul you know!

Click here to Throw Stacey On The Plane

Rosie.

Here’s a funny thing to watch! Written and directed by me :).

Singapore Girl

I’ve been a lil silent here lately. It’s mainly been because I was locked in crippling fear about my future.  Now that I know to some small degree what the next few months hold for me, I’m paralyzed in fear.  At least when I was crippled I could wiggle around a little bit.

Okay, I’ll stop being vague now.  I was accepted into the Dramatic Writing Program at NYU‘s Tisch School of the Arts … in Singapore.  The idea of me relocating to Singapore was not some grand pre-existing life path I’d put my self on. It actually thinly presented itself to me as a simple check off box in my NYU Tisch New York application.

“Would you like to be considered for Tisch Asia?”

“Sure!”

I thought.

“Why the fuck not? Since I’m applying to grad school why not just balls it all the way out!”

I check the box, complete the application and submit all the required hutzpa by 11:59 pm 12/1/11. Then I proceed through four months of self induced torture, applying to grad school after grad school only to have my spirit swallowed whole and shat out by the  Ivy’s, The “First Choice” school, and even my shit kicking “safe school” (those bastards rejected me FIRST – there will be blood.)

The only institution left was NYU, and it wasn’t looking too promising.  I’d sent the app four months before and heard not word the first. Then …

“Dear Graduate Dramatic Writing applicant,

Greetings.  Your application has been selected as part of a small group of semi-finalists under consideration for the M.F.A Graduate Dramatic Writing program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia in Singapore.  We would like to request an interview with you regarding your admission to our program.”

My sphincters tightened. My mind raced. I hadn’t even sent my materials to Singapore as the application had called for. I was confused. It was an interview though, and after having endured a grad app process reminiscent of 300, some redemption was in order.  On March 9th 2012, I interviewed  and it was fantastic.  They liked me.  They really liked me. More important, I liked them.  It seemed as if the program was made for me and had been placed in front of me randomly because, quite frankly, I’m a coward. The idea of attending school abroad is slightly horrifying.

I then began to consider Singapore, for real this time.  I did a little internet digging and discovered the beauty of the country and how doable the transition from here to there would be. Still, after the slaughter I’d been through, I didn’t allow myself to explore much further.  I went back to life as usual.

Then I began to notice the calendar.  Days eeked by. Hours. Minutes.  I scoured the grad forums for answers.  The ones I received only made me desperate for more.  I swore the forums off, then went back five minutes later.  We were tortured souls yearning, burning, dying to be liberated from purgatory! Then it hit me.  I could call!  So, I called NYU New York and got the most loving caring rejection I’d received all season. I was reminded to keep Tisch Asia in mind and that their decisions were just around the corner.

Gently let down, and still quite defeated, I attempted to go on.  I threw myself into work, and in the back of my mind lingered thoughts of Tisch Asia.  I’d almost resolved that I wasn’t going to get in this round until …

“Dear Stacey,
 
Congratulations! You have been admitted to the Tisch School of the Arts.”

I came completely unglued, interrupting every business deal and break up chat at the Starbucks I was in.  Baristas came to check on my psychological well being.  It was fandamtastic.

Since then, the black fog of fear has settled in for what I hope is a brief stay.  Among the shit storm stirring in the fog are the thoughts:

“Yeah, you’re scholarshipped, but it doesn’t nearly cover everything.”

“Bitch, it’s Asia.”

“What are you gonna do with that boy?”

“BITCH, it’s Asia.”

“Will you have to work?! Shit, you can work and go to school in Charlotte!”

“BITCH IT’S ASIA!”

All of this while trying to live a semi-normal life over the past three days.  The good news is I know I’ll survive. The not so good is that I’ll have to re-live my middle school/high school emotions during the process. There is a hell of a lot of grown up work for me to do and it’ll suck having to do it while still feeling like a chubby wheezy nerd that Jake Ryan will NEVER ask to the prom.

Yes, a new chapter in the life of this completely sane lunatic has begun. Pull up a chair, grab some concessions, and join me.  This shit outta be good.

Rosie.

*Update:  I’ve set up a fund to help pay for my trip over!

“Throw Stacey On The Plane!”  make it rain please.

gracious thank yous!

Oddly this was one of my favorite commercials when I was a tyke.

Get Up. Stand Up.

I just had the best conversation with my son while dropping him off to school. A conversation that I wished someone had had with me when I was a kid.

Rewind:  When I was in about the 4th or 5th grade I had a language arts teacher named Ms. Fiaño. (I will not spare her the dignity of anonimity.) Ms. Fiaño had the old iron sides approach to education; “spare the humiliation spoil the child” was her way.  One day while I was busy being a chatty 4th grader with other chatty 4th graders, Ms. Fiaño decided it was time for someone  to pay the price for disrupting her lesson on dangling participles (or whatever the hell she was teaching that day.) She turned to me and said something like “Stacey, maybe if you could get your mouth shut you wouldn’t have gotten a 56 on the last test.”

Stone silence. All eyes on me.

I was mortified. This would not be the only belittlement I would suffer in her class, and I’m almost 100% sure that I wasn’t the only one but dammit this is my blog and we’re going to talk about me!

The point is her battle axy approach to discipline did nothing but further isolate me from her and any desire to learn what she was teaching. No, I shouldn’t have been talking in her class, but that  didn’t give her license to humiliate me.  Contrary to popular belief, humiliation isn’t always the best teacher. I’ve used the tactic myself in parenting, and now I find myself back peddling trying to convince my son that I don’t think he’s a total idiot. Sigh.  At least I finally got it, right?   Zi, if you’re reading this at some point in the future, I’m sorry.  You rock. Always have. Always will. The world is yours. Go get it!

Fast Forward:  My son has found himself in the position of having to deal with humiliation imposed by educators.  While I plan on dealing with it, because as a parent it’s part of my job to protect him, I also told him what I wish someone had told me.  You have a right to stand up for yourself. It doesn’t require disrespect or confrontation, but it does reinforce in you that you are a person worthy of respect when respect is given.

I think I planted a seed today.   I think.

Rosie.

A Letter to the Respiratory Therapist

Dearest RT,

I have often said that we are the red headed step children of the health care industry. Not yet able to enjoy the respect that comes with longevity of similar careers like nursing, we are still after decades of existence a bit of an enigma to everyday people. Some might have noticed our name yelled during episodes of their favorite hospital drama. After all the business of saving lives is complete the heroic MD yells with deep conviction

“Call respiratory and tell them to bring a vent!”

As he clutches an endotracheal tube that is nowhere near secure in a patient that isn’t even being bagged. As if we’re off somewhere slamming down doughnuts as we wait for vents to be called for.

What everyday man often doesn’t know is we would have been there from the word go. Nor do they know that in many cases it us who often secures the airway , initiates “life support”, and then asks that the MD get called so we can tell them what we did. Little does the everyday man know how hard we work to cover anywhere between 10-25 patients per therapists per shift while having to be prepared to drop it all and see about the emergencies (and quasi emergencies whenever summoned.) We are often unappreciated, misunderstood, and unfortunately mistreated by those whose team we’re supposed to be on. Yes, red headed step children.

Notice I said “often” not always, as there are those times, hospitals, and situations where all the stars align and therapists are truly made to feel a part of the team. Our experience and knowledge are valued. People actually know our names instead of yelling “RESPIRATORY!” down the hallway behind us. I have been fortunate in my now almost 12 year career to have enjoyed these circumstances and I’m truly grateful for these times.

When it’s bad though, it’s really really bad. I have worked in places where therapists have been reduced to the role of nothing more than a button pusher or knob turner having their clinical skills and knowledge completely disregarded by people who often don’t fully understand the purpose and action of therapies they’re requesting then being told or shown by their own management that we have to “take one for the team.” To understand this I have to go back to the point that the general public and alas some healthcare professionals have no clue, or worse, no respect for what we do. I don’t pretend to know how to change this other than to keep doing what we’re doing. Do it well. Do it consistently, stay educated in the field and stand our ground in the face of adversity and ignorance. Combat ignorance with education and open dialogue, and maybe…just maybe, things will change.

I write this letter from a place of appreciation and love for everything this career has done for my life and the many wonderful people it has placed in it. My patients! The reason why I can do what I do in the first place. The good ones, the mean ones, the in-between ones, but especially the pleasantly confused ones whose shenanigans make my night whiz by. The nursing staff who I’ve saved lives side by side with, cried with in tragedy, and even laughed with in tragedy (cause you gotta laugh to keep from cryin’ right?). The MDs, who don’t let their egos get in the way of what is best for a patient, who once they understood that I knew what I was doing allowed me to DO MY JOB! The unit secretaries, radiology, lab techs, pharmacy, environmental, hospital security without you guys there is no us, because we are ALL critical to lives of the patients we care for whether we know, or are told that or not.

I’m in the process of stepping back from this career that has been a defining part of my life since I was pregnant with my son and into one as a writer. Eventually, (if all goes well) I won’t be practicing much if at all. However, everything I learned while a therapist will carry me in to the tough business of the written word. After all what can thicken your skin or grow you as a person more than dealing with life, death, and every manifestation of the human being on a daily/nightly basis? I promise to one day write our story that people may continue to come to better know and understand who we are. I promise to tell our story to the best of my rotten ability!

To all my fellow RTs:

Your name is NOT “respiratory”. Your knowledge and experience matter even when those around you would make you feel that it doesn’t. Go forth, give nebs, save lives, be as BRILLIANT as you are, and smile because you are somebody!

With Love,

Stacey Rose RRT, RCP

The Zion Chronicles: Eatin’ Lightenin’ Crappin’ Thunda!

I remember my elementary school guidance counselor Ms. Kenney. She was a short black woman with a warm smile, a compassionate temperament, and a no shit taking attitude. I remember loving the way her office smelled. I also remember spending hours on end there in 6th grade. You see, 6th grade was a tough one for me. I was some how elected whipping girl for that year and as such was picked on ad nauseum.

During my time in the fetal position on Ms. Kenney’s couch, eyes damn near swollen shut from crying, I would fix my cloudy gaze on this one “inspirational” poster on her wall. It was the cutest, puffiest, cuddliest kitten clawing for dear life to a rope with a knot on the end. It read: “When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Inspirational posters, I’ve found, are wasted on children. At the time, I had no idea what the poster meant. I didn’t know that I was that damn kitten and that Ms. Kenney was trying her best to help me hang on.

It frightens me to think of what would happen if my story had been set now. With all the suicides among kids due to bullying, I’m sure I would have been another headline. It doesn’t seem rational to the lucid adult mind why a child would want to kill themselves, but being THAT kid in the 6th grade I do. The pain! There was an incredible amount of pain and self hatred. It hung heavy over me like a dank cloud every morning I woke up. I’d wake up hating the fact that I did. I’d wake up wishing I were somewhere, somebody, or something else. Weekends were hallowed times where I could retreat into me, read, watch television and eat until I damn near popped. Monday’s dropped me off at the gates of hell again. I cried every one. If I looked it up I probably had about 45 days out of school that year.

This past summer when I knew I was sending Zion off to the 6th grade all those old feelings came rushing back. “Would his 6th grade year be like mine?” “Maybe I shouldn’t send him. ” were thoughts that raced through my mind from July all the way through August and occasionally still do. Thankfully Zion’s social adjustment has gone remarkably well. Maybe it’s the school. Going to a school full of artsy fartsy mainly free thinking kids must be pretty cool…I guess. Maybe he’s cooler than I was. :/ Anyway, Zion’s major obstacles have come where I least expected them with academics, and in many ways his 6th grade year has been just as rough as mine was.

I’m happy to report that things have improved dramatically. It’s taking a full on team effort with his teachers, his EC facilitator and myself, but I’m definitely seeing some turn around. What I’m most proud of is my improving patience which has resulted in our improving relationship. It took me accepting that my expectations of him were unrealistic. He is not the student I was. He does not like to read like I did. He is not me. To think I bosted how I was never going to be the parent that tried to relive their existence through there child, but there I was doing just that. I wanted his 6th grade year to be better than mine. I wanted to save him from what happened to me, to see him succeed and in his success he would some how redeem my 6th grade year. To my dismay, none of that shit was based in any sort of reality.

Fact is, the 6th grade/middle school is a huge transition for all children it can and often is awkward and painful. I have to hang in there with him and be the knot that he’s hanging on to when he’s at the end of his rope (and some time that knot is my mom. That’s okay too). I strive to be attentive without smothering. I try to discipline without being a dictator. It’s a tricky balance especially being a single parent, but we do just fine most days. When I read about kids who’ve killed themselves because of the sheer pressure of being a kid in this day and age, it scares the hell out of me. I ask Zion a million questions. He answers two. He seems okay. I try to have faith that he is.

I have visited his guidance counselor’s office and didn’t off hand notice any inspirational posters. She, while quite pleasant, lacks Ms. Kenney’s certain I-don’t-know-what. She’s a new generation of guidance counselor. Maybe it’s the sheer number of children and variety of issues she has to deal with on a daily basis. Her office is not the cozy nook that I remember Ms. Kenney’s being. It was quite dark with a slit for a window and had cement walls. No leather settee like Ms. Kenney’s. I have empathy for her plight though, and wish that I could pop in and hang just one inspirational poster on her wall. While I didn’t really understand what it meant, it was comforting to see that little kitten when I went to her office. Say! I’d always been rather fond of Mick the trainer from Rocky. Maybe he oughta have done a series of posters. They would have looked something like this…

…I so would have gotten this one. Yep, me and Zi will just keep eatin’ lightenin’ and crappin’ thunda until we get through it. Together.

Rosie.

The Zion Chronicles: …and we’re back.

When I was a kid this time of year always seemed like a new beginning to me. I returned to school, with a fresh mind, a willing heart, and a glimmer in my eye. Often my hopes were dashed by 3rd period, but this did not keep the post holiday after glow from returning each year. I have since transposed this yearly hope shot to my son and my outlook on his education. Each year he’s been in school this time of year has often spelled a new beginning. This year, with things being the way they are, I’m not so sure.

This is the first year that he had work to complete and turn in over the holiday. A science project specifically. A science project that he left all instructions for in parts unknown. This slip in consciousness had me emailing, texting, calling (technology I tell ya!), and hair pulling until we finally came up with a full set of instructions. A tedious 3 days later we look at a project that was complete, but definitely not what I would have him hand in. I decided to let it go because while it wasn’t what I think he was capable of I watched him work. He was definitely putting forward his best effort.

He would stop to ask me to repeat instructions again. He’d work a little more, then stop again, and ask me what I thought…again. I began to realize that he was working to make me happy. To satisfy what I thought was right. When I took a look at the whole process it dawned on me he’d sought my advice down to the medium he chose to use to create the project. It made me incredibly sad to watch this kids scurry around trying to get it just right so I would approve. This was not the parent I wanted to be, but it was the parent I’d become. Somewhere along the line I’d stripped my child of the ability to stand confident in his own decisions.

That’s the shit that sticks with a kid into adulthood. I know because I am/was one of those kids. At 34 I still feel more settled in decisions that I make that my mother agrees with than ones that I make that she doesn’t. What’s crazy is even when I am 100% correct in my decision I still doubt myself. Example, I refused to get Zion a PSP for Christmas because of his lack of effort in school. She disagreed. She felt that since she’s never penalized us for Christmas that I shouldn’t penalize him. I sat for about two weeks in a mud puddle of guilt and frustration, but I didn’t buy the damn game! I also didn’t provide him with a lavish Christmas because it wasn’t warranted, and it would have reinforced some behaviors that for sure didn’t need reinforcement.

Thank the powers that be for growth. To think, if I hadn’t done some growing up and out of this codependent pattern behavior, I might not be writing right now. I might not have chosen theatre as a career option at 30. We are not our parents. Our children are not us. I want nothing but the best for Zion, but there is going to come a point (and I feel it’s coming soon) that what he feels is best for him and what I feel is best for him is going to veer off in different directions. I have to accept it or the next few years are going to be hell on earth. Hence me letting his science project be exactly what he made it. His.

He went to turn the project in today. So many of the kids hadn’t done it that she gave them until Friday to complete it. It figures. He brought it back home and resigned to start over. I gave him total autonomy, but advised that if his second draft failed to be completed the first one would have to do. Maybe I’m letting go too much. I’m not sure how involved I should be. This whole business is like stumbling around in the dark to find a light switch in an unfamiliar space. Hopefully I’ll just stumble along and not bust my ass completely, and pray god, avoid causing any permanent damage to Zion’s tender developing ego.

With a lingering hint of after glow, and hope that this week’s testing turns up some answers to Zion’s educational woes…

Rosie.

The Zion Chronicles: Throw everything at the wall…something will stick.

Today finds me in a very reasonable non-desperate place in my parenting situation. I’m truly grateful for this. What we’ve been up to? Well, much of the same. Threatening. Screaming. Yelling. Punishing. Sighing. Crying. Sadness. I got profoundly sad, then depressed over my son and his inability to “get” it. I spent about a week or two in bed feeling sorry for myself and my ineffective parenting skills. I wallowed. Oh how I wallowed. I found no point in going on. I felt worthless. I wanted to die (no bullshitting). I. I…was the most self centered muphucka on the planet for two weeks. The bottom line is, they aren’t my grades. I don’t have to suffer any of the consequences of them. My job as a parent is to guide and to be there when needed. Both of which I always do, even at my most paranoid and overbearing.

We stayed in the fight. Even when we hated each other, because honestly looking back over the last few weeks; I’m not sure if I wouldn’t have run away or gone emo if I had me for a mom. In the midst of our everyday grind something came to me. We hadn’t played, genuinely played, for a very long while. Maybe because somewhere inside me I felt that I wasn’t doing my job if I allowed him to goof off. What I didn’t think about is that I was doing him and our relationship a severe disservice. Play is JUST as important as work. When I took an honest look at my child’s life I saw that it was mainly work with scattered instances of play that I would stifle as quickly as they arose. What an f’n Scrooge I’d become!

So, I as an experiment (we’ll see how this works folks) decided to play a game with him for 15 minutes for every homework assignment he completes. This accomplishes few things: First, It allows him a break. Second, it allows me to play with him and give him the time with me that he clearly wants (as can be seen by his eagerness to complete assignments per they’re requirement so we can play) and I get time with him, which I want :). It’s been pretty cool so far too!

We’ve been playing Table Topics (which I didn’t initially think he’d like, but it was what was here). If you’re not familiar with Table Topics it’s a game that’s basically a stack of questions that the players go around asking each other. Some are about life experience, others about thoughts on topics, dreams, aspirations. It turns out Zion loves this game. He digs finding out things about me and telling me things about him (he actually confessed stealing a power ranger action figure when he was younger!)

Sidebar: I am having him tested for a learning disability. He resents me a little for it, no matter how much I explain it doesn’t make him stupid, but he’s a kid. I get how he feels. No one wants to be different. As a parent though, I MUST be sure all my bases are covered to ensure he’s getting everything he needs from his educators (and hell yes you have to jump in with both feet when you’re dealing with CMS!)

I can’t say what any of this done for his grades yet (with an overall more healthy emotional well being I’m sure they will at least stabilize, I pray!) I’m seriously trying to let that go for now, but it’s worked wonders for our relationship in just a short period. I’m also doing a lot of work on me. So I don’t take his comments, rants, and attitudes personally. So I don’t feel like I have to fight every battle tooth and nail. So I don’t feel like I have to physically assert my dominance when he’s just doing the things kids do. I won’t be disrespected for sure. However I don’t have to disrespect him to gain that respect. Pretty good feeling.

Yes, I’m still here. Still in it, but now working with my son, instead of against him. It’s working. For now.

Rosie.

The Zion Chronicles: The Good The Bad and The Ugly Betty Dude

I’m still standing. It’s better some days than others. This past Friday it got pretty damn intense. See whenever Zion is away from home for a little more than 24 hours he some how forgets the rules and regulations of the house. He was gone for 48 hours over the holiday with my brother so I had my work cut out for me. He came in wanting to not do anything but laze around and allowed to do so until late afternoon. Then it was time to get to work.

Let me back track a little. I’d visited his school Tuesday (after some erroneous ass story about his Spanish teacher not allowing him to take an exam for Science…wah?). I was irate and ready to climb the walls. It’s been really difficult to strike a balance between worrying the hell out of his teachers giving and them enough space to do their job. It get’s even hairier when certain teachers won’t contact you when it is clear your child is failing their class (D or less in my home, I don’t know about these shady ass CMS standards). I even had a teacher claim she was about to go to administration on my son because of his excessive talking in her class. Really?! So we don’t even pass go? Don’t even collect $200? We definitely don’t talk to the child’s parent. We just go to administration. Nice. Did I mention said teacher responded to me via email with this sentence of sorts:

Good afternoon Mrs. Rose, Zion grades are poorly because he didn’t bring his homework and he didn’t finish his classwork, he talk to much in class, he needs to use his time correctly in order to finish his work, already I need to move him to another desk.”

…and she’s teaching my child. *sigh*.

Well back to our story. By all accounts he needs to make some real changes in classroom behavior and organization. Things I already knew, but how do I make it happen?! I can barely get him to do homework (which apparently he’s only pretending to do.) It’s on him right? That’s what I’m supposed to be doing. How do I decide where I should intervene though. When do certain things become a parent’s duty? I have taken everything from him that bleeps or zings and he now has to “pay” to get them back and for basic things (i.e. watching television) with time spent working (school work, house work, etc.) Is this enough? Is it too much. *Sigh* Appointments with the educational team are made. I sigh. I cry. I dig in. Which brings us back to Friday.

My mom gave him the option of going with her to the store to pick up some energy and get him out of the post Turkey day slump, which I totally get, but he refuses to go. I’m laying down for work while all of this is going on so I arise from my mild coma. Then the stand off begins: (cue the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)

Me: Zion, you need to go ahead with your Grandmother.

Zion: I don’t wanna go!

Me: You’re going. You’re not gonna lay around in here all day.

Zion: I’m tired! I’ve been gone for two days…

Me: What?! You act like you’ve been to war or some shit! If you don’t get your shit on and get outta here…! (yes I cussed, I’m working on it. Call DSS if you need to.)

Zion grumbles into his room, puts on anything literally and slams himself next to his Grandmother and begins to mumble. This begins to irritate her and she reascends her original invitation. She doesn’t want him along aggravating the hell out of her, and I truly don’t blame her!

Me: Okay Zion, then you can go ahead and get your homework started.

Zion: I’m going with Gram!

Me: Oh no you’re not!

Zion: Yes, I am! I don’t wanna stay here!

Me: It’s fine, you’ll just do do your homework when you get back. Either way. You’re doing your homework.

My mother once again denies his company. He shoves himself against her and begins a round of hostile mumbling. I have exceeded the boiling point. I box his ears like he’s Oliver twist (again call DSS if you need to.) Stunned by the turn of events Zion goes into his Sophia routine: (cue the theme for The Color Purple.)

It took all this just to get him to get to his homework and stay focused. I don’t like having to be this parent. I don’t like that looking at him after all this his face read an intense hatred of me. I found myself growing this tiny fear in the pit of my stomach while getting ready for work. I’d been following the story of Michael Brea (the dude who sliced his mom to bits because she was full of demons). Mind you I don’t think Zion will rule me demonized and slice my head off in the next week or so (I’ve hidden all of our samurai swords just in case though), I just think that hostility toward parents now-a-days has manifested itself in slayings or other family tragedies. Maybe it’s an unfounded concern, but boy did he look consumed with the fires of hatred when I told him he needed to read two chapters instead of one due to the lag time over the holiday.

Where is the line between normal tween/teen aged moodiness, and “Is this lil negro plottin’ my murder?” *SIGH* I dunno. What I can do is try to control my anger a little more, and it has gotten lots better and pick my battles. I try not to be a complete tyrant, which is why I allowed him to leave the house for a few days. He needed it. I needed it. It’s Saturday. We’re back to the grid iron in a little over 24 hours.

Rosie.