This is going down in history as one of the most emotionally exhausting weeks of my life. The only thing I can come up with off the top of my head that immediately trumps it is the week Gabe was in the Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital. So, yeah, this has been a long week.
Let’s start last Friday, where I sat through a three hour meeting going over the results from the 15 or so assessments that Gabriel had through the school district over the summer. No ‘shocking’ news, nothing we weren’t actually aware of, but let me tell you that watching page, after page, after PAGE of testing results showing him at the LESS than first percentile in virtually everything (he scored 1.5 – 2.0 deviations below average on EVERY.THING.) is a version of heart wrenching insanity that encompasses your very being. Add sitting there with the (soon-to-be) ex-husband, and the feeling is like submerging yourself in a bathtub of cold water right before dropping the hairdryer in. Electrifyingly terrible.
And that was just Friday. Keep reading, it just keeps going.
The weekend was a mix of frantic shopping, including a 30 minute wait to get our feet measured just to find out the store didn’t have the boys’ shoe sizes in stock, and then having to explain to the clerk that Matthew really wasn’t interested in the *other* shoes she has, because he would ONLY wear the Commander Cody light up Star Wars shoes that he picked out. Only. It also included a giant angry growling/screaming fit that Gabriel started in Gap Kids that forced me escort all three of them, like wild cats in a mouse trap, out of the shop, and directly out of the mall. Which sounds like an awesome solution, if you don’t take into consideration that Matthew spied some ridiculously expensive toy store on the way in (with an Angry Birds display no less), and was INSISTING that we were shopping which meant to him: New Legos. Which I refused to buy. Clearly he wasn't happy. And frankly, neither was I.
So, change of plans. After dropping the boys off at McDonald’s with my parents, I rushed to Old Navy and did the shopping without them. At least they have new (and clean!) clothes to wear.
That day was followed by Monday where I scoured every nook and cranny of Target, two Fred Meyers and The Rack looking for a suitable backpack for Matt, while coming up empty, and stocking up on socks and other such nonsense like tissues, baby wipes and Ziploc bags which are apparently ‘school supplies’ now.
Tuesday arrived, and the (soon-to-be) ex-husband and I went on our way to the next half of the IEP meeting, at 1pm (21 hours before school began), only to find out that all of the challenges he has does not make the district able to place him into the private school we have had him in for the last year and half….no, actually the evaluations are SO BAD he can’t attend a school without the services that he needs (Speech, OT, etc.), so at the 11th hour we are forced to decide what to do about his placement for the next morning.
Did I mention I am crying?
I’m so exhausted emotionally in this meeting that I just wind up taking a copy of the IEP and leaving. With the (soon-to-be) ex-husband alongside me. Who I debrief on the way home about the finer points of the meeting he may have missed (like the school’s legal obligation to provide these services to our son means that we too have the legal obligation to provide them, and if we do place him at our cost in the private school, we would have to figure out how to manage getting him private services which basically just equals NOT GONNA HAPPEN). We get back to my house, I run in, start the little boys in showers and getting dressed because we have less than 30 minutes to leave for their teacher meet and greet.
The (soon-to-be) ex-husband goes back to work.
I get everyone ready, head to a non-air-conditioned building full of thousands of people, walk into Matthew’s classroom to find 50 kids and their parents all wandering around one of the most visually distracting rooms I have ever been in. And Gabe starts to lose it. And I start to lose it.
My head is spinning in circles about everything I have just learned and my need to make a decision as the clock is quickly marching towards end of business, and although I could just make the decision the next day, Gabriel thinks he is starting school in the morning and if he is not going to the private school – I can’t let him start there. More head spinning.
I grab Matt’s paperwork after introducing myself to his teacher, and march all four of us out of the inferno-like heat of the chaotic classroom, down the hall, and into Nick’s classroom. Same issues there – less people – but Gabe is trying to micromanage Matthew, and I can’t focus on anything. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
Quick introductions fill out the bus vs. parent pick up paperwork (say that three times fast!) and we head through the doorway, as I adeptly steer the boys away from the neon-red popsicles being offered in the courtyard, and straight for the van. Parked three blocks away. As I am attempting to exhale in the scorching heat (that waited for September to arrive here in the northwest), Matthew runs out into the street in front of a construction truck and scream his name louder than anyone person should ever yell. But he stops. And I breathe again.
And we drive home.
Where I open a bottle of wine, and pour myself a glass. I’ve earned it.
Refocus. I have only once choice. Gabriel goes back to public school.
I call the head of special services, have an amazing conversation with her (really) and leave the conversation feeling like although I’ve probably sold my soul to the devil, I will hopefully get forgiveness.
I move onto the part that I am most worried about – I have to tell Gabe. It is around 14 hours before school starts, and I tell Gabe I need to talk with him. I break the news about the school change and the fact that he will not be going to school in the morning and not going back to the private school….
Surprisingly, he’s happy. That’s a win. Why? Two words: HOT LUNCH. He’s a simple child.
Once everyone is in bed, I sort supplies (yep, that didn’t happen before we left for teacher meet and greet, I’m clearly winning the mom of the year award this school year), and layout clothing and then call it a night and sleep.
The first day of school…
That’s gonna have to wait for another day. lol