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My Child Did WHAT???

8 Dec

So I’m laying in bed, feeding the girls this morning around 8 am when the phone rings.  I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even answer the house phone most of the time.  It’s too much trouble to unlatch babies, place them somewhere safe & try to get to the phone in time to find out that the extended warranty that I never had on my car has expired or that the police protection fund still wants my money.  I usually have my cell phone within arm’s reach & anyone important will call me there.  By the 2nd ring, the phone “announces” it’s from the kids’ school.  “Great!”, I think.  “I’ve got a sick kid & no vehicle to go get them.”  Lemme tell you, I missed my mark by a mile.

“Mrs. Williams, this is Mrs. HolierThanThou, Vice Principal of ABMS, I’m here with Mrs. WhoCares, the resource officer, I have you on speaker phone and I have PunkBoy here in my office with me …”

Speak faster woman!! is all I can think.

She goes on to tell me that a student reported that PunkBoy had a knife in his backpack.  That PunkBoy says he didn’t even know it was in there, that it had fallen out & the student reported it to a teacher.  That they feel “terrible” because they know PunkBoy is not a bad kid, that he didn’t have any ill intention, but he had a “concealed weapon” and they had to take one of three actions.  I now wish I had asked what it being “concealed” had to do with anything – had he been flailing it around, pointing it at people or popping balloons would the punishment have been less??

“Number 1 … we can >I seriously don’t remember what this option was – at this point I was still seriously dumbfounded that my child had taken a knife to school< … Which we’re not gonna do.  Number 2 … we can forward this to the school board … which we’re not gonna do – or Number 3 … we can issue 3 days of In School Suspension … which is what we’re gonna do.”  (These were literally her words – irritating, I know.)  I asked if there was an appeal process, she said no (Seriously now – WTF am I going to appeal?)

Mrs. HolierThanThou (whom I’ve had several run ins with before when trying to get a 504 plan for PunkBoy because of his Asperger’s – and of whom I do NOT like because of how she treated us – she handled this quite well though) tells me that PunkBoy is hysterical.  I’m calm, not going crazy – because it just doesn’t make sense, really – and I hear the “resource officer” (who is actually a police officer, come to think of it) say just within earshot, “… I think he’s afraid of what’s going to happen at home.”  Seriously Bitch?  You have no idea how I handle my home, and I doubt that PunkBoy announced to you that I was going to beat him when he arrives.  You just found a WEAPON on an honor roll student, you’re throwing around words – of which he has no clue of their meaning, he knows he’s in big trouble and you’re telling him he’s going to be “SUSPENDED”.  He doesn’t even know what that IS for God’s sake!

Mrs. HolierThanThou tells me I can talk to PunkBoy and she’s “going to leave the room & close the door” … I suppose a woman who beats her children would need to know there would be no ears listening when she told him what his punishment would be?

I ask PunkBoy why he had the knife & he tells me he didn’t know he did, that it must have fallen in there (along with the knife “falling” in his backpack – PunkBoy also believes that his mother just recently fell off the turnip truck), there’s no use is discussing punishment with him at this point.  I don’t have the whole story, I don’t have time to get it, I can’t look him in the face & tell if he’s lying – AND – I’ve got 2 babies laying across my stomach pulling each of my nipples in opposite directions.  I tell him to just calm down, that ISS is nothing more than going to a room, not talking, & doing his schoolwork away from everyone else (ok, so Mommy spent a day there once quite a few years ago).  I tell him we’ll talk about it when he gets home, we say our goodbyes and I wait for Mrs. HolierThanThou to get back on the phone.  I hear PunkBoy tell her that I said we’d talk about it when he gets home, and then the phone goes dead.

I call back, ask for the VP again.  I tell her I don’t know why it was there, I’m not buying that he didn’t know it was there, and that it could be anything.  He’s at his dad’s on Mondays & Tuesdays, maybe he put it in there because he wanted to bring it here & thought he wouldn’t get caught.  That I don’t think he had ill intentions [she agrees] & tell her that she just needs to explain to PunkBoy what ISS is and he’ll probably calm down – that part of his Asperger’s (which I’m sure, even with all of our meetings, she’s forgotten his has) is the need to know what’s coming next.  Change is NEVER good, even in the best circumstances (Pizza vs Pea Soup can be a disastrous change if you didn’t give him time to adjust to the idea of it).  She reiterates the same thing I had already told him and we go about our merry way.

I call his father & report the news. HillBilly says, “What the hell did he do that for? I guess I’ll have to take all his pocket knives out of his room. Blah Blah blahditty blah”  I say, “I don’t know, I’ll talk to him when he gets home, that I just thought I’d let you know since he was coming from YOUR HOUSE.”

PunkBoy gets home and I ask the details.  I hit the same brick wall as I did on the phone.  He doesn’t know, maybe it fell in there, doesn’t know how long it was in there, but he hasn’t seen it before.  When he lied to me over the summer, he had this way of somehow raising the pitch of his voice towards the end of his sentence – but at the same time, using less breath to get the words out.  It’s so hard to explain, but the only time I’ve noticed him talking like that – it’s been while he’s lying to me.  I realize this is a serious matter, a knife IS definitely a weapon, and the news will tell you even a plastic butter knife will get a kid in trouble these days … but … I’m not crazy upset about it.  He wasn’t thinking – so what – he “not thinks” nearly every day in my house, it’s usually just a hundred times less punishable … don’t hang on the hand rail, don’t touch the baby with those nasty hands, don’t touch the walls with those nasty hands, pick up that piece of trash you just dropped … stupid things.  But he’s had “knife training”, or whatever you’d like to call it.  He has a whittling chip from Boy Scouts, he knows knife safety.  While he’s not allowed to play with them like toys, he knows right from wrong when using one – and he has some that belong exclusively to him.  The problem is, he took one to a place that doesn’t allow them – by accident if I believe that lie.

How do I punish him?  Is 3 days of ISS enough of a punishment?  His father – for once – is acting like it’s a bigger deal than I feel it is … and I think Hubby feels like I should be flying off the handle too.  I’ve not let either of them realize that I’m just not that wound up about it – but seriously, I’m just more upset that he’s lying to me … again.  I thought we were past that.

I’ve implemented “at least a week” of punishment here, but I told him it’s because he’s lying to me, and I’ll decide about the following week in a couple days.  His dad says he’s punished there until after Christmas (Kudos, HillBilly, for not making me out to be the nasty disciplinarian that you usually do!  Thank you!)  He says he’ll try & talk to PunkBoy tomorrow (MonkeyFace says he sucks at talking – so we’ll see).  HillBilly seems to keep coming back to the idea that someone was picking on him & that’s why he took it.

I guess I’m just disappointed in myself.  Why am I not more worked up about this?  This is serious stuff!  Why am I willing to brush it off with minimal punishment?  I learned a long time ago, with him, I have to choose my battles or we’ll be battling all day, every day.  While I believe that he had to have known the knife was in his backpack, I just don’t think he *thought* about it.  He thought he’d move it from one house to the other just like he does medicine … he’s not supposed to have that at school either – and yet we send it back & forth between houses at least once a month, usually more.  I don’t know what to do, or how to handle it properly.  I’ve explained to him how serious it is – “Do you realize that you could have been kicked out of school for the rest of the year for this?”  Ooooo oooooo … that was Option 1 … expulsion. (Thank you, Mommy Brain.)  He’s cried every time I’ve brought it up.  I don’t think he’ll ever EVER bring a knife to school again … but this isn’t the way a lesson involving the school should be learned, I don’t think.  They ingrain this kind of stuff into these kids from day 1.  He deserves the ISS – it’s middle school, if you’re gonna learn a lesson the hard way, and it’s gonna stick around on a records … then I suppose 7th grade is better than 9th.

Mommy.  Fail.

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