Bridges, Updating Thereof

He isn't serving detention

I'd emailed the principal before 6 that night, and heard nothing back all the next day until my son came home from school and told me he'd been pulled into an office where they asked for a letter from me, and when he didn't produce one, they told him that he'd be in detention on Thursday. 

So. They're talking to me through my kid. So.

At that point, I broke down and called the principal, who was in a meeting, as was every single 6th grade authority figure...but gosh, they'd be happy to leave a note that I called

The next day, I sent them the letter they'd asked my son for, oh yes I did. (I may have gone a little overboard with it.) (Bygones.) (It's after the jump.) Four hours into the school day, my phone rang. It was the principal, who cleared up a few things for me, most importantly that if he really had been legitimately late, he wouldn't have to serve detention. And he was legitimately late, so he doesn't have to serve it. 

And now I need a nap. 



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Bridges, Burning Thereof

My son came home yesterday with a detention slip (D-Hall, they call it). He's served detention once before, for being late to class because mom, the PE teacher locked us out of the gym after lap time and didn't let us in until after the bell rang! which I used my Little Orphan Annie ring to decode into my friends and I walk the last lap of our mile run because we have to talk about girls and MW3 sometimes, jeez, and because we do this we didn't even get to the doors of the gym until after the bell rang and that jerk of a teacher had the gall to punish us for it

I made him serve that D-Hall, oh yes I did, and apologize to the PE teacher for disrespecting his class. 

I mention this only to establish that I don't have problems with authority figures, nor do I take any issue with a Jr High teacher doing whatever the hell it takes to maintain a semblance of order. You give those kids an inch and they will eat you alive. I get that. 

So my son shows me his D-Hall slip and tells me it's for another tardy to class, and I am like OH MY GOD WHY AGAIN? and he explains to me that yesterday was the day he was testing up in orchestra (harder music, better chairs, etc) and so after 2nd period he *ran* his little butt all the way to orchestra because oh em gee mom, I was soooo excited! 

You know when you're driving home from work and you get distracted in your head, and then you realize you missed your exit? Yeah, my son has orchestra 4th period, not 3rd. 

So he hauled his little butt all the way from downstairs where orchestra is to upstairs where science is and kept getting stopped by hall monitors asking why he was running, so he made it to class two minutes after the bell rang. Because, you know, he was so excited TO TAKE A TEST.

And for that, he got one hour and 50 minutes of detention. 

Now, I get it that the school has a tardy=detention policy, which, for the record, is absolutely ridiculous and total overkill and lazy educating, if you ask me. However, my concern with it is more that it is a no-exception rule. EVERY class tardy results in D-Hall, no matter why, no exceptions. Or so I was told by the jerk I had to talk to about this yesterday.

After I went into the school, asked to talk to someone, waited for 20 minutes, got told no one could talk to me, got blank-stared at until they realized I wasn't budging, was offered a phone call in an hour, went home, waited four hours for that phone call, was told that they didn't have time to talk about it but would send my son home and call me later, then called me after dinner, some man I've never met told me that I couldn't do anything about how *he* chose to discipline *my* son. 

He was all, "Look, Mr Lady, I get your point that it was an honest mistake, but his actions have consequences and he has to accept them" and I was like, "So you think it's fine to punish him for wanting to take a test?" and he was like, "Yes" and I was like "And you think a two hour detention for a two minute tardy isn't over the top?" and he was all "It doesn't matter if they're five seconds late or five minutes late; a tardy is a tardy and gets DHall" and I said, "So what do we do when I refuse to make him serve this?" and he said, "Um...You can't."

So I said I would think about it and send a note in tomorrow. 

But then I thought about it and decided that if I'm going to talk to someone about this, it isn't going to be Captain Brick Wall who forgets that *I* am the child's mother, and once that school bell rings, he has no legal authority over my kid. So I busted out the code of conduct, to find out the appeals process for disciplinary action. And guess what? THERE ISN'T ONE.

You can appeal your death row conviction in Texas, but you can't appeal D-Hall. 

But I'm going to anyway. Part of me feels ridiculous, like I should just let him serve the detention and get it over with. All he'll do is sit there for two hours doing homework, and I'll be slightly inconvenienced by needing to go pick him up in rush hour traffic, but this could all be done with today. And if they guy I'd talked to had shown once ounce of willingness to listen to what I was saying, I probably would have gone that route. But if this guy is willing to talk to a parent the way he talked to me, I can't even imagine how he talks to 11 year old children. 

So I went over his head.

I emailed the principal last night. The email is cut and pasted after the jump, in case you want to mock my skillz of a tiger mom. 

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Would you be mine, could you be mine, won't you be my village?

::ties shoelaces::

Dear Internet, 

Meet 2of3. 2of3 is, by every definition of the word, my middle child. He is silly and outlandish and hysterical and he feels *everything* and he needs validation on a constant basis and absolutely must be accepted into social circles and is in no way, shape of form afraid of color.

While every other jr high school boy is wearing enough black that they, themselves, become matter-sucking holes in the universe, with emovers, my 2of3 is wearing purple t-shirts or pink polos with these.

He is the kind of person who isn't able to bring himself to actually *do* silly things, but he sure as shit will wear them. I have no idea where he gets this from, but I love it about him. In a world of carbon-copied mediocrity, my son has a style that is all his own, and he rocks the shit out of it. 


Jr High School has done what Jr High School does to all of us eventually. My son spent the better part of the day listening to people point and laugh at his *girl* shoes. GIRL SHOES, INTERNETS. 

And just like that, he doesn't want to wear his shoes to school anymore. Just like that, his power animal inhaled a Marlboro red and was all, "Slide, bitch." 

If Jr High School sucks the originality out of the one child in this school zone who has any, I just won't be able to go on. I need him to be able to confidently walk into school tomorrow being the person he is, the Greyscaled Axe mafia be damned. 

Of course, I just want to go punch them all in their throats, so I need you, internet, to help me fight pre-pubescence with fire. He needs a comeback line, one great line to say that will give him his mojo back. Preferably one that won't also get him suspended. 

::buttons up cardigan::


It's not that you used the word "boobs" to test out fonts on the powerpoint project you were working on in History class, it's how hard you teacher laughed when he told me about it.

Because that's the effect you have on people. Things bounce off of you and change on their way back to everyone else they reach. They're softened and distorted and askew and in every way made better by having touched you.

God knows I am.

It's not that you worship Eminem despite my most sincere (and hypocritical) protests, it's that when you get the fishtank you've always wanted for your birthday, you named those tiny little fish who help you fall asleep at night Marshall and Mathers. It's not that you were so pissed that I wouldn't let you sit with your friends at junior high school orientation, it's that you couldn't stop laughing at me for forgetting to wash my drawn in mustache off my face before we got there.

How far your grow from me is always relative to how close you need to be to me. Every time you push, you simultaneously pull. You are as ready to grow up as I am to let you, and you want to reach this next level in your life as much as I am anxious to watch you grab your life and live it.

It's not how hard you cringed while we sat on your bedroom floor before dawn this morning, surrounding a little, flaming birthday cake, singing Happy Birthday to you in grossly distorted keys, it's that afterward you crawled around the circle of your family, hugging and kissing each one of us, even your big brother whom you forget in that moment is a total dee-bag nerf-herder.

It's not that you in every way remind me so much of myself that I hurt for you sometimes, because I know what being the kind of person we are does to people like us and all I can pray is that I did better by you than was done by me, it's that you in every way remind me so much of myself sometimes that I thank god for you, because I know how easy it is to forget what being a person like we are means we can be, and all I can do is pray that you will never forget the wonder that you are.

But you haven't forgotten. And I think you're rubbing off on all of us.

And thank god for that.

Happiest eleventh birthday, my angel. Thanks for picking me.

Christmas Cards Make Everything Shit

I find myself as of late completely unable to do most of the things I've always done with effortless efficiency. Like, cook, or write, or take a picture.

It's like one day I woke up and couldn't walk. This has happened before. One day, 18 years ago, I woke up and I couldn't play the piano anymore, and I'd been playing the piano for about 10 years previous, daily. I loved playing the piano, I taught myself and was hideous to watch but delightful to hear, and I just realized that playing the piano is exactly like having sex and funny, because I woke up one day eight weeks ago unable to do that either and oh my god fuck my life.

But the weird thing was that one day I could do it, and the next day I just couldn't. I couldn't read the notes, my fingers couldn't find the keys, the peddles made no sense to me. It was selective amnesia and the part that was selected was the Theme to the Incredible Hulk sheet music. Maybe the world is better off for it, I don't know.

Lately, everything I've cooked has come out all kinds of wrong, and I've blamed the change in altitude and stocked up on Hamburger Helper just in case. And then my camera broke one day, but it didn't break in the traditional way, it broke in the I fucking hate you, motherfucker kind of way that means it actually works perfectly fine, I am just incapable of operating it anymore. Of course, I thought the settings were all jacked up and happily blamed it on that and swtiched my my phone's camera until my brother could come save the day with his amazing skillz of a hacker but oh no, he tells me it's me.  35 years, eight months and 27 days he's known me, and he still thinks it's smart to tell me things like, "It's you, Shannon; you fucked it" like I'd put clip art on it or something.

But it's me, Shannon. I have a brain full of clip art. It's shit and I can't take a damn picture to save my life right now. This is only inconvenient in that it's Christmas-time and if I don't send my inlaws a picture of my children, whom they haven't seen in, oh, years, they will team up to make my life more miserable. So I finally found one night when no one was getting grounded for the next five weeks and no one was biting all the other someones and no one was painting his toenails black and listening to Distingration on loop and I bribed them with treats to put some goop in their hair and stand almost touching each other for a few minutes.

Of course, it didn't work out so well for me, because, yeah. I can't take pictures anymore.
This one would have been really awesome if I'd only remembered how to focus on something. Anything. One thing.
And then this one was pretty awesome with the utter disdain on the face of 1/5th of my family. If only everyone mirrored it. And I'd had the right lighting.
I love this one. I love it so much I want to kiss it. She just decided we needed to pray half-way through, which is only funny because I don't exactly so much believe in god and she's seen me pray exactly never times. But, yeah, completely unsalvageable. Which, #@*%.
Or This
And this one would have been precisely what I was going for. All I had to do was make some really awful joke about myself, throw in one of the more colorful words my kids wish they could say without gnawing on a whole bar of Ivory after, and voila! Shiny happy children! Giggles and laughter! And no ones chonies were showing! It was made of WIN except it's complete shit and I can't use it.

But I have to use something. So you get to vote for one of these two:
Family Christmas Disaster #1
Family Christmas Disaster #2
I know they're not fantastic, but have you ever tried to get a five year old girl to do anything twice? These are what I'm stuck with. Which one sucks less?