A weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.
It seems a long time now since half term, the first week back has been as eventful as any a week can be. Add school and wait for the explosion, but more of that in a moment.
In complete contrast, the week previous, half term, was wildly unexciting and, in a good way, uneventful. No one wanted to go anywhere or do anything and for me knowing, my mental wellbeing was airing on the side of low, I was happy with this. Why put any of us under any unnecessary stress or pressure. What this did mean was a week where we mostly were at home, doing very little. Rubbing up against each other, within the four walls of our safe haven, home, left me feeling, well, like I might tear my hair out. I most definitely resembled some politically incorrect characterisation of a patient in a loony bin. Unkempt and running out of comfy sweatshirts and elasticised trousers, it was time for the children to return to school and me to get a life.
So Monday morning saw the moment arrive, and surprisingly it went quite smoothly. I sighed, closed the front door and set about doing things. Not very exciting things, but things I can’t do without interruption, I don’t like being interrupted, so during the holidays I attempt little more than the necessary. Tasks complete and a little “me” time thrown in, the boys returned from school, and all seemed fairly satisfactory. Don’t you hate it when things lull you into a false sense of security?
By the end of Wednesday I had a sense of wanting to wage war on all of the education system.
I really don’t want to detail it all, we’d be here for days and I might work myself back into the enraged whirling dervish I spent most of Wednesday inhabiting. Let’s just say Tuesday was a difficult day.
First it took me 2 hours to get Small into school.
After delivering Small into school I spent another hour in a meeting with school.
On returning home, I took a little time to myself, half an hour of yoga.
Afterwards I checked my phone, two new messages from school, about half an hour apart. My mind raced, would this be one child or both. I listened to the first message which asked me to collect Tall from School.
I phone school, only to discover, from a Pastoral Manager, that I am no longer required to collect Tall, he’s calmed and message number two details this. Phew, so Small is ok, but is Tall really ok?
I spend the rest of the afternoon stewing about the behaviour I now know Tall has displayed in school, well particularly the part where he tried to smash his phone in anger, and worrying about how he’s doing.
He doesn’t come home after school, he goes to a club. In this club he then assaults another child.
When he comes home he fails to inform me of this, an hour later I receive the email.
It details his behaviour and indicates an internal exclusion will take place.
Tuesday evening I spend sifting through the fallout from the day.
First, I have Small to comfort and sooth, after he’s had a difficult day. He has been “forced” to go to all his lessons and “it’s too hard” he “hates” school. In the meeting I’d had that very morning I had raised this point with the support worker. The reply is,
“Until Small starts to tell us what he is finding difficult, we can’t really support him properly.”
This has annoyed me on so many levels, however, in a bid to support the staff, and Small, I agree to complete an assessment of his timetable with him, to identify difficult spots, areas of anxiety and those of that he enjoys. I spend an hour gradually extracting the vital information from my much closed up boy.
Next I work through Tall’s day. We reflect on the choices he made and the actions they lead to. We try and identify where different choices could be made and talk about the need to be brave and face the consequences the following day. It’s a long evening.
Wednesday morning, Tall goes off to school with his brave face on. Half an hour later I’m collecting him from school after a brief phone call informing me “Tall is not welcome on school premises today”
His face is full of bewilderment as he comes out the main entrance.
“What’s going on?” he asks.
“You are being excluded”.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I know that an assault is always going to carry a consequence, however, I very much do not appreciate being told one thing and another happening, especially when I am then expected at school “immediately” to collect my son, who not one person has had the decency to explain the situation too. The flames of my rage are fanned to an inferno later in the day, when an email from a member of staff uses very unprofessional language to detail both my boy’s behaviour in school. I only come down of the ceiling later that evening, when I discover, unpleasantly, that I’ve been struck by a very nasty bug. I take to my bed for a couple of days and try to put school out of my mind.
In Other News
Dad attends a meeting the following day, but feeling vulnerable about our relationship with school, I keep both boys off. Another meeting is to follow this week.
Friday we receive the letter which detail’s Tall’s exclusion, two days after the event.
I’ve nearly made a full recovery but it’s been a miserable few days, I’m so pleased to be able to eat a decent meal today.
We’ve had a great family outing today, to tenpin bowling, and I won a game. So what we had the sides up and I was told most my strikes didn’t count because they bounce off the sides, I’ll take a victory where ever I can.