Friday, September 21, 2012

Crimes and Misdemeanors

It has come to my attention that after I wander up to bed at night, Kiah the Wonder Dog jumps on the couch to sleep. I caught her the other night. She wasn’t even repentant. She looked at me smugly, stretched and curled up like a cat in the corner, yawned, and then I think she drooled on a pillow. This is a total breach of trust and our relationship is suffering.

My relationship with the kids’ school is also suffering. This has been a long yawn of a week. Ella came home with an inevitable cold and I’ve kept her home two days. This has totally messed up my home-alone routine, which does NOT consist of watching What Not to Wear on the tv because that would be a complete waste of time, no matter how valuable I think the information provided might be. (I am in serious danger of becoming a 30-something frump, according to the pretty people on the tv.)

Ella could have gone to school. I could’ve slathered Vaseline under her nose, armed her with lotion-infused tissues, and sent her on the big yellow bus. But I fear she annoys her teacher when she is well; a sick Ella might push the poor woman over the edge.

I cannot tell you how weary I am of receiving e-mails detailing Ella’s many crimes and misdemeanors. This is a completely new experience for me! My first two children were, of course, perfect in every way, and remain perennial favorites among the staff at the local elementary school. You can imagine what a shock it is to have spawned an imperfect daughter, one who colors on the desk and dances at inopportune moments during the day, say during computer time.

Apparently, the good people at the elementary school have never seen the likes of an Ella! They remain baffled and are constantly asking me why it is that she refuses to flush the toilet. My answer, “she’s terrified of flushing toilets,” does not go over well with them. Is it so inconceivable that a child with a sensory disorder might be unnerved by the sound of a flushing toilet? What sounds like a mere whoosh to me sounds like freaking Niagara Falls to her. If every time you flushed the toilet it felt like you were about to make a watery descent into the Niagara River, you might be reticent to push the lever too. Even if you’d just gone #2. (It is a felony, apparently, to go #2 at the local elementary school and not flush. A felony, I tell you!) As I imagined, the first fire drill of the year did not go over well, either.

There was a note home about that, let me tell you. That was the day after I received a terse e-mail informing me that “Ella refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance today.”

Holy crap! Refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance??? Stop the presses! This is truly newsworthy.

There are other concerns. Ella does not transition well. Ella always wants to be first. Ella cries a lot. Ella eats glue. Ella randomly takes off her shoes and flings them in the general direction of the door. (Because that’s where shoes go, by the door.)

Ella showed her belly button to the entire class and said, “I naked! Ha ha ha ha!”

I, a worrier by nature, am not sleeping at night. Not even after taking Benadryl! This is unprecedented.

So this afternoon, I told Ella she had to take a nap so I could take a nap, but the child would not sleep. Noises came from her bedroom. After twenty minutes, I wandered in and caught my chapped-lip daughter rolling around in her bed, eyes squeezed shut, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with panache.

I wandered downstairs to make some tea and caught a sheepish Kiah lying on the couch. After some consideration, I decided not to let it bother me.


Christin Snell said...

Oh my. Haven't they ever had a child in their class with a sensory disorder? This is not that uncommon of a "difference" in a child. Why don't they know anything about coping with a sensory disorder? OR why haven't they at least done a bit of research, knowing they have Ella in their class? A sensory disorder is something that you can cope with (to a degree, with lots of variations to life, and understanding people around him/her). Sounds like there isn't ANY understanding on the school's part. Be strong! Advocate for her to get what she needs! Maybe give the teacher info on how to cope with Ella - sure hope the teacher is open to help, and not just deciding up front that Ella is a problem and determined to get her out of her class. Maybe a one-on-one aide at the beginning to get her adjusted to school - someone who knows how to help her in real like situations that set her off! How frustrating for you! So sorry this is consuming your life right now! I'll pray for you!
- Christin Snell

Traci Michele said...

TOO FUNNY! My daughter is afraid of flushing toilets too!


Beth said...

There seems to be a total lack of understanding. Or rather a lack of effort to TRY to understand. My son hates flushing toilets, too. I have him cover his ears when I'm about to flush at a public place, but of course if he were in the bathroom solo, he'd leave whatever present he'd ... left ... right where it was!

Having worked in a kindergarten (only 1 year, I'll admit!) none of these behaviors seem like classroom-stopping, out-of-control, unmanageable things. Rather, they seem fairly common... even among kids without a sensory issue.

How frustrating. I imagine your nerves are a bit frayed! And it's only October, sigh...