Apr 8, 2009

This is me screaming!

Today started off normal enough. The alarm woke me from by brief sleep at about 6:50a so I got up and laid out the kids clothes. They got dressed while I rummaged through their school bags to sign forms and get caught up on how well they are doing. I rushed them to school and we pulled up right at 8:00a…late again.

As I headed in for work I smell something burning and see smoke from the front of my car… just what I needed. The belt is busted so I turn back and head for home hoping to make it before the battery gives since the alternator is no longer running. I make it home and the downhill slide begins. My truck is in the garage with a bad battery, the van has a leak and overheats, and now the car needs a new belt. The upside is that it’s nice out so I can take the Harley to work but it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

As I’m getting ready to leave, the second time, I get a phone call from my little one’s school principal. She’s decided they have been tardy too many times and that school starts at 7:45a, not 8a as posted everywhere and commonly known. So I tell her politely that I’m trying but 12 – 14hrs of sleep a week is tough and I haven’t found a good schedule that works. She tells me she understands and proceeds to let me know that the children will be disciplined.


I concede that I’m horrible about getting them to school on time, not to mention she thinks school starts 15 minutes earlier than is noted on any documentation I’ve seen, but to tell me that you are going to punish my children for actions they are in no way accountable for is crossing a line with me. I’d like to say I gave her the what for at this point…but for some reason I could hardly understand what I was saying on the phone through all the crying which quickly ended as she tried to talk over me. We both got louder and louder as I explained that I understand and appreciate her position on the matter but that she will not discipline my children for events out of their control. We bounced the point back and forth; she apparently doesn’t know what “I UNDERSTAND” means. She tried to tell me that she understands my “situation” and has had an experience in her family. Because the conversation was already deteriorating  didn’t say it out loud but I wanted to ask “Why would you patronize me by telling me you or someone you know lost a spouse like I have?”

Really, your spouse had bipolar disorder and your marriage was a roller coaster?

You too feel guilty cause you remember the days when you didn’t want them around but would now give anything to have them back?

You are stressed to the max at trying to manage your new life in the timeframe of the world that says you should be okay by now while trying not to blow up at every little stupid thing that is said to you?!?!?

At the end I just thanked her for her time and we parted. What else was there to do?

There are others out there in my “situation” but I can confidently say this principal, or anyone she knows, is not in that category. By her attitude and response I would be very surprised to be proved wrong on this.

I spent the next half hour or so being angry at everything. I was so pissed that the principal is so obtuse and myopic. I’m mad that Mindy isn’t here to help and I’m frustrated that I have way too many vehicles and they all have problems. I punched at the bed…that didn’t work. I punched at the wall…that didn’t help either.

This is one of the days where I just pray for wisdom and patience…what else is there to do?


  1. You should've explained to the principal that tardies are just another window where the school can exercise their authority onto children and brainwash them about the importance of being on time for their education. Although it is important to be on time for important things, there are situations that precede being on time. There will always be exceptions, things happen, etc.

    And being fifteen minutes late for school isn't such a deal breaker, is it? Your children's tardiness didn't infringe their or any of their classmates' education, did it? Ridiculous, really.

  2. I hate the old "I understand your situation because someone I know lost their spouse" card. Whatever! This principal is really thick. And I dont understand why they discipline the kids for something that involves the parents getting the kids there. I mean, it would be completely different if the kids were responsible for getting themselves to school... But even then... I don't know. I've never been good at "on-timeliness." I had a job that used to discipline me for being late, even by one minute!! I felt like I was in kindergarten. I always make up the time I've missed when late...

  3. OMGosh...I would have been in the principals office within 15 mins of hanging up the phone. I dread the day my kids go to school because I barely am able to get them to daycare by 9am, which means I am always running late for work. For all the extremely crazy mornings, I keep a picture of Jim in the hallway and just yell at him. Probably not the best way to handle the situation but it makes me feel better for a moment...and then I cry. So keep the power of prayer, it has got to work better.

  4. This has happened frequently over the years with my two boys receiving detentions for tardiness. In fact, it recently happened (my youngest is a Freshman) and I felt so sick of it that I called the school and gave them a piece of my mind. I have been very verbal about telling the school and coaches to give my kids a break because of their situation. In this case, my son had the detention dismissed. I feel like if I don't stick up for these kids, no one will. It has amazed me that even people knowing our situation won't cut us a little slack. I hate that my kids and I are always being held up to the same standard as those in two-parent homes.