Friday, January 23, 2009

Middle aged romance and teenage rebellion

Hey there,





I know that I haven't posted in a while, things are fine. For the most part, I've been feeling . . . content, I guess. Isn't that what you call it when your needs are being met? To be honest, I really haven't got a lot of needs that go un-met on a regular basis. In fact, lately, life has given me a few extra gifts to keep me busy. Things like a couple of days of spring-like weather in the middle of January. Yesterday, It was 65 degrees! (I think that's 33C) So, I was out, and doing my best to enjoy it while it lasted. Today, we are headed back to more typical, cold weather for this time of year and I'm doing my best not to complain.



I was over at Jasmin's blog today, and she 's all decked out for Valentines day. I used to wonder why they placed Valentine's day in the dead of winter on the Calendar. I always thought that it would be better placed in the spring. This year, I'm feeling like it's starting to make a little more sense. I've spent the last couple of months stuck in the house, looking at my husband, who by the way, is driving me crazy with his lethargy and SAD behavior. To tell the truth, I was on the verge of lashing out at him, and giving some thought to slapping him around a bit. (just to cheer myself up) Well, actually, I had already set in motion a bit of verbal abuse, when it suddenly occurred to me that it really wasn't getting me what I wanted. Maybe, it was the sudden dose of warm air and sunshine that cleared my thinking? At any rate, I had to stop and consider what it was that I did want. I want a lot of things, so it's hard to decide. In the end, I chose sweetness over bitterness, and the rewards are . . . nice! So now, I'm feeling a bit more Valentine-zy. I'm craving hearts and flowers and chocolate. Actually, not so much chocolate, 'cause I'm feeling well loved right now, and that's a good thing.

In fact, I am having fantasies of booking a room at the Great Wolf Lodge (here in K.C. ) and spending a weekend snuggled in front of a roaring fireplace (without children) while the snow falls in feet rather than increments of an inch or less. But see, there I am again, wanting snow. I just want one really good snowfall and then I can say, "Okay, I'm done. We've had an acceptable winter and we can move on now."

Anyway, such romantic thoughts are fine and dandy for old married folks such as myself. Well, unless you are reading this and happen to be my mom, or one of my sophisticated and too cool offspring. In which case, you're probably thinking, "Ewwww! Please, could you go back to bitching, now?!"

And so . . . since I have plenty of children, and way too many dogs for any sane person, I have an ever abundant source of strange and bizarre things to whinge and mindlessly ramble on about. So, if you were some weird and freaky perve who stumbled upon my site in search of cheap thrills, you can move on now..

For the past two mornings, I have been awakened by some odd phone calls. Phone calls that I guess, are to be expected when one has a teenager in Junior high school. *Sigh* I'm just too old (or jaded?) to be dealing with this foolishness.

MY son, my sweet child, whose first words and steps once made my heart leap for joy . . . UGH. Let's see here, Wednesday morning, well, it was afternoon because, well, it's a long story, but I was sleeping. Anyway, Jake's principal called to inform me that my son, who was on speaker phone, yet strangely had nothing to say, was in her office because he had been "referred to her". That's what they call it when your kid is in trouble now. They make it sound like there's some kind of HMO involved ( or maybe should be involved?) as opposed to your kid just acting like a normal obnoxious, rebellious, twit in class. Anyway, the reason for said referral was, because he was listening to his MP3 player during instruction time. GASP ! My son, blowing off academic instruction?! It can't be! Unfortunately, he was caught in the act, with witnesses and everything. The principal informed me that this was the second time that this had happened and according to school policy, if it happened again, he would have his MP3 taken away and I would have to come pick it up from the office. I'm still trying to figure out if the goal was to punish Jake, or merely inconvenience me? Oh well, I told her that I understood, and that was that. Everything except for the heart to heart chat that I had to have with my son that evening. Total waste of time, might as well have been talking to myself.

The next morning as I lay sleeping, the phone rang again and this time, it was the Vice Principal. Apparently, the referral system at school is a bit jammed up, because the VP was just getting around to a referral about Jake that was written on Tuesday. (another MP3 violation) When he went to retrieve my son from class, guess what he found him doing? He was sitting in class, with his feet casually propped on the desk and his MP3 ear buds corked in his ears. Damn it. He wanted to inform me that Jake's MP3 was being confiscated and would be awaiting my pick up in his office after school. Double damn. He then went on to say that in addition to the MP3 issue, Jake seemed to be having a problem with getting himself to class on time. Over the past 10 days of the new quarter, Jake had managed to accumulate 7 tardies. My sweet quiet child has become such a social butterfly, that the temptation to chat in the halls during passing period seems to be too great. As a result, Jake had been given a couple of ASD's (after school detentions,) that he had also managed to blow off. To rectify that situation, he was being placed in ISS (in school suspension) for the day, AND for the next 10 days he would be given private passing periods. Which means that while everyone else is changing classes, Jake will wait, and then be given an extra 2 minutes to pass while the halls are empty. So he still gets to socialize for the five minutes during passing period, he just has and extra two minutes to get to class. How is that a bad thing?

I'm absolutely amazed at all the politically correct changes that have occurred since I was in school. Not only has being sent to the office turned into " a referral", but punishments are now "consequences." Which sounds as if it's something that inevitably "just happens", like lunch or acne, certainly not anything that they should be ashamed of, or feel responsible for. What we used to call 8th hours, are now after school detentions. That sounds like something a nerd would sign up for because they didn't have anything better to do. Even the worst "consequences" like ISS and OSS (out of school suspension) sound like accomplishments, something that they should be congratulated for. Are kids supposed to shake in their boots when a principal says,
"Well, Mister, you've just earned yourself an ISS?"
I would be thinking, "Cool, it'll look great on my transcript with all my referrals and ASD's !"

And the only one who is even inconvenienced, is the parents! As I was waiting in the school office this afternoon, to pick up Jake's MP3, I was looking over the parent info on the office bulletin board. One of the flyers was the school's solution for, "children, aged 12 -18 who have made poor choices or bad judgements that have resulted in earning OSS (out of school suspension ) status." Apparently, some working parents are concerned that their little darlings are left home alone with nothing to do with themselves! The schools recommended response to this issue is a service that allows parents to drop their Jr. high and high school children off at school, and they will receive assistance in completing missed home work, or they can sign up for special classes. And best of all, it will ONLY cost the parents $40.00 per OSS school day ! Ummm . . . first of all, if they are on OSS, and you send them back to school to do school work, then it ISN'T an OSS, it's an ISS, so what's the point?! Secondly, when I was in school, an out of school suspension meant that not only were you not allowed on school grounds, but you LOST the chance to make up school work. You had to take a big, fat Zero for those missed assignments. But I guess all that got changed when President Bush passed "No delinquent left behind."

Maybe I really am getting old, but I just don't see the point in any of this. When Jake came home from school on Thursday, the most effective thing that I could say to him was,
"Okay Jake, this is your last warning. Either you pull your head out of your ass at school, or I am going to take you out and home school you."
His eyes got huge, his mouth dropped open, and all he could do was utter the words, "NO !"
That's right, he'd actually have to DO school work during school time. And if he jacked around with me, there wouldn't be "consequences", there would be punishments, and I KNOW how to make his life a living hell. On the other hand, he'd go back to all B grades, and he might actually learn something. (Other than the words to all the songs on the Hollywood Undead CD. )Hmmmm . . . that sounds like it might not be such a bad idea. Unfortunately, I'd really like to have a life someday.

Uh-oh. I have to go. Roy was playing ball with Angel in the house -again - and the tennis ball landed on the stove and caught fire. I have to do something about the smell in here.

By the way, it's snowing !

Love ya all,
Susan

2 howled back:

Cat said...

Ya know I stopped letting my kids school tell me I had to jump through hoops =- I call when a meeting is needed - I cannot lose a day - if my kis lost his phone due to his misconduct - then he either waits for the school to mail it home to us or the school relents and give sit back to him after a few days. They know I wont come down there for any little thing now, I am involved in my son and his progress - BUT punishing me - when I have so many other things to be responsible for just does not cut it anymore...

Teens.... UGh!

Hey the way I am feeling lately I am likely to check myself into a hotel alone for valentines day and watch movesi like thelma and louise over and over again!

Hvae a great weekend!

Cat

sparsely kate said...

I'm on the regular weird, freaky perverts that reads your blog and I had a few big chuckles to myself in this.

Yeah the school stuff sounds kind of crazy...I"m just enjoying the fact my kids are still at the age where a trip to the Principals office DOES have them quacking in their boots. I know that in a year or so, it'll be a big joke to my oldest two.

I like Cat's idea of Valentine's day as well. Husband optional. :)

Hope you and Roy get that time to yourselves... I got married on a Valentine's Day in 1999. Fat lotta good that did me though!

love mel x