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They are super short handed on busses and we actually have weird routes where kids are expected to meet at a general neighborhood stop and then the bus has fewer stops and we can run routes with fewer drivers. I suspect your district is the same hence the weirdness. But they know every year they're going to get a lot of parents calling because I find the worst people in logistics design and publish routes. LOL hence the call you got.

As for school supplies this year I cut my requests down. I basically just requested charging cords for laptops/tablets, some paper and some pencils. Everything else I will provide. I mean those charging cords are going to be expensive as hell anyways. My friends and church people are pitching in for everything else. Sanitizer, tissues, snacks, water and anything else.

It's hard hiring for schools right now so I totally understand your vote of non-confidence for E's teacher. It really hurts my soul to tell some parents that sometimes the best thing is homeschooling in some districts. Too be honest I'd probably be like his teacher feels to you because of my own fears and teaching baggage. It's why I purposely teach in a charter school where the kids test to get in. You have to do what is good for your kid and I think you're an awesome advocate.

We were a sea of burgundy and maroon at school yesterday as every dressed up in Uvalde school colors to support the returning students at Uvalde.

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E's teacher is an older lady. So was last year's. I was worried at first but then she turned into his 2nd biggest advocate.

And I forgot to mention that we found out that E's occupational therapy practice is essentially going under. No one has been paid in 3 weeks so the therapists all walked out. E's OT actually said he would finish out this week. The man is a Saint. You guys got any idea for a gift I can get him to say thanks? Would a grocery store gift card be something helpful? I find it so shitty the owner can't pay people. Billing has been a hot mess for a long time so it's not entirely surprising.

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I'd go for something more generic like Target or Walmart or a straight up Visa gift card. If he's about to be jobless (and paycheckwise, he's already there), then getting food and food stamps is generally way easier than figuring out how you're going to pay for things like toiletries, new socks, household cleaners, etc. But that's my advice from being poor. 

If you're just going for a nice gesture, then anything works. Just make sure you include a note explaining the difference he's made in your lives and how you appreciate it. 

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I give out cash now to a lot of people struggling. A friend who works in IT was just let go in my complex. I gave her some of Tina's stuff to sell online and told her to keep the money from the sale. She's a divorced mother and was doing work from home on call IT. It's pretty bad when IT jobs get cut.

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E had his first Cub Scout meeting and he actually had fun and enjoyed it. Lately he complains about anything that requires him to leave the house. It was obviously a recruitment meeting so it was all just fun. His energy was not too far off the other boys, and the adults seemed pretty laid back. I was probably hovering compared to the others but he definitely needed some reminders and redirection a few times. I asked that we get to attend a pack or den meeting before committing to make sure he still likes it. There are a few boys and maybe a girl in the Bear Den so hopefully he makes some friends.

School also seems to be going well after they finally implemented the rewards system that I warned them he needed right away. 

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Month or so away from kid having his own car. Seven months away from him turning 18.

With no more legal custody schedule to adhere to, I know he’d prefer to live with me… but at the same time, said car is insured with his mother, and I know she’d prefer he was living there.

Thing is, work has been slow, which means money isn’t great, which means I need to cut down on expenses. Not having the kid, and having my girlfriend move in to split expenses would let me save back up the money I spent during Covid year one that was supposed to help me buy a house.

I really feel weird planning a future where I don’t offer my kid a home… even though I know it’s temporary until I can upgrade to a house, even though he’s of the age where he could move out and live with friends if he wanted, even though I’m still close by and able to help him with anything, even though he will be perfectly safe and taken care of at his mom’s, and even though he will have college, a job, a car, and a social life… I’m convinced me doing this is sending him a message that he is unwanted.

Abandonment issues rule.

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Essentially, yes. We both work from home. She currently has a 2 bed room, I have a 3 bedroom, we can share a bedroom obv, but we both need offices. She’s also coming in with all her stuff— so it will still be a guest room he could stay in, but it’s also going to be her office. We’ll both put stuff in storage too. We have been perusing new places, but we’d end up spending a lot more in moving fees and higher rent.

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We went to Cub Scouts a 2nd time tonight. To be honest, I thought it was a hot mess but E seems really interested. They were making duct tape wallets, which I guess is a Scout tradition. They had 5 or 6 rolls of tape and about 6 scissors and 5 rulers for 18 Scouts K-5. E and I "helped" a Webelo make one but really I'd rather sit down with E later and actually help him with it because it was so hard to keep him engaged with so much sharing of supplies. There are definitely some high energy boys so at least he doesn't stand out too much. It was also a pack meeting so it was a little painful to sit through so much adult talk. I think den meetings might be better for him. Smaller groups and less adult boring stuff.

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Finding a way to keep the Cubs engaged during a pack meeting is one of the hardest parts of running a pack. We've done so many different things with mixed results. 

**PEDANTIC SCOUTING NERD ALERT** You helped a "webelos", not "webelo". It's a word that ends in S, not a plural. I know, I know. It sounds wrong to us. But "Webelos" stands for WE'll Be LOyal Scouts, and if you say "webelo" you leave off the "scouts" part. That said, this is EXTREMELY common to hear, and I'm sure I'm universally despised for correcting people. 

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I've always wondered how they came up with that name.

Q got selected for Student of the Month already.  I'm starting to feel better about her school year.  Her 504 plan was not communicated well and I think it resulted in some misunderstandings. Q gets really frustrated when she tries to advocate for herself and gets blown off. For instance, the choir teacher put her up front but to the side. She has been raising her hand to tell the director that she can't see the board at the angle but the director keeps telling her "not now" and won't take the time to talk to her about what her concern is. It's really frustrating because it's honestly so simple and yet the director has blown her off for over a week. I am trying to help her self-advocate but I feel like she really is ignored by lots of adults.

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Geez Louise that uniform was expensive. And he will wear it for 1 year. I'm not sure how that World Crest was $15. And I don't even think we got everything, but I pissed off the lady at the store by refusing to go one size larger on E's uniform because a Small was already pretty large and he's going to wear it for one year before he moves up to Webelos. So when I asked if I had missed anything, she ignored me. She spent like 30 minutes positively doting over this one family with 3 boys, and absolutely ignored us until she was done with them.

Also the lady at the Scout store said Webelo at least twice and I smirked internally. Thanks for now making me pedantic, too.

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Most patches are $2-5. I believe the World Crest Emblem is like $2.50. What the hell did they charge you for?? Was it all pre-sewn?

You need the shirt, World Crest, council patch, numbers for your pack, Bear neckerchief (blue), and the belt. If your pack requires it, then you also need the pants, but most packs don't require it. The cap is not needed. 

We switch Luke to a pack closer to our house. Last year we joined my ex-boss's pack to help them out. But then she let me go, so I don't feel the need to drive 30 minutes to stay on there. Trevor volunteered to be the Tiger den leader, and our new Cubmaster seems desperate to find people to fill positions. I've offered up my assistance wherever they need it, but nobody has really acknowledged it yet. Unlike in Houston, most of the packs in this area seem to be run almost exclusively by men. I can't help but feel that they're ignoring me because I'm a woman. Most of these men will be moving on with their kids in the spring, which is why they're so desperate to fill volunteer positions. 

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Yeah I need to find the receipt again because I must've been mischarged. I found it online for much cheaper, obviously. I don't think they require the pants, and we have blue pants anyway from school uniforms. We got the hat because E wanted it.

Sorry that you're being dismissed because of your gender. Can confirm that definitely happens.

I'm admittedly avoiding picking up any positions because I really just want to be there for E the first year. And the jobs they're looking for help with do not seem to be a good fit for a new parent.

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I have to present to the school board tomorrow our improvement plan and make the case for our charter's re-authorization--it is kind of a big deal.  I am super nervous--I am considering applying for the superintendent position when the current one retires so I need to make a good impression. 

I was actually on the committee to approve a new charter school (It is backed by Hillsdale College--this is a far right wing school called Accent Classical Academy that pretends not to be religious) and I voted against it so I am being heckled by the religious right.  Anyways--it is scheduled to be at 730 MST but the board usually runs behind - I can post the link.  I could use the support if anyone pops in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I realize that I'm fortunate enough to have options here, but when do you pull your kid from a toxic situation? I feel like I have to do it a lot and I don't know why my kids can't just have stable environments. We are considering pulling Q from the private school and putting her in our local public school. Honestly, I probably should have done it at the end of last year after the awful year we had. Her new teacher has implemented this house system that is a direct ripoff of Harry Potter and its turned the kids against each other. The "rich" kids think this is a hoity toity prep school and get away with murder because their parents make big donations. I feel like the kids are running the school instead of the adults and they are making Q's life hell and her anxiety is through the roof. I'm sure public school can suck, too, but this school hasn't been the same since COVID. Academically she is killing it. All As except for an 89.7% B+. I don't think she's gifted, just a good student.

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I don't think any amount of exposure to toxic environments is good when they're that young. If it's something that definitely isn't improving, don't hesitate. Just do it. You might just find that you're kicking yourself for not doing it sooner. 

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Honestly, every time I've had to do it, I'm so relieved. Every time it has been the right choice, and the couple of times I've ignored the kids and listened to the toxic adults, my kids were always right in the end. So my batting average is good but I worry I'm too reactive. I worry my kids aren't going to be tough enough, but if they're miserable, they've already been toughing it out. I guess no wonder we have so many adults burning out?

I basically shooted my shot today with the school and reported all the little jerks making her life hell, and specifically said these kids think they can get away with murder because their parents are the top donors. At this point I have nothing to lose, and a couple hundred a month in tuition back in my pocket book. If they don't want to do anything about it, I know my answer. One of our good friends is also reporting one of the kids for making sexually harassing comments towards her daughters.

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I did also get some news this weekend that reinforced I'm not overreacting to these bad environments. Her former soccer team that we left on very bad terms just got dropped to the bottom division because they are getting killed, primarily because they lost 4 more players by the end of the season and only gained 2 more at tryouts. They can barely field a team and have to borrow from the younger team. Now even the younger team (same coach) got dropped and I've heard from 2 more families that they are leaving at the end of the season. They may not even have a team for those 2 age groups next year or they will have to combine to cobble together 1 team and make the younger girls play up. Karma is delicious sometimes, but at least I can say it wasn't just me, at least 4 other families bailed on that environment within a few months.

Q is waffling on whether she wants to leave the school. The truth is I know she's only staying because of her friends, namely about 4 of them. 2 of them are legitimate good friends and we spend lots of time with them outside of school. The 2 others are BFFs with each other, and she is the 3rd wheel, and honestly, their parents are not interested in facilitating their friendship with her. So I don't want to manipulate or strong arm her, but I think we need to help her see that she will be happier at the local public school, even if making new friends is scary. We will see how this week goes. She has 2 weeks until the end of the quarter, which is my personal deadline because we are on the hook for the full quarter of tuition if she even attends one day of the quarter. 

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