I Tell Her Stories But I Do Not Lead By Example

I can remember it plain as day, laying in my pretty white day bed, the one with rose globes, pink ruffled bed skirt hanging down. My daddy would come in and tuck me in careful to make it just right. “Snug as a bug in a rug” he would say; he’d kiss me goodnight but before he’d go he’d tell me a story. Stories of princes and princess’s, men riding in gallantly on white horses, women with mops and terrible chores, horrible step mothers, fairy God-mothers, but mostly Prince Charming on his big white horse. He was only just Prince Charming though, no characteristics given he was just always the saving grace for the maiden. He rescued her from whatever rotten circumstances she faced and brought her home to become his Queen, where she would bare children and most likely resume her role at mopping and scrubbing only now those chores included diaper duty as well. Daddy always left that part out.

I guess I’ve become very cynical over the years. You see I tell my daughter stories too, but I don’t tell her the magical fairy tales that consumed my childhood. I don’t want to lead her on. Life isn’t that fairy tale that I bought into so long ago.

I tell my daughter stories of suitcase toting power woman. Woman who can hold their own, woman who make their own choices, take their own path, woman who marry when they are truly ready. I tell her all the characteristics that I wish I had heard. Prince Charming is a fraud. Look not for the handsome man who can be “your savior?” Be your own. Look for a man who will not just call you his queen but treat you as one. Look for a man who will build you up rather then tear you down. The man who always uses kind words, and kind hands, he needs to be a Godly man, and will not be afraid to take the reigns lead his family in worship and prayer. A hard working man, but not so hard working that he can’t see past the over time, a man who puts GOD first, FAMILY second, and all else comes next.

But the most important thing I tell her is get an education. Don’t stop at high school and marry the first man you meet who treats you decent. That’s what I did. Good enough isn’t good enough. And most importantly you want and need to be INDEPENDENT. Don’t trap yourself in a situation you can’t escape from. A situation identical to my own, three children, a terrible marriage, no education beyond the 1 year of college I completed before becoming pregnant with my second child and deciding school with two children was near impossible; especially with a husband who wouldn’t help with the care of his own children, and a family who wasn’t much help either.
I don’t expect her to wait around until her ovaries have had their last hoorah, but I sure hope she gets her ducks in a row and never depends on a man.

You see I tell my daughter stories, but I do not lead by example, and for that I can’t forgive myself

I tell her she is valuable, her worth is like no other, and unless the man knows this he isn’t good enough for her. I tell her she must be respected, and loved in a way that our Father in heaven would see fit. I tell her she’s beautiful, all of her inside and out, but most importantly inside. I tell her she is smart, and that she can do anything. ANYTHING. I tell her I will always be there. ALWAYS. And I will do my best not to let her down..

I tell her all the things I wish someone had told me.. . ..


Advocating For Your Babies

I’ve always felt like I’ve been the best advocate that I could possibly be for my children. Imagine my surprise when I was hit with the news not even a week ago I in fact had not been.

My middle child, my sweet biddy boy Caleb started Kindergarten this past August. After a year of preschool and working with at home he was still lacking a bit on knowing letters, and numbers but I had complete confidence in our district that they would do what was right for my child along with myself advocating for him as well.
From August until November I watched my child regress. I watched him go from a confident, sweet, always smiling child to very closed off, unhappy, and his confidence had taken a huge hit. As much as we worked with him at home I could see a disconnect. The nights were on, the wheels were turning, but he just couldn’t process.
I asked for testing to be done through our school. An ETR (evaluation team report) was administered, test results were briefly brushed over, and an IEP was “set in place”. I admit fully to the responsibility of not asking enough questions, not pushing for more answers. I was promised my child would receive 3 days individualized services, 2 days of group. He would also begin receiving speech services as well.
The year went on and I noticed no change. Caleb was not picking up, when I would work with him at home he identify 1 out of 3 letters half of the time. I hit a level of frustration wondering what was I doing wrong? How could I do more? What could I do to help his teachers? So much limited progress pushed me to have yet another meeting with his education team. I was assured that he was receiving his services, and that “they just didn’t know what else we could do”.
I had the discussion then of possibly retaining Caleb. Another year just to mature might do wonders for him? I still had not made up my mind yet.
I continued to work with him at home. I saw some progress but very little.
In May I received through the mail a letter for retention. The letter stated that we “had already had a meeting determining retention was best”. No such meeting had occurred so I refused to sign.
In the midst of all of this we recently moved; we now have a choice of 3 districts my husband urged to send to his home school, as I battled the decision of leaving my boys where they were already going, or send them to a new school the following year. After hearing several times from Caleb that he wasn’t going to his “special class I decided not a week ago I would schedule an appointment with the guidance counselor to see how his IEP would be handled there. She asked for a copy of his IEP and ETR to review.
I asked our current district for the copy, and they were very hesitant to giving me this copy.
Once at the new district I watch the guidance counselors body lau gage and find that maybe something is up with this IEP and ETR.
The guidance counselor closes the meeting by saying “I know for a fact we can do better then this”.
Cue scratching of my head in bewilderment.
After 5 reviews of 5 special education background individuals I find that this individualized education plan had in fact been a copy and pasted document that midway through they left the other child’s name “Christian” will be given the Woodcock to assess his annual progress yearly in areas of basic reading skills. Caleb will need the following interventions. . .
And it goes on.
I also find the my child’s IQ score was incredibly low. They chose not to disclose this with me more then likely because they knew this test was NOT administered correctly.
I was told he tested at 4 years and 6 months on his testing which put him behind only 6 months, yet IQ score barely had him at a functioning level.
I learned that my child had not received a second of intervention time, no time spent with a special education teacher, and rarely received speech services. I learned many things.
I’m heart broken. I feel like the highest failure a parent could possibly be. I failed my child miserably, our current district failed him; but Momma is the one person you should always be able to count on to be in your back corner advocating for you, and I didn’t. I trusted our district to do what was right. A district who had done so well with Caiden, a child who thrives.
I’ve learned a lot about trusting someone else to do right for your children.
We’ve made the decision to send to the other district, I’ve learned to NEVER EVER again sign for such a paper on the same day. Caleb is now receiving tutoring throughout the summer to hopefully get him at a level of a starting Kindergartener. He’s receiving speech services outside of the home, and this mommy plans to be in contact with the OHIO BOARD OF EDUCATION this week. It won’t help my child, but how many others have they done this to?

Advocate for your children, trust no one else to do what is right for their education because when it comes down to it no one is more concerned about doing what’s right then Mommas.