Sunday, September 28, 2008


Please pray, send a happy thought, what ever you do for my friend Venus. She is currently trying not to have a baby at 31 weeks and could use all the help we can give. Sigh...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thats More Like It

There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Monday morning Ben will get on a typical bus where there will be a "Star Seat" providing 5 point restraint and a bar mounted to tie down the walker during transport. I will be boarding the bus to get him seated and I will be boarding the bus to get him off in the evening. The bus will stop at the end of my driveway on it's drive past my house. He will ride with his peers, get on and off with his peers and have a day equal to every other Kindergartner in the district. It would have been much easier for everyone if they had done exactly this when I requested it before school started. Please stop telling us no. Beyond all of glaringly appalling parts of this experience, the situation is changing and being supported by everyone from his teacher to the superintendent. They have all fought for my little man and I will be making banana bread for the next week to show some of my appreciation. I will not, however, ignore the fact that this was allowed by the same people who are now fighting for us. It's amazing what the word discrimination can motivate people to accomplish. Another reminder that while this isn't an easy fight, it's a good one. Stand tall for the little people you protect everyone. Thanks for all of the kind words!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


OK...Wait for it... I found out BY ACCIDENT yesterday that the bus is picking Ben up from school 31 minutes before school is over! Are you #%$&#^% kidding me? You must be kidding. Really, your kidding right? He has been doing this for how long without my knowledge? How long? And no one thought I WOULD WANT TO KNOW THAT?!?! PEOPLE THINK THAT IS OK?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! School is out at 3:41 so the first week when Ben got off the bus at 4:07 or 4:05 IT MADE SENSE! Ben's school is 10 minutes away from the other pick up schools. We live 7 minutes from there. It made sense that he would be home at 4:07. Especially when I was assured that he was the first child off since he is the first one on at freaking 7:37 for a 8:41 start time! Monday the bus pulled up at 3:48. I thought "how on earth" but figured that they had changed something for the day and I would ask around at the Open House at school. Tuesday I was coming home to meet the bus THAT IS SCHEDULED FOR 4:07 and the bus was waiting for me. It was FREAKING 3:46! So I asked (very calmly, smile on my face) how they beat me home. The repose was "We are a super fast bus." all smiles and giggles. My smile faltered a bit but I was still calm and I asked "No really, how did you get here so fast?" They answered "The bus sprouted wings." still all smiles and giggles. At this point my smile was gone, I put Ben behind me and asked "I'm serious, how could you possible pick Ben up at 3:40 and be here, with other kids on the bus, at 3:46?" The smiles were gone all around and the driver answered "We pick Ben up at 3:15. The special ed. kids have to be released to us early so we can get to the schools and get kids home on time." Oh my god... Game on folks. You are not going to tell me 6 days into school that it is OK to take my "special ed." kid out of science EVERY FREAKING DAY BECAUSE HE FALLS UNDER SPECIAL ED! No way folks. Ben's walker WILL NOT jeopardise his education. I don't care how pretty you try to paint the picture. That's discrimination. I don't see one single other child that goes to his school with and IEP getting dismissed early. Bring it! You're about to learn what pissed and powerful is!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


As I said, the first day was great. The orientation was an hour of activities in the room, then the family members were swept out the door and the children spent a solo hour in class. When it was time for us to step out we quick gave Ben a kiss, he burst into tears and we high tailed it outta there past several other crying children. We fretted (of course) for the whole parent meeting, just waiting for someone to come bustling in. But no one did. We got back to class and got to watch Ben walk back in from the play ground with a smile. Such a relief! Then there was Wednesday. Ben's first bus trip to Kindergarten. I (in my foolish, unknowing, uncaring, mean, thoughtless way) thought that this would be the least of our problems. Ben has been getting on the bus for 2 1/2 years. He has done this first day 3 times. The aid on the bus is a woman he knows and LOVES. He has never cried on the first day on the bus. There is a first time for everything right?
About half an hour before the bus came, that would be about 7am, an hour unseen by 3/4 of our house, Ben burst into tears and was basically a teary, snotty mess. He tried everything, "I'm tired", "I'm sick" etc. but got me with "I have to go poop!". Well OK. How do you say no to that? Problem was he was in no way going to agree to get off of that potty once he was on. And the bus doesn't run on poop time. Crap! During the "we need to get off the potty now" conversation the bus pulled up. Crap, crap! So here we are literally caught with our pants down and Ben turns on the gagging. Crap, crap, crap! The wonderful aid starts up the drive and just as I opened the door to let her know what was going on Ben turned it up to high. Spit flying, tears squirting, retching. Welcome to your first child on the first day of school friendly bus ladies. Ms. Jacqui and I patted each other on the back, grabbed a bowl, paper towels, and plastic bags, I gave Ben a dose of "no more pukies" put the poor little guy on the bus and waved goodbye. Then I burst into tears and nearing fell down in the driveway from sheer mental and physical exhaustion not to mention a heave dose of guilt. I owe the bus ladies big gifts at holiday times.
It got better. Every day. Lot's of talking about everyone being nervous, about the difference between nervous stomach and sick stomach, and about how everyday he would know more about school and that would make him less nervous. Yesterday I got to take pictures. Everyday before that I was up to my elbows in Ben and pictures weren't happening. So I missed the first day but I got these:
And these from his very first bus ride (including riding the lift!) one week after his third birthday. See that smile?!?
And this one of his second first day on the bus when he was 3 1/2. See that smile?!?

And even this one of his third first day on the bus when he was 4 1/2. See that smile?!?

You see why I thought this wouldn't bee such a problem. Ahh well. All's well that is-going-well-right-now : )

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Eight years ago I married the love of my life. I love him more today. Happy Anniversary Dave. I love you

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten

Just a quicky to let you know that Ben had a great day at school today.
After all the grief and tears that have followed us around since Safety Town, it was a great day. It was orientation day so Ben got to take Mom, Dad, Kiera, and Nana to school. It was a two hour long get-to-know-you-fun-day. And it was fun! Yay!
Think happy thoughts for our little man tomorrow. He is getting on the bus for his first "all day" and he can use all good energy he can get.

And Then There Was Safety Town

*I though that this should be posted before my Kindergarten post. And then there was Safety Town. This whole crazy story actually begins decades ago when the little girl my mom watched over the summer got to go to Safety Town. I was going into first grade but my little friend was going into Kindergarten so she got to go to the brand new magical world of Safety Town. There was a little town just my size, there were big wheels for everyone, there were play fire fighter helmets, and friends, and snacks and WOW! I was only able to see snippets at drop off and pick up but it looked like kid heaven to me. And I wasn't allowed to go. This magical camp was offered for the first time that summer so I had missed my chance by a year. I felt like I had been rooked. Fast forward 16 years and my first preschoolers were racing in to tell me all about wonderful Safety Town. The little town, the big wheels, the new songs, the go, go, go! It was so much fun to see the shine of excitement in their eyes. Fast forward another, aw, who cares A LONG TIME, and I have before me a little boy who I will do almost anything to provide the opportunity to enjoy life. I had a decision to make. He can go to Safety Town. He can be a part of that fun pre-Kindergarten excitement. But I didn't sign him up. Like everything else, it was going to be a bit of leg work and at the end of the school year I didn't feel I had it in me. So I put it off. Then we had Summer Camp. The best experience Ben could have asked for and I decided that we, meaning he, was ready to give it a try. So I bit the bullet and signed him up. A lot of stress (on my part) was put to rest in one conversation with a kind woman who spent all sorts of time making sure I knew that they were all set for Ben. First day was pretty good. Drop off was a bit overwhelming but smooth and at pick up he looked a bit dazed but said that he had had fun. The second day I had to pick him up after he cried so hard that he vomited. That was the beginning of the end. Every moment he spent in my presence after that he waged full out emotion warfare. "Mama, I'm too tired", "Mama, it's too hot", "Mama, I'm hungry"(that's when I realized that we were at war), "Mama, Don't leave me." "Mama, Don't make me go", "Mama, Safety Town is not the place for me" I had backed myself into a corner. We were going to start Kindergarten in a couple of weeks. I couldn't just let him cry and vomit so he didn't have to go to Kindergarten. But for goodness sake! He was acting like I had tossed him out in the snow and shut the door. So I spent a some time at Safety Town and reassured myself that everyone was doing things "right" which they were so we kept going. He was enjoying himself there, just giving me all sorts of grief when he was home. Guess what? His did it. Made it through to the end (it was only 5 days, only ha!). Made it through to the graduation. Walked up on stage, sang every song, did every dance, said every line and smiled, laughed and never once cried at any of the clapping. Best of all he walked up, all by himself, to get his diploma. Everyone clapped. The teachers, all of the volunteers, other parents who know us and even parents who don't know us but knew that he had had a hard time in the beginning. His teacher actually cried at how far he came in a week and how brave he had been.

So he made it through smiling and laughing, got in the car, looked at me and said "I don't want to go to Kindergarten!" What did I say about the beginning of the end? Crap!