The Dreaded Phone Call
The past week and a half has been beautiful. We had a very nice Easter with the whole family. The weather was mostly nice. Leon was off from school and on his best behavior. We kept busy and enjoyed our time together, he had playdates, days in the park, a trip to a museum with his Aunt Suzy, a birthday party to go to, and sleepovers with his cousin, Grandparents, and Omi. Me, I got to get stuff done, met up with friends, enjoyed a little quiet time and even got to go out on a date and spend a bunch of alone time with Ron. It was all good.
Today is the first day back at school, and it’s buisness as usual. It’s the dreaded phone call….
The words on the caller ID read “______ School District” and my first thought is, “oh, no, now what?!?!”
School: “Hi, Mrs. O… ?
School: “This is Mrs. So-and-so, the principle asked me to call you and let you know that there was an incident with Leon and his OT teacher. Leon got very angry and stabbed him in the hand with a pencil, you are going to have to come to the school and pick him up. He is not allowed to stay in school today”
Me: (out loud) ;Umm, okay, I’ll get there as soon as I can but I will have to wake the baby so it may take me a bit of time"
The voice in my head: (screaming) “AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
The voice in my heart: (sobbing)
SKIP TO THE PRINCIPLE’S OFFICE
I walk into the main office and the first person I see, is my baby, my Little Prince, my heart and my soul, my reason for being, my Leon.
My poor sad little boy head down, eyes down, ashamed and sad. The secretary sees me, she knows who I am, I am Leonsmom, both Leon and I have been in that office enough times that she knows both of us by name and by sight. She lets me know that the principle will see me and asks me to have a seat. This gives me time to take Leon’s hand and ask what happened. I can barely hear him, he is speaking so softly and mumbling the words as they come out. I make out the words, “I stabbed my OT”. My mind flashes a picture of a man with a pencil through his bloody hand. When I asked why he did it, he said,”I was mad, he wouldn’t believe me that it hurt my hand when I held the pencil the way he told me too and he just kept making me write.”, “he wasn’t listening to my feelings”.
Then we were called in to the principle’s office. She asked him to tell her what happened. He told her what he told me. There was some lecturing on how it is not appropriate to stab, hit, kick, or hurt anyone. We talked about why the OT is important and he mentioned that he just doesn’t like doing it. She asked if it was really because the OT wasn’t listening to him or if it was because he just didn’t want to do the work. He mumbled that he really didn’t want to do it. The OT was asked to come in and explain what happened. He tells us that they were working on the alphabet and spacing. Leon would write a letter or word (incorrectly) and the OT would erase it and have him do it over again (and again and again). Something I am all to familiar with when it comes homework time. Leon got angry and slammed his pencil down on the OT’s hand. I asked if he was alright (looking at his hands for the bandages), and he says it hurt quite alot but it’s okay now and points to where the pencil hit his hand. (And just to be clear, he pointed to the side of his finger on his right hand – yup his finger and with not so much as a band-aid) I don’t mean to make less of what Leon did or minimize the man’s pain but seriously they had me thinking this man was stabbedthrough the hand with a pencil and had to have it surgically removed. I guess I watch too much TV. Anyhoo, I mention that Leon said that he felt that he wasn’t listening to Leon’s feelings and that he did not believe him that it hurt him to hold the pencil a certain way. The OT explained that he was trying to shoe Leon the correct way to hold a pencil and explained to him that his hand would nottire so easily if he would do it correctly, the OT also said that when it came to the actual writing he allowed Leon to hold the pencil as he wished. I turned to Leon and said “So he was compromising with you, he allowed you to hold the pencil your way, but you still had to do the work”; Leon responded with, “how was I supposed to know he was compromising if he didn’t tell me?’, “because you got to hold it your way” was our response. I asked if he was feeling frustrated because he had to keep doing the same work over and over, and he said he was. I asked him if he had told the OT that, and he said no. So I explained that in that case there was no way for the OT to know what he was feeling. The end result was that his behavior is unacceptable in school and he would have to spend the rest of the day suspended from school.
It was all very upsetting! On the drive home, I explained to him that his behavior had consequences, and that while the school’s consequence was to send him home from school it would not be as easy as that, there would also be consequences at home. He became very angry when I told him that he had lost all screen time (TV, computer, DS, anything with a screen) and said it wasn’t fair. My response was “well was it fair to your OT to get stabbed in the hand?”; I also grounded him to his room, (being allowed out only for the school work that we came home with and meals). I wanted to give him a cool down period so I gave him the choice to go straight to his room or start the work. He chose his room but changed his mind saying he was hungry. I told him there would be no food till lunch time, so he stormed off to his room. A short while later he came out again crying that I had to feed him or he would starve to death. Being 10 minutes to lunch time, I made a deal that if he started with his math work I would start making lunch. Luckily it worked. As I checked his work over his shoulder he received a single m&m for each neatly written correct answer. This motivated him to finish ALL his take home work and home work in one fell swoop. With lunch and school work out of the way all that was left was to send him to his room for the rest of the day. That was easier said than done. Keep in mind I still had a very needy 1 year old baby girl to take care of too. Leon vehemently refused to go to his room. He yelled, cried, even growled, about how unfair it was. Again I reminded him how unfair it was to the OT who got hurt. Just as I was about to physically pick him up and take him to his room he stormed off to his room shutting the door behind him. I left it at that, until I heard a strange sound coming from just behind the door. I spoke through the door asking him what he was doing. What I heard in response was hurried footsteps, his drawer open and then close and more foot steps followed by “nothing mom”;. So I opened the door and walked in and said, “go get me what you were trying to hide from me”. He of course denied it a couple times until I convinced him that mom’s always know when they are not being told the truth. So he went and reached into his drawer and pulled out a knife (like a butter knife, knife). “what where you doing with that”, I asked. To which he pointed to bottom of the door where he had drawn an outline of the hole he had planned to cut so he could stick his head through and crawl out. The sound I had heard was Leon attempting to saw the door with a butter knife. I removed the knife and the pencil and told him he was forbidden to close the door so I could keep an eye on him.
From that point on, I have cried, had a small anxiety attack complete with breathing difficulties and a severe headache that isn’t going away; dodged calls from my mom who can’t just let me vent without telling me that I can’t give up on him (WHO SAID I WAS GIVING UP ON HIM???) and that at least I know what I am dealing with – imagine how hard it was on her raising me thinking I was just a bad kid; I fed, diapered and napped the baby; contemplated if the punishment is enough or should I have given him a bigger consequence?; I questioned him as to whether it is possible that he just meant to hit the paper with his pencil instead of the OT and he said “no mommy I was trying to get his hand” -when I asked if he meant to hurt him, he said “yes” ; at one point I allowed Leon out of his room to lay in bed with me for a few minutes so I could remind him that no matter what I will always love him and be there for him; cried some more after I sent him back to his room because I just don’t know how to help my child; Listen to my sister try to convince me I am a good mother, which is something I know, I know I am a good mom, I just hate not being able to help him, I hate that I can’t just make it all go away. There is only so much I can do for him and I am doing all of it, but he has to learn to deal with his ADHD and impulses too … and I can’t learn that for him; and had an over all feeling of having the life sucked out of me.
It’s been a crappy day to go with the crappy weather, tomorrow can only get better, right??