Slightly less shiny than previous years,
A little bit flattened from storage,
One or two bits threatening to fall off,
On display with a huge rough branch shoved where the sun don't shine
but still smiling.
(Because smiling is expected.)
Sorry there hasn't been a post for a day or so, but it's this school Christmas malarky and everything else thats going on.
Outfits to make; teachers who expect all parents to have an inexhaustible supply of white bed sheets for cutting up, one kid in total stress because he loves performing but hates being seen doing it, the other who loves it full stop and keeps (not so spontaneously) bursting into renditions of this or that chorus at all the most inappriopriate moments (i.e. whenever anybody, even the cat, is watching) - you know; all the usual.
On top of that, husband is the furthest from signs of Christmas cheer out of all of us to the point that I can't hear the swear words for worrying about his health. He's been stranded to do a two man job on his own for the fourth week almost in a row and comes home looking like he has been stood in the middle of the motorway all day.
Put it this way, its your job on the line if prisoners hurt you, hurt themselves (even accidentally), hurt each other, or nick stuff from your office (like all the teabags, or worse, a mini screwdriver) which later turns up on the wing. If you don't have someone 'doing office work' to watch your back, then you can't teach one on one. You still have to, you just have to work out where and how to position yourself to do it and you can't really give that student your full attention because you have to listen out for the others, all the time. They all think its a great laugh, and an excellent opportunity to have a lark. Its just like an EBD school but with tougher sanctions from the Head.
Eight hours of that sort of pressure should be a once in a blue moon thing, not every bloody day for four bloody weeks.
Its a blessing if he comes in the door, heaves a sigh and clears off to the bedroom to lie down and do the newspaper crossword.(*)
And me - what about me.
Yesterday we had visitors. Tonight we have the school Christmas Concert. Tomorrow there is a reprise for which we mercifully do not have tickets, but we have to walk the kids back to the school and then go and collect them in an hour and a half. Oh, yes, and at four oclock tomorrow I have a meeting with:
- The SEN Coordinator at the school
- Son's teacher (also acting Deputy Head)
- The Educational Psychologist
- A worker from Parentlink (on my side and knows the SEN code and the law inside out and upside down - very handy)
- My SEN caseworker from the County (The one that summarised the statement applications and made recommendations to the assessment team that resulted in Son NOT getting his statement,) and
- One, possibly two SENCOs from senior schools - the one we want him to go to and the one he'll be stuck with if we can't get this Statement granted.
Housework has been on the minimal side, I have been using carrier bags as filing cabinets, especially when all the special needs stuff has still been spread across the dinner table come tea time. That wasn't so bad, as I have all the crucial papers on the computer, except that now the second printer has died, so I have 24 hours interrupted by a concert to find, flatten, organise and make a battle plan out of all the paper they've sent for the last two years. I can't use the emails I've sent because I don't have hard copy and will have to handwrite crib notes from them.
It would be one year's worth of paper, except that this year's Note in Lieu (advices you get if you don't get a statement) misses off or ignores half the issues they acknowledged in the last one. We really are worse off at this time, than if I had kept quiet and accepted last year's findings.
I shouldn't, but I find myself wondering if this is someone's idea of 'serves you right'.
So, anyway. Tarra for a day or two.
* If you know where his blog is you might notice that the humour has become very dark. In fact the title of prime Christmas tree fairy goes to him, I think (minus the bawdy connotations). The smile really seems to be there by grim determination alone. Maybe because I know him so well, the attempts at humour just look a little, um, hollow, to me. Lacking in warmth, perhaps. Worrying. Maybe I should be proud he can come home and collapse; that it could be just what he needs. If you do go over there, big him up for me, would you? He's under stress and I love him to bits.