School Sux!

And it sux as much for me as it does for Damien.
See, being an ADHDer mom means I am considerably more involved in Damien’s schooling than say… my parents were with mine. Because I don’t believe I have a choice. I attend all the meetings. I join all the committees. I give my contact details to all his teachers and I attend every parent-teacher night*.
If you don’t have an ADHDer… this may seem a little extreme.

Lately- again- smoking is an issue.
South African law changed a while ago and outlawed smoking in public places- which includes schools. The department of education is now so strict about it that even teachers are not allowed to smoke on school property and they do inspections. The school now cannot take any chances because if the DOT catches someone smoking on the premises, they can close the school down. A huge complication is that the majority of South Africa’s trade unions are run on communist principles, and they see private schools as elitist, unfair and separatist. And the government has spoken before about outlawing private schools altogether. So now, the learner council is at the gate every morning, collecting and labelling everyone’s cigarettes, and they get them back at the end of the day.
Damien has been caught smoking on numerous occasions, and has paid many a fine for it- but last week he brought home a letter saying he’d been caught again, that he was now on his final written warning before expulsion, and that he had to pay a R50 fine before he could come back to school.
Now- this is the livelihood of several fabulous teachers as well as the owners of the school that’s on the line, not to mention a little over 100 learners who will have to find another school should it get closed down. And I battled for 4 months to find this school for Damien a few years ago- so I know what a mission it would be.
Damien and I had a strong chat about it, and my Glugster spoke to him about how serious this was.
I thought we could breathe for a while.
Then on Monday, I got one of THOSE phone calls to come and fetch Damien as he’d been caught smoking again.
I was furious. Technically this meant he was going to be expelled. I was furious with him and cried all the way to the school. I also called my Glugs and moaned to him too… Then when I got to the school, I couldn’t see the principal, and I was told I must please remove Damien and follow up later.
He got in the car he told me he lost the money I gave him last week Friday, to which I replied with “Bullshit.”
I was too furious to talk!
When I called the principal later (he was invigilating matric exams when I was at the school) he told me that when they said I had told them I sent the money with him last week, Damien went ballistic and shouted and told them I was lying and hadn’t given it to him. He of course also denied smoking- despite the fact that the school has CCTV!!!
So I got the same letter I got last week, which I had to sign this time and return to the school, and I had to pay another R50 fine- which Damien will be paying back to me. He gets no more chances.
And we had another talk.
A longer, much sterner talk.
I informed Damien that should he get expelled from this school, I will not be looking for another one. He will have to find work, start paying board and lodging and buying his own toiletries and so on. I have worked my ass off to find the right schools and doctors and treatments and such for him, and its like I’m doing it all for myself.

Right now, I am tired of doing it all and would pack it in with a smile on my face.

*usually because I am formally invited and allocated a time-slot

1 thought on “School Sux!

  1. (((hugs))) Angel. It’s so difficult to cope with an ADHD child but to do so as a single mom must be a zillion times more so.

    BTW. I didn’t know teachers weren’t allowed to smoke at school anymore. It’s been ticking me off for 3 years now…now I can go and complain about it. Not a good example for primary school kids

  2. I’m a first time visitor to your blog.

    LOVE this bit from your profile: “When I grow up etc etc”
    I know just the kind of lady you mean 🙂

    In the blink of an eye, your Damien will be a solid citizen, with a “proper” job, and you will be wondering where the time went, and remembering these hard days dimly.

    I hope that helps some…

    Glad you found a “completer” – us girls – we need ’em

    Not hurling.

  3. Awe Angel!! This could not have been easy. I really don’t know what to say to you….except that maybe you should try and try something else to keep him off the smokes, like maybe some Nicorette or a patch while he’s at school?

  4. Sheesh I can imagine your stresses cannot be fun…

    Hang in there….

    To add to your stresses – I tagged you.



  5. AW Sweetie,this is rough.We haven’t had reading material like this for a while and I hoped he’d settled down – although now I realise you might just have ben keeping Knucklehead’s shananigans to yourself 🙁

    I’m not going to say anything about Damien because at the end of the day he’s your son and although you might feel like strangling him sometimes its not our place to put him down (you’ll just get all protective lioness on us!).

    You’ve done a great job of raising Damien – but for your own sanity maybe its time to let the consequence of his actions really be felt by him without you filtering it for him?

    He’s a good boy I’m sure he’ll make the right decisions.


  6. Oh goodness, and I’m stressed out about potty training at school.

    I don’t know how you do it with such style and grace, chick, I really don’t.

  7. I have a thing about health Nazis who want to force everyone to be as healthy as they think they themselves are.

  8. As the saying goes – if you make your own bed you then have to lie in it. Or another one of my favourites – if the shovel falls into the hole don’t jump in after it.

    He obviously just doesn’t fully understand what he is putting you through with his actions (and probably doesn’t care either). Tough love is definitely the way forward otherwise he’ll just use your good nature time after time after time.

    A ban in public areas came into force just about 18 months ago here and in the last few weeks the smoking age limit was raised from 16 to 18 🙂

  9. ARGH! Boy do I know how you feel. Only difference is that they cannot hold my son accountable for anything he does. BUT, I work so with so many of our families who have kids’ with Asperger’s Syndrome or HFA and they have so many battles with the schools and kids and you do get to that point where you just cannot do anything else (or feel that way) because you have already been fighting the “good fight” for years. You do run out of patience and gas.

    So sorry you have to go through this. Sorry for Damien too, he has no idea what a mess he has made of his life right now and it must be infuritating knowing you cannot get him to wake up and understand.

    I feel for ya, I really do.

  10. ANgel… I am sitting at my desk crying as I reply to you…. I know this feeling a million times over. 🙁

    I cried all the way to work this morning also because of Liam….

  11. oh noes!!! what on earth is the knucklehead thinking???? jeeze, kids can be so silly sometimes…..i hope he starts listening to you now, and realise that he’s really messing with his future. after everything it would be a pity if he didn’t complete his schooling

  12. And here’s me moaning at having baby’s limbs stuck in my ribs!
    Hope things get better for you hun
    Pol x

  13. I agree with “sweets” tough love is the best option!!
    Sometimes it’s tough to be a mommy!!!
    But you’re doing fine!

    x x

  14. I agree with “sweets” tough love is the best option!!
    Sometimes it’s tough to be a mommy!!!
    But you’re doing fine!

    x x

  15. Aw Ange you are really having a hard time – consider yourself hugged hard and well done for not killing the kid!

  16. ((hugs))

    Shame, Angel. You’re having a kak time at the moment. Hope he pulls his socks up and realises what an amazing mom he has.

  17. Sheesh, that just sounds like too much for one mom to deal with. Although I think you’re handling it well … as Sweets said: Tough Love. Good Luck!!!

  18. ah man, it never just rains does it? so sorry about this tjomma… the tough love principal is your only option here i think, but it’s just that ~ tough…

    i really hope all of this turns around soon!


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