Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm... a... homeschooler?

Two posts in one week.  Y'all, this is unheard of.  I'm having a lot of feels right now, deal with it.

Ace and Drew went to The Barbara's for the weekend.  I looooooooved my weekend alone, drank a bunch of wine, ate a bunch of cheese, finished Orange Is The New Black, caught up on Grey's Anatomy, drunkenly downloaded some sketchy movie streaming service so I could watch Mean Girls, drunkenly FaceTimed my techy friend to troubleshoot what I had just downloaded, drunkenly gave up and drunkenly rented Mean Girls on Amazon Prime, drunkenly watched it, and then watched it sober the next day.  It's STILL awesome sober.  (I was only drunk one night, sheesh.)

Mostly, I just REALLY enjoyed my time alone.  Ace is... trying, as you all know.  He was just diagnosed officially with mood disorder NOS, which basically means "something is organically wrong with him, we have no idea what, but he's kinda jerky, and we'll medicate him for that."  I have spent the last month absolutely dreading school starting.  Last year, I was on a first-name basis with the principal on the very first day.  He was expelled and in alternative school within 6 weeks.

They got home at about 4 on Sunday, and within 20 minutes, I was crying because Ace is just so mean.  Demanding, rude, cruel.  I thought about him starting school and what a total horror show that would probably be and just had myself a big fat panic attack in the man cave.  I jumped on my social media and asked people for recommendations for boarding schools.  I found one suitable for $46,000 a year.  I cried a bunch.  (In no small part because I REALLY want new boobies one day.)  The Xanax kicked in and asked me, "Why in the hell don't you homeschool him, dumbass?"  I snapped right back at the Xanax "BECAUSE I WOULD NEVER... oh.  You're right."

I picked up the hurricane of Kleenex I'd spread all over the bed in the man cave and went to talk to Drew.  And talked.  And talked.  And talked.  And fell asleep.  Got up Monday and took to the internets.  I found so, so many resources and talked to a BUNCH of people.  There is like this whole underground WORLD of homeschooling possibilities that is super, super awesome.  A friend on Facebook recommended a couple of paid websites to me that have free demos.  I let Ace try the demos, which he completely blew through, then said to him "what if we just did this next year instead of going to school?  You could have gymnastics lessons, art lessons, music lessons, and just do all your schoolwork on the computer and with me."  He leaned in and gave me like a 2-minute hug and briefly showed his humanity and said "I would really like that, Mom.  Thank you.  I love you."

So that was that.

I'm giving up a LOT.  Let's talk about what I'm giving up.

-7 hours a day, 5 days a week, of freedom from my son
-Volunteering at the clinic
-Waking up with a *&^%$#@ alarm earlier than humans should be forced to function
-Arguing with Ace to wake up earlier than humans should be forced to function
-Arguing with Ace to put his clothes on
-Arguing with Ace to go to the bathroom and wash his hands
-Arguing with Ace to eat breakfast on time
-Arguing with Ace to brush his teeth
-Arguing with Ace to brush his insane hair
-Arguing with Ace to get in the car
-Sitting in a carpool line
-Arguing with Ace to get out of the car
-Spending the next 7 hours, 5 days a week jumping out of my skin at every phone call, worrying that my child is being made fun of because of his cerebral palsy, worrying that my child is having a hard time interacting with his peers without me there directing him, worrying that he's not finishing his work on time and getting in trouble, worrying that... really, I could go on, but you get the point, WORRYING 35 HOURS A WEEK IS TAXING
-Sitting in a carpool line AGAIN
-Arguing with Ace to get in the car
-Cringing when the carpool line monitor walks up to my car afraid of what she'll say he's done
-Being disappointed in Ace and punishing him nearly every single day for what he's done at school

When I realized Monday how much of the last 3 years I've spent doing the last 13 things, I broke down in tears.  The first two things can be worked out with the occasional babysitter, but I don't know when or if the last 13 things will ever get better.  I felt WASHED with relief all day Monday.  Told Drew that night that if I kept the field trips and school supplies under $46,000 a year he couldn't get mad at me and I could get new boobies.  "We'll talk about it."  Natch.

Now, I'm not saying I'll never argue with him again.  But here's the thing - although I know I have done everything I can to raise a polite and loving child and I just happened to get a child with a mental illness, I still get WASHED in embarrassment when he gets in trouble at school and I feel like it's all my fault and people are judging me.  When he's at home, I don't feel it as much.  I just deal with it.  Plus, the kid LOVES schoolwork, especially computer games.  I'm really not seeing an issue with elementary school.

So there you go, karma.  Drew said 12 years ago that no child of his would ever go to public school and that's where Ace went last year.  I sniped back 12 years ago that I would never homeschool any child of mine.  Now I'm super excited about homeschooling.  It's funny what kind of parent you think you'll be versus what kind of parent you become.


Karrie said...

Sounds like you guys will have a much better year. I had a similar "EUREKA!" moment last year. I was teaching SPED students -- who I adore -- and dealing with all the BS from the school district and rushing around with my own kids at night - not enjoying them at all. I was TIRED and eating out too much. Finally, I realized I could pull my kids out of private school and stop eating out all the time and TEACH THEM MYSELF. Now I'm really excited about it -- there are some great groups on Facebook that have opened my eyes to all the available FREE resources.

Karrie said...
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Jackie said...

Sister, Welcome Home! I found your site by goofing off on Google. Now I know, an angel sent me to you. Hubby and I took our oldest out of school when we realized that we were in it more than he was! It hasn't been easy, homeschooling is a way of life not something you do Monday through Friday from 8-3, but I can say that it has been so very much worth it. I'm here for ya when you need a dry shoulder.