I should just go back to bed until it’s tomorrow. Trouble with that is I’m not expecting tomorrow to be any better. Oh, right, and I have kids home to take care of.
You see, it snowed on Sunday in the Seattle area. We’re not used to that and we tend to freak out a little. Well, not me, as I grew up in Colorado and started driving in snow when I started driving, but the area in general freaks out.
Anyway, Monday morning looked like this:
I wasn’t surprised when I heard schools were closed. Kowalski didn’t go to work, either. The problem with that is that I work at home and I can’t do that when there are three other people in the house dividing my attention both deliberately and not. Undeliberately, which isn’t a word, but it should be. (Unintentionally was the word I was actually searching for, but…anger makes heads and, apparently, vocabularies fuzzy)
The weather didn’t improve much on Monday, so I wasn’t surprised when school was closed on Tuesday, as well. But Tuesday turned out to be sunny and the roads, outside of neighborhood side streets, were fine. Kowalski went to work. I took the boys to get their hair cut. Much of the snow was gone. It gets icy in the mornings, though, so I wasn’t surprised when the district announced a one hour late start for today, which is Wednesday.
What did surprise me was this text from the district yesterday: “2/6-One Hour Late Start. Regular Wed. Release. Buses on Snow Routes. No: a.m. Extended Day, Quest Pullout, before school music, out-of-district transportation.” Now, I understand canceling morning extended day, extra curricular, and accelerated programs that are not mandatory. It may inconvenience parents, but the schools are not obligated to open the buildings early on days when school is delayed due to weather concerns. Though I have a friend who works at a district school who was required to be there at the same time she is every day, so the district certainly doesn’t seem to be concerned about the safety of staff commuting to school in the morning.
But out of district transportation is another story entirely.
Out of district transportation isn’t for kids whose parents decided to send them to schools that are better than the district schools so that they can get a better education. Those kids don’t get transportation from the district. It’s not for extra curricular activities. It’s not for anything “extra” at all.
No. Out of district transportation is mandatory.
Out of district transportation is for the kids who the district failed to serve and was subsequently forced to find placement that was appropriate. It’s for kids like Private, who ended up with PTSD from the bullying he received from kids and adults in the school system. It’s written in his IEP that he is to be transported to school.
Instead, on a day when his peers are transported to school and his school is open, Private is at home playing video games because the district canceled his transportation. Not transportation for everyone, just transportation for kids like Private. And that, my friends, is not okay.
So, I was already predisposed to be angry this morning when I realized we were completely out of the chocolate chip waffles that Rico eats for breakfast every morning. He had to eat Goldfish, though we were almost out of those – at least so far as the ones he will eat. Rico does not eat crumbs of any kind. If the Goldfish box is low enough that ANY crumbs are poured in his bowl, the whole bowl is tainted and he will refuse to eat any. This is the kid who lived on graham crackers and would scream bloody murder until you gave him one until his speech developed enough to tell you what it was that he wanted. We learned by trial and error that it was usually a graham cracker. The point is, even when he was starving and melting down, he would not eat a graham cracker with even a 1mm chip in it that you could barely see with the naked eye because he deemed it broken.
If you’re thinking to yourself that this is incredibly bratty behavior for a child and should not be tolerated, I posit that you have never had significant contact with an autistic child or one with sensory processing disorder.
It is hard to leave the house when it’s just me here with the kids. Generally, I have to talk Rico into going with me because he’s not yet able to stay home by himself. We’ve talked about trying it for short periods when his brother is home as well, but Rico is afraid they will fight. I am, too, actually. So I tried to get groceries delivered through one of the local services that does that. There are many, but the only one that could deliver before tomorrow afternoon, when it’s supposed to start snowing again, was out of chocolate chip waffles.
Fortunately, Rico and Private were playing video games in different areas of the house. I asked Rico if he wanted to go with me, but he said no and agreed to stay home with just his brother. There were lots of words uttered at them about being kind to each other and, I’m happy to say, they were both unscathed when I arrived home from the grocery store. I don’t think either one had moved from the spot they were in when I left.
There was an update I needed to do to my phone this morning, but the grocery store trip pushed my work start time back and I didn’t want to risk trying to get it done before the noon phone call I had scheduled. At 11:55 am, I noticed that my work email was offline and had been since about 8am. My website was down, too, I put in a support ticket with the web host. By the time I finished all that, it was five after noon and my phone still had not rung.
I realized then that the call could have been postponed via email and I would have no idea, so I sent an email asking about it using my personal email. People sometimes have trouble receiving emails from my personal addy, so I tried again with gmail about an hour later. About an hour after that, my work email came back online. I didn’t see an email from her, so I forwarded the other emails from my work addy. I heard back from her while I was typing this and turns out she had sent an email asking if we could postpone until tomorrow.
Hopefully the boys will be back in school tomorrow and my mood will be much improved. They should be in school today, just as their peers are. It’s not okay, or, you know, legal, for them to be kept out of school because of their disabilities.