It really feels like I’ve been beaten down this week. I mean, honest to God, I’ve had a rough few weeks and I’ve rolled with the punches but last night — last night was the icing on the cake.
I picked the kids up Monday from school and asked them how their day was. As I turned to look at James he had tears rolling down his cheeks. “What’s the matter bud?!” and he just looked at me and said, “We got our report cards and I got a couple of 3’s.” If you are not aware, some elementary schools don’t give out actual grades (A’s, B’s, C’s..and so on) until a certain grade level. 1’s are considered above and beyond, 2’s are for right on track for their grade level, and 3’s are for needs lots of improvement. I asked him what the 3’s were for and he told me “Well, my handwriting is really bad but I’m working on it and my teacher thought I didn’t turn in an assignment, but I did, and she couldn’t find it so it was marked incomplete, but she found it in her desk today. And sometimes…I can’t control myself when I know the answer to something so I blurt it out and I’m really trying to work on that too.”
I mean, those were all things we figured were going to be said on his report card because it’s not new news to us. I told him, “Well, it looks like you’re very aware of what you need to work on, so why are you so upset, relax bud, you’re kicking Math’s butt though!” I turned and looked at Jordan and asked her, “Well, what about you? Anything I need to know about before Parent/Teacher Conferences on Wednesday?” She looked me dead straight in the eyes, with a smile on her face and said, “Nope! I’m all good!”
As we are driving home I get a phone call from our bank asking me if I’m using my credit card out of state. “Uh, no. No I am not.” — They read off the pending charges and we came to the conclusion my credit/debit card number was stolen. I took a deep breath and began the process of having them reissue me a new card as soon as possible.
Lucky for me I thought. I’m a server half of the week and I still had all my cash on me from over the weekend, so I thought I had nothing to worry about. I had the kid’s Christmas money all set to be deposited so I could use that until I got my new card.
Wednesday rolls around and Matt and I went up to the school for the Parent/Teacher Conferences. Matt ran into Stephanie earlier that morning and she gave him the thumbs up about James’ conference. Which to be honest, after his year thus far, we were ALL a little worried. So after that thumbs up, I wasn’t too concerned or worried about going in to talk to their teachers. — If only life was that easy, right?…
We sit down with Jordan’s teacher and she asked if Stephanie was going to be coming. We told her no, she was at home with the kids, but not to worry because she already asked if I would let her know how everything went. “We need to address some serious behavioral issues first.” My mouth dropped to the floor and Matt turned about five different shades of red in like 30 seconds. “I didn’t send a note home or call you because I wanted to talk to you about this face to face.”
Now, I don’t normally put the kids on blast. I usually brag about them to anyone who will listen to me, but sometimes there are some ugly times and things that kids do that make parents think, “What have I done wrong?” — I want you parents to know that no kid is perfect and they all make mistakes, but it doesn’t always make it the parent’s fault. And if you have a child who was hurt or offended by another child, don’t look at that parent like they don’t know what they are doing or their child is just pure evil. You don’t know what that household is going through. Remember small children are just that, small children, with small brains, who are just embarking on understanding this crazy world we live in. We are all human.
Back to the story. Her teacher looked me in the eyes and said. “Jordan has been really acting out and not her normal self the past few weeks. Right after Thanksgiving Break the kids got a paper they could turn in for a treat if they read and had a parent sign the paper. Well, Jordan forged your signature, Jess.” My jaw dropped even further. Um, excuse me, my seven year old did WHAT!?” — Her teacher said, “When the librarian asked her if that was her mom’s signature, Jordan said yes, then the teacher pulled out James’ that you had signed and it clearly wasn’t the same signature.” What the actual *@#$!
She then goes on to say, “Then on Monday she went to the Scholastic Book Fair in the library and she stole a roll of fancy tape. The librarian pulled Jordan aside and asked her if she took something that wasn’t hers. Jordan told her no. The librarian asked her three times and Jordan kept telling her no. Well, she then made her empty out her pockets and out fell the tape.”
I couldn’t even form words. I felt like someone just took one of those wrecking balls and smacked me in the side of the face with it.
“I’m so sorry….that’s actually not all of it. Yesterday she stole a bag of pretzels from one of the girls in class and put it in her desk and ate from it all day. I didn’t know about it until the girl’s parents emailed me saying their daughter came home crying from school. I’m so sorry guys. I KNOW this isn’t like her at all and up until a few weeks ago she has been GREAT, but all of a sudden she just started this really mean streak.”
I’m pretty sure the first thing I ended up saying was, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Because Jordan hasn’t acted different at either house at ALL, and trust me, one of us would of said something to each other about it. Clearly there is something going on in that head of hers and on Sunday, her and I are going to have a nice little chat about it. I called Stephanie after we left and I’m sure Jo got a well deserved ear full after we hung up.
Well that’s just a fabulous start to the rest of my week now. Wednesday through Saturday I serve at a restaurant. I make easy quick cash and I’m still able to balance everything else going on in my life. Last night was a busy night and at the end I went back to where we keep our coats and purses to put the money I made in my wallet. I opened up my wallet and every single dollar was gone. All $250 of it. All $250 of the kid’s Christmas money — gone.
I just began to sob. I sobbed like a baby and one of my best friends just sat there and held me as I cried. I’ve been busting my ASS the past month to make sure that EVERYONE gets Christmas. And here I sit, with zero dollars set aside for presents.
I mean, I took one hit, then another hit, then another, I just couldn’t do it anymore and I lost it. When is enough, enough? I feel like I was not only whacked with one of those wrecking balls but then ran over by a fleet of semi-trucks. I’m really hoping last night was the end of it all, because I don’t know how much more I can emotionally take.