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Thursday, October 19, 2017

When All Else Fails

Gotta say, I'm disappointed. Bullying has become so common place. Sadly though, the adults we tell our children to turn to, are just as bad as the kids. Because of my involvement and the lack of true support from the school, the situation has escalated. Now, I'm going to have to go in person and truly lay down the law with the Vice Principal herself. 
My kids have been banned from having any contact with three kids. These kids are known to me as liars, vandals, manner-less, and just downright mean. I've seen them in action and know what they are capable of. Their parents on the other hand are completely clueless. They think of their kids as great. But it has come to my attention that the girl in this group is the worst. Since being banned (reinforced by her father after I refused to bend to his attitude), she decided to torment my kids and any others who associate with them, in a roundabout way. In essence, she is having other kids do her dirty work so that she can continue to dominate the bus. Since when are second graders so devious?! 

My kids have been told to act like she is no more than a fly buzzing in their ears. You wouldn't talk to a fly, so why bother with answering her or telling her to go away? Just pretend to wave her away and continue with what you are doing. I thought that would solve the problem. But no. She got other kids involved. Got them to listen to her rumors. They accused my son of using a word he doesn't know exists. The N word. She told her dad that my son called her that and stuck up his middle finger. Know what I heard from students who witnessed it? She's the one sticking up that middle finger and saying nasty things to my kids. It was when her dad confronted me that I told him his daughter was a liar and I warned her to stay away from my kids. Guess who wasn't happy with that? You know he had the gall to bring his "gang" of family to stand around the bus stop and yell at the kids? Wonder where his daughter gets her thuggish attitude from. 

So yesterday, my son was hit by another student, in the leg, with a cellphone. Today I called the school back, because I hadn't heard from them about the incident. I was told that my son couldn't identify the kid from 2 pictures presented to him. Hmm.... Then why didn't you check the security camera from the bus? Oh yes, things are so bad, they have to have cameras on the buses now. They had two adults on that bus, and neither of them paid any attention to what was happening behind them. I get that the driver has to focus on the road, but why can't the other one monitor the students? 

So today, I did what needed to be done. Before all the kids could climb off the bus, I climbed on. I demanded they point out the kids who attacked my son. Then I announced to them all, "The next kid who lays a hand against my children will answer to me." I had half a dozen kids pointing to the brat that hurt my son. I told him I'm going to the principal tomorrow. And that he better stay away from my children. 

Then came the truly scary part. One student followed me off the bus and announced that the girl (who hasn't left my kids alone after all), was choking another student. He demonstrated the arm hook technique. She had had a little boy in a choke hold. That boy also came forward and with a scared look in his eyes told me he was fine. He didn't want trouble. I told him to tell his mother. This behavior is unacceptable. Since when are 2nd graders so dangerous?! What is wrong with this girl?? Then another mother comes up and asks if the child who hurt my son was a girl. She went on to explain that she knew my son from hearing about him from her son. They are buddies. And because they are buddies, this little girl has been "nasty" to her son. She sneers at this little guy and tells him to "go sit with your crybaby buddy" while pointing at my son. 

I cannot tell you just how strong the surge of emotions have been since then. This child is evil. And she is manipulating the other students to get her way. That is, until now. Heaven help her, because now its my turn. And the school better hope they have a better answer besides, "We don't know what's going on." Guess what, I do. And I know what you need to do before this escalates. 

My children are my everything. No one hurts them and gets away with it. I didn't let their father, I'm certainly not letting some bratty stranger. 
My mother pointed out something in a comment she left on my other post. It takes a bigger, meaner bully to battle a bully. And I'm inclined to agree. It seems like they are getting worse with the times. I think back to the days when I was physically attacked. How often I was sent to the nurses often and my mother called. Looking back, I feel pathetic about it. Then I learned to break people mentally. Third grade was hard. Until I learned to use the one thing you hate about yourself to tear you apart. While I don't feel proud of what I did, it protected me from being hurt more. I won't teach my kids that technique. Yet. However, I'm going to teach my kids self defense. No more will I let them be hurt. They will learn to fight back. To prevail. The schools need to fear the bullies created by those that go unpunished. A slap on the wrist does nothing to those who are not taught at home. After all, they are already in prison. School is just that these days. And if they are not getting proper guidance at home or being disciplined, then it doesn't matter what is said. 

Where have we gone wrong, that such monsters are loose among our children?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Don't Mess With Mama

Definition of bully

plural bullies

1 a :a blustering, browbeating person; especially :one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable
  • tormented by the neighborhood bully
I'm beginning to think that being bullied is a curse that has run through my bloodline. My Mom was introduced to fighting in defense when bullies picked on her and her siblings. I went to public school from pre-k to 3rd grade and was told that if I stayed in the system any longer, my Mother would have to teach me to fight as well. What she didn't know, is that 3rd grade was when I learned to fight psychologically. But you get the point. Looking back, my Mom had all these stories of confrontations that made me feel like she truly was a Wonder Woman. Physically, I'm not the strongest, but mentally, I will break you. Now, as a mom, I'm having to watch my own kids deal with bullying. But today... Oh no. Today, it went a step too far. What happened? My son was hit in the leg with a cell phone. Hard enough to leave a mark. We will see what the school has to say about it in the morning since it was too late for them to contact me back after my kids got home.
As a parent, you never want to have your kids fall prey to a bully. You also don't want them to become a bully. As a Christian, we learn that we are to turn the other cheek and let God punish our enemies. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule. And we teach it well in our house. But... I won't let my children get beat up. Not any more. Verbal abuse is one thing. I'm teaching my kids to handle that with positivism. So how do we combat the physical abuse? 

My kids look up to me for not being afraid. After all, they watched me stand up against the physical abuse their father put me through before the divorce. I shielded them, protected them and took the force upon myself. But I can't do that on the bus or in the school hallways. And though we have been in contact with the school, it seems to be escalating now. Before, they were throwing accusations and screaming profanities at my children. Then one of them laid his hands on my daughter and I took to arms with the vice principal. They went back to verbal abuse and I told my kids to pretend that those bullies didn't exist. Focus on something or someone else and shut their mind to the words that were meant to hurt them. But you can't do that with a physical attack. 
So what am I to do? Well, my first move is to escalate the response from the school itself. I won't take a, "Well..." answer. Depending on their response, I just might have to teach my children self defense. Don't get me wrong, I won't have them pummeling everyone who crosses their paths. However, learning to block someone is a great skill to have. Learning to bob and weave. To keep your fists at eye level. And if that's not enough, then maybe we will introduce something more. We are blessed with long legs. Powerful ones. I can attest to the damage they are capable of causing when there is need for it. But only as a last result. And only when politely requesting they back off doesn't work.

Mama don't play. And she doesn't just sit there wrapping a wound with a sweet, "I'm sorry, but this is just the way it is." My kids are not going to be victims to someone else's brats. Not anymore. 

How would you address something like this?

Journey to Pain Relief: Salonpas Pain Patch

Recently, we made the trip to Waco to visit my in laws. I was having a rough day with the recurring pain in my shoulder and lower back. During the ride, I decided it was time to test out a Salonpas pain patch. I had a pulled muscle feeling in my left shoulder zone. It was affecting my arm as well.  Massaging it felt good until I stopped. I couldn't quite reach the main point though. So during a stop in traffic, my husband slapped the patch on.
You have to be okay with the camphor and menthol smells. The patch is strong with it. After about 5 minutes, I could feel a coldness where the patch was. It's like an Icy Hot, but no follow up of heat.
I was quite surprised. It felt like there was a numbing sensation going on back there. For the rest of the ride (maybe 2 hours), the only time I felt the sharp pull was when I yawned. The ache was toned down. Not completely gone, but low enough that I could ignore it.
I used the remaining patch I had on my lower back the next day. It took the pain down, not as well as the upper pain, but enough.

After coming back home, we decided to pick up some more to see if the relief could be extended. Our local Wal-Mart had a nice selection and we found some that had Lidocaine. It's a numbing agent used to treat pain. Even better that it advertises itself as used for desensitizing aggravated nerves.
Now, I'm not sure how much of my crazy side effects were from the patch. I had taken Excedrin earlier for migraine and PMS pain. Normally, I have a rise in internal temperature. Not fever, just the feeling of being hot and ability to sweat (something I don't normally do). I also shake and feel weak. So I'm thinking that might be where such effects came from. I'm not sure where the lightheadedness came from though. I felt sick to my stomach, but that could have been from fighting the migraine. Just things I noticed, but want to make you aware of in case you try these.
In less than half an hour, I had relief to the back pain. I felt numb. Better to feel nothing, than to hurt. Or so I believe. It helped with the pains going down my leg too. What these patches don't help with are the tingling and numbness that comes comes with the nerve issue.
These patches might be a life saver for a while. They might return some of my normal activities. I am not a fan of living on pain killers, but I don't have a choice right now. We will just have to see what side effects continue with the use.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Space to Spare Book Review

*Disclaimer: I was sent the digital copy of the book to review and write my own honest opinions about by US Family Guide*
Being organized is important to me. But staying there is quite difficult. I've read books, received tips and been trying to keep up.
That's where Space to Spare: A Mom's Guide to Organization by Debbie Lillard comes in handy. She walks you through the steps after presenting the problematic scenario. And it's not just about physical organization. Mom's need to have their time organized as well. After all, how can we tackle the mountain of tasks when we can't prioritize them first?

She lays out ways to organize your things. How many of us have lost things and bought something to replace it only to find the lost thing later? *raises hand here* This chapter leads to the next about organizing your home. Once you know your things, you can organize how efficiently the home runs.
I like the section about decluttering my time. I don't know about you, but I am terrible about overcrowding my days with tasks that I think I need to have done every day. I overwhelm myself. The truth is, there are some things that only need to be done weekly. Some things can be done monthly. And then a few can be done daily.
I'm learning to keep things organized by functionality. Like keeping bags for dirty diapers near the trash can.
It's the little things that do add up in helping us Moms keep things rolling smoothly.
This book is great for Mom's who seriously want help getting life organized. I don't think every solution is for every individual. We are all different with our own needs and situations, but like any organizing help it can give you ideas to get you started.