Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Five Years Later

If you're newish to this information, or you just need/want a refresher, please read this first.

This past year, Princess' bio & SM have kept their distance; physically & emotionally... and this is good. The last time we saw her bio was November 5th; her last soccer game (ever). He brought her two younger half-sisters, and some birthday presents. As usual, none of the clothing fit (even though I specifically gave sizing when asked).

I had her call him on Santamas, and he told her he had presents for her... but nothing ever came. She wasn't disappointed, as she never really expected them to. Although he never came to her Spring activity (hip hop classes), she freaked about the possibility of him/them coming to her 6th grade grad ceremony. I told her that *she* had to be the one to tell him not to come... which she did. I was so proud of her for standing firm with him on that.

Over the summer, nothing from them (except a couple of partial c.s. payments -- shocker!). In July, I sent an email stating that I signed her up for cheerleading, and I included the link to the website & calendar for that. In September, I got a whiny email that her schedule wasn't on there. Yes, it was; you just have to know how to read a calendar (here's a hint -- in Junior Cheer, "JV" equals 7th grade)... I ignored it.

Oh, and that letter? She wrote it, but I refused to send it. She is so angry... and rightly so. She called him names, & said that she wanted him to leave her alone & go away forever... so much more. I felt that it wouldn't do any good to send it (they'd probably just ignore it, telling themselves that I *made* her write it), but just her writing it was enough for now. She also told me she doesn't want him emailing or calling/texting her, so I haven't given him any of that information, either.

Here's my current dilemma, though. She's about to turn 13y... and I told her a couple years ago that she could have a FB page when she turned 13y... But, she doesn't want anything to do with her bio or his family. So, do I preemptively block as many of them as I can find when I create her page? Or, do I just deny any friend requests that come her way? I'll already have it mostly locked down, anyway... and of course, just like her email & other online accounts, I'll have full access.

As far as the money goes... tax return money was paid in, but never paid out. However, I have gotten some payments. I'm willing to bet that he was threatened with losing his license &/or jail time if he didn't pay; I've gotten some $50 payments & some $100 payments (for a total of $580 in the past year -- remember, it's supposed to be $100/month). His current c.s. is "only" $7764.12 in arrears, but remember; that mistakenly counts the payments made from their taxes, but that I never received, and doesn't count the attorney fees he's NEVER MADE ONE PAYMENT TOWARD.

OH! He never did end up volunteering last year... I guess Princess' teacher had him as one of the "class parents". He was (on paper) to do only email/phone stuff (nothing in-class, for Princess' protection & feeling of safety), but Mr M never ended up using him. This year, I made sure that he can't even have access to her. The school requires you to check in with them before you can do anything. To have access to a child, you must: (a) be on the approved list, and (b) show ID. The only two people on Princess' list, per my instructions, are me & Ace.

Last week, I got an email (signed with HIS name, but we all know SHE wrote it), asking about Princess' upcoming birthday. I sent very specific instructions, sizes, etc (as I have in the past, and they've rarely listened to). Honestly, Princess doesn't want anything from them... Regardless, it'll be interesting to see what, if anything, they end up getting her, and how it gets here (if it fits, it ships!).

So, five years from the abduction, and my Princess is still not okay. I've said it before, & I'll say it again: "It was their own selfishness that got him into this situation... and it will be complete selfLESSness that will get him out." Although, as time goes by, I give less credence to the thought that it'll ever be okay again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Support Your Local Mom/Friend

Here's something (one of many, believe me) that I don't understand. How can you call yourself a friend, but not act like it? Why are things sometimes made into a competition? Flat out truth -- I am not competing with YOU; I only compete with MYSELF! You should too.

This happened last week: I posted a status about finally getting to sleep in because I didn't have a morning client (originally, I had planned to go to Princess' conferences, so I took Friday morning off... decided Thursday to just go that night before taking Princess to her friend's for a sleepover). My exact status said, "Slept 'til 8a... ahhhhhhh!" Comments ranged from telling me what time other people got up, to a couple that were downright rude.

Two that hit me hard were comments about me not being part of the "real mom club" because I don't get up at 5am like them (actually, quite a few of my friends get up that early & I feel badly for them), and some crack about how they could choose their own hours, but doing so around their kids is frowned upon. WTF!

Why am I being negatively judged because I *CHOSE* to have ONE kid instead of four or five; some with EVERY man they marry or even sleep with (like SOME people I know). Because I went back to school to do something I absolutely love where I'm lucky enough to be able to choose my own hours based upon my family (& that ONE kid) obligations. Where I don't have to be at work at "zero dark thirty" (as my dad used to call it)? Where my husband is no longer wondering which wife he'll come home to, because loving what I do & how I do it makes me happy?

I AM a real mom, as is EVERY mom out there who is doing what she needs to for her family; stay at home, work at home, work away from home, or some combo thereof. As a GOOD friend, you should be supporting your mom friends, not tearing them down because you have a different lifestyle than they do (whether you chose it yourself or not). Life is hard enough; friendship isn't a competition... don't make it out to be one.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Educational Update

Progress reports came out Thursday, September 27th:

Social Science -- B
PE -- A- (missed class hadn't been made up yet)
Advance Pre-Algebra -- A+
Culture Through Cooking -- A
Science -- B
Language Arts -- B-

Midterm reports came out with conferences, dated through October 16th:

Social Science -- D
PE -- A
Advance Pre-Algebra -- A
Culture Through Cooking -- A
Science -- B
Language Arts -- B

Um, what? A "D"?!?! Not my daughter... I stood in lines to see all her teachers except Cooking (she has an A, and it was getting late); Social Science was the last one because it was really long. Even her math teacher saw it on my paper and said, "What the heck, M*******?!?!" We were all pretty confused. Got up to her teacher, and he said, "Oh, no. She has a B; I must have put the other girl's grade on her report." Seems there's another girl with her same last name; spelled the same. Thank you for the almost-heart attack, Mr. S! Also, Princess thanks you; she was about to be grounded from life.

Couple of things to note -- Not one teacher told me that she "is very social" (translation -- talks in class too much). That was an issue for a few years in grade school, but seems to be less so in middle school (yay). Almost all her teachers, however, did comment on her test-taking. That seems to be an issue across the board, so I know it's not topic-specific. In grade school, it was simple a matter of needing to slow down. This year, I think it's that, plus not fully comprehending the material. Her science teacher *did* tell me that he makes it VERY difficult to get an A in his class, but I'd still like her to get her barely-B up to a higher percentage...

Oh, and this year, she bought a yearbook; I sent the check for that the same time that I ordered her (tiny, as always) picture packet (I usually only order the bare minimum, so she has a few to give to friends, and she can get the class photo... although, being in middle school, there's no class photo anymore, so now it's all about getting a pic for the yearbook she's purchasing).

I was worried her bio (or his worse half) would do as they've done in the past, and send in a retake form, trying to force her to take a second photo... that would mean her education is interrupted, and I'd have to make yet another phone call to Lifetouch to make sure the yearbook photo would be the one *I* paid for, not the one *he* made her take.

So, this year, I told her she has the right to refuse to have them taken. To back her up, I also sent a letter to the school. It basically said that I didn't want her to be forced to take retakes, and that if there were any issues, they could call me (I was at work). My phone never rang, so when she texted me that she was on the bus, I asked about retakes.

She said, "Nothing happened, thank goodness." So, with her permission, I decided that I will send her bio an extra photo I have from the Portrait Innovations package I got. They now give you two 10" X 13" pics, and I only need one. Hope he appreciates it, and that in the future he either coordinates with me to buy just one package together, or to take what I'm able to give him from the P.I. set (I like them MUCH better than Lifetouch... and they're so much cheaper, too!).