Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mum's the Word


So, I've been dithering. I've started three blog entries, none of which have come to fruition. They lie dormant, in a state of stasis, waiting for me to polish them up and place the final period. But lately when I'm not performing in benefits, pouring over almost incomprehensible legal documents, carpooling the kiddies, battling dragons and putting out their fires, I'm too tired to blog. Instead, I find myself watching Humphrey Bogart movies on TCM.

***

This last weekend, I was part of a benefit performance for my dear friend Mari, who needs help with her medical expenses. She was diagnosed with cancer in April and has been going through hell to get healthy. Her situation is certainly part of the argument we are now facing regarding health care reform. She has insurance, however with the chemo and the hospital visits and the various medications getting pumped into her, her bills remain astronomical. There's this one shot she's taking that has an eighty dollar co-pay. She's supposed to take this for six months daily. Do the math, it's rent for a year. She's temporarily moved from her home in LA and is an out patient at a hospital in Houston. Her husband of one year went with her. Of course, she's not working. Her husband is doing what he can, but if he stays by her side he isn't working either. It's a horrible, horrible situation.

We raised around $2,100 this weekend, which is a start. Mari is a warrior who needs our help. All her energies should be focused on getting well, not worrying about medical expenses. This is an instance of it takes a village. I invite you all to check out the web site dedicated to Mari's health and recovery. Please make a donation. No amount is too small. I guarantee it will be greatly appreciated.

***

We're settling out of court. I'm about to sign the papers and after I do a confidentially agreement will keep me from ever talking/writing about this again. Mum's the word...

Which makes Mommy wonder... Where the hell does 'mum's the word' come from? One source cites the phrase "as silent as the mummy." However, I much prefer the literary reference. In Henry V, Part II, Sir John Hume espouses,"Seal up your lips and give no words but mum." Shakespeare's way of saying "Shut the fuck up!"

Anyway...

...We've found Sebastian's school for next year!

To quickly recap: Bash will finish kindergarten on Friday and will need special ed services next year. He has both auditory and visual processing issues. Thus it's difficult for him to retain things. We've shelled out a wad of cash for him to get tutoring at Sylvan Learning Center. He's been going for about three months and still he only knows seven or eight letters, and maybe about five numbers. He can write his name but can't tell you all the letters in his name.

After his last IEP (Individualized Educational Program) Michael and I were told Sebastian could not return to our dream elementary school just down the street, because they do not have the programming my son needs. It was a tremendous blow and I'm still recovering. The Board of Ed gave us only one option, a school of concrete and razor wire with over 700 kids. I had this horrible image of him on his first day, having to become either a Jet or a Shark. (How telling is it that my only gang reference comes from a musical?) Sondheim aside, this establishment of learning was not for my little one.

We felt as if we were backed into a corner and had no recourse but to hire a special ed attorney. This turned out to be the smartest thing we did. She has been a godsend. And I write this for parents out there who think getting a lawyer is too drastic, or too much of a bother, or too expensive (her services are paid for by the school district!!!) Pick up the phone right now and make the call. And I'll tell you why...

Originally I posted specifics in the next paragraph. However, our lawyer thought that an unwise move. So, the following is the edited version of what was originally written.

...The minute we got our lawyer, the district started working in our son's best interest. It was almost as if they realized we weren't parents who would roll over to maintain status quo. You'll just have to take my word, Sebastian would not have received many needed services had we not gone the legal eagle route.

***

As for my half started blog entries with anemic content sitting in bloggers limbo, they will have to wait. This is what's on my plate for the rest of the week... Sebastian's school is ending and we seem to be inundated with end of the year parties (chicken legs on Monday, kickass Greek salad on Saturday.) Maxie is turning three on Thursday (cupcakes at the school), and at our house on Sunday the actual birthday party (princess or fairy or fairy princess...the theme changes as often as Maxie changes her wardrobe...barbecue, fruit salad, chocolate Tinkerbell cake, mimosas.) I get a little acid reflux just thinking about the next few days.

And now, dear ones, I'm off to sign legal papers, never to speak of our settlement again.

Seal up your lips and give no words but mummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

12 comments:

Michael Taylor Gray said...

Well, I will NOT stay "mum" regarding the joy I get from savoring each syllable in your delicious blog Mommy Penis Dearest.

Looking forward to the finishing touches on the "blogs-in-waiting."

xo

MTG

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

So. What'd you get a settlement for?

Yankee Girl said...

Battling dragons huh? You are one super badass mommy.

And I love Shakespeare. He can make the most awful insults sound poetic and nice.

surprised mom said...

I love Shakespeare, but you're interpretation on Shakespeare's "mum" is the best and funniest I've read.
Congrats on the way things turned out for Sebastian and school.
Good luck with all your planned activities in the next few days. I hope you get all the sleep you need to keep up the pace.

Amy said...

Best wishes and the best of luck as you and your family move onward and upward.

You are a warrior mommy! Yay for you!

I suffer from Blog Block far too often for my liking. I think it travels like a virus around the Land of Blog.

trashalou said...

Did i miss the thing about the settlement? Is there backpost I can read somewhere???????

This IS The Fun Part! said...

Outstanding! Any battle for the rights of our children is worth fighting!

Grannie

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Good for you, Hutchins, for doing all you can to get Sebastian in the right program. I'm a school administrator, and I'll be the first to admit that special education isn't an area that lots of principals have expertise in. So oftentimes it's more a lack of knowledge than a lack of caring. Not a great excuse, but it happens. As you've learned, eventually you can get the right thing done. It shouldn't take "lawyering up" necessarily, but again, every case and every place is different.

Loved the Jets and Sharks thing. WSS is my favorite show ever . . . I played trumpet in the orchestra for a two week run long ago . . . the music is a bitch.

Take care,
Chris

Vodka Mom said...

i am so very proud of you. YOU are your child's best and most important cheerleader/advocate/righter of wrongs that he has.

We are all human, aren't we - with our painful yet necessary battles hidden behind our smiling faces? I wish you well in this.....

Lola said...

Congratulations for standing your ground and hiring a Special Ed Attorney when you couldn't go further on your own.

I've just stumbled across your blog, so I don't know if you're familiar with John's Blog http://specialneedsinmunchkinland.blogspot.com/
He and his partner have 2 special needs children also.

I had a run-in with my daughter's school district nearly 2 years ago when she had a psychotic break. I lucked out and was able to fight the fight without a Special Ed Attorney, I think because the school district actually had no place in district to place her. My daughter has a long school commute, but she is now at a school that specialized in dealing with kids with behavioral health issues. She starts their summer program on Monday. I'm now counting the hours. :)

only a movie said...

SO COOL. I hope your son gets the services he needs. You are so smart to get an advocate.

I'm a special ed teacher, but also a mom. My son has some quirky special needs... and I almost had to hire an attorney to get him his programming. And he goes to school in the district where I work. Complicated.

Well done. I am off to click the link for your friend's donation page.

Neither Here Nor There said...

Big thumbs up to you with a click. Being your child's advocate is both a burden and a joy. Have found more joy than burden and would never have my son any other way than the way he is. Congrats.