Friday, April 11, 2014

C'mon, Ya Gotta Do Better Than This...

I am not happy.

Not happy at all.

Actually, I'm pretty peeved.

A while back I received the class newsletter or a parent update or whatever via e-mail, listing all of the upcoming activities.  I've learned to be careful to make note of some things and put them on my calendar at work so I don't miss them, like the all-important Number Shirt Day, or the class field trip, or Pajama Day, or Crazy Hair Day.  I mean, it's not like Sammi's going to come home all excited to tell me about one of them with any real reliability.

So, all of those things were on my calendar.  Actually, I put them on my calendar for the day before, as a reminder, so I'm sure not to miss it. 

Today was to be Crazy Hair Day.  And, to be absolutely sure that it was the right day, I went back to the school's website and clicked on the student newsletter yet again, and yes, there it was, still listed for today.  I got the calendar notification yesterday, and had planned to go to CVS to buy some fun colors to put in her hair.  I was accused last year (jokingly, of course) of sending her to school as if it were Cute Hair Day, because it really wasn't very crazy.  So I knew I had to do better.  I didn't make it to CVS, but on-the-fly this morning, I braided ribbons into her hair and yes, if I must say so myself, it was pretty awesome. 

Perfectly crazy, perfectly cute, as it should be. 

And you know what? 

Sammi loved it.


As I was packing up her backpack, I caught a glimpse of a flyer that had been sent home in yesterday's monster paperwork packet of stuff-that-comes-home-and-sits-in-the-pile-until-I-have-a-minute-to-look-at-it, that said something about today being Wear a Hat Day for cancer awareness or something.  Like I said, it was just a glimpse, and we were in a hurry to get out the door.  I figured either/or, it had to have been optional.


When we got to school, there wasn't a single. strand. of. crazy. hair. in. sight. 

Except Sammi's.

Just hats.

I asked one of Sammi's former aides, who was standing outside directing the morning drop-off traffic about it, and she said it had changed.

I asked if Sammi was going to be the only kid in school with crazy hair today.

She said, "Pretty much."

Looking sheepish, she said they'd made an announcement about it yesterday.

And no, there was nothing on her communication paper about it.

And yes, I'm pissed.

So, while I was voicing my displeasure about it, my happy, excited and oblivious (for that moment) daughter rushed into school without saying goodbye, without a goodbye kiss, only to head into what may have been disaster.  I don't know.

Her former aide suggested I go home and bring back a hat for her to put over her crazy hair, so I did.  It was just a baseball cap, and I gave it to the aide to take to Sammi.  I hope it worked, but I don't even know if it would fit over the braids. 

But I'll tell you this, I do not want my daughter to feel humiliated, different, left out.  I do need additional assistance in getting this kind of information to us so this kind of thing doesn't happen.  If I read absolutely nothing else from Sammi's paperwork when I get home, I do ALWAYS read her communication page.  It's my only insight into her day.  The other stuff can generally wait. 

And if they're going to make a big change like that, the kind of change that can isolate or embarrass a child if the message doesn't come across, especially a child with an intellectual disability with the cards already stacked against her, who cannot be relied upon to pass the message, then someone needs to damn well make sure that message is passed.

I can only hope that Samantha still has a great day.  She was so proud of her hair this morning, and I hate that someone's going to rain on her parade.  I can only hope that she and her friends can laugh it off, that she'll willingly put the hat on, and the day will proceed as normal, that the damage hadn't already been done before the hat could be brought to her once the starting bell rang. 

I wish I could have hugged and kissed my baby girl goodbye this morning.

I'll make up for it when I get home.