My sister used those words to describe Shiny the other day. “She is objectively, genuinely hard, for anyone.”
Today the kids had respite together at The Arc. I was told years ago that “ARC” stands for Association of Retarded Citizens. Now they’re just The Arc. First Saturday of the month, they offer respite. 6 hours for $10 for the first child, $5 for siblings. We just learned about this a few weeks ago.
We showed up, spent half an hour filling out forms (which the caregivers did not read) and the kids ran gleefully into the play room. Well, first Shiny disappeared completely off both our radars (I thought he had her, he assumed that since I had my head down filling out forms and sent Miles his way that I had her.) So there was that panic, she turned out to be in a side room, and all was well. The kids were delighted to be there and to have the run of a huge space.
We left them there and came home and I did some dishes without anyone shitting on the floor and ate some food without sharing it with anyone and I took a nap.
Went school shopping (which makes me furious… free and appropriate public education means a list of $40-50 worth of stuff PLUS a request for $25 cash for supplies. I’m going to gently suggest to her teacher that next summer she should give me a list for the whole classroom, I will find the best possible price on the stuff and we’ll get it wholesale and divide the cost among parents. Because buying two reams of copy paper is just stupid.
Got back to pick up the kids… Miles came wandering up, checked me out and then wandered right back off again. The first words out of the caregiver’s mouth were “Does she have Pica? She ate crayons.”
“I put it on the paperwork,” I said.
“I didn’t look at that,” she admitted.
I find Shiny. She has a scrape on her face. “She threw herself on the ground,” the person watching her said. “Does she have pica? She ate crayons. We’re going to need to have 1:1 staffing with her next time.”
I have no doubt Shiny threw herself on the ground. And at this point, I don’t let her have more than one crayon at a time and we stop if she starts to break or eat them. As far as paper goes, I don’t really care if she eats it–as long as she’s not eating lightbulbs and pottery fragments we’re okay. (She’s done both.)
She is genuinely hard. I just hope this doesn’t mean they have to bill us at the higher rate for after school care, because while we can do the whole month at $9 per hour every day after school… not so much at $18 per hour.
But I don’t feel like quite such a jerk for having such a hard time this summer.
One. More. Day. Monday is no school, Tuesday they start.