I stopped by the junior high to get some homework for Jackson. There was very little work for him. In fact, his reading/writing teacher even sent a note saying that the class was starting to read a new book, but there weren't enough for Jackson to take one out of school. Nice, huh? I'm so glad the hundreds of dollars I pay in registration fees and all the supplies I supply are serving him well. Anyway, I know the teachers don't know the details of his absence, and perhaps they just think he's out for a couple days with strep throat or something, but how sad that they can't spare a book for him.
I had an appointment with the family therapist assigned to Jackson on Monday at 1:30. At 1:10, they called me to cancel because the therapist had called in sick that morning. Understandable why it took them until after 1:00 to let me know.
There were visiting hours from 7-8 this evening. I called the nurse's station to explain my situation. "I know siblings are only allowed on weekends, but my nine-year-old daughter has a therapy appointment at 8:00 tonight. I won't have to time to visit Jackson and then drive all the way home to get my daughter and make it over to her appointment by 8:00. Can I please bring my daughter with me to visit Jackson for a little bit tonight?"
She had me hang on while she put the phone down to file her nails. She picked it back up and said, "Tough. Those are the rules. Deal with it, lady."
That pushed me over the edge. I've been holding back the tears, forcing a smile, staying strong, and pretending like everything is fine. But at that moment, the floodgates opened and I said (with a combination of nastiness and sobs), "Thanks a lot! Now my son has to go three days without seeing any family! I'm a single mom! I have six kids! I don't have anyone to help, okay? It would really be that bad to have a nine-year-old on the unit for half an hour on a, gasp, Wednesday?!"
Nonplussed by my crazed sobbing, she offered, "I could page his doctor to see if she'll give an order stating that your daughter can visit tonight."
"Yes, thank you. I would appreciate that," I said. Then I asked her to let me talk to Jackson since it was during their phone hour. She told me that he was in the shower and she'd have Jackson call me back.
I waited nearly an hour and then called again before the phone hour was up. I got through to Jackson and asked him if they'd told him that I'd called earlier. Nope.
Of course, no one ever called me back. No one gave me permission to bring Lexi with me to visit Jackson tonight. I still have no idea when he might be getting out. Someone is going to get an earful when I call tomorrow morning. I will not be crying like a baby and I will not be hanging up until I get some answers.
So many things really suck right now. But still, I refuse be dragged under. (At least, not for more than 10 minutes at a time). There's still funny to be found. In fact, while I was at the junior high, I went to Jackson's locker to get his books. A strange funk hit me when I opened the door. What I found was six sweatshirts and jackets. SIX of them! I didn't even know he had six sweatshirts/jackets! It suddenly made sense to me why Jackson was always saying, "Mom! I don't want to wear a coat to school. I'm not cold!" It's because he didn't have any coats at home to wear to school! As I dug through his veritable outerwear store, I uncovered the source of the stench.
A plastic container. I had no idea what might have once been housed in the container, but I was pretty sure it was now toxic waste. As I left the school, I passed a garbage can and almost threw the entire container in the trash, but my morbid curiosity got the better of me. I took it home. Then I told the kids where I'd found it and my estimated time of rottingness (8 weeks). One child was brave beyond the call of duty. Lexi grabbed the container to open it. "Noooooo!" I screeched, "Take it outside!"
I have no clue what this once was (I'm guessing cucumber slices), but it's all in my garbage can now. I hope it doesn't come to life and slime us in our sleep.