Broken system

At about 3:30 yesterday, Daycare called and said LB had a rash. They told me I need to take her to the doctor and get a note saying its not contagious before she can return. By the time I got there, the rash had all but cleared up.

 

  1. We live in southwest Colorado, its dry.
  2. The backyard of the daycare is all dirt. No grass.
  3. The kids roll around in the dirt all day long.
  4. There is no shade in the backyard, thus making it VERY hot in the midday sun.
  5. My daughter still has random potty accidents which can trigger rashes.
  6. My daughter probably has very sensitive skin, and after a long with all these conditions will usually have dry, red skin.
  7. I put lotion on her every night after bath time. Maybe I need a better lotion than Johnson & Johnson

After explaining all of this to the head teacher, and asking if a doctor’s note was really necessary,  they gave me this infamous answer:

“Sorry, that’s our policy.”

I almost lost it. I wanted to scream. If someone tells me those words ONE MORE TIME….

I called LB’s doctor. Got the answering service. Drove by as soon as they opened up this morning and explained the situation and asked for a piece of scrap paper with the doctor’s signature. They told me they couldn’t sign anything without looking at my kid and the next available appointment was at 11 am.

I called Headstart in a fury and asked to talk to the Head Nurse. They gave me her voice mail. I left a seething message, telling them I was standing outside my doctor’s office, I had nowhere to leave my perfectly healthy child and I was missing work all because of their damn policy.

Based on my previous experience with Headstart, I didn’t expect to get anywhere, so I called my job, explained I wouldn’t be in until after 11, and took my daughter out to breakfast. As soon as we got our order, they called back. They asked me if LB was feeling better and if she still had a rash and I said the rash was gone by the time I picked her up yesterday. Then they said it would be ok for me to bring her back, so I left my un-eaten food and dragged my daughter out of white trash Denny’s screaming for her whipped cream pancakes.

I know I should have let her finish. I know I should have taken this opportunity to have a nice breakfast with my kiddo, but I was too pissed to enjoy it. I was 2 hours late to work, and that meant I would have to use 2 more hours of my vacation time to cover my docked pay. At this rate, I’m never going to get enough time saved up for a vacation.

It doesn’t help that my friend is in Hawaii right now, and everyone I know seems to be taking vacations, or driving Ford Fiestas, or getting engaged, or blah blah blah… rant rant rant. I love all these other single moms, and I know I’m feeling sorry for myself, but fuck it.

I have to go to the policy committee tonight, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to keep my cool. Its the last place I want to be right now. I don’t even want to deal with Headstart anymore. I want to withdraw LB, honestly. I may after tonight. I’m sick of dealing with their crap.

So sad that an organization who’s goal is to help parents and expand the education of young children is so caught up in policy and covering their asses, is shooting themselves in the foot. I like Headstart, I think their mission statement is extremely admirable. But like so many other public service programs, its a broken system.

P.S. Roofie called me last night and informed me that he had to cancel his weekend due to the fact that he no longer has a license and needs to work. I guess the judge wasn’t lenient with him on his child support default.

My chipper response: “Well thanks for calling and letting me know. Talk to you later.”

 

Documenting vs. Badmouthing

Meeting again with Rooferman tonight. Its amazing how different I feel going into it this time. I would say that I’m looking forward to it a tiny bit, but I don’t want to jinx myself.

That “I’m going to Disneyland” song was playing on the radio this morning. I got a little emotional high listening to it. Maybe its because I feel like I’m on the verge of something. This all being over? God I wish.

Blondie informed me last night that I was (once again) no longer welcome in her house. I’ve heard that so many times that its almost lost its meaning. I think she got a hold of the updated parenting plan and actually read though it. When she got to this part:

Each parent shall be afforded a brief period not to exceed fifteen (15) minutes once every six months, or upon any relocation, to see and inspect the residence of the other, including the sleep area provided for the minor child. 

She wasn’t too happy.

She told me that I can call Social Services on her if I want, but there was no way I was going to inspect her home. She “just doesn’t agree with that.”

Too bad for her, its not her choice. The funniest part about it was I didn’t even request this to be put in the parenting plan. Lawyerdude said that was standard procedure for someone who has unstable living situations (which I think Roofie qualifies as).

I also received a statement of how far behind Rooferman is in child support payments.

The total stands at $4829.00

These are the facts people. I’m just documenting them. Is it really considered bad-mouthing when I’m describing actual events? I don’t know. I’m just trying to make sense of my life and do it in a way where my daughter doesn’t get hurt.

Do you think Erin Brockovich’s kids embarrassed that their mom revealed their life story on the big screen, or do you think they are incredibly proud and inspired that she is their mom? They had deadbeats as dads, and the entire world knew that. 

What do you think?

Buttering up

Rooferman called last night. He was so chipper I thought he was going to burst into song. He said “I’m really happy how things are going. Thank you so much for meeting with me.”

I was the definition of skeptical. Either his parents have actually talked some sense into him, or he’s still trying to butter me up. At this point, I think a “change of heart” is out of the question.

He said he looked at the plan and wanted to hash a few more things out. He offered to set up another meeting with his parents before our PTC on Thursday. I wanted to ask him “what exactly are you talking about?’, but I agreed.

I still have points to make. Even after 2 hours, I wasn’t able to bring up all my reasons for why our almost-3-year-old should remain with her primary caretaker for most of the time. I haven’t even gone into the financial aspect.

I’m not going to be whittled down into an agreeable lump of play dough. I have my bottom line, and I think its pretty damn reasonable. Rooferman may think that he’s slowly getting what he wants out of me, but I can’t be manipulated anymore.

My lawyer and I are preparing for this case as if it were going to court. These meetings are just tiny shots in the dark on the way to the bigger battle. He’s trying to get me to sign a 50/50 plan, but why is he so desperate to meet with me before court if he so confident the judge will grant it?

In other news: Remember my old apartment complex? I received a letter today, indicating that they would like to give my deposit back (minus carpet cleaning). They even wrote “Good luck on your new job!” at the bottom.

Insane. This is the first deposit that’s been returned to me in the previous 5 years of renting, and from the last landlord I thought it would come from. No mention of the 3-month penalty fee either (knock on wood).

Man, I’m glad I didn’t call the newspaper on them. I AM debating on informing the Herald about the whole “Spot” situation, though.

I haven’t written an article for the Examiner in almost 4 days. I think I made 17 cents yesterday. At least if I get laid off from my job, I will have PLENTY of time to write.

“How to survive on 17 cents a day”

*insert maniacal laughter here*

Cuts

Meeting with Rooferman and his parents tonight. Not really the way I wanted to start my weekend, but at least it will be over with after this. I woke up feeling really good today, too.

Then I read that the state of Colorado may have to cut 1/3 of my employer’s jobs, or force the workers to take a 35% pay decrease. If it does come to that, I hope my fellow employees will be kind enough to decide on the latter so we all can keep our jobs. Unfortunately I have a feeling that this is going to bring out mad selfishness.

*sigh*

Have a good weekend?

Moving

My mother picked up LB from Roofie’s house last night. Since she is a big, scary feminist, they were as polite as can be to her. Thank God they have taken down their McCain/Palin Sign, or else a fight may have ensued.

“Sorry the house is a mess, but we’re moving,” Roofie said to my mom.

Hmmmm. First the cell phone, now the house. Someone can’t afford his new life? Apparently they are moving back to Blondie’s mom’s house out on the mesa.

On a different note, I made a whopping $7.50 last week writing for The Examiner. That’s like 3 whole gallons of gas! I know the blogworld is sick of talking about lactating moms, but I had to respond to this Atlantic Article in my  post today.

P.S. I laid out on my deck for the first time this weekend. It was ridonkulously amazing.

P.P.S LB’s new infatuation with The Lion King has prompted spontaneous singing of “I just can’t wait to be….C-L-E-A-N

Sick of this

Roofie called my lawyer yesterday, stating that he’s tried numerous times to meet with me but I’ve refused. Lawyerdude said “I don’t believe that, but if you two can work this out, I think that’s best for everyone.”

I feel like my teeth are being pulled out one by one, and just when I’ve managed to get over the pain, here comes Roofie with the pliers again. Unfortunately, my Laywer is right. As long as one of us keeps “trying to work it out” that’s what a Judge wants.

So via email and phone calls through my lawyer, Rooferman finally agreed to meet me “One on One” at his parent’s home sometime next week.  Since his mother considers both of us her children, I guess that’s as neutral a location as we’re going to get.  Maybe his mom will even back me up.

When his parents came to me the night before our last court date, they had lots of questions and I explained the parenting plan my lawyer and I had made up in detail. His mom asked me if the Judge was going to clarify these things at the status conference, because she thought Rooferman didn’t really understand all of it.

Maybe with her help, he will?

At least this time I’m not going into it with a shining ray of hope. In fact, my lawyer is asking me to contact witnesses for the trial already. Basically, preparing for the worst, but if at all possible, hoping for the best.

 I know many of my bloggy friends have told me not to meet with him, and to stop torturing myself. Last time I was so shocked by his request to meet with me that I started fantasizing an easy way out (I’m a Pisces, I’m good at that). This time I know what he’s trying to do. So I can show up, bring my parenting plan, listen to what he has to say, and tell him “I’m sorry you’re not willing to compromise. I will see you in court.”

Otherwise, he will tell the Judge that he tried and tried to come to an agreement with me, but I refused to meet with him. 

I’m just so sick of this.

Smoker’s cough

Last night was bad. LB hacked and coughed and moaned and groaned all evening. We snuggled up and watched Finding Nemo, while sipping chicken soup. Since so many 2-year-olds have OD’d on Dimeatap in the previous years, I bought some organic “all natural” cough syrup at the health food store. Its basically all honey with some marshmallow root in it, so really it does absolutely nothing, except make Mommy feel like she’s got control over the situation.

At bedtime, the cough got worse. I could hear her gagging and crying for me. I wrapped her in a blanket and rocked her to sleep on the couch. When she’s not coughing, her breathing is fine. She doesn’t even inhale sharply after its all over. But its definitely getting worse.

Last week while I was dealing with Strep, I took LB into the doctor to get her cough checked out. After listening to her lungs, the Dr. said, “They sound clear as a bell. Its probably just a cold,” and sent us on our merry way. Its been more than 10 days since the cough started, and I have no idea what it is.

I scoured the online symptom checker at Parenting.com and listened to the audio clips of “dry cough” vs “whooping cough” and “crop cough”. I went through other related symptoms for flu, bronchitis, pneumonia…all negative. No fever. No running nose. No congestion. No body aches. No spots on back of tongue. No pain in throat. No wheezing. No turning blue. No vomiting.

Then I looked at the bottom where it said “Smoker’s cough” and “Asthma”:

Inflammation of the airways is the common finding in all asthma patients.  This inflammation is produced by allergies, viral respiratory infections, and airborne irritants among other causes. Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with increased asthma severity and worsened lung function in children with asthma.

The first time I met with Roofie, they both were smoking cigarettes inside, while the kids played in the next room. Rooferman has smoked since he was 14. I have witnessed him picking up our daughter from visitation with a cigarette in his mouth. I doubt he put it out on the way back to his car.

They both claim they don’t smoke around the kids. But honestly, I don’t think Rooferman considers smoking his his truck while our daughter is in the backseat “second hand smoke.”

LB has never come home reeking of cigarettes (just feces and urine). There is no real evidence besides the instances where I’ve seen them smoking. But what about this cough? What if she IS developing asthma? What if Roofie’s Camel lights are the cause of it? If this cough doesn’t go away, I’m taking her back to the doctor and asking for another diagnosis. If she’s getting Asthma (which no one in my family has ever had), you better believe I’m bringing it up in court.

Then again, everyone within a 30-mile radius of a cottonwood tree has been coughing. Maybe its just that time of year.