Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Court is now in Session

Uh huh. Pardon me while I yawn.

For those following the Day in the Life of Cameron Tales, today was the day I was summoned to court. Note just me. Why Cooper's father wasn't listed not only floors me, but he seemed slightly offended by it as well, until he realized I'd be the one in jail for going off on the judge and he could dance along his merry way.

I was scheduled to appear at 9am and in an unusual display of all things odd, I showed up early. There were five other people waiting to be seen, and then I saw the principal waltz in as well. I have a history with this principal from back in the days when Syd went whacko in Kindergarten, and once again, my gaydar dinged so loudly I was convinced others had to have heard it. If they did, they also bit back squeals of laughter as I did, because no one moved. Finally, we were told we could go in. Yippee.

I, of course, showed up in a sweatsuit, no bra (hey now, my jacket was zipped!) and black house slippers. No make-up. I'm 99% sure I didn't bother to brush my hair, although I did take pity on others with my teeth. It was the principle of the matter. Normally, that's what I'd be wearing to deal with house stuff all day, cleaning and laundry and all that jazz, and I'd be damned if I was going out of my way to change my routine for something so inately stupid.

I sat on the front row, smack dab across from the judge. Takes a lot to intimidate me, and he wasn't going to be one who did it. We were then told we were all there on the charge of "Parenting contributing to the nonattendence of a student."

Took everything in me not to stand up and scream, "My FOUR children don't even have to grace your schools ever again. I have the right to HOMESCHOOL them and then guess what? You LOSE those government funds sent to you per student per day they attend!" (Because that's really, really what this is all about, and we all know it.) But I was good and just stared right back at him and decided to not tell him that I'd bill him for the time he was wasting in my day. I had a nap scheduled. I was running late for it now.

They called roll to see who all was there. Lots were missing. He got to "Brenda Bradshaw" and like a good little girl, I raised my hand and said, "Here!" Then the judge, perched way up high on his little throne to look down upon the masses, spoke directly to me for the first time, even though I hadn't been called for my testimony yet. Gulp.

He peered at me and said, "When did the constable serve you?"

Well! Now that you ASKED! "He served me night before last, Monday night, even though this paper states he had the form for a full two weeks before he decided to grace me with his presence."

The judge nodded and made a note. I think the Constable may be getting a spanking, and it explains why so many others hadn't shown up. Said Constable must not be taking his elected job very seriously. Given my experience thus far, I can't really blame him.

The first parents were called up and had to go and sit in the defendents' table. Interesting. I felt like a hillbilly version of Law and Order. The judge read them their rights, told them that if they signed this form, they agreed to waive said rights and they should check the plea they wanted to enter: guilt, no contest, or not guilty.

This is where it got good. I feared I may been the only one to raise a bit of angst, but nooo. The first set of parents (note that BOTH of the parents were on THEIR form, unlike mine) beat me to it, and it took all I had me not to stand and applaud them. They said they were entering not guilty, and requested a trial. Woot! The judge stared. The principal (seated at the table for the state) had his jaw drop to the floor. I had to bite back giggles in the biggest way. Then the guy said: Is it trial by judge or jury? The judge said: Whichever you decided. The guy looked at the judge and said: Oh, definitely by jury.

Oh SLAM! Judge said: I'll send you the paperwork with it scheduled. You're done.

That man and his wife left. What a way to start the day! Hee!!

I was second to last. I got called and sat at the table and Brian sat down next to me (and everytime he sat down with me, he made sure to put a chair between us. Smart man.) The clerk brought me over the papers to sign (everything between the first guy and me had plead guilty - no way in God's green earth was I about to do THAT). I said, "Um, I have a few questions first."

Brian muttered, "Oh God, here we go."

I can't really blame him. Most know my attitude for the stuipd and ignorant and lack of common sense. I have very, very little patience, but I DO start out nice. Promise. I just go from Nice to Verbal Castration at the speed of light should the situation arise. I have at least two people who already told me they had bail money ready, and I had them on speed dial on the cell should I need it.

Judge said, "Go ahead."

Me: "One of his absences was 11/5/07, although he was there for part of the day, and still there at 10:30, so legally he was counted as there. However, we have the dental note stating he had proceedures done on that day. The two days after that date, the 6th and 7th, are two of the days in question as being unexcused."

Judge nodded, having the note in front of him.

I said, "I realize NOW that it has to be in writing, however, on the morning of the 6th, I walked in my son and my 7 yr old daughter and hand delivered the dental notes. Cooper was still dressed in PJs and I had him wrapped in a quilt. I sat him on the desk and the receptionists were all doting on him as he showed them the work done. I told them his mouth was sore from it all, and that I'd be keeping him home for the next couple of days."

Not only was the judge nodding, but so was Gaydar Principal. He'd been in there that morning. He remembered it.

I said, "In my world, I've expressed, as his parent, that he would be absent and the medical reason behind it. If it was an issue, one of the receptionists should have said, 'Here, jot me a note real fast for his folder', but she didn't do that, so I had no reason to believe there was an issue which would later land me in court. I'm requesting those that two days be reversed from unexcused to excused due to the circumstances."

Judge agreed. By law, by the State of Texas, he can do that. He had the school note the change. The school, however, has the right to still view it as four (not now two) unexcused absences. He asked the school if there had been any since, and Principal said, "No." Duh.

Another incident involved a note I DID sent with Cooper after an absence that the teacher never received. I'd sent that thing back with Cooper for DAYS, yet every afternoon, it was still there when I checked his folder. I told the judge that if I, as his parent, am expected to check that folder everyday for notes from his teacher, then that teacher should have the same expectation of her. That was our form of communication and I had the expectation that it worked both way. Judge agreed again. I got to stay nice, which was a little disappointing because I do so love a good verbal castration, but since he has Striped Prison Wear on his side, I guess I shouldn't press my luck.

I expressed my concern over all absences. Cooper missed 3 1/2 days last week during the Epilepy stuff, and I told the judge he'd be out Thursday of this week for pre-op and next Tuesday for his MRI, and of course, I'd have a note. He said that would be fine. I swear, he seemed as bored with it all as I was.

We still had "sanctions" levied on us. If Cooper has anymore unexcused absences, we'll be fined $187. I said not to worry: Since my verbal word wasn't good enough, and since notes sent with Cooper were often overlooked, I'd start sending the notes via mail, with delivery confirmation and signed return receipt required.

The judge smirked, I winked, and got up and left.

As I was leaving, the prosecution's table of the Truancy Officer of the district leaned over and whispered, "Hey, did you film the Constable serving you like you said you would? I want to watch it!"

I laughed and said, "No, I couldn't find my battery."

She seemed disappointed.

Apparently she hates the anti-climatic as much as I.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ummmmmmmm Plucky Plucky

Growing out eyebrows is almost as painful as growing out a bad hair cut.

Just sayin'.

(Note that it may not be a thrilling topic, but I AM blogging regularly again!)

Go tweezers?

Monday, January 28, 2008

You just can't make up this kind of crap...

For those long-time readers of my blog, I'm sure this will come as no surprise when I tell this particular little story, but even for someone like me, who lives in this town day after day just shy of two years, I'm continually amazed and equally appalled by the latest development of Living in the Town Called Cameron.

There is a Texas law that states that children may not have more than three UNexcused absences. Okay. Easy enough. But when I take my child in, who just had some major dental work, and set him on the office desk wrapped in a quilt while he shows off his work and tell the women in that office that I'm going to be keeping him home the next couple of days due to the pain, in MY little brain, that's excused. I'm informing the school that he won't be there, and the medical reason why.

So explain to me why I'm summoned, served court papers in my home, to show up in court for "Parent Contributing to Nonattendance". And, shocker of shocks, this is just toward me, my son's father not remotely named. Why? Not sure, but I plan to find out.

I understand the need for this particular law. I really do. Shandie drives herself t school with a vehicle her guardians provided for her. If she then uses that car to ditch school, I happily and readily agree that I'm at fault. But this was summoned for COOPER. He is SIX. If a six year old isn't in school, I betcha he's with his PARENT. (In this case, a parent who did, indeed, notify the school of his absences, but apparently it wasn't WRITTEN DOWN to be placed in his PERMANENT FOLDER. Pardon ME.)

Ohhhhhhhh I don't know. Maybe when I sat him there in the office explaining his dental work and that he wouldn't be in school the next couple of days, the secretaries could have said, "Here. Jot down a note for us to put in his folder." Instead, they nod and give him hugs and wish him well and I think all is fine until two months later when, at 6pm on a January night, a constable knocks on my door.

There comes a point when common sense has GOT to dance hand in hand with the law. Pile this lame, incredible waste of my time and tax payers' money to the load we've carried the last week or so with my Lupus scare and Cooper's Epilepsy, and all I could do was laugh in the constable's face. I said: When is this because if it's on the day he's scheduled for his MRI I won't be gracing your little courthouse.

He said: Oh... judge wouldn't like that.

Oh pardon me AGAIN while I attempt to CARE.

Crap... nope, didn't work. Can't summon up an ounce. SUMMON! HA! I'm so flippin' funny.

So Wednesday morning, 9am, I shall be at the courthouse (Cooper has pre-op for his MRI on THURSDAY morning - judge got flippin' lucky on this one.) I promise to update you as soon as possible. If there's a fine attached to this, guess who will not pay it on general principle. Yup. Me. Many people thought I'd be an attorney growing up because of tenacious ways and word usage, but I know me, and my attitude, and I know I'd be in contempt alllllllllllll the time. Considering I plan on letting this judge know exactly what I think about all of this, we'll be lucky if my happy little ass doesn't end up in jail now. Maybe they'll have internet access.

I've kept my rant to a minimum and my cussing reigned in. Mom sometimes reads this, and she hates when I get that way. You're welcome in advance, Mom.

I've already got my call into my Attorney Extraordinaire, JBM. Maybe he'll have huge words of wisdom. One can hope.

I look really bad in stripes.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Shake Rattle and Roll

The title of this is hugely inappropriate but given how he's handling it, with his usual nonchalance and Super Cooper ways, I decided to use it anyway.

There are times when you do things you'd never, EVER dream of doing. I had one of those moments last night. I had my little six year old dude on my lap, absorbing his little boy giggles and the best hugs and whispers in the world, and teaching him to say a new word:


Cooper received this diagnosis yesterday and twenty-four hours later, my heart is still attempting to deal with it. It stems from head trauma and a van door over two years ago, recently rearing up in our world with little seizures that don't seem to phase him but freak me out beyond words. He's got a fabulous physician, hates the taste of his medication, but thinks the idea of Med-Alert dogtags sounds uber-cool. In the grand scheme of things, we're still very lucky, and I know this, and I accept this, but the blood that courses through my veins wants nothing more than to make this all go away, and let him be just a normal little dude who doesn't have to worry about a thing in the world, much less how to pronounce Ep-i-lep-sy.

Shake, rattle and roll, dude face. Momma's got your back.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Click it! Click it GOOD!

At the top of this blog is a little tab that says NEXT BLOG. Click it. It's quite neat to see where all it takes you. Several years ago, this was how I found John who ended up designing my fabulous website, so you never know who all you may find that will influence your life later on.

I did this tonight for the first time in YEARS. The very first one had these great shots of her dog and really funny captions, and like a total twit, I didn't save the link to share it here. I did leave a comment for her, so maybe she'll visit here and you all can see her cute dog and her creative camera angles.

Anyway, try it. It's kinda neat.

On another note: I've updated my blog roll. I had people listed over there and I have no idea who they are. Sorry, but it's gone now. As you can see, the only one really there is EE, my personal editing god because he's the only one I read faithfully right now. I have a few personal friends I'm going to list (non-writing) here in the next day or so, but if you frequent this blog and want to be listed, just give me a hollar and I promise to add you.

On another note: I'm trying to be more creative, so one of the things I want to try is daily blogging on whatever comes to mind. Could be from the kids, the news, whatever. Hope you drop in more often if I do this. I miss my commentors!

On yet another note: I'll update Christmas tomorrow and how it all went down, and get you all caught up on what's happening in my world thus far in 2008. It's not so great right now with the Super Cooper Dude.

On a final note: I'm noted out... g'night.