* Encouragement

There weren't many adventures with Rio this weekend. Overall, it was pretty tame, as tame it can be anyway, with the little hercules plus five more.

I've decided that it's best not to bring the stepkids into this blog very much, just in case their mother ever stumbles across it. Because keeping things civil with her is a delicate balancing act, and we don't need any setbacks with that one. 'Nuff said.

Rio and I didn't get to do much of interest this weekend. Saturday we had the whole herd to wrangle, and Sunday was rainy and dreary, so we stayed in and played some Uno after I finished my housework. Rio loves cards, and he learned how to count by playing War with me when he was three.

Some good news: I had a great conversation with his counselor Friday night. I had faxed her all the paperwork that Rio's school had filled out for me, in hopes that I would turn it over to a pediatrician to have him assessed (not). I also wrote her a letter to catch her up on the outcome of my various meetings with his teacher and principal. She was very optimistic that we could persuade the principal to allow Rio to stay at his school, and she was also excited about the book they gave me. She sees a lot of books of this sort in her line of work, and she considers this to be one of the best. So we're going to start implementing those strategies in full force and we both believe that will yield very positive results. It looks like I'll be purchasing that book soon, since I've got it on a short-term loan at the moment.

I was very encouraged by her response and enthusiasm, because dealing with Rio's school has been wholly depressing. The behavioral assessment that they gave me was dreadfully harsh, and after I read it I felt like someone had driven a knife through my heart. Basically, it lists a whole bunch of negative behaviors, and the teacher checks a box under not at all, occasionally, often, or all the time. Rio got either "Often" or "All the time" for all of them, including: disliked by other children, explosive temper, ignored by other children, rejected by other children, uncooperative, impulsive, defiant, and bossy. The rest of it basically tells me he is "not at all like a normal child."

You know what I have to say to that?

Fuck you, educators. Fuck you for criminalizing nonconformity. Shame on you for demonizing my child, you're damn right he's not normal. I never dreamed of having a normal child, because I'm not a normal mother. I'm better than that, and so is Rio. Yes, Rio needs help, Rio doesn't know how to cope with frustration, and that's a problem that we can solve. Fuck you for deciding what is normal and what is not based on your own convenient paradigm.

I am a paradigm dismantler. Stand back, educators.

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