In A Perfect World

In a perfect world my son wouldn’t have been injured during birth.  He would have 2 symmetrical perfectly functioning arms and hands.  But we all have to figure out what to do with what we’ve got–and let’s face it, everyone has issues.  It’s amazing the accommodations he comes up with to do 2 handed tasks with one hand.  He amazes me.  Since he’s had to deal with this since birth, finding ways to do things comes natural to him.  It would be harder to lose the ability to use a hand later in life.  Still sometimes he needs a little extra help.  So I was shocked to find out that The Boy has been dropping his lunch tray in the cafeteria every week at school for the last year and 1/2.  No-one-told-us-this-was-happening!  Of course his teachers are claiming that there was no stigma attached to being the child who always drops his tray.  Seriously?  We took home a tray and practiced different techniques.  Within a few days the problem was resolved.  What really upsets me about this is that the problem went on for so long.  How was it acceptable to just assume that because of his difference  he can’t carry his tray and so you just keep letting the child embarrass himself for-a-year-and-a-half.  Parenting a child with a sever brachial plexus injury has been challenging.  He’s had 3 surgeries and as he gets older figuring out night time splinting and range of motion exercises get’s harder.  But this is the first time in almost 8 years that I feel like because of his hand he was made to feel different.  I’m so incredibly disappointed.  

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15 Responses to In A Perfect World

  1. the truly frightening thing is all the shit that happens to our kids at school that they just don’t tell us, and the teachers don’t tell us, but we somehow find out on our own. It’s a little heartbreaking as well. Ah, your poor son. At least you’ve found out now, but I can really understand your sadness and disappointment.

  2. veronica lee says:

    The teachers most certainly should have informed you. I would have been upset too.
    I’m so glad the problem was resolved.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Carrie says:

    Wow. Amazing.

    Just this morning my sister was telling me about some cr*p she found out was being told at my nieces school.

    They have to get shots of some kind…typical stuff is what my sister said.

    But several of the teachers told the girls it was so “they wouldn’t get pregnant.”

    And that led to my sister having to have the “talk.”

    And that’s totally NOT the reason some kids are having to get their shots. But really? So you won’t get pregnant?

    Things are so, so different from when I was in school…just so different.

  4. Vivian says:

    Jennie so glad you resolved this. Last year my youngest was sick a lot, the doctors could not find the cause, we kept going back to the hospital for more tests. It was a hard year for her. At school classmates started rumours about her, that she was pregnant, that I was lax and let her stay home when she wanted to, etc.

    I wrote the school a loong letter saying that I could not take her to the doctor every time she was sick (we had sick notes for most of the times). There were teachers that still gave her zero for being absent. Despite many discussions with the school and teachers, the lack of understanding was shocking.

  5. Ameena says:

    How bizarre that the teachers didn’t feel the need to inform you of this issue? I am so sorry to hear this! I hope you can address the situation with them so this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.

  6. Vesta Vayne says:

    What? How could your son’s teachers not contact you, especially considering it has gone on for so long? That’s a pretty big fail as far as I’m concerned.

  7. Lori says:


    oh oh I just want to cuddle the little lad,

    what’s sad is it was the teachers that perpetuated this. and -no one offered to help him-

  8. Farrah says:

    I am so sorry. This makes me so very sad that no one said anything to you :( I used to teach high school and it really broke my heart to see a child struggle in situations that most of us take for granted- even if they’re considered ‘simple’ tasks. One thing that I really did admire though- was that in an instance like this- classmates really stepped up to the plate to help someone out that needed it. There was no teasing, laughing or ridicule. Maybe it was because I taught at a pretty low SES school and they sort of bonded together- but it was still something that made a situation less painful.

    I hope that your son had people around him to help and I’m sorry it went on this long without anyone telling you.

  9. momto8blog says:

    I remember finding out at Thanksgiving my son was crying everyday. ..
    That is disappointing you didn’t know this was happening and it went on for so long…
    wishing you guys all the best from now on!

  10. It’s a fail on the school’s part, but a win on your part because as soon as you found out about it you resolved the situation. So sorry he had to go through that.

  11. Pish Posh says:

    Jeez. My brother has MD so I understand some of this. People are so afraid and uncomfortable with other people’s physical disabilities – like it makes them mentally disabled or something. I’m sorry his school didn’t let you know, that must be so frustrating. I can’t imagine what they were thinking. I am so grateful that my brother has been blessed with really cool people as friends and teachers that don’t stigmatize him.

    • Jennie says:

      It’s true! I think people are so uncomfortable with Physical differences! That’s part of it–it just became routine for him to drop his tray.

      • Amy says:

        Jennie I am so sorry to hear about this. I too have experienced a similar situation with Jane. For a year she was left “alone” in the classroom for the most part because the teacher wasn’t interested in teaching to the child but teaching to the curriculum. For a year she was “lost” and “left out” and felt less than capable and smart. The teachers tried to convince us that she wasn’t up to the schools standards – but this year, with teachers invested and believing in her it has made all the difference. Douglas is so lucky to have you in his corner and he is a wonderful boy!

        • Jennie says:

          Oh! I’m so glad Jane is having a great year! I was thinking about her the other day. You know it really does make a difference to have that kind of support!

  12. Brandy says:

    That is awful! They should have told you right away!

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