Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I am Here to Listen, Reflect and Learn...Today has been a Really Shitty Day

Can you even imagine if my true purpose were to piss people off? I irritate people and it isn't even my intention to do so. Yes, I am assertive, but I am so non-violent. I manage to provoke people's sensitivity unknowingly, see Patti's blog as a reaction to my earlier post. Today, my sensitivity was provoked, yes, I am very sensitive and I am in NO way trying to tell anyone how to raise their kids. This blog is mine, a place where I can listen, reflect and learn from others, not tell others what to do - because, believe me, I am NO authority on life.

Jordan came home from school at 1:00 pm. with two girls from his class instead of taking the bus, because he was too upset to take the jam-packed bus. He asked the mom of these two girls if she would give him a ride, he knew this mom from elementary school. Ah, elementary school, the good old days. Apparently something dramatic transpired in class today and Jordan had an inappropriate reaction to this event. So, we discussed the incident and had him write a letter to the class that he will read tomorrow in school. This is what he wrote:

To my Teachers and my Classmates:

Yesterday, while I was in class and I was playing with a paper airplane that I had made, a couple of my classmates tackled me to break the airplane. In doing this, they held me in a position so that I was unable to move and knocked my cochlear implant to the ground. When I felt my cochlear implant knocked off my head and I couldn't move to do anything about it, I got very angry and frustrated. Without thinking, as soon as my classmates let go of me, I knocked over two desks and chairs. I know that I exaggerated in my reaction and I would like to apologize for this. However, I also want to tell my classmates that they need to treat me with more respect and behave better, also because they need to understand that they could break my cochlear implant. Please remember that for me to hear better, I need to have a lot less confusion in the classroom.
Thank you,
Jordan Eric Del Dottore

To see your son put in a position of such complete and utter frustration is tormenting for a mother. The fact that Jordan threw desks to the ground brought back memories of his behavior in first grade, an extremely difficult and traumatic time. We have come such a long way since then, but the fact that he felt so frustrated that he needed to have such a violent reaction is so painful...for him and for me.

We have also grown a lot since first grade, both of us, so instead of yelling at him and feeling embarrassed that MY son would have done such a horrendous thing, I felt mortified FOR him that other children put him in a position to feel so badly that he had such a violent reaction.

So, I hugged him.

Then, we talked.

He told me how he felt helpless when they blocked him and knocked off his ci, and I validated his frustration. He still would not admit that his reaction was excessive. One hour later, he still would not admit his reaction was excessive, so I grabbed Sofia's plastic work desk and intentionally threw it across the room three times. Then, I asked Jordan how he felt about that. He responded, "Scared." I said, "And that's how the rest of the students in your class felt watching someone they love lose control."

Now, he gets it.

He wrote the letter- strange how writing can be such a cathartic experience, isn't it?

Tomorrow he will read the letter to his class, which will not be easy for him, but I know my son and he will do it...with charisma, because my son has a lot, a whole lot of heart.


Karen Mayes said...

Oh boy.

We all are sensitive and sometimes we read too much into the words.

When it comes to losing control, over having something precious (that you come to depend on) taken away can be very upsetting... Upsetting when people don't understand so they feel a show of control would be sufficient. Such as Aidan's post against me for an example...she did not understand me, so she used the blog to "control" me (of course, it did not work for me, since I just chose to shrug it off.)

The world can be a cruel place to live, so we react differently. But kuddos to you for helping Jordon to see a silver lining in the recent situation and using it to educate people with the letter.

Unknown said...

YOU get commenter of the day award! *smile* Thank you for your moral support, it's been a rough one around here, and it's cold as shit, too. Jodi

K.L. said...

I am SO not looking forward to the teen years with my youngest. It was bad enough with the older two. My youngest is super sensitive, and easily prone to tears. Then there is the hearing loss, and who knows how that will enter into the equasion.

You did an amazing job with Jordan today. He learned how to verbalize his frustrations, and next he will share that with the people who need to hear it. And he was able to finally admit where he went wrong in the process. Bad day. Good growth experience.

Unknown said...

Thanks K.L.,
You know I live for you. BTW, you know how they tell you not to bite your son to teach him not to bite. Total BS - lol- when he came home from preschool after having bitten a little girl, I took a chunk out of his hand...never, ever did he bite again...I am so not a good mother. *smile* Jodi

Karen Mayes said...

Ouch. I once put soap in my children's mouths to make a point that no swearing was allowed :o)

Unknown said...

Hey Karen,
Been there *smile* but haven't done THAT...yet. Jodi

K.L. said...

I seem to recall the same biting lesson in my son's past. Not admitting anything here though. Didn't do the soap thing, mainly because I would have had to soap my husband's and my own mouth out first. Yuck.

VBnBama said...

I did the soap last year when Gage kept telling Brook he HATED her. Anyway, I can't say I blame Jordan, those kids NEED to know what happened so they can get a better understanding...they have no clue how it really is for him. I think he's a very BRAVE young man for being willing to tell everyone. This is when things could go in the wrong direction if kids don't have the courage and pride to stand up and face their classmates...letting them know when something has crossed the line or to explain their reactions to these situations. I say Go JOrdan

Anonymous said...

The good, bad, and ugly. Well, chalk it up to one really ugly day. Yup, ugh.


Kim said...

OH-- The middle-school years. Sometimes it's important for a young male to impress upon the other young cocky males he's not to be messed with. It's a male hierarchy thing. Jordan made his point-- He NEEDED to do that as much as we moms hate it. Otherwise, the other young cocky males would have continued to pin him to the floor or started stuffing him in garbage cans and what-not. This too shall pass. I drank a lot of wine during those years. BIG HUGS.

Kim said...

BTW--The other thing. Deaf people tend to be really sensitive about word usage. I think it's a cultural difference. Hearing people disagree about words and terms all the time. "I wouldn't say that, I wouldn't have used the word hope." I would take that as your opinion, not a correction. THEY take it as a CORRECTION and almost as a personal attack, as if you've told them they picked the wrong word. It's kind of shocking the first time it happens because in no way did you mean it as a correction. You were simply stating YOUR opinion. It's just a hearing/Deaf thing. Miscommunication. She thought you were saying you didn't think she knew the meaning of the word, when in fact you weren't saying that at all. You only had a difference of opinion about the future of deaf children.

Anonymous said...

You're a great mom and have always been.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi,

I know you are here to listen, reflect and learn. All of us are here to listen, reflect, and learn. Patti made a good point. I believe it's the reason why Aidan felt uncomfortable about your blog regarding to hopeful and function in the hearing world. I love Aidan. She is an amazing woman with a huge heart. She has a passion for the deaf community and deaf children. She is well liked in the deaf community and hearing community. Ignore Karen, she has paranoia. She thinks everyone is out there attacking her. For instance, in her comment, she accused that Aidan was trying to control her. Karen is a paranoid, isn't she? I am impressed that both Aidan and you are able to leave comments on each other’s blogs while Karen tries to use other people’s blogs and makes negative comments about Aidan. I believe that Karen is trying to recruit some people to be on her side and to turn them against Aidan. It’s impossible because many people love Aidan and respect her. She speaks from her heart with passion. I really enjoy watching both Aidan and you having this healthy dialogue and it help other people to realize it is ok to have different perspectives, to work together, and to respect each other. Aidan and you set great example for the bridge building. I hope your day have gotten better.

Jessica K

Anonymous said...

*hug* We may not always agree, but I feel that you're going through a rough time and you're still here, not giving up on the dialogue. *hug*

Unknown said...

anonymous...btw, *smile* Jodi

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I have ZERO experience in this, but I just wanted to say that I am so impressed with how you handled this. Thank you so much for sharing.

Karen Mayes said...

I am laughing at Jessica's comment. Now who is being paranoid? I have never met her and I am already judged *shrug*


I am sorry that you had to see some negative parts of the cyberspace... I concur with kw... deaf people are a sensitive lot, due to the culture.

Valerie said...

The good thing about bad days is the sun sets and we hopefully get to recharge. That is why the sun rises again - a new beginning, a new day.

My new day is beginning and I hope to start it by bring smiles. Here is my advise for this wonderful new day - Start your day with loud blasting music, sing your heart out, dance like no one is watching, and hug the ones you love. *****valerie

Anonymous said...

My bad... I mean both of Aidan and you set a great example for the bridge building.

Karen: I never met Aidan and I think she 's great. I never met you and I think you are a paraniod. Look at your comment, " Such as Aidan's post against me for an example...she did not understand me, so she used the blog to "control" me (of course, it did not work for me, since I just chose to shrug it off.) " I think that you are making your accusations based upon your own inner monologue. Many people give Aidan credit for not being afraid to speak her mind and not allow anyone to walk all over her or the deaf community. And you hate her for it.

Jodi, this is my last comment for this post. Please continue writing posts. I really enjoy reading them.

Jessica K

Karen Mayes said...

Whatever. I don't judge people... I was merely pointing out that we did not understand other people and for your information, I don't hate ANYONE. I admire Aidan even though I don't always agree with her... she does not always agree with me.

Have a good real life, people like me. As I said before, words are very limiting and live a wide room for misinterpretations, like in your case, Jesicca.

Unknown said...

Karen and Jessica,
On the count of three, pick up your TEQUILA SHOTS, salt that tweener space between your forefinger and thumb, and pick up up your freaking lemon wedges.


Peace. Jodi

Karen Mayes said...

Ha, ha... yeah, Jodi, you don't need catfights (now I am hearing Jessica's whining that I started first :o) )

Aidan said...

KW: Hi, May I suggest you to avoid making an overt stereotypical comment about "Deaf people tend to be really sensitive about word usage"? It's called cross-cultural. It is not about sensitivity.

...for cross-cultural communication to be open and effective, interlocutors must be aware of their boundaries, both personal and cultural, so that they might know the limits on and possibilities for understanding one another in the exchange. That is, in understanding another person and culture you must simultaneously understand yourself. The process is ongoing, an endeavor aimed not at a final transparent understanding of the Other or of the self, but at continued communication, at an ever-widening understanding of both. (Sarris, 1993, p. 6) This information is from Effective cross-cultural dialogue: Challenges and opportunities

I would like to suggest you to read a book, "Cross-Cultural Dialogues" written by Craig Storti

Jessica K.: Thank you for defending me but I respectfully suggest you to leave Karen alone.

Jodi: I still *fistkiss* you even though sometimes you do drive me to the wall. ;o) Hey, I would go for a tequilla shot.


Karen Mayes said...

Aidan... you are a good person, even through we come from different backgrounds.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

War is not necessary, darlin' Jessica.

Making a peace is necessary.

You have no right making a horrible judge on Karen's, Jessica.

So, shut your mouth up and let Karen to make the freedom of speech.

That is what the constitution is all about.

White Ghost

Unknown said...

Hey Aidan,
It's amazing how a tequilla shot breaks all cross-cultural boundaries...I would so drink with you and I live for sushi...really miss sushi, Jodi

Karen Mayes said...

White Ghost, that is OK. Jesicca does not understand. Let it go.

Thanks anyway.

Kim said...

Aidan-- Whatever. . . It's clear you don't understand me.

mishkazena said...

I hope that the fever had broken and you are feeling better now, Jodi.

You are an awesome mom, reacting with compassion and empathy without judgment to Jordan's actions. Then you taught him how the classmates must have felt when he lost control.

I see an emerging maturity in this young boy. I hope the classmates understand the value of his c.i. and refrain from putting him in a terrible position again.

Kim said...

Aidan--After reading Jodi's other blog, I have to say it's seems you continue to misunderstand her intentions as well as mine. I'm convinced it's not a case of English comprehension but rather that maybe you take offense where none is meant, unless I'm reading the situation wrong. Your comments have seemed terse. Am I reading this wrong? I don't know you.

I am personally FOR teaching for Deaf children ASL and against AV's anti-ASL stance. I am taking ASL myself.

I will not debate with someone who has the need to nitpick every other word, then back it up with references. That doesn't accomplish anything toward understanding.

Unknown said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Thank you so much for your comment and support, it is, as always, greatly appreciated...hugs, Jodi