Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Berries in a Bowl and a Report From the Final IEP

I know I'm supposed to be grateful for drugs, but I'm not. Berries in a bowl are beautiful. When I open a new bottle of Onfi, the smell assails me. Milky. Sweet. Touch your finger to it and lick it. Acrid. Poison. When Sophie was a baby, I gave her the drugs and never felt grateful. I felt like I was giving her poison. I never could get out of my head giving drugs. Even today, when I pushed the syringe adaptor into the top of the new bottle, I wanted to gag at the smell. I didn't feel grateful.

Which has been said more?

1. Berries in a bowl are beautiful.


2. Drugs are poison.

Speaking of drugs, please visit and give some love to my article on I'm only going to be working there for another week or so (will explain when my contract is officially over) and would appreciate your enthusiastic response to it, if you're so inclined. It'd be like berries in my bowl.

Thank you to those asking how the Final IEP went. It went -- well -- finally. The "well" is an aside and not an adjective. An Assistive Technology person showed up for the first time ever and acted surprised that no one ever had before. When she said something about a box being checked off properly, I came down from the wire where I'd been doing my thing up in the air so high, ducked my head under the table and took a swig of my Bloody Mary. I leaped back up and did a little twirl. The OT said that Sophie didn't really need services but that she would continue to come in for a 30 minute consult once a month. I did a pirouette, a graceful dismount and took another swig of the Bloody Mary. I might have told her that The System had failed my daughter before jumping off the table into a handstand on the wire. The PT was a woman but spoke like a mansplainer. I learned about Sophie's need for weight-bearing and exercise. Despite a particularly excellent somersault off of the tightrope, I took two swigs of the Bloody Mary when she described a new bathroom contraption that she'd ordered only after I'd objected earlier in the year to the discovery that Sophie's aides were changing her diaper while Sophie stood up because there was no changing table in the bathroom. The P.E. teacher expressed satisfaction that The District had finally responded to her request to not give Sophie an F in P.E. because of scheduling difficulties. When I offered her a swig from the flask, she declined but said that when she's retired in two years, she'd meet me out for a drink. We all ate donuts, and when it was finished, I took a bow.


  1. Berries in a bowl truly are beautiful!! A Bloody Mary may help with the rest.


  2. Fuck. Shaking my head over here. There are just some things that make me want to walk away and never look back.

    Love the berries in a bowl. Love the article you wrote. Looking forward to hanging with you for a weekend in only one month.


  3. Great article, hope lots of people read it. Wish it was in student publications.

    Here's a handful of berries in your bowl..ripe, sweet strawberries?

  4. so sorry about your contract coming to an end.

  5. Read and commented over there. Agree with you and your interviewee that teens brains don't need altering during that sensitive growth period. And loved your surreal bit above.

  6. Oh, how I love imagining your twirling and somersaulting.
    Berries in a bowl. Perfectly lovely.

  7. We are coming up on our last year and I can only hope I will land on my feet when I somersault…. The IEP and the school meetings are right up scraping nails across a chalkboard-painful! Some of them have done some good things and thank God meghan loves to work because she has made such great progress but the rest of it… an utter disgrace!

  8. You have your final IEP as I have my first. I hope to grande jete and fart across the room simultaneously to make you proud.

  9. This is amazing Elizabeth. It made me smile and laugh as I seethed inside. So frustrating. And dumb. And apathetic they be. Glad you are done. Here's to a Bloody­čśŁ

  10. Your weave of reality with fantasy was so creative; I had fun disentangling the two (like, the donuts were real, but you never ducked your head under the table right? )
    It seems that these IEP meetings are universally infuriating: all that effort by the "professionals" to cover their asses, their spew of jargon and inanities and the dearth of any meaningful words. One enormous waste of time for parents and children.
    That was a great article at and hope my Like will be another "berry" for your bowl.

  11. It's all such bullshit, isn't it? I am in such a mood lately and as proud of you that I am, and always have been, the continual crap, even till the bitter end, is just too much. We are about 12 years before our last, and if I can do the rest of the tri, bi, annual, whatever they call these little dances we do, with as much grace as you have, then I'll perhaps survive. Maybe. And, what is it with the changing the diaper while standing up thing? We have been fighting that since she entered the school system and we continue to have to revisit it. Again. And again. And freaking again.

    Did I mention I am in a mood as of late?

  12. I like your world; the world where you walk the tightrope, dipping and turning, drinking, sounds like a much more satisfying way of attending a meeting:)

    I will attend a meeting for Miss Katie on Tuesday. Her world is changing, roommates changing, staff changing. Katie has had four incidents in two weeks. She doesn't do well with change and I'm tense and worried. Katie is tense and worried too. Sigh.



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