Remember this post about the bushes that my teenager, AKA "Bonehead" completely butchered? Well here is what the bushes look like today:
Much better, right? Hubby will be pleased that at least they did not die. And, to be fair, it really WAS easier to stain the fence after Bonehead chopped the bushes down to tiny little stumps. But, OH he makes me so mad sometimes!
So, I mentioned previously that we are trying (desperately) to get Bonehead into the Youth Challenge Academy program, in hopes of adjusting his attitude just a tad, and getting his school issues straightened out. He will have to go LIVE there for 5 months, which I do not look forward to (having never been away from him for more than about a week before) but he can potentially complete 55 school credits in that one semester! This means he could actually GRADUATE from high school, ON TIME in 2012. He has done so poorly in school the past couple of years, that I had almost given up hope that he would actually graduate at all.
The process to get into this program is kind of a PITA (pain in the ass).....
We had to fill out approximately 20 pages of information, get a physical, get a medical release form signed by the psychiatrist who prescribes Bonehead's meds, get a medical insurance release form notarized, etc etc etc.
And that was just the first hoop to jump through.
Second hoop: Orientation....
Mandatory Orientation for all applicants happened to take place when Baby Bobblehead was barely 2 weeks old. Oh, and it's about a 2 hour drive (with traffic) to get there from here. Now, Bobblehead was not really on a great feeding schedule yet - in fact, he still isn't, at 5 1/2 weeks old - but his little 2 week old tummy actually held for the whole drive down there. We arrived about 30 minutes early, so I nursed the baby in the car before we went inside. My hormonal self almost could not handle the Orientation, since it was basically designed to 'sell' us all on the program - they even had cadets from the current class stand up and speak about how the program has changed them from the delinquents they were 13 weeks prior. I actually DID break down and cry a little when we spoke with a current cadet at the door who recognized my son as a former classmate. This kid used to go to Bonehead's high school, and he told us that he decided to go to the Youth Challenge Academy because the last time his parents were proud of him was back in 5th grade (sniff, sniffle....) and he was tired of being a failure. He stood a little taller as he told us that he is now pulling a 4.0 gpa (this was when the tears just overflowed, and even with sunglasses on, I am certain I embarrassed Bonehead in that moment). Of course, on the drive home we hit worse traffic, and poor Bobblehead's tummy did NOT want to wait, so we had a crappy drive home. Even after I pulled over to change and feed the baby, he still cried (and SCREAMED) through part of the drive. We left the house at 7 AM, and got home after 5 PM. For a 2 hour orientation. Nerve-wracking, but worth it if we get Bonehead into this program.
Next hoop to jump through was the interview, where staff make sure the student actually WANTS to go there. They won't accept a candidate who is being forced by his parents, the courts, etc. Bonehead had to actually convince them that he is applying for admission of his own free will. That part was easy - but would have been hard if I had given in to the urge to strangle Bonehead that very morning. We were supposed to be there at 10:30 last Wednesday morning for the interview - or so I thought. We arrived early, so I had time to nurse the baby before the interview. I sent Bonehead ahead to check in while I sat in the car, but he came back a moment later to tell me that the interview was 'rescheduled'. I got pissed, figuring the people who run the program should have at least CALLED me, so I went up to the doorl leaving Bonehead in the car with the baby (it was raining out - which it almost never does here this time of year, but whatever). I got to the office door and found it was LOCKED, with this note on the door: "There are no interviews this morning. Messages were left with all candidates. If you need to reschedule, please call ### or come back between 1:00 and 3:00 this afternoon"
Oh yes, I was LIVID....nobody had called me at all! I even called to check my home voicemail in case they had called me there. I called the # listed on the door, and of course no one answered. Finally got their voicemail after about 20 rings, left a *slightly* rude message about how we could really have used this information BEFORE we drove 2 hours in the rain, and requested a call back to my cell ASAP.
I got back in the car, and remembered that I had been upset with Bonehead on the day of Orientation, because when he signed in, he listed HIS cell phone number as his contact. Not only is he never EVER supposed to give out that number (and we've had issues with this the entire deployment) but he never actually answers that phone. In fact, it is usually turned off unless he is waiting for me to pick him up or something. So, we checked that voicemail, and found that the academy had been trying to reach us on Bonehead's cell number for two days to reschedule the interview appointment.
So now I was pissed at Bonehead, and more than a little embarassed about the rude-ish message I had just left. I immediately called and left another message to apologize, told them we just got the messages they had left, and again requested a call back to my cell phone ASAP to see if we could still get an interview that afternoon, since we were already all the way down there. I never got a call back.
Instead we waited there for 2 hours, which required calling my neighbor to pick up Knucklehead from school (he gets out early on Wednesdays) and calling my OB/GYN to reschedule my checkup that was supposed to take place at 2 PM that day. I was so frustrated sitting there WAITING, wondering if we were even going to be seen that day. For all I knew, we could have been wasting our time, waiting until 1 PM to be told that we had to come back in a week or something stupid like that.
At noon I noticed people moving around inside the office, so I sent Bonehead to the door to check with them. The door was still locked, but this time they let him in, and they put him on the schedule for a 2 PM interview. *PHEW* So at least now we knew the wait would be worth it. With another 2 hours of waiting ahead of us, we killed time. We went to the DEERS office there hoping to save a separate trip to the one at the base closer to us, but did not have all the necessary paperwork to add the baby (still working on that and NOT happy about that, either!). We drove around exploring the area and randomly found a Costco near the base, so we got gas there and bought a baby shower gift for a friend. Found a Starbucks and sat outside mooching their free wi-fi so I could check email on my iPad. The internet is sort of my 'pacifier', so I felt better - and felt less like KILLING Bonehead by the time we got back on the base for the 2 PM appointment.
In the end, the interview went well, and they told us that all we were missing was the 'Mentor Packet' - which we knew, because Bonehead was still trying to choose a mentor. The program requires him to find an adult who lives in our community, is the same gender, is over age 25, has no criminal history, AND is willing to meet with him periodically during the 5 month residential phase and 4 times a month for a YEAR after completion of the residential phase. And the kicker....the mentor can not be related in ANY way to the candidate. This eliminated my awesome brother, who lives closeby, is a firefighter and former Marine, and who had actually already agreed to sacrifice the time needed to be Bonehead's mentor.
We finally made it through that last hoop yesterday, when one of Bonehead's former teachers agreed to be his mentor and filled out his own mountain of paperwork for this. He still has to be fingerprinted, etc but I am mailing his paperwork in to the Youth Challenge Academy today.
And praying, HARD, that Bonehead gets accepted.