Thursday, 20 January 2011

First race away from home

To pick up from my lengthy comment in reply to keliss (last post).
In December, Zac had a race in Wales. Mum was not happy that we would be away for 2 nights.
Friday was just a practice day at Zac's local club. In the afternoon I got a call from his mum asking me to bring him home that day. Apparently, she'd received a letter from the school that day, saying Zac had been excluded for a couple of days. She wanted to withdraw him from the race meeting in Wales that weekend. Persuaded her, or maybe told her, noway, hotels are booked, there's also a cost for withdrawal.
So he went to Wales, but the weekend was just phone call after phone call. "I'm being put in a position where I can't discipline my own son". It really got my back up. If that's how you feel, you shouldn't agreed to it in the first place. Discipline? bollocks. She let's me handle it when it suits her, and over-reacts when she wants to be seen to be a parent. The number of times I've heard her tell her friends that decisions I've made have actually been her decisions pisses me off.
Frankly, she is all too keen to withdraw karting from Zac for her own reasons.
Sorry, Donna, but since I'm the only one paying for this activity, I'm the only one who can withdraw it for disciplinary reasons, without discussion. And I have done in the past. I've withdrawn Zac from a race, and taken away some of his practice days. Zac doesn't like it, but at least he will talk to me. I'm not sure he always appreciates the reasons, but he does accept it.
And we still talk.

Luv, Baz

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

To blog or not to blog, that is the question

When I first started to blog about Zac, I guess I was looking for advice and guidance, maybe to keep me focussed and not do anything rash.
Heartfelt thanks to all of you who took the time to read this blog, and comment.
Over the last few months, much has changed. Zac and I have become much closer. whilst his mother and I, (also Zac and his mother) have become more "detached".
I don't know the history. but Zac's mother (Donna). is the black sheep of the family. The broader family have as little to do with her as possible - tho they do rally round if anything concerns Zac.
When I first appeared on the scene, they viewed me with suspicion and distrust. The last three months have seen a massive shift in their opinion of me. I'm treated very much as part of that broader family, to the extent that over the Christmas period, Zac and I were invited to family gatherings, but Donna was not.
Why the change? I believe it's to do with Zac and his Karting. Historically, Zac has always been a "wayward" child, with expensive tastes for things that proved to be short-lived. I think I've found an activity that he's able to achieve at, and that has held his interest (maybe something that the broader family never realised was possible).

Also, Zac is now aware of my blog, having caught me posting one night. A few days later "what was your blog called?" - I wasn't telling, but he could remember enough to play around with a search to find it. I was mortified at first, but no harm done, quite the opposite. Something that occurs to me as I write this. A few months ago I wrote about the first time we hugged. Since he read (at least some) of my blog he and I now indulge in play-fighting quite frequently. When I think back 12 months to a kid who hated any form of physical contact, what a MASSIVE change.

To finish this post, Keliss and Doomed. I take all your concerns on board. However, whilst Zac lives with his birth mother and me, he is still legally adopted by his Nan and step-dad. If Zac and I moved out and lived together, I doubt that any agency would be able to do much about it, because his legal adoptive parents would prefer a situation where I (alone) looked after Zac, without the disruptive influence of Donna.
Yes, he'll be 16 in May, and I know that at some point (just like a real son) he will leave the nest. I believe our bond is strong enough that we will remain in touch. and he knows that I'll always be there for him if he needs me.

Luv, Baz

Saturday, 8 January 2011

I Had a Dream

A couple of nights of ago I had a weird dream. Just Zac and me in a new home, without his mother. Life was bliss. No aggro. What does that say?
Is it something that would happen? In May he'll be 16, still a minor, but reallistically, would amyone be bothered if he lived with me?
Zac's well pissed off with his mum right now - she pays lip service to his karting, but resists all attempts to make any financial contribution.
I'm pissed off too.
What to do?

Should I just walk away?
Without my financial contribution, she couldn't feed Zac. because of her smoking, She would see him starve before she'd give her cigs up.
I love Zac like a son - what should I do?

Luv, Baz

Saturday, 25 December 2010

-All is not well in the state of dorset

Happy Christmas to you all.
Right now, Zac and his mum are barely speaking, apart from arguments. Mum is set in her ways and sees no need for negotiation over the current issues. Zac spends his time talking to me.
Will keep this post short, as I need to think about this.
First impressions are that mum feels insecure - losing control of her son to me - if only she would - might be better all round.
more laterz

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Can't think of a suitable title

My camera isn't up to capturing these sort of images in poor lighting. This montage of Zac's first race meeting is an A1 poster for his room.

It's been an interesting week since I last posted. The previous weekend went well, despite withdrawing Zac from a race on Sunday. Driving home on Sat, he asked me why we always fight in the morning, but end the day on a high! Bit lost for the answer - maybe it's cos he stays up too late (Xbox?) and is tired, and I'm just becoming a grumpy old man.
Sunday I expected grief, thought he'd try to send me on a guilt trip about not racing. Instead he had a go at his mum about her smoking (she has actually cut down from about 100 a day to 70). Zac is genually concerned for her health, but also sees the cost, still over £120 a week. which he thinks could be channelled into his karting. Anyway, we ended up with a long conversation in the kitchen. He clearly felt his mum wasn't really supporting him with his karting, and wanted me to talk to her. He actually apologised for "putting it on me", but said there was nobody else he could talk to who would be able to do anything about it. More frighteningly, he also expressed his view that I was a better parent than his own mum.
On Monday, the Education Welfare Officer visited to discuss Zac's school attendance record, less than 50%. I wasn't there, but mum expressed the view she didn't care, and if taken to court wouldn't pay any fine. Really helpful! Apparently she also asked how things were with me. I wasn't present so don't know whether her tone implied anything, or whether Zac just over reacted, but told her "we're like peas in a pod", "nothing could seperate us", and "he's a second dad to me".
Tuesday was the reintegration meeting following his exclusion. This one fell to me, as all morning meetings do. Although we had no problems getting there on time, Zac's attitude was way off target. Having worked with kids in schools, I've probably attended more of these meetings than Zac has (or maybe not. lol). They usually last 10 min at the most. After 20 min, the deputy head teacher wasn't prepared to let Zac back into school, so time for me to intervene. All I said was "sullen is the word that comes to my mind". Obviously picking up that I wasn't happy with Zac's attitude she decided to catch up on some paperwork, and left the 2 of us together. A few harsh words! It worked, and he survived the rest of the week with no problems.
The highlight of the week was last Friday. Kart practice as usual, but no arguments / fights. At the end of the day, everything packed up, ready to leave. Zac walked over to me and said "good day, we've not had a fight" - gave me a hug "a manly hug". What surprised me was that he'd done that in the privacy of his own home before, this was so public, in the middle of the pit area.

Guess it's been a good week for me. Zac's put into words, or demonstrated ,how he feels about me, matching my feelings towards him.
So, Keliss, many thanks for your last comments, and long term support, it's much appreciated. Kudos? not sure about that. Responsibility? - not mine? - maybe it's something that I've accepted ( or Zac and I have?) - anyway, I'm happy with it right now.

Luv, Baz

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Zac's First Race

Sorry, no pictures, cos the weather was shit.
The boy wonder did really well. As a novice, starting from the back of the grid he moved up 5 places in all three heats, to gain a start 10th on the grid in the final, achieving 9th position at the end. Pretty good for his first race, acknowledged by a trophy for the best junior novice on the day.
Sadly it all went downhill from there. He should have had second race today (sun) but because of school issues (he got excluded on thursday), I withdrew him from that race.

Zac races under the umbrella of a team who provide technical support, tho we are semi indepentent, but the team have been fully supportive of my decision, to the extent that he's been told if he carries on that way, they will drop him. He's aware that if we lose that tech support, i can't replace it (or maybe won't), and he'll lose everything.

His next race is in 2 weeks time, but subject to satisfactory school attendence and behaviour.
Am I really an ogre, or am I just taking a firm line about behaviour in his best interest? Comments please.

Friday, 12 November 2010

ARKS, but not Noah's

Laterz about ARKS.
Has been a strange week. Zac was in school on Monday, but was clearly upset when I picked him up at end of school. There's an issue about bullying that the school have not yet resolved.
Upshot was that his Mum kept him out of school on Tuesday and Wednesday, until she could speak to his head of year. This "decision" was made without any discussion with me - I was informed of it.
Head of Year phoned his mum on Wednesday. She promised he would be in school on Thursday.
So Thursday morning, I managed to prise the little shit out of bed, with much grumbling - "no point going in for a day, why can't I start fresh next Monday" (Friday's are a sporting day, agreed with the school, which is where ARKS comes in to the story.)
Getting no joy from me, he went to Mum with the same argument, only to be told "sort it out with Barry", and she promptly went back to sleep. Great, I'm thinking, make a decision on your own, and leave me to pick up the pieces.
So, I get 10 minutes of the same old record off Zac, simply stalling for time, coz he knows when it comes to school and Mum leaves it to me, he goes, might be late, but he goes.
So, eventually I just say "I'm not discussing it any more, it's not negotiable. Either go to school today, or you go in tomorrow and miss Karting. (clue? K from ARKS).
Predictably, he backed down, and just as predictably, spent 30 mins in the shower to make sure would be late foe school. Still, better late than not at all.
So, ARKS (association of racing kart schools). Zac has a racing Kart (pic of it on some earlier posts), and on Fridays he's allowed by the school to practice.
Last Saturday, he passed his ARKS test, so he's now licensed to race. First race this Sunday, Hopefully, I'll have time to get some pics and post them next week.
Karting is a motor racing sport, and isn't cheap. Since we started, 6 months ago, I guess I've "invested" about 15k in it. Last Saturday, the look on Zac's face, and the little swagger in his walk made it all worth while.