Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

To burn or not to burn.

I spoke with the superintendent of special services today about the sunscreen issue. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to talk to both teachers about it, because the one was ill and had called in sick, so she wasn't there when the superintendent went to speak with her. However, she did address the issue with our middle daughter's teacher.

She explained that you can get sunburned on a cloudy day, and that they must put sunscreen on the kids, if they're going to be out for any length of time. They must put it on 20 minutes before going out, and they must reapply it, if they go swimming, or if they're out all day long. She also explained that windburn can not account for everything that happened with our daughter's face. That it was sunburned as well.

To be fair, our middle daughter is a little windburned on her nose, and even her cheek feels chapped in places. But her forehead doesn't, and it's still quite pink, as is the rest of her nose and her cheeks. Her faces is not quite as warm to the touch today as it was, though, and it doesn't seem to be hurting as much. Honestly, I think she's just so miserable from the cold she has that she isn't really thinking of her face.

I think there's a difference between how people view the sun and sunscreen as well. Our middle daughter's teacher is a young man who tans very easily. The sun is not going to affect him as much as it would someone who is very fair skinned, as our daughters are. Also, he doesn't have children of his own. As a result, he's not going to see a child needing sunscreen in the same way that a parent of a fair skinned child is going to. That all makes sense to me, and I understand that.

However, we still don't want it happening to our daughters again.

The superintendent of special services did instruct him once again on sunscreen procedure. However, he will not be our middle daughter's teacher next year, so it will only help for the rest of this year. So the superintendent will be reinstructing all of the staff that works with the special needs children on a daily basis how to handle the sunscreen issue. She was not able to speak with the aides yesterday, but she said she will be talking with them as well as the teachers at the beginning of the school year next year.

And as much as I really do appreciate her help in this, I can't help but think I may still need to get it in writing. I will likely be having the IEPs amended next week, so they're in place next year when school starts. It's not that I don't think the teachers and aides will take the sunscreen protocol seriously. I just want them to take it seriously enough and not forget to use the sunscreen even once after the school year starts next year.

I so appreciate everyone's support on this issue. I also know that in order for me to maintain a good relationship with the teachers and aides, I really don't want to go in and raise all sorts of trouble. If I treat them with respect, they'll be much more likely to work with me and with my girls.

And after all, it's all about our girls.


  1. i think that you have been more than fair... Fingers crossed that they take it all on board and there are no further instances.

  2. I think you've done a wonderful job handling this. And I think it is an excellent idea to put this into their IEPs.

    When you said your middle daughter's teacher tans easily, so that is likely a reason he never thought of putting sunscreen on her, that reminded me of a story.

    My dad (technically stepdad) is quite dark skinned. Even at the end of winter, he's got great color in there. For years, he'd tell me (pasty chicken white skin) that if I'd just let myself be in the sun without sunscreen, my skin would "learn" to tan. I knew differently.

    Since being a teenager, every few years, I'd get the idea in my head that "I'm going to get a tan this year." Then I wouldn't wear sunscreen and get burned. The burn would, of course, be red, then for a brief day (or maybe two) I'd have a tan, then I'd go back to my pasty chicken white.

    About five or six years ago, I went camping with my parents and my four year old nephew. We were going to go fishing for one hour. (It was made very clear that it would be for one hour only. The reason that it was made very clear was because I decided that I was going to get a tan that year. I didn't want to burn, and figured one hour on the water (that now makes me cringe) would be ok.)

    Within 30 minutes, I could tell I was burning. I tried to hide from the sun as much as I could - pulling my arms inside my sleeves, pulling my shirt over my legs... but it was too late. I was burned.

    Ever since that incident, whenever I go out with my dad, he now asks if I've got sunscreen on. It only took up to my mid-20s for him to learn that I do burn that easily, and that my skin won't just "learn" to tan.

    That story is hilarious!! It makes me laugh every time.

    (Although, I did inadvertently find out how to tan. Keeping the story out of it, and just coming to the conclusion... I applied SPF 60, then laid in the shade reading all weekend!)

  3. Oh - and the irony to my first story - my parents decided not to apply sunscreen on Dallas. He did not burn.

  4. And that was the last time I "tried to tan".

    (This should be the end of your comments from me now. bwhahahaha!)

  5. I think having it put in writing is an excellent idea

  6. LOL Jennifer. I'm usually burnt to a crisp by the end of 30 minutes, too. So are the girls.
    Humans just aren't supposed to resemble lobsters quite that much! :)

  7. You speak a lot of sense, need to keep the teachers happy whilst getting the job done! Good luck x


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