Thursday, 7 June 2012

Kindy 500

Yesterday was Jack's kindergarten orientation for next year.  Yeah, kinda early.   Let me tell you, I got myself worked up into a tizzy about this, why I don't know.  The only thing I can figure is that at Oak Hill (where he went to pre-K) I always knew that it was just for a year, and anything he might do behaviorally wouldn't be remembered or carried on to the next year.  This, however, is a long-term investment.  Hopefully, Jack will be in this school through 5th grade.  You know what they say about first impressions....not to mention that Jack's daddy went to the same elementary school that Jack is going to....

Jack has had a resurgence of his airplane obsession ever since daddy took him to an air show a few weeks ago.  Some of his play is more mature than last time around- every morning he identifies which type of fighter plane each family member will be that day.....for instance, today I am a Messerschmidt, daddy is a BF109, Jack is a Mustang, and Natey is a Piper Cub.  Oh, and Miss Anne (the sitter) is a stealth fighter.  We interact as such throughout the day.  When Jack was first diagnosed, we saw a "play therapist" once a week for maybe the first 6 months.  It was hard for me to wrap my head around this.  Our insurance was paying for this woman to do "floor time" with Jack.....directed imaginary play on the floor of some attorney's office on Saturday afternoons.  It did bring to my attention that he had not been "playing" with his toys so much as sitting and spinning wheels, propellers, etc.  He used to turn all of his toys upside down and examine the screws that held them together.  She did help us with this, by the time we closed with her he had toys interacting with each other, although he needed constant encouragement.  This aspect of his play has grown by leaps and bounds this year.  He is very "firm" in his imaginary play scenarios, and we are not allowed to break character.  God forbid I call him Jack.

So I think it was with this in mind that when Jack announced his plane identity for the day yesterday, I started to get nervous.  Now once again, I am a "nervous Nelly" under the best of circumstances.  I am chronically early to all appointments (even when the kids were babies), check directions three times before we leave for a destination, and make lists like a mad woman so I don't forget anything.  And I am TERRIFIED of my kids misbehaving in public.  I sometimes think God gave me a Jack to teach me a lesson, and no mom, I am not referring to my temper tantrums in public as a toddler (I hope you have a child just like you!!!)  No, more like having Jack is slowly teaching me to "let go" of what other people think.  When he melts down, he is overstimulated, he is not a bad child, and I am not a bad parent.  However, this perspective was lost on me yesterday for some reason.  So all I could picture in my mind was Jack walking up to all the kids/teachers, etc and when asked his name, him replying "P-38, and I have 2 propellers".  For people that know Jack, this is not a surprise, but in a new setting, I am afraid that people will judge him.  Over time, he is very good at drawing others into his "world".  For instance, for a lot of this year, his favorite thing was Wall-E, from the Disney movie.  At one point, he came home from school with a Wall-E postage stamp glued to a note card- his teacher had brought it for him from home.  The obstacle course at his private OT has been called many things (although never the obstacle course), from hermit crab course to flight plan.  It's a great motivator.  All morning I reminded him, "your name is Jack Fury, when someone asks, that's what you say".  He said, "no, I'm a P-38 mom, wanna hear my propeller?"  And let me tell you....Jack's propeller?  It's really really loud.  Great, I can picture that right in the middle of the assembly.  All I could do was remind him over and over again.

I had no reason to worry, well almost none.  Besides a minor meltdown during the walk in when he thought he might have heard a wasp, he did pretty well.  And they took the kids to classrooms during the parent information session.  In that regard, I think Jack was actually pretty well prepared, he is used to a "big" elementary school after being in public pre-K, and despite the fact that I erroneously reassured him that I would not be leaving him, he popped into line and walked off to the classroom with little complaint.  Although when I went in to get him later he told me he was "worried at me", which means I ticked him off.  But when the teacher asked his name, he said "Jack"!  And spelled it! And later wrote it!  Whoot!  It was a NUT HOUSE- there are 3 kindergarten classrooms of about 20 kids next year, that's a lot of kids and parents in 1 room.  He did cover his ears, and I made sure that we sat towards the back.  The microphone freaked him out quite a bit.  The thing that has changed is the amount of time it takes him to recover from it.  So much faster.  So once again, mommy breathes.  We are good until August now.....

Want to give a shout out to John, who asked me today if I thought Jack would enjoy going to an Orioles game with him.  I said yes, if it's one on one, I think he might be able to handle that.  Baseball is a very important thing to John, something he shared with his dad, and I am happy he wants to share it with his son.  Here's what got me.  He texted me about 5 minutes later to tell me he reserved some tickets, and then proceeded to tell me that he paid a bit extra for box seats.  He didn't think Jack could handle being high up, the seats so close together, all of the chaos.  He wanted to create a pleasant, enjoyable environment for Jack given his sensory issues.  WAY TO GO HONEY!!!!!!!!!!  I am blown away when you think of these things, and it just shows how much you love your boys.  You rock!


  1. I think you and I are opposites. I had Owen's K orientation a few weeks ago and I was hoping he would act up a bit. I mean these people need to know what they're in for. We don't sugarcoat things up in here!

    Needless to say, he didn't. He was a good boy and did everything he was asked. I think he always does this when he is with other people.

    Also, you freak out when your kids act up in public? Jesus, what stress that must be to carry around! There will always be ppl who look and say stupid things behind your back while rarely having the balls to say it to your face. I know a few of those chicks actually. They're so insignificant that I don't even care and when my kids act like fool in public (as all kids will) I handle it. If I wanted trained seals I would have bought them instead of having free thinking children who get to make their own decisions as to how they want to act, even knowing the consequences.

    When Owen was 18 months old, I heard a chick in Target tell her friend "I can't believe that lady still has her kid in diapers." Now, I get it, the woman thought Owen was much older but I verbally assaulted her anyway. She deserved it. Imagine how much more comfortable you would feel as a "Nervous Nelly" if ppl minded their own damned business.

    My best advice for you, piss a couple of ppl off. It's totally liberating.


  2. Oh Michelle, I promise you I piss PLENTY of people off!! But you are right that I need to get over it- the stress is NOT worth it. Easier said than done, but I am working on it....and the boys are helping me enormously with that project :))