Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First day back to school after the holiday.....

It happens every time. No matter how long the school break, I find myself both looking forward to it (think of all I can get done!) and dreading it. Today was no different, & it didn't help that B was a big bear about it. He's the kind of kid that doesn't need distraction to avoid getting dressed for school because he creates his own (he calls it "thinking"). When I ask him not even to think while getting dressed, I get a disbelieving stare- because everyone knows you have to think to do things! What is he, a robot?! I'm sure I could whip out a snappy comeback sometime after 9:00 am, but at 7:00 am I'm lucky to be seeing properly, let alone countering existential arguments..... this is what comes of having an early-bird kid that is not allowed to put on his light before 6:00 am (he'd be up & reading or playing at 4:00 am if we let him). He's had a lot of time before the alarm goes off to wake up properly & think up the many reasons he should be in a bad mood.... sigh.

He did admit that he liked his school, though, which was something. Knowing that I'd be seeing his teachers again was one of the things getting me through dressing & breakfast-time. B goes to the Cobblestone School; a small, private, alternative-style school where individual learning styles are accepted & encouraged. Although Cobblestone has a good reputation for its work with special-needs kids, it also works to maintain a good balance of kids with & without special needs, to keep the school truly integrated. B's teachers (he has a classroom teacher- Jen & a special ed. supplemental teacher- Cherie) are not just teachers but true members of the village. We work together closely to keep our behavioural approaches consistant, & I've come to think of them as friends. They really like my kid, which sometimes is awe-inspiring- not that he's unlikable, but just that he can be a handful. It's pretty amazing to have these people in our lives. B really thrives at Cobblestone & I'm thankful that it exists!!

So, once we got through breakfast & B remembered the magic tricks he'd been learning over the break, he really cheered-up. He picked out a couple of tricks to take to school & decided to ask if he could put on a show during discussion time. The magic trick book was a gift from on high..... C was cleaning & re-arranging bookcases pre-New Years & found it, probably given to us when B was much younger & forgotten until now. There was a lot of prep to most of the tricks involving cutting, pasting, etc. These are activities that B usually avoids due to fine-motor difficulties, but he was really gung-ho about it & asked for help (most of the time) before getting frustrated. We worked with him a bit with his presentation & **voila!** a magician was born! He's a real ham, so this is right up his alley. Can't wait to hear how the show went.....

When we got to school B had some trouble with OCD/tics triggered by certain visual images. He had been somewhat desensitised before break, but hasn't been exposed to some of his triggers for 2 weeks, so I guess it was to be expected. Luckily he was able to run into the special ed. resource room & get it out of his system- some of the tics look like seizures :( -then was happily distracted by showing off some of his magic tricks to Cherie. He seemed to settle back in after that & I left him happily chatting to Jen.

My sanity time, after dropping B off, is to go downstairs to my friend Paula's class (she teaches a kindergarten/first grade class). I love hanging out in there for a while before leaving for home. I've gotten to know many of the parents & almost all of the kids. If Paula is busy I can keep an eye on the kids for her, & if not we chat. One day we were being goofy & singing tv theme songs from the 60's... you never know what will happen, but it sure is fun. I started hanging out with Paula & her class when B entered 3rd grade (he's in 4th now) & made it very clear that I was cramping his style at school..... good growing for him but a bummer for me. Luckily I had known Paula for many years before B was born & we reconnected when she was his 1st grade teacher. Her son- whom we've known since he was 2- is a senior in high school & has been kid-sitting B for 3 years. So, it was good to have some sanity time before going home to an empty house, wait for the plumber (drains running slowly, thanks to too many unsupervised science experiments), & take down the holiday decorations. Oh, yeah.... & think about blogging!

And now I have 15 minutes before I have to pick B up. Got through it again!


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