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Monday, December 12, 2011

He Started Preschool

Today was Miles' first day of preschool.  Pre-preschool to be exact since it's part of the Early Intervention program for kids with special needs.   I've been stressing about this day for the last month.  How is he going to do?  Will he cry?  Will he have fun?  Is he going to eat the food they serve during lunch?  Will he hit, scratch or bite any of the other kids?  (He's been known to do this at times, usually out of excitement but sometimes not).  Will the teachers like him and treat him well?  What am I going to do with just 3 hours free?  I'm used to having a whole day free when he's at daycare, can I get anything done?  How will this affect his other therapies?  Etc etc. etc.  A few weeks ago I got those hives and leg pain, the last few days I got chancre sores in my mouth (it's hot, I know) all from my stupid anxiety.  I know, that's how I am.  

Zach and I dropped him off on rainy LA this morning.  He was a little apprehensive at first, not sure where he was or what was going on.  He was probably picking up our own apprehension as we weren't sure which classroom he was in and where to enter, what to do.  But once we figure it out and walked into his new classroom, decorated with winter snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, kids and toys everywhere, he asked me to put him down and went straight to work...playing.  He picked stood at a table with 2 other kids and lots of blocks and pegs and started playing as Zach and I talked to the teacher.  He seemed at ease, happy, excited to explore and I felt at ease, happy and excited to leave him for the next three hours.  I got a yummy kiss and hug goodbye from Miles, Zach good a wave and a high five and as we started walking out he finally realized we were leaving!!  In an instant he began to cry, his sweet smile turned into a painful frown, quivering lip and I started tearing up myself!.  I blew him a kiss and told him we'd be back and that he'd have fun, but I couldn't stay and prolong the moment.  As Zach and I stepped outside the door, I saw one of the aides scoop him up in a big, nurturing hug and I felt okay knowing he'd be looked after with love.  But that didn't stop me from crying. 

We stood outside the classroom door, hugging and crying because our precious little man is entering a new phase, he's growing and we have to let him grow and trust that he will do well.  In fact, he will do great.  I know it.

When I returned three hours later to pick him up, he was enthralled with story time.  I called his name a few times but he didn't turn to look.  When he finally saw me, he stared at me like, "oh, you.  what do you want?"  I think he was kinda mad at me for leaving him there even though he had a good time.  According to the teacher he only cried a bit when we left, eventually tapering off and playing with all the kids.  She said he had moments of sadness throughout the day where his little lip would quiver and his eyes would tear, but he didn't cry again.  He's a strong boy!  He did fall asleep for 20 minutes during circle time and woke up just in time for lunch, which he ate well (except for the veggies!). 

Of course he would do well, he's Miles!  What was I so worried about?  The funny thing is that he's been in daycare since he was 6 months and that was definitely more nerve wracking than this.  I remember that first day I dropped him off with total strangers, him being so little and defenseless, I spent the day on edge, I couldn't wait to go pick him up.  And he was fine.  That time, he didn't even cry.  But he's a big boy now, this is school, this is real learning, this is part two of his therapy and the early intervention world.  This is stepping it up a notch.  He is older, he knows when we are there and when we're not.  He loves us and knows we take care of him and it scares him to see us go.  And though we can tell him, "Miles, we'll be back to pick you up in a few hours.  You get to play with the nice teachers and make some new friends", he doesn't understand what we're saying to him.  It does not compute yet.  So what made me sad today was thinking that he didn't know if we were coming back.  He was trying to believe, he wanted to trust that we would be back, but he was afraid that maybe we wouldn't be.  The thought of his fear made me sad.  All I want to do is nurture and protect him and though I know he knows that in his heart, he still gets scared.  My little sweetheart. 

Another challenge down.....many more to go!!

Miles with his backpack, ready for his first day of preschool

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on such a big milestone! We haven't taken that step with Jasper yet. He's still in daycare and I've been apprehensive about changing too much in his routine before the baby arrives.

    Although I don't know what it's like to have a son with downs, I feel like we live these weirdly parallel lives! I miss you guys a lot and wish we'd been able to have the boys play together more this past year. I swear they're birds of a feather. I just don't have much time for much of anything since I got the new job.

    I hope we get the chance to rub bellies though before the little chica arrives. Did I mention we're having another boy!?

    Good parenting today! Good work on letting go a little! Thanks for being an inspiration!

    Much love,