Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Magic Carpet Ride

When AJ first began toddler group at the age of 2 years-11 months, there were three times during the course of group time where the kids would sit on carpet squares.  They'd grab them from a pile by the door, and put them away when they were finished.  It thrilled me the last few days of group, when AJ finally began sitting much better for the beginning circle time and  understanding the concept of holding his carpet square as he was guided to the door, and then dropping it in the pile.

When AJ began preschool it was disappointing to me that AJ was not able to participate in morning circle time, again, on carpet squares.  At the end of his first year, on the very last day actually, I saw him sitting with his friends, sans carpet squares but on the actual carpet.

During his second year of preschool he learned to consistently sat on his carpet square for morning circle time, the ENTIRE circle time and learned to anticipate the routine and participate.  He sat and paged through books with his classmate.  He learned to stay on his towel for quite time, the entire time.  While he struggled with different events (ie Holiday Party/Santa's Visit), the consistency during his normal routine was amazing.

Fast forward to last evening at Meet the Teacher Night for our little boy who is now in kindergarten.   We left the house in a rush on the muggiest day we've had in a few weeks. Eww.  For some reason it is always hot and muggy on Meet The Teacher Night.  I was a bit nervous, even though I knew who his teacher would be.  She had called earlier in the afternoon to chat, which put me at ease.  Less to try and "report" on such a crazy night.  AJ technically has three teachers.  He has his Teacher of the Deaf (TOD), Special Education Teacher, and the main homeroom regular Kindergarten teacher.  AJ will be spending most of his time between his TOD and his Special Ed Teacher.

As I stood in like with AJ's TOD to meet the main homeroom kindergarten teacher, I felt a bit of panic rise up inside me as we entered the room.  It was a huuuuuge room.  To the right I noticed a huuuuuge carpet, in a rainbow of colors.  One row was red, orange, green, blue, purple.  One huge carpet square.  How cute, I thought.  But definitely not appropriate for AJ.  It took literally seconds for me to deem this environment not appropriate for my kiddo.  He would be totally.lost. We spoke with the teacher for a few minutes, whom of course knew AJ already (everyone seems to know this kid) and said she had seen me around.

Meanwhile, AJ was outside in the hallway with his Daddy, having a massive meltdown.  This always happens at Meet The Teacher Night.  We begin our routine of early bedtime and longer days, and he's exhausted.  He had gone to bed at 6pm the night before, so when 6:05 rolled around and he was at school, when he's normally in his PJs in bed, he was noooot happy.  Along the way we ran into many of AJ's classmates.  We love being part of such a special family.  It is amazing.

We made our way down to his Special Ed teacher's room and chatted about AJ's new iPad2 that we were anxious to pick up last night after all the school shenanigans.  AJ's daily schedule is the topic of a meeting between the teachers today, so I should receive a phone call on that later.  For the month of September, he'll be attending M-F until 1:40pm.  At the end of September, we'll reevaluate and adjust his pick-up time as needed.

Our last stop was back in his TOD's room, where AJ made himself at home by finding the fan and...the carpet.  A smaller carpet, with a lovely texture that he sat down on and rubbed to his little hearts content.  At that moment, I knew he'd be fine.  While his TOD and I chatted more, AJ found the carpet even more comfortable, as he crawled into fetal position on the floor and wanted to sleep there.  As we were preparing to leave, he explored the room and found the sink right.a.way.  Crazy to see him walk right up to it and be able to reach everything-he's that tall!

I've had small moments of sadness, thinking about how my little boy is in kindergarten...but he's really not.  It bothered me to buy and sharpen pencils, knowing he won't use them.  He does not know his colors, numbers, letters.  He cannot spell his name.  While my mind has mostly adapted to this reality, every now and then there is a zinger or two that hit just at the right time that I lose it.  But last night was not one of those moments.  The minute I saw him sit down on the carpet, I knew he was in exact the right place.  It was the right place, the right carpet, and it was indeed, magical.

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