Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Baby Boy is thriving in preschool (he had better, the good peeps of my state are investing over $40,000 a year for part-time preschool. And what does $40,000 buy him? A class with a 1: 1 teacher, student ratio - the teacher is actually an early intervention specialist, speech therapy 3 times a week, lots of field trips and physical and occupational therapy. In the last two weeks, he has had an explosion of language and since he started preschool and using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), he is not frustrated at home at our inability to understand his babbling and gestures! He has become his old joyful self, is able to communicate much better and does not whine all day long. He does give his teachers a run for their money - he is usually described as the adorable kid who is very, very busy! His killer smile earns him lots of lap time with his teachers, and he refuses to follow most directions at school (though he has no problems following directions at home). He needs someone to redirect him most of the time he is in school. I have tried giving some strategies to the school to ensure compliance, but what do I know - I am just the mommy, and they are the experts who have studied behavior modification!
Baby Girl's early intervention specialist also recommended a center setting for her since she is so social and would enjoy interacting with other kids. She goes to the same school as Baby Boy, but a different class. However, we are reconsidering our decision. She absolutely loves school and leaves the house skipping and dancing in the morning, but she has regressed in her language acquisition skills. She is a sponge and has an amazing ability to imitate the other children in her class (most have special needs). Though this will hopefully engender empathy, I really think we should pull her out and mainstream her next year. Not sure the people of our wonderful state are getting a bang for their money in investing in her education at this point! $40,000 a year for a child to socialize with other kids for 25 hours a week seems a little excessive when our state is almost declaring bankruptcy! She still loves dancing and singing and spends her time at school trying to fix her teachers' hair! They describe her as absolutely delightful and after going to bed late one night, the school called very concerned because she was not her normal playful, talkative self.
At 2 1/2 years, the twins insist it would be in our best financial interest to buy stock in a diaper company. Both will happily sit on the potty for almost an hour, sing, talk and read books, but so far, no success. We have been working on this for months and after feeling maybe a bit smug in my abilities to potty train after it only took four days to fully potty train Big Brother at 23 months, I guess it is time for a dose of humility in this area. Baby Boy is pretty good at telling me he has a wet diaper, I just cannot get him to tell me before the fact! Totally surprised that Baby Girl who is my OCD princess when it comes to cleanliness does not seem fazed by icky diapers!
Ah, next year. We begin the wonderful world of IEPs and have several meetings with the school district team which involves a child psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, physcial therapist, special ed teacher, audiologist and nurse. After the initial asssement, they decide if they need to add others to the team. My head is already spinning and I have only had one meeting of at least four.
Baby Girl 2, that girl is something! At 1 1/2, she speaks up a storm, and not single words, thank you very much, but three or four word sentences! I have lost count of the words she can say. Not sure if this will last - her older sister also started language by skipping single words and saying complete sentences, but she now seems to have hit a wall and regressed in her language skills. Baby Girl 2 is one smart cookie, she bullies her older siblings with the biggest smile on her face, and instructs them when to sit on the potty throughout the day, reads to them and is actually initiating potty training on her own. She is probably our most attached child, has always had a preference for mommy and daddy over anyone else and is now getting a strong case of separation anxiety. At home, she smiles and laughs all day long and does naughty things with a mischevious look daring you to come get her! And then, she runs off as fast as she can, laughing and saying she is sorry! Timeouts for her???? She spends them singing and dancing! I think she will be the kid who most keeps us on our toes!
Big Brother loves first grade though he never seems to remember what he learned in school because he says the day is soooooo long! I can see his point - coming from 3 1/2 hours of school last year to 6 1/2 hours a day this school year must be a shock to the systems of most 6 year olds! He is still loving science, geography and math and can add complex numbers in his head. He is fascinated by geography and maps and I have lost count of how many times I am googling things! He still loves astronomy, and of course his first love - trains! He saved up all his pennies and was able to go on a snow train ride a few months ago that he still talks about. A 6 hour trip ended up being 10 hours because the train broke down, but he was not complaining. He loved every second of it! He is now big brother alright, playing school and always making sure he is the teacher, bosses his younger siblings, but still very protective of the baby. She gets away with anything with him! She messes with his trains and he does not bat an eye - just smiles at her and fixes them. Not the same reaction for the twins! He is still enjoying soccer (last year he was super competitive and we tried instilling in him the value of putting in his best effort and having fun and not being obsessed with winning. He seemed to have taken the lesson too much to heart along with all his teammates! They have been creamed most of their games! We are now having to go back to the drawing board and teach him the basics of soccer - the intent is not to let every child have a chance at kicking the ball, nor is it kosher to just run around hoping the ball is kicked your way! We are teaching him it is okay to get competitive every now and then, though he remindes us frequently it is not all about winning, but having fun. Oh when kids start throwing your words back at you! He is enjoying piano and is making his daddy proud by still taking Karate - after three years, I think he is ready to give it a break. But don't let his black belt dad know that!