It is official! The little man is a kindergartenian. Kindergartenist? Ah, kindergartner! Third time’s a charm.
In case you don’t remember, here are the big issues we were facing with the start of kindergarten:
1) Having someone home to meet the little man’s bus in the afternoon. We weren’t able to find any kind of special needs after school care.
2) Pick the daughter up from school. She goes to a public charter school that does not offer bus service.
So, how are two working parents handling this? We are both getting up at 5am. Then the husband leaves to arrive at work by 6am, I get the little man ready to get on the bus at 6:45-7:00 and I have a little bit of extra time to finish getting ready before taking the daughter to school and arriving at work around 8am. The husband then gets off at 2:30pm, makes it home to meet the bus, and then immediately loads the little man up in the van to go pick up the daughter.
Is this sustainable in the long run? I’m not sure. We are working on trial and error right now. Last year we tried an arrangement to get the daughter home that pushed me too far so we had to brainstorm and adjust. We will be prepared to deal with these new challenges as they arise.
First impression? The little man is adjusting to kindergarten very well. His teacher created a little book to go on the back of his wheelchair that details some of his common words/sounds, some of the things he likes to do, and extra information about him. It has plenty of empty space to be added to as he goes along and they encourage us to add to it also. At the open house, the two main aids in his classroom immediately started talking to him and asking him questions instead of me, even though he wasn’t able to answer. Love that. Just that one little thing shows me they understand what it is like and have experience working with special needs, especially largely nonverbal kids.
He got to play with shaving cream and dried beans on the very first day. The little man is a big fan of playing with that kind of stuff, so I know he had a blast. Great way to start.
He started riding the bus on day three. That was incredibly nerve-wracking for me as I was out of town, but he took it in stride. The bus driver has been driving this same special needs route for years, so I feel like he is in good hands. He cried a bit getting on the bus for the second time, but the hubby seemed to think it was more about the change in routine. Since then, he was been his regular happy self, waving as he leaves in the morning. An interesting bit: If the little man is going to miss school, I have to text the bus driver and let him know. This isn’t a standard stop – if we don’t need him, he won’t come by our neighborhood at all. He checks his phone at every stop looking for updates. Just one of those little unusual things that comes up when dealing with special needs kids.
I was a little disappointed because he didn’t get his therapy the first week. I completely understand that they have a lot of schedules to learn and work out, but by the start of the next week I could really tell he hadn’t been stretched out. I didn’t even think about going through some exercises ourselves. Bad parents.