I'm freaking out just a little bit. There are NO KIDS in my house right now. As in, they're gone, not just outside or something. GONE.
Number Four turns 3 in about 6 weeks, so we're following all the rules to transition her from therapy into the preschool. (The state drops therapy at age 3, and private therapy when you're insurance is stupid - OH BOY, expensive.) But before the school district will even touch them, your child has to prove how far very far behind the "typical" rate of development they are in the form of lots of tests, assessments, and lastly in-classroom observation.
Mostly, we've loved the early intervention preschool. We've tried to get all of our kids in it because of their developmental lag. Two Bits was too clever to get in. She knew shapes and numbers and stuff, so even though the people performing the assessment couldn't understand a single word she said, due to her horrific articulation, she wasn't deemed "severe" enough to get into the school. Their main concern, as mentioned during the final meeting, was that she couldn't hop on one foot. To which I replied, "Honestly people - the child can't speak and you're worried about hopping on one foot?!!!" (At least that was my reply later...in the car......when I was alone......being not quite confident enough yet about my parenting to really stand up for her.) She's turning out ok though. And she can talk AND hop on one foot now.
Getting Opie into the preschool was CAKE. The child had been screaming non-stop for like, oh 3 years, and was currently in a developmental rut in which we thought contained autism. (His rut is much more shallow now, but may still contain that autism - however, we've decided to fly free of labels for the time being.) I remember putting Opie on that preschool bus for the first time and having the heavens open and angels singing praises for the entire 3 hours he was in school. It was a good day. The next awesome milestone - FIRST GRADE - ie. gone for the entire school day. Next fall will be blissful indeed.
Monkey was harder to get into school because the kid is so gosh darn compliant. During assessments he would be led into the correct answers and given credit when he had no idea what was going on. I don't think they knew they were doing it, I bet some kids need a few extra nudges sometimes. But with Monkey, he'd figure out they wanted him to say or do something, pick the most obvious thing and then say or do it. Like when they told me he could count to five all by himself. I can't remember if I called them idiots out loud or just in my head. I do remember, though, pointing out all the incorrect scores on their shiny assessment paper....to no avail. They still wouldn't let him in. But guess who's not so cowardly anymore? Yeah, that's right - GO MOMMY ADVOCATES OF THE WORLD!! Monkey started school last November. And I don't think the preschool people like me very much.
With each of the kids we've always gotten them super hyped for school. It was always, "Yay SCHOOL!! Don't you wish YOU were in school. Super super school - woooooooo!!!" And sometimes dancing. But with Number Four, I was never like that. (I'm just consciously realizing that today.)
Yet, I knew this day was coming.
I knew that when she turned 3 I would want her in that preschool.
So why am I feeling so FREAKED OUT?
Possibly because that evil EVIL preschool took my baby away today?!!!! MY BABY.
She was so brave about it too. I dropped her off. I expected loud peels of screaming tears. But she took off her backpack and started looking for somewhere to hang it. And when I said, "You're going to have FUN today!" Her little bottom lip quivered a teensy little bit as she said, "Hes." (That's how she says "yes".) Then I said, "And I'll come back to get you in a little while, ok?" And her little voice quivered a bit this time too when she looked up at me with saucer eyes and said, "Hes."
There was no screaming. No tears. Just her adorable little chin quivering as she bravely faced the new experience. So, um.....is it ok if I'm the one throwing the tantrum?
MY BABY IS IN SCHOOL!!!!