Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Day!

We woke up with plenty of time to get ready this morning, but of course we were flying out the door at the last minute. I don't know how that happens, but it always does. We did the obligatory first day of school pictures by the house before we left. Those were rushed & somewhat chaotic. I'm hoping we got some good ones. The boys were pretty relaxed about heading to school. Sebastian was concerned at times, but not too bad. However, once we made it to school Sebastian's worry set in. I was so stressed I nearly forgot to bring in their backpacks & Sebastian's bag of school supplies! I didn't know how I was going to get Judah in & out of Sebastian's classroom and still give Sebastian all of the attention he needed. On top of that, of course I had to take pictures! We went into the classroom (I had Sebastian show me the way). We found his hook & cubby. Judah hung his backpack with everyone else's and immediately started interacting with the other kids. He was ready to get started! Sebastian was nervous. I tried to keep him busy with finding things & putting school supplies away. We couldn't even really check out the room there were so many parents!! Judah sat down at one of the tables with the other kids & grabbed the crayon tub. The other kids were writing in their folders with crayon. Judah sat there waiting to get his folder. I helped Sebastian find the folder with his name on it & tried to get his mind off the fact that the teacher was talking in Spanish and he didn't understand what she was saying. He was really worried about what he was supposed to be doing. He is very much a rule follower. I guided him through her instruction (which was pretty easy to understand just by watching her actions). He started writing in his folder like the other kids. But it didn't take long before the tears really started & I was receiving many hugs that were tough to end. I felt particularly awful because Sebastian wasn't getting 100% of the attention he deserved to get from his mom. I had to keep a watchful eye on Judah. Judah did hit a couple kids on the head & write with crayon on a couple of kids' folders. Man I felt bad about that, their very first day of kindergarten, their very first work & my kid has put stray crayon marks on it. My kid who obviously should have ridden the bus this morning. Then I could have come to see him in his classroom directly after dropping Sebastian.

Sebastian received many hugs & kisses from me & much reassurance that he would be just fine. He was one of the only children that I saw who was upset, and he was really upset. It was hard to leave him but I knew from past experience that he would be fine once I left & if I stayed he would just have a harder time. So eventually I left. I was the last parent to leave because Sebastian was so upset & because Judah did absolutely not want to leave. I promised Sebastian many times that I would come back to check on him. I tried many times to pick up Judah. Eventually the teacher's aid offered to help. I warned her that it would be difficult & hoped he wouldn't hit her. She was able to carry him out & I was able to have 2 seconds with Sebastian for more hugs, kisses & reassurance & then I left.

Judah didn't understand why he wasn't starting school in Sebastian's classroom. After all, that is where I had brought him, wearing a backpack. He was able to sit down at the table with the other kids & somewhat participate. Of course he was confused, and upset I was making him leave. That made perfect sense. He laid on the hallway floor screaming & crying, refusing to get up. There was no one else down the entire hall. It took a while but eventually I was able to pick him up and carry him, while I also had Willow in the ergo. Thank goodness for my weight lifting practice! As we were leaving I noticed the principal having a meeting with all of the other Kindergarten parents, handing out papers & motioning to things on the walls. There was no way Judah was stopping for this & not causing a scene, so I had to walk on by.

We went outside & headed to Judah's classroom. Once we hit the ramp outside of his classroom he was suddenly just fine & excited to go to class. We were going to the same classroom he was in last year. We walked in & everything was rearranged. They no longer have the amazing sensory room (his favorite). He has a brand new teacher with almost all new teacher aids. Thank goodness there was one there that knew him well & immediately started working with him. Judah played sort of well with the other kids. He played cars, stealing some from other kids & crashing many of their toys. It was then that I noticed how many (if not all) of the other kids were more advanced than him. They were talking & following instruction & being much more gentle than him. At first this made me very sad, but later that morning I realized that their progress might motivate his progress. He made his first transition okay, but then wanted to leave the area many times. At that point he started coming to me for support. Finally it was time for the re-made sensory room area. THAT is where he wanted to be. He went in and found some of the few sensory areas in the room & began playing. I contemplated leaving him. Many of the other moms were planning to stay for the entire day. If I stayed he might expect me to keep doing that. If I left he might realize that he was back in his old routine. I opted to give him a goodbye kiss & a hug instead of sneaking out (daring I know!). Much to my surprise he said, "Bye!!!" back to me. So I left and headed back to the main school building to find the principal.

I was emotionally exhausted & stressed. I found the principal & questioned him about the previous meeting (which was a COMPLETE SURPRISE). He filled me in & gave me what he called the "very important" paperwork that needs to be given to the office asap. Good thing I went to see him, sheesh. Back home!!

We just got home from dropping the boys off for their first day of school & Willow grabs Judah's old backpack, motions for me to help her put it on, grabs Sebastian's new lunch box & says, "cheese!". She wanted her picture taken just like her brothers did this morning. Then she grabs my keys and says, "bye!!". When I don't take her to the car she says, "car!". Hahhaaa. She's ready to go to school!

Sebastian was happy at pick-up. Scott showed up to surprise him. Sebastian told us a lot about his day. He said his class did a scavenger hunt that took them all over the entire school & even outside! He shared with us some Spanish words and phrases he learned. It was quite a bit of Spanish to remember after one day. He said they did all of the sounds of the alphabet (in a song I think?) & counted all the way to 20, both in Spanish! We played on the playground until it was time for Judah's class to end.

So we get home from school and I see a school bus sitting outside our house. I pull the car into the garage & wave at the driver. She does not wave back. She does not smile. She does, however, open the bus door. I walk over, get on the bus & she tells me that she has a drop-off at our address. I tell her that Judah isn't taking the bus this week. I had informed transportation of this, a woman at WESD AND his teacher & aids just this morning, so I didn't know what she was talking about. She points at the kid across from her and says, "Well isn't that Judah??" The ridiculous part (as if this wasn't ridiculous enough) is that I check to see if it's Judah! I tell her, "No, Judah is in the car." She tells me firmly that the teacher told her that was Judah, as if she is right! Scary, isn't it? I can't imagine how that boy's parents would feel if they knew this had happened. Obviously I'm very nervous about their transportation system now. Last year we had great drivers. He starts riding the bus on Tuesday, next week. I will be calling on Monday to re-affirm that with them.

Sebastian shared with me something that happened at school. His class was outside in a line. They were supposed to stay in line. Judah's class happened to be outside at the same time. I think maybe Judah was still upset that he couldn't be in Sebastian's class. Apparently he went down the line, hitting many kids. Sebastian said they couldn't do anything because they weren't supposed to leave the line. Sebastian told a girl near him that Judah was his brother. She let him know that she would not be his friend this year. I can't even imagine how this must feel for Sebastian. It breaks my heart. Sebastian was holding back emotion when he was telling me this story. He didn't tell me until late this afternoon. I think he had just worked up the courage to tell me. Judah can't help his behavior. It's an automatic response. He becomes very sad after he hits people, usually to the point of crying. Sebastian said none of the teachers were looking when Judah was hitting children. Judah has 3 aids & 1 teacher in his class and Sebastian has 1 teacher & 1 aid.. which makes SIX adults who happened to miss this?? I will get too emotional if I call, so Scott will call tomorrow. It just breaks my heart.

Although Sebastian was in good spirits after school, this evening he has told both Scott & I that he does not want to go back. However, I think the good is still outweighing the bad, and I think the good will continue to grow. Scott will be walking him in tomorrow morning. Judah will not be there. And of course it will be Sebastian's second day so he will know more of what to expect. I hope these things help him have a much more positive experience tomorrow. The first day was so hard!!

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