Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Lows and Highs of Being Momma

Some days aren't so easy. Thursday wasn't so easy. From the moment he woke up, George was screechy, whiny, screaming, and altogether cranky. When we arrived at school that morning, I literally had to drag him, kicking and screaming and hitting and crying, to the classroom. All the way to the classroom, instead of the bench outside where they gather and the teachers take in the kids. He didn't want to be at school, didn't want to separate from me, didn't want anything to do with anything really.
When he finally was distracted enough by a teacher, I was able to sneak out with his main teacher and the speech therapist to go to our final IFSP meeting. (Individualized Family Service Plan, the plans and goals that are set and evaluated throughout the special needs preschool system.) Although he will remain in preschool next year, he is technically part of the elementary system starting in the fall and all evaluations will be handled by an IEP, transitioning from a family focus to an individual student focus. We have already set the primary goals through the new special needs preschool he'll be attending in September.
This meeting was good. All filled with good reports of progress, laughter about his quirks, and reminiscences over the past two years' memories. As the meeting stretched well into a second hour, I was enjoying talking with two women who knew and cared for my son so well. Then his teacher sat back and very calmly started questioning my reasons for puling George out of her school to place him in a different special needs school. The final 15 - 20 minutes of the meeting were filled with her insinuations that I had made a bad choice and my bumbling attempts to explain my reasons without being insulting or negative toward her and her classroom. I left with guilty tears in my eyes and a heart heavy with sadness over this negative ending to our relationship.
An hour or so after that meeting, I returned to the school to pick up George. Normally, he walks with his class to the bench, I kneel in front of him to get his attention, and, with prompting, he says a quick "Good-bye everybody" without looking as we walk away. After our rough morning, I had no idea what to expect. Certainly not the bright-eyed little guy that cheerfully emerged saying "Hi Mommy" as he walked to the bench. Then he, very deliberately, gave each and every one of his classmates and teachers a hug good-bye. As I stood there, practically fainting from shock, he walked up to me, took my hand, and said, "Go home and have lunch?"

Print It Now 2 picture frames by Beth Nixon

The rest of the day was spent enjoying this special boy as he played (mostly) nicely with his sister and a cousin, gave out hugs like they were going out of style, and careened around corners on his Big Wheel at top speed. Like a normal little boy.

I went to bed as soon as the kids were settled that night. Maybe next year will be easier. Right?


Beth Nixon said...

Well, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes.

Although Liam's challenges are so very different, I can relate with that roller coaster feeling. The frustration of not knowing how to help or what is best to help and then seeing the opposite end of the spectrum. The happy go-lucky, boy who doesn't seem to have a care in the world.

It makes you question so much.
It makes you question yourself.
It makes you happy.
It makes you immensely sad.
It makes you feel terribly guilty and terribly proud.
Sometimes within minutes of each other.


And thanks for making the frames look so good!

Anonymous said...

Well, I certainly teared up too! How and why kids have such swing moods is beyond me! I do have to say I don't think it is just George ... Aidan would be that way one morning and then Liam would be that way the next! Something in the air. But mine at least do 'trade off' so I don't have to pull them both in kicking and screaming ... of course, they might do that to me one morning ... better not jinx myself!
I am starting the IEP meetings two weeks from now with Liam (speech apraxia = speech delay). I am a bit nervous about it, since it will be our first time.

loonyhiker said...

Was this his last day at school? Maybe instincts told him this was an important day or he picked up vibes from you about the meeting today. I'm glad things turned around for him during the day but I bet you worried the whole time. :)

scrapgeek said...

I wish they came with an instruction manual. I just love that bottom photo - what gorgeous eyes he has!