I would have written about this last week, when it actually happened, if not for more pressing issues. At this point, no one cares about this but me and my mom, but we care, and it’s my blog, so here you go.
Last Tuesday was the first day of school ever for Quinn. And it was Jack’s first day in his 4s class at the preschool he’d already gone to for two years. AND it was Jack’s first day at his special ed public preschool. Big happenin’s, for sure.
We dropped Sam off for his boring old second week of kindergarten. Old news, I know. He’s practically running the place by now. Then it was off to the preschool. Good thing we had 45 minutes between Sam’s drop off and Jack and Quinn’s school starting because we had about zero gas. Here’s Jack helping me get gas.
(I’m not quite sure what to do with that 45 minutes every day. It’s not quite enough time to run an errand, but it’s just too much time to go back home. I think we’ll be getting a lot of extra playtime on the playground.)
Anyway, can you see the big ol’ goose egg on Jack’s forehead? Just another step in my quest to send each of my kids to their first day of school with a disfiguring injury. The other night Jack came out from his bedroom to tell us, “I smashed my head into the wall.” We kissed him and sent him back to bed without realizing the severity of the bump. I know, Mother of the Year. I’ll have to wait and get Quinn next year.
I was co-oping in Jack’s classroom so we hung out in there while we waited for school to start. Jack’s new classroom had been Sam’s room last year, so Jack knows it well. And he immediately made himself comfortable.
When it was time to take Quinn to his room, he was pretty mellow about it. I was actually a little bit surprised that he barely seemed to notice when I left. Maybe it was because there was rampant opportunity to paint.
Jack’s class went smoothly. He got to do the calendar job which mainly meant he had to write a “4” on an apple cut-out and then count to four. He spent class as he did last year. He didn’t really talk to any of the other kids and was unwilling to draw a picture of himself, like the teacher wanted him to. He did agree to outline his hand on a piece of paper, which, frankly, is good enough for me.
Quinn’s class was excused early, as the teacher likes to ease them into the full two and a half hours. I went to get him on the playgound where he was just standing around. When he saw me he gave me just about the biggest hug I’ve ever gotten, pointed at the gate, and said, “Let’s go out of here.” His teacher said he did great and only asked for me once.
We headed back to Jack’s class, where Quinn was more than happy to share in the four-year-olds’ snack. Then the 4s went out to the playground. Always before when I’d walked out to the playground with Jack’s class, I would automatically scan the playground for Sam. It was a little bit of a jolt to me to realize that he wasn’t there. It stopped me cold for a few seconds.
We spent the rest of the morning playing mostly in the sandbox. Jack watched a couple of his classmates play on tricycles and ignored them when they tried to talk to him. Quinn took only a brief respite from the sand to play on a metal horse, which for some reason he is convinced is a camel.
Then when it felt like the end of the school day, it was time to take Jack for more school. He was really excited for his afternoon class. I had expected him to be confused by this extra school, but he was prepped, excited, and ready to go. There were two driveways to the school and I couldn’t find the drop off. Jack got upset at me every time I drove off school grounds as I drove in multiple figure eights through the driveways trying to spot his teacher. He didn’t want to leave without getting to go to his school. I think because it is in an elementary school that he sees it as a big-boy school, like the one Sam gets to go to.
I finally parked and we all walked in where we ran into his teacher and the aide who were on their way out to get the kids.
That’s a pretty typical posture for Jack: finger in nose. He was so stoked to get to carry a backpack and insisted that I put his lunch box inside it, just like Sam. This turned out to be a mistake as his teacher forgot that he will be eating his lunch at school and, hence, forgot to give it to him. (A mistake they recitified the next day.) They did give him a snack, and he was even able later to tell me what it was. (Pretzels and milk.) Or he could have just made it up, but I choose to believe that he told me what really happened. Which is a big deal for Jack.
The lack of a lunch wasn’t that big of a deal. Or it wouldn’t have been had Jack’s bus arrived home prior to 5:45pm. That subject has been covered ad nauseum, so I won’t go into it again here. When he (finally) got off the bus he was hungry, thirsty, and looked sort of dazed but he softly answered in the affirmative every time I asked if he had a good day. And he even said he had friends on the bus: “My school friends.”
It was a giant day for everyone. And we did it for the rest of last week as well. I co-oped again in Jack’s class on Thursday and had to hold back tears as he played dollhouse mostly parallel to but a little bit with two girls.
I have a lot of hope for Jack this year.