Tuesday, January 13, 2009
February 2, 2009
On February 2, 2009 my baby turns 3. That is also the day that he is no longer eligible for "Early Intervention" and must move on to the township run preschool disabled program. He'll be in a preschool with about 10 other kids who also have problems with speech, OT, etc. Non "typical" kids, as they put it. He will have a special education teacher, & 2 aids. One of his friends is in the class already, since November, so that's good at least - he'll have a familiar face there which is a comfort.
So, on his third birthday, he gets up, eats breakfast, and gets onto the school bus. Yes, a school bus - for a 3 year old. As if being in school every day isn't a big enough deal, the school bus seems HUGE to me. I can't imagine my baby not spending every hour of every day with me anymore. I just can't wrap my head around it. I guess I've been pretending like it wouldn't happen, but, now it's like 2 weeks away and I can't pretend anymore, it's happening. I had been hoping that he would just "pop" into talking, and it would just start and all his other issues would go away and I could follow suit with my plan to keep him home with me a little longer, then put him into a smaller preschool, that is more for fun - like a 2 or 3 day program. But, while he is making progress, it's not enough right now.
I don't even want to write about it to be perfectly honest, it just makes me really sad. I'm focusing right now on ways to not cry in front of him when he gets on the school bus, because I don't want him to be afraid. I'm already planning on stalking the bus and making sure he gets into the school ok from the bus. I would stalk the classroom if I could, but they really frown on that. He's just got no idea, he's never done anything like this before and he's going to be in total shock. It will be from about 8:30 to 12. Please don't comment and tell me that it's "only a few hours that will fly by" or tell me all the wonderful art projects I can complete in his absence. This is the last thing I want to hear. I am 26 years old and though I have spent every second of the last nearly 3 years at home taking care of my son, I have not forgotten how to occupy my time. I would just rather trade every ounce of artistic ability that I have for this all to just be a normal childhood for Neil. I'm so sick of sharing my parenting with doctors, I really am. It started like, 30 seconds after birth and it has yet to end. I'm not sure why I haven't run off into the woods with him yet. UGH.
We have a meeting with the school tomorrow, hopefully I'll feel better when it's through, though, unless I come home and he's speaking understandably and tells me he doesn't want to be in this preschool, I really don't see that happening.