The moment Little Miss Adorable has been waiting for all summer finally came – the first day of Junior Kindergarten! After sadly spending the summer watching big brother Mr. Sensitive go to camp and then standing by while he started his first day of school, she finally went.
This is a new school that did not have months of planning to prepare for the very special needs Little Miss Adorable presents with. I showed up on registration day to speak to the principal and register the kids. Physiotherapist, specialised stroller, occupation therapist, specialised seating, teaching assistant to support all of her physical needs – there was so much to get organised. They had a week.
And they did it.
The day before she was scheduled to start I met with the teaching team (I had already met with administration) to give some last minute advice. The bottom line was don’t treat her like a baby, don’t let other kids treat her like a baby (she’s the size of a two year old) and don’t let her get away with stuff because she’s cute. Oh, and stand back when she’s using her walker, and help her on and off the potty seat, help her get dressed, and help her open her lunch containers. But make sure she asks first. So there was some conflicting advice (and fashion hints – glitter always goes well with Little Miss Adorable) but the team was prepared.
Veterans of prying sobbing new kindergarteners away from parents, comforting the distraught (it’s OK, Mommy will be back soon) the teaching team was caught off guard when Little Miss Adorable roared into the classroom in her pink shiny walker, yelling, “School! Kids! Friends!”
Once introduced to her Teaching Assistant and the other teachers, Little Miss Adorable was shown where her belongings go. She nodded approvingly at the coat hook and cubby, standard Kindergarten fare. She was proud to see her pink princess backpack hanging from its hook and then demanded to be removed from her walker so she could explore the classroom close up. She eyeballed the toys, then pulled herself up to a table and maneuvered a chair so she could do some *real* school work. Pulling a basket of crayons toward her, she waved at me, “Bye Mommy!”
I was dismissed. Little Miss Adorable’s a big girl in Kindergarten now.
At the end of the school day teaching staff raved about how well she did and Little Miss Adorable yelled, “I had a great day!” over and over. She had chased after kids at recess and was busy exploring the classroom. According to Little Miss Adorable, the kids in her class are ‘boys’ and ‘girls’, so now we’re working on learning their names.
That whole evening Little Miss Adorable was wildly excited, dancing, singing and yelling about school until we forced her to go to bed (if you don’t go to sleep you can’t go to school tomorrow). At 6:00 am she woke up and demanded to go to school. It’s hard to explain to a preschooler that school doesn’t start for three hours.
At the end of the school day the principal approached me to say that special needs bussing still wasn’t set up for Little Miss Adorable. The transportation department was experiencing a delay in getting an appropriate seat for Little Miss Adorable.
I looked at Little Miss Adorable surrounded by a crowd of Kindergarteners, beaming and laughing. “Oh, that’s a shame. I won’t have a vehicle myself on Monday, so I can’t get her to school. She’ll have to stay home.” I offered to use my own car seat. The principal said she’d look into it.
That evening I got a phone call from the principal, “The vice principal and I can drive Little Miss Adorable to school and back on Monday. We can be at your home by 8:30 am.”