Friday, September 18, 2009

Better than a progress report - - a live [impromptu] meeting

Nikko seems content to board the bus and ride to school. He also seems content when he's on the way home, sitting next to Fiona. He gets the aisle seat so I don't have to lean over Fiona to unbuckle Nikko and pick him up. He's also within arm's reach of Mrs. Beyer, should the need arise. The progress report from school didn't have any extra comments but showed a positive day at school. This week was titled All About Me. I hope I filled out all the necessary papers that Nikko needed to be able to tell them something about Nikko. I have been having some nice little chats with the twins' mom after the bus leaves our driveway. We talked about potty training earlier in the week, and today we discussed Halloween costumes and their use of the English language vs. Polish (and she speaks French too). She asked if I was going to the Back To School night meeting tonight and I said I would. I offered her a ride, but she didn't need one, and I forgot that I wanted to run to Costco after the meeting to get diapers anyway.

The afternoon was routine, lunchtime and cleanup afterward, then putting Ronin down for his nap at 2pm. I also put Audrey in our room with the lights on, then went to get Lego for a pee break. I took Nikko outside with me and we trotted up the block and back. He must have enjoyed being on this short walk outdoors because he was giggling and babbling up the sidewalk. I think he enjoyed walking near Lego because he tried to peer into Lego's face, something that Ronin would do a few times today as well. We had to go back inside because of the babies but instead of putting Lego downstairs I felt bad that he wouldn't be able to enjoy the sunshine and cool breezes so I linked his leash onto the swingset and left him outside. I think he was confused because he didn't sleep for a long time. I hope he enjoyed it outside. See? I'm not totally cruel to Lego.

Denis came home early because I had to go to the meeting tonight, but I still managed to get the kids outside to play after snacktime. Audrey sat in a walker while the boys duked it out over the tricycle again, then chased Denis around the driveway, and ultimately ended up on the swingset. Nikko is enjoying sitting on the regular swing seat and swinging himself just a little. But when I come over to him, he doesn't seem to mind if I push him on the swing. I don't push him too high at all, and he can always put his feet back on the ground if it's too challenging for him. Just the fact that he is freely sitting on a swing and then swinging back and forth is huge. Shelly would be so proud. I should email her and Gloria about Nikko's progress. Note to self.

I scampered off to the Back To School Night meeting and got there on time. I sat in the familiar classroom and regrettably didn't make any small talk with the other parents. We were on a tight schedule anyway, where Ms. Winters and Mrs. McCarthy had to squeeze in a bunch of information in 25 minutes. Mrs. McCarthy was talking about the day-to-day activites and schedule they followed. She started talking about trips to the toilet and then she said, "We like to keep it as simple as possible. Please, no onesies or overalls or anything complicated. We like to promote their independence so keeping them dressed simply is the best way." My jaw dropped because Nikko has been in onesies since he was born. We have kept him in onesies because he had begun to fish around in his diaper, or itch if he could reach in, and it was not something I wanted to happen especially if there was poo involved. A onesie keeps everything in. But after hearing that, I was floored that I didn't know he should be wearing a regular t-shirt. It makes sense; onesies are cumbersome in a bathroom, and having him dress and undress himself like a regular boy would promote independence. I knew I would speak to someone after the meeting, and indeed I went up to Mrs. Damerjian and Mrs. Napolean, the teacher aides and bathroom gurus, and apologized for the onesies on Nikko. They told me it was no big deal, that I wasn't the only one with kids in onesies. Still, if they will start putting him on the potty, he'd better be easy to dress. They told me that Nikko doesn't resist going to the bathroom. They simply tell him it's time to go, and he holds their hand or just knows where to go. "Nikko also likes music, the songs they sing in class. And he LOVES to paint." These were great things I was hearing about Nikko and exactly what I was seeking.

The speech was over, the parents were going to the library for the PTA meeting, but I wasn't intending on going. I knew I was taking a chance at overstaying my visit, but I wanted to at least inquire on Nikko's progress. Mrs. McCarthy and Ms. Winters saw me approach them and they both proclaimed that Nikko was doing great. Sure, he had a big meltdown on day one, but since then he has been attentive, quiet, but also folowing the schedule. He sits at every station when told. Mrs. McCarthy told me that when he comes in, his blanket goes right into the backpack and it stays there. At first he was unsure about that, but now he doesn't even put up a fight. I wondered if I should phase that out in the mornings, and they told me not to worry about it, not to take away the blankie (really, a burp cloth) because it's a lovey to him. It comforts him on the bus, I think, so we'll keep it for now. She stepped away when Ms. Winters got into more detail to show me the picture schedule she uses with Nikko. She's told me that Nikko is babbling a lot, more than before; he's not making choices with the pictures yet, but they still use it as reinforcement. Ms. Winters is hopefull about his speech, mirroring what he's saying and trying to get him to make a sound for a word every time they have therapy. He doesn't like it, but she still tries. I told her he doesn't like doing it at home either. She also told me that while I wrote down what a crasher/banger he is and that he stims, he has not crashed or stimmed at school since he got there. He probably does it at home to help him relieve the stress of the morning. I was so happy to hear that, and everything else. I was so grateful that they took a few minutes to give me a detailed update on Nikko's progress, even though this wasn't the parent-teacher conference and that they had been there for a long time the entire day. I had to hug Ms. Winters. :) His progress at school, even though it's only been two weeks (or 8 days in preschool land), sounds so awesome. There are opportunities for socialization, he's getting speech therapy, as well as OT, he's learning a routine and how to transition, learning songs and rules, and refining fine motor skills too. Their snack time is fruits and vegetables, so MAYBE that will help introduce him to some greens. Ha. There is also a support group called PEPS, Parent Education Parent Support, that meets once a month It's for District 57. I will see if I can possibly make their meetings, because being connected with this group could be very good for me. We got the kids to bed late (before 9:30 but after 9:10) because Audrey had her bath late, because I ran to Costco and Jewel after my own special meeting.

Tomorrow is an off day, not going to the in-laws for dinner, but maybe we will go to IKEA and get Ronin a bed. If not tomorrow, then Saturday. If this goes ahead, then big changes are in store this weekend.

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