Okay, so this is the point at which I usually beat myself up for falling behind on my blogging. I think I predicted that this would happen at the beginning, because I know myself quite well. BUT, I’m back and raring to go, and I’ve decided to treat myself like I would treat others and be really forgiving.
We recently had a BIG change in our lives: The Bean started preschool! She turned 3-years-old two weeks ago and so was at the end of her eligibility for the Early Intervention program coordinated through our local Regional Center. She, instead, became eligible for the Individualized Education Program coordinated through the school districts. In the US, kids with special needs are legally entitled to government-funded schooling and as much assistance as
they need can be afforded by the budget to meet their needs. What services you get can also depend on how much noise the parents make, so I’ve been told by friends and therapists to fight for whatever I think the Bean needs.
Over the past few months she has been undergoing progress tests and evaluations, both with her existing therapists and with new ones that work for the school system. The reports were studied and recommendations were made for which class and which services the Bean would participate in. We met with a group of people to discuss and agree on the preliminary plan, and it was decided that the Bean would be best served by the special needs school run by the County instead of the default option, which would have been the integrated preschool in our school district.
So, on Monday, March 26, I walked my
baby big girl into her new classroom, kissed her goodbye and managed to refrain from giggling like a maniac as I skipped walked serenely down the hallway back to my car.
I’ve heard stories of parents who cry when they drop their kids off at school for the first time. “She’s growing up too fast”; “I’m going to miss my baby”; “I’m getting old!”. Not me. As much as I adore my Bean, I’ve been joined at the hip to my little girl for three years straight, and I have been dying for some “me” time. And it’s not even just time to sit and do things I love, like writing and getting my nails done. I’ve been wishing for time to get my house clean, update the budget, do some weeding, groom the dog, refinish the dresser I bought at a garage sale 6 months ago…the list goes on.
Now, I’m sure some children have a lot of trouble with separation anxiety when they start preschool, and so their parents are suitably traumatized by the experience. But my Bean is pretty cool about that. We’ve been making sure to give her experience with other caregivers since she was tiny – my parents took care of her for an entire weekend when she was just 10 weeks old. A few months ago we enrolled her at a daycare for a day each week: to give both of us some time to adjust to the impending preschool schedule, but also to give me a break…I was breaking down. From the first day, the Bean was (with a few exceptions) thrilled to be there and happy to see me again when I picked her up. It’s been the same at preschool so far.
So now I have a little more time to do the things I want and need to do. My Sweetie is happy to see things actually getting done around the house, I’m happy to be able to hear myself think for a few hours in a row, and the Bean is happy that I am able to give her my undivided attention after her nap. Everybody wins!