Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back to school transition

Harding, Shelby, Trip, and I have been back to our fall school schedule since mid-August. There have been more than a few bumps in the road in our month of transitions, but we are slowly getting in to the groove of things.

Harding has returned to his old school that he attended before Shelby was born for Pre-K. He calls it his "new-old school" and has settled in really well. He has made new friends and become re-acquainted with old ones, is learning new things every day, loves his teacher (Ms. Kim), and is excited about everything but nap time. It is really neat to watch him learn his letters and write his name...I know that in the next year or so he will be reading and I am beyond excited about that huge step in his development and learning. It is hard for me to believe that he will be in kindergarten next year, where has the time gone?

Thankfully, Shelby did not have much of a transition this year. She is in the same early head start classroom at the same preschool she attended last year, with the exact same teachers and students. We are so happy with her school situation and thrilled that she gets one more year there. Shelby makes it clear to all of us that she absolutely loves school. Any time we put on her orthotics and shoes, she says "school" in hopes that we are headed that way. She talks about her teachers (Tara, Eduard, and Marilyn) constantly. She also mentions her favorite classmates, Taj and Zaraina regularly. In the week after Shelby's surgery, my mom and mother-in-law would take Shelby to school for circle time, because she obviously missed being there. Barbara told me that when they got there and she put Shelby down, Shelby took off immediately for her favorite shelf of musical instruments, and then all the kids surrounded her and were covering her with hugs and kisses. I wish I could have seen it. I worry sometimes about her being the only non-walker there, but with three teachers and seven classmates that all know her and love her, I know she is in good hands.

This year, Trip is taking both kids to school. It is nice for me, but really tough on Trip. Getting two kids out of the house and to their respective schools is no easy feat. Most days we've got it down though. From 5:30 to 6:50 when I walk out the door, he and I are working together to get ourselves ready, and then the kids dressed and fed. As I leave the house, Trip is beginning Shelby's morning therapy routine. Trip also meets Shelby's various therapists and vision teacher at her school a couple days in the week to work with Shelby. Also, on evenings when I have class, Trip puts the kids to bed by himself. Yes, he is wonderful!

I have had a pretty smooth back-to-school transition this fall. I'm working with a great team of teachers and our group of students is delightful. The tough part is coordinating being a working mom with all of Shelby's after-school specialist and therapy appointments AND my graduate classes. Unfortunately, I decided to take two this semester. Huge mistake! I realized after Shelby's surgery that two classes was way too much, but there is no going back now. I'm trying my best to stay afloat and not be too hard on myself, but I am unfortunately not superwoman (the state of our house attests to that fact). It would be safe to say that I am more than a little stressed, but I have learned my lesson and will not be taking so much on next semester.

Since our schedule is so insane, I am once again incredibly thankful for my parents and Trip's parents who help us out in innumerable ways. We could not do it without them, and are blessed to have them close by.

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