Wednesday, February 23, 2011

School Vacation Week as a Special Needs mommy

When I started up the computer this morning, I was going to blog about how my children are mostly driving me crazy this week. But I ran out of time, and had to take Sofia to our synagogue for a concert. And now my topic is a little altered.

Had a Special Needs Mommy moment at the concert, which was sponsored by the nursery school. This is NOT the preschool Sofia goes to (although it is where her brothers went). Since there are no specialists for speech, OT, PT and inclusion, Sofia goes to the public preschool.

My complaint these past three years at the public preschool is that there is very little chance for parents to interact - the teachers take the kids out of cars and bring them to the cars, so we are not milling in the hallway at drop off and pick up (as is the case at the synagogue school). Consequently, in three years, I have really only made one mommy friend at Sofia's school (and I'm very glad to have that lady as a friend - I definitely appreciate quality vs. quantity!).

But I forgot how unfriendly and closed off and cliquey preschool moms can be! I had made most of my mommy friends when Sam was in preschool; by the time Micah got there, either his classmates were younger siblings, or it just was not as important to make more friends. So this morning was difficult on several levels:

- I only recognized a few mommies, mostly from synagogue, and most of those were busy with their other friends.
- Sofia is six years old already. Most preschoolers are between 3 and 5 years. There were only two kids I saw who she might know from synagogue, but they were busy with their own friends.
- Little kids can be just as unfriendly and closed to unknown kids as their mommies can be to unknown mommies. So when it was time to dance, and kids were forming dance circles, Sofia had no one to dance with.

That's what did it. She looked so sad and dejected, trying to convince someone to hold her hand.

Eventually the dancing changed to more of a line, so she was able to be involved. But it made me so sad.

And it doesn't help that she's always got either her tongue or her finger up her nose!

I was glad to see the nursery school director, whose daughter used to be in Micah's class and who is a good friend and understanding listener. She was able to point out some of the positives as Sofia got more into the concert. And she was able to sympathize knowledgeably.

Sofia has been driving me NUTS all week, of course! Yesterday, my sitter canceled, so I had to take Sofia with me and Sam into Brookline to pick up my grandfather's tefillin, which was being checked in preparation for Sam to use. It was very cold, so I had to carry Sofia on my shoulders, which compressed my spine and gave me a horrible headache all day. She kept fighting me or running off as we were trying to do errands. It was a frustrating day.

In the evening, took the boys to Tae Kwan Do, and Sofia managed to lock herself in a storage closet. Then she gave me lots of hands-on-hips "NO!"s when I tried redirecting her. Pain in the butt.

The boys were wonderful last night and this morning. Last night they put her to bed, and this morning they shut my door and kept her away and occupied so I could sleep a bit. They also stayed home and actually did homework while I took her to the concert (too babyish for them). Good boys. I'm loving this age, where they can stay home for a bit during the day without worry. Monday, David and I actually went to buy the replacement dishwasher (ours died) without any kids, as the boys were wiling to watch their sister, too.

Stressing, too, about Sofia's birthday party this Sunday. Only have about 5 kids coming, due to vacation plans. And David's nearly-100-year-old grandmother fell last week and had to have surgery on her leg (she was bleeding inside)! She made it through fine, but that's another stress-er.

Ok, enough complaining. Time to get moving...