At long last, yesterday was the Monster’s first day of school.
This had been a day that the wife had been dreading for a long time. Sending the Monster to public school was full of a host of unknowns, which we’d been dealing with for about a week on our end.
From where I stand, sending him to school is no more fraught with issues than any other child – it would be a full day where he’d be out of our sight, in an environment where we have minimal knowledge of what’s going on. Granted, yes, because of his IEP, he’s going across town – a 30 minute bus ride each way – and would be at a school that neither of us was familiar with. To date, he’d gone just to the JCC nursery school and had been there for 3 hours a morning, a few mornings per week. But, thousands of parents do it with their NT children every year, and I didn’t see why this was a cause for concern, since supposedly the staff in the classroom is trained to deal with children with issues.
From the wife’s perspective, it was a major deal. The Monster is minimally communicative compared to other children, prone to going on riffs and verbal artifacts that are unique to him. There’s no guarantee that what he says is going to resemble something that the staff in his classroom would understand. The school is a place he’d only visited once, briefly on Friday, and there was no rescue in the cards from the parents if there was an issue.
So, yesterday morning, we got him up early, showered him, dressed him in his uniform and fed him, before I went outside into the mosquitos to listen for the bus. (And to get bitten. A lot.) The bus was supposed to arrive at 8:18, and so I went outside per our letter from the school board transportation department at 8:05 to wait for it.
The bus showed up at 8:50.
So, with him between us, holding our hands, we crossed the street, waiting for trouble… and then he just toddled happily up onto the bus without a fuss and went to one of the car seats waiting for children his age, and just climbed into it. No fights, no trouble, nothing, and off he went to school.
My wife did speak to the teacher by phone yesterday afternoon, to find out that he did, in fact, have some minor issues adapting at school, but seemed much more calm by afternoon and was even calling her by name (which apparently, according to her, is rare for children like him to pick up so quickly). He was very tired as I’d have expected when he got home as it’s a much longer day, but I think we can say that his first day of public school was a success.