At some point I'm going to be able to sit down and tell you about Kurt's introduction to kindergarten and his weirdly coincidental flight into maturity without getting choked up and all overwrought and analytical on you. That day is not today. However, I will say this: so far, kindergarten is going well. He's there from 9-3:30 five days a week, and then comes home for a minimum of ninety minutes of therapy, and he is handling it all amazingly well. He's rocking it and looking fabulously handsome while doing so.
I wish to hell I'd gotten a great First Day of School picture, but, dude. At 8:45 am it was already eighty degrees with eighty percent humidity and by the time we walked the mile-ish there, nobody felt nearly as good about their day anymore.
Although this is Maria's second year of preschool, it's her first year at our beloved down-the-street public. She embraced this new experience the way she embraces all new experiences.
(I totally understand.)
If I make light of her suffering, it's because we know these teachers we are leaving her with every day, and they are excellent. They survived a year of Kurt, so they've got this. We just need to convince Maria. By day five, she was down to maybe "two or three minutes" of hopeless sobbing upon drop off.
One of the frustrating parts of having an anxious kid with language issues is that it gets easy to say things like, "No, really, she's pretty much always this clingy and whiny" when, say, your doctor observes that your kid might not be feeling well. That happened today at Maria's annual exam. It turns out she has an ear infection.
Such appointments with Maria are always hard, anyway. She's usually screaming so loud from the moment we walk in that it's almost impossible for me to hear what the doctor is saying. Likewise, I don't imagine the doc is getting much useful data through that stethoscope. Bless the woman for even making the attempt. And I know from experience with both Kurt and Maria that there's no point in trying to convince the medical and office staff that my kids, in their own elements, are utterly awesome, sweet kiddos.
Here's the photographic evidence for Maria's case. Since she's done with school at noon, she and I have been having daily afternoon adventures.
Chip bag on her head:
Petting an aged horse at Bluebird Gap Farm:
Showing off her Days of the Week undies to the natural history museum:
(And no, she is not even close to being potty trained.)
Her bumble bee costume is de rigeur these days.
Besides the ear infection, we talked about her height and weight continuing to gradually increase (38 inches tall, 28 pounds), her intense love of cake pops, and her general lack of social butterfly-ness.
During Kurt's developmental screenings in Canada, I found myself insisting he was doing better than the experts there were giving him credit for. But here, I'm finding myself insisting that Maria needs more looking into. Part of it is that she's a girl, and she chatters a lot, so it's easy for her to fake people out if they're not listening to her very closely. (Although most of her chatter is word-for-word scripting of movies she's watched or conversations she's heard). But I also think part of it might be that the system for evaluating a kid's developmental disabilities is not streamlined here. It's a patchwork system that involves county agencies, school districts, doctors and private insurance, and none of those individual entities works together. When we had our first family doctor visit in Canada, the surly South African physician looked at Kurt, said "Autism," and activated a slow but steady standard evaluation protocol that took about six months. I was scared and frustrated and I wanted to punch someone. Now I'm grateful.
Anyway, tonight Maria kissed her Little People pirates goodnight and gently put them to bed in their pirate ship. Tomorrow we'll wake up to this: