Thursday, September 10, 2015


Today was the day.  I was ready for it.  I was excited.  I wasn't going to cry.  My kids were starting their first day of public school with an awesome team of teachers.

Derek and I drove the boys to school.  Derek had to hurry off to a meeting so I walked the boys in by myself. The boys were excited to show me where their class was.  They remembered the hallway from yesterday but missed the room.  Pretty impressive for a 3 1/2 year old in my opinion.

When we got in, the teacher showed them their pictures on their cubby holes attached with velcro.  Each one had to take his picture off and put it on a cut out of a school bus with his name.  The school buses were located on the other side of the room.  The boys’ eyes lit up when they saw this task.  They found their names on the paper school buses and looked excited to check in at school.

That’s when I lost it.  I really think they were tears of joy, not sorrow.  I am excited to watch them grow and learn and gain independence.  I am excited for what school will teach them.  I am excited to see how they develop.

Next, they checked in with Stephanie who would let them pick one of several activities for the morning.  As I was leaving I saw Aaron picked the water table.  He had seen it yesterday without water in it and was looking forward to playing with it.  It was a small table filled with toys and water and bubbles.  Stephanie had helped him put on a smock and as I left I saw him walking towards the table.  I waved goodbye and there were no tears from him or Jeff, just a big smile as Aaron tackled this new adventure.

While the boys were in school I cleaned the house a little, watched some TV, called a doctor, got a haircut to prepare for the wedding and took my first Uber ride.

When I picked them up from school I was tackled with big hugs.  I found out Jeff had picked the kitchen first.  He told me he cooked eggs and pizza and played with the water table later in the day.   They played outside, read "The Kissing Hand" and made some art projects which will be ready tomorrow.  I can't wait to see what they made.  The teacher said there were no tears from any of the kids. 

I think we all had a very good first day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Their First Teacher

It's about to start.  The day has finally arrived.  Today we did an "open house" at the boys' school for 45 minutes to meet their first teacher.  It was exciting.  I know a lot of parents get sad when their children go off to school.  Am I sad?  Maybe a little bit.  I sometimes think of the activities I won't get to do with them.  A lot of events are in the morning and the boys will be in school from 8am-12pm which leaves little time to do things during the week.  But I also think about all the opportunities they will get at school that I can't give them.  Plus, if I'm being honest, I'm excited to have some time to exercise, cook new dinners that take more than 20 minutes, read a book, maybe binge on some Netflix and work.  Work will be hard because of my limited time off between drop off and pick up but I'm sure I'll find a little bit of work here and there.

The class structure is pretty cool, in my opinion.  This is a program with three teachers (Kristin, Stephanie and Kayla) and 11 kids, half of whom have an IEP.  I love the idea of exposing my kids to kids with all sorts of different needs and learning styles.  I think a program like this is fantastic.

The day started with us walking in and Kayla saying hello.  Kayla met Jeff and asked him about the stuffed animals he had brought.  He told her that he had a snowman, a monkey and a panda.  Then Kayla asked him what his name was.  He wouldn't answer.  After a few seconds he signed, "I'm deaf."

"Hmmmm...," I thought.  "He's already playing the deaf card.  That was fast.  And that's usually Aaron's trick when he doesn't want to listen."

Kayla told us that she knew how to spell her name but not much else.  Still, it was cool that she knew about sign language.

Derek and I stayed with the boys and talked with the teachers for about 45 minutes.  We learned about the details of how the class runs, that they go outside every day, they have gym twice a week, etc.  As we were getting close to leaving a little boy from the class gave Kristin, the lead teacher,  a picture he had colored with a red marker.

"I like the red," she said as she signed the word "red."

"Oh, you sign a little in this class?" I asked.  I had secretly hoped that there would be a deaf student and interpreter in Jeff and Aaron's class.  The kids in this program can have an IEP for anything.  It could be a stutter or a physical disability or a behavior issue so a deaf student was certainly possible.

I come to find out that the head teacher was a deaf education major for a while before she switched to special education.  She said she used to go to deaf social hours and deaf events.  I think she is pretty fluent.  She uses a lot of signs in the class room which makes sense because of the various and unique learning styles of so many of the kids. 


I told her the story of  how Aaron's recent babysitter told him to do something.  He didn't want to listen so he signed he was deaf.  The sitter, who is going to an interpreting program, signed back to him and his response was, "You're pretty tricky, Kara!"  So my boys can't get away with pretending to not hear the teacher.  I couldn't have asked for a better placement.  

Today after the open house we had a big day of fun.  We played at an indoor play center and went out for lunch and ice cream.  The boys crashed in the car and it was hard to get two sleeping, 35+ pound boys from the car to their beds by myself.  They're sleeping from the long day and we'll see how things go tomorrow.