On to the next thing

Yesterday was Corin’s last day of preschool. He was a little sad, but he mostly seems excited about moving on to kindergarten. His teachers made him an awesome yearbook binder of photos and art projects from the year. It was so fun to see his progress since last August. Tomorrow is technically the last day of school and graduation, but we’re skipping in favor of a four-day camping trip in Virginia. I figure he’ll have plenty more graduations in his life. For now, I’ll just feel a little nostalgic over the passing of this milestone, and then it’s on to the next thing.

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Best preschool teachers ever

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Awesome classroom assistant

Yesterday was also Lina’s last day at Mother’s Day Out. We’re taking the summer off, and then it’s on to the early childhood preschool in September.

Of course, by taking the summer off, I mean we’ll be running around to various therapy appointments every week, in addition to potentially being enrolled in a Vanderbilt research study that would involve four appointments a week plus periodic visits to Vandy for progress evaluations. We won’t exactly be kicking back and taking it easy.

We’ll also be working very, very hard on the sensory issues at the root of Lina’s hair pulling. We had our first visit with a new OT on Monday, and I am very hopeful she will really be able to help. It will take some time, but I think we could be in a much better place in a few weeks. I can’t tell you how much I need that to be true. We stopped at one of our favorite farmer’s markets yesterday afternoon, and the kids had a great time on the playground. Lina loves the playground, but it is exhausting trying to police her every move. No matter how fast I am, I can’t entirely prevent her from pulling hair. Parents have been so understanding, but what can you really say when your child comes away with a handful of another kid’s hair? Her aggression has spread to pinching and hitting. She is clearly so frustrated and anxious; I think soon we’ll have a much better handle on why and how to help.

Evenings like this

Our Trunk or Treat outing was a success. We decorated our trunk with a Red Flyer wagon, mums and pumpkins. We roasted our veggie dogs. We handed out obscene amounts of candy. Corin and daddy went on a hayride while Lina and I fielded the stragglers. And our kids were absolutely the cutest and best costumed there. You should believe me, because I am clearly an objective source on the matter.

But, really.

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We aren’t members of the church that hosted the event and don’t know too many of the Mother’s Day Out parents yet, but both kids had a blast, which made it fun for us. That’s one of the great perks of parenthood; you get to enjoy this stuff through your kids’ eyes. Thank God for evenings like this.

First day, and we’re okay

My firstborn headed off to Pre-K this morning. It’s a low-key Tuesday/Thursday program at a nearby Mother’s Day Out, but it felt like a pretty big deal around here. Corin was so excited, and definitely a little nervous. He was more emotional than usual over the little things. For example, there was a meltdown over using too much water to clean the yogurt from breakfast off his shorts, presumably for fear of a wet spot when he got to school. But true to form, he headed right through the door at drop-off with hardly a glance back. Those buckets of dinosaurs beckoned. I managed to avoid tears myself and am left to hope for more than one-word answers to questions about how his day went.

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“Here’s a good-luck whack for you, brother.” (Actually, she was being sweet, and the really good news is she wasn’t trying to pull his hair. This is progress, people.)

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“Put down the camera, mommy, and let’s get this show on the road.”

Lina misses him. She climbed into the little indoor wagon when we got home and waited for someone to push her around the house. (It didn’t happen – handle’s a tad low for mommy.) She has her first day of Mother’s Day Out on Tuesday. She’ll be going one day a week. This MDO program is just a few minutes away, and to our amazement, they have a teacher on staff with a Ph.D. in special education, focusing on Down syndrome. Several local kids with Down syndrome have gone through the program. We are looking forward to giving Lina an opportunity to spend a little time with some typical peers. Her therapists are pretty convinced she will be very peer-motivated in her development. I’m a big believer in kids doing most of their early learning in the home environment when possible, but I think one day a week will offer her a chance to explore a new environment and learn from kids her age. We are very lucky to have this option.

A busy holiday weekend approaches. Our family will celebrate Lina’s second birthday and my nephew’s fourth. We’ve planned a fun little picnic at the park, but thunderstorms are predicted. It may be a rather damp party. Stay tuned for pictures.