What is it about?

The rollercoaster adventures of parenting three kids, dealing with disability and mental health - and discussing disability discrimination and how to tackle it.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Back to School

Today was the first day back at school, after three weeks of holidays.

Possum did not want to go to preschool at all this morning ("I want to stay at home with mummy all day") but happily trotted off once he got there, and has a lovely day, playing with the Lego, the cars, and playing Ninja Turtles. He has really no idea what they are, he's never seen them on TV - and I have really no idea what playing NT actually means. When I asked him, it seemed to be a version of last year's Super Heroes, both basically involving groups of kids running around chasing each other. Still, at the end of the day, Possum (below) was a happy bunny.

(we don't let them have weapons, but boys will be boys. Even a rolled up newspaper will do as a sword)

Mister Determined, however, had a more mixed day back at school. The morning started off well enough. He paraded around in his school uniform (which seemed to have shrunk somewhat - or has he grown again?) and went off quite happily. But when he got to his class room, it was bustling with loud, exited boys running around. His desk had changed, his name tag was different, and when he opened his desk drawer, there was a new colouring in book. All this change was too much for him, and he burst into tears, bottom lip quivering. He really does not handle change very well, poor lad.

He settled in all right during the day, thankfully, and is now quite proud that he now gets picked up at the same time as the rest of the school (the littlies finish a bit earlier in the first two terms). His knees are bruised and bleeding from falling and trying to keep up with the rest of the class - so all is back to normal! I got an extra long hug when I picked him up, and off course he wanted to go straight home (although Possum would have loved to stay for a play in the playground with all the other kids, and Boo Boo was enjoying herself too, watching all the kids).

And for us, it's also always a tough day. We get reminded how fragile our seemingly "normal" life actually is. You see the other kids running into the classroom with the readers they have read over the holidays, while Mr. D. is still struggling to put words together. There are these moments when it just hits you in the face, like the wall of heat when you step out of an airplane in a tropical climate. Compared to some other kids with Cerebral Palsy, he's doing ok, especially physically. He is a gorgeous, sweet, caring and generous child. You get lulled into a false sense of security, that all is going all right. But he really did not get an easy ride in life. Learning is so important in our current world, and it's so hard for him. And his emotional intelligence means that he is acutely aware of the fact that the other children in his class are fining things so much easier, and are miles ahead of him academically. I just hope that he doesn't get de-motivated and loses interest in learning to read and write. Maybe I worry too much. Or maybe not, and I better schedule another talk with the special needs teacher....

And just to make a point of how proud I am of him, and how well he has settled into school life, here is a picture of Mister Determined (centre) singing in the school's Infants Choir on the school Open Day:

No comments: