07 September 2016

School Days Routine

Everyday when the bus arrives and ferries Abigail away for 7.5 hours, my house is plunged into a calm, peaceful stillness that has shown me that Abigail is certainly the "life" of the "party" that is my daily life. Throughout the day, I run back and forth from enjoying how much easier things are to feeling guilty. An odd guilt: I feel like I am failing as a parent in that I don't know what she is doing at any given moment. She's so young and her communication skills so lacking. I am putting a hell of a lot of trust in everyone in charge of her: her bus driver, her new teacher, the classroom aides. I want to become everyone's best friend so that I can know better what her days are like.

Her teacher fills out an extremely detailed form everyday: which therapies she had, what other classes she went to (like gym), how much she ate, what she didn't eat, how many times she went to the bathroom and whether it was in the diaper or potty, and jots a little note at the bottom. I answer her every day. I ask a lot of questions.

Abigail is doing very well at school. After a summer without occupational therapy, she was in bad sorts. She was getting extra oppositional and chewing on her hair and clothes almost constantly. Just a week back in school and she's reversing her bad behaviors. She hugs Theodore, the cat, and the dog, and her blankie (in that order) as soon as she gets home and tells me about her friends. So far she really seems to be hitting it off with a boy named Elijah.

With the disappearance of my energetic, oppositional, can't-take-my-eyes-off-her-for-a-second first born, I am suddenly plunged into a very typically developing life. I put the kitchen playset in the basement play area (I couldn't before because Abigail just rips it apart and throws all the food all over the room). I set up a desk/workspace in the bedroom where Theodore's crib was. My computer sits there, in front of the window, and I plan to write in the afternoons while Eleanor and Theodore nap after the Mom to Mom sale in October. I normally couldn't leave so many tempting things - pens, a computer, files - on my desk all day long because I couldn't be certain that I'd be able to keep Abigail out all day long. 

I can now run errands during the day as well, as Eleanor can put her own shoes on, climb into her own carseat, and walk with me in the store as I attend to Theodore. I also switched Eleanor's carseat around so she is front-facing, moved Theodore into a new Diono Radian, subtract from the mix one kid and suddenly my midsize sedan is feeling way more spacious.

The first day that Abigail was in school, Roxy paced anxiously between me and the front door and Eleanor cried anytime I left her sight. She literally ran up and hugged me when I got out of the bathroom.

But we're all kind of adjusting now. I'm settling into a new routine, Eleanor is gaining some self confidence and tackling more things on her own, Roxy is learning not to bark at the bus, and Theodore - just for good measure - is crawling and pulling up to stand now.

I like the way things are settling, though. And when Abigail gets home, I give her a huge hug, try to get her to talk about her day over her after school snack, and then the noise level shoots back up as the girls run around the house yelling at the top of their lungs. 

No comments: