Regarding the Kindergarten decision….
About a week ago the now 6 year old, came up to me and said; “Mommy, I don’t think going to Kindergarten again is a good idea.” WOW! I didn’t really have a good answer for him so I sorta deflected it so I could consult with my husband. My awesome husband said we will just sit him down and chat with him about it again. Staying-the-course is going to be the best option for him. I agreed, but still had that nasty pit in my stomach. We hadn’t found a time to sit him down, and our camping trip came up last week.
Then came the aftermath of the camping trip. It was 4 days of not-the-same routines in a new place (same pop-up, new locale). Lots of outdoor time, tempered with lots of movie watching (which is one way he self-soothes). Hiking and swimming and walking about a block to use the bathroom. A side note here, the boy has issues with interoception and will not have a bowel movement when we aren’t at home or a familiar relative’s house. Add that to the fun mix! Now don’t get me wrong, he LOVES camping. Has a blast, but is always ready to come home and our longest trip was 5 days last summer.
Came home on Friday, and Saturday we just stayed home. I probably should have insisted on more sensory diet activities, but I thought I would let him “veg” a bit, and honestly, I wanted to too! Saturday whenever something didn’t go his way he screamed (very unlike him)!!! Sunday morning I had him get himself dressed for church which he did well, until we were literally trying to walk out the door and he walked up to me with his clean underwear in his hand, and tears in his eyes. We were already running late, so I told him he would have to wait until we got home and changed into “comfy” clothes. Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth! I just became the worst mother on the planet, because I didn’t let the boy change his underwear (and he had a bath the night before and went to bed with clean ones on!) He raged at me for a good 20-30 minutes. He told me that he wasn’t going to hold my hand in the parking lot, and that he didn’t love me or like me. Thankfully I was able to stay calm knowing what the REAL problem was. After a while in church he came and sat by me and I began applying deep pressure in the form of hugs and stayed with me the whole time. By the end of the service he was calm and composed. I had thought about letting him change and being later for the service, but I thought every so often he has to learn how to deal with these things.
Back to my point about second guessing myself. I realized that I cannot send “that” child to 1st grade. The one that rages for 30+ minutes when his sensory systems are all out of whack. It is his social/emotional learning that needs another year. His cognitive ability is fine (and above normal); which is what was making me second guess myself. I know in a “perfect world” schools would be able to give my son the sensory breaks he needs, and all would be well. But the reality is that isn’t the case. He is in a parochial school because the public school couldn’t offer him any services; 18 months behind in gross and fine motor wasn’t enough of a delay to qualify for an IEP. So he will get another year to learn how to cope with a world that is too loud, too bright, and too fast for him. And my already smart boy will be even smarter for it!!!!
And I did have the conversation with him about going to Kindergarten again. I told him that he got to do 1/2 day Kindergarten last year, and Full Day Kindergarten this coming year, and then he would go to First Grade. His issue all along was that he thought he would not ever go to First Grade. And I made a big deal out of nothing-not totally unlike my son.