Wednesday, June 27, 2012

To Pre-K or not to Pre-K...That is the Question

Today has been a day that I have been putting off for two weeks.....pretty much until the last minute.  Today I took Haley to "big girl school" as she calls it, for pre-k screening.  For those not familiar with NC's pre-k program....qualification is either a financial need or some deficit.  They do let "normal" kids without financial need or deficit in, but the ones that are affected get first choice.  We've been told that Haley is pretty much a shoe-in because she has an IEP (her yearly therapy plan and goals). But I'm so torn.

Like most parents, it will be hard to see their "baby" go to real school.  And to do it a year early is particually hard to consider.  I'm not mentally or emotionally prepared to see this happen so soon.  But its reality, I have to let go eventually.....unless I home school....yeah right!!!!  One one hand it will give her a head start into the transition from preschool, she will already be acclimated to real school once kindergarten starts, whereas most kids are crying for mommy all day for the first two weeks.  Right now, that is the only pro to pre-k that I can identify.  But I know that's wrong, I'm just being irrational right now. 

I love her preschool....LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!  She has been there pretty much from the beginning of her Joubert Journey.  She has been through every classroom. From the baby room to the three year old room and if she stays, the four year old room.  Every single one of her teachers have been so good.  Heck, everyone is, they all love her!!!  They all say they will be so sad when she leaves and will be heart broken if she leaves early.  So there is that sentimental attachment for me.

But what bothers me most is that she will be thrown into a classroom with 17 other children.  Her class size now is 8, sometimes less.  I feel like she is going to be thrown into a pack of wolves when she still has so much I want her to develop before that happening.  I really worry about her speech.  That is her main source of frustration.  If she is not understood, which is often, she gets very upset.  I suppose that is ok for her....she's been misunderstood most of her life, she's sick of it!  I only imagine that the teacher will not have enough time to stop and interpret what she is saying.  I fear that if this happens, she will regress and not say anything at all at school.  I want her to have this one last year of special treatment where people know and understand her and hopefully improve her speech to where she is understood.

On a slightly less important self-centered note, I will hate the dreaded car-rider line.  Sitting with car idling 1 hour before dismissal in order to be near the front of the line.  I will inevitabily be one of those unfortunates, but give me one more year of easy drop off and pick up! It also means getting up earlier to ship her off to school, and for those who know me persoanlly know this is not a good thing for anyone.

But most of all I don't want to face the reality of the fact that she is growing up and no longer a "baby".  She will always be OUR baby, but now she insists that she is a BIG girl and I don't like it!  I feel selfish in some regards that I may be holding her back, that maybe its the right thing to do.  And it will also be a SMACK of reality when she will really be in the minority being a special needs child.  Where she is now, she is in good company with many special needs children.  It might sting a little to see that.  Or I may be pleasantly surprised when I see her with "normal" children who don't know her and accept her.  And I have to believe that will happen, otherwise I may never be able to let go because of the thought of her being bullied or pick on because she's different.

One second I think we've made our decision and the next second we've changed our minds.  We won't know IF or where she would be placed until late July.  Maybe she won't be accepted after all and this will be a moot point (cheering yay on the decision to make!).  So we have some time to think about it.  Until then....I will be agonzing about the next step in her journey to "growing up".

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Howdy strangers!  I know, I know.....its been many a fortnight since I have blogged.  There have been several culprits contributing to this sad fact.  1) I felt very little was happening with us that was "blog worthy".  I mean who wants to know about the mundane happenings of clan Buchanan.....apparently some people think otherwise. 2) I just plain ol' got lazy.  I've had the time, but sitting down to write is sometimes a tedious task to accomplish.  I enjoy writing, but its sometimes painfully tedious to find material or inspiration to write.  But then I realized, I shouldn't always be writing for entertainment purposes to please my "audience".  This is a personal record of our family's journey.....and I have all the inspiration and material I need if I just look around.  3) Although I have had time in the past to write, I no longer have the luxury of complete "free time" anymore.  A few weeks ago, I started a new journey.  Ten years post baccalaureate, I have taken on the challenge to become a doctoral prepared pediatric nurse practitioner (yeah, that's a mouthful!)  That's another story, for another day, but it boils down to the fact that what I have known as free time will now be school time.

So, why the sudden push to blog again???  I get the occasional email from people, some affected by JS, others just random passer byers....but they all tell me what an inspirational story I am telling and how Haley gives them hope.  With every email, I get the spark to write again, but it never ignites.  Some regular readers tell me that they miss reading about whats happening in our lives and with Haley.  Some tell me I need this creative outlet to cope with the stress of having a special needs child and just plain ol' everyday life.  But the biggest reason is that I want to be able to look back and remember the little things.  Of course you always look back with a vague remembrance of random events, but I want to have a vivid memory of how those things happened and how I felt in that moment.  I gave up on keeping a baby book pretty early in Haley's life.  It was depressing to not fill in the blanks for "first time rolling over", "first word", "first steps", etc.  That, and the fact that in this tech age, its easier to type than hand write.

With all of that said, I am going to try to get back into the swing of blogging....if only short blurbs of "a day in the life of" Haley.  I'm also going to try to go back in time and document the events that I have, unfortunately, left undocumented.  I'm (re) committing myself in doing this for Haley and our family, for my regular readers, and for those who stumble across this blog when searching for information on JS.  What I ask of you, my readers, is to keep me accountable. Email me, call me, tweet me, facebook whatever you need/can do to spur me on.  Like someone recently told me "how time consuming can blogging really be, just sit down and do it!"