Friday, March 11, 2011

Bubble Boys

This year was one big roll of the dice. Our twin sons have been thriving in a special needs program. Secondo in his second year of Miss Caitlyn’s class and Primo in his first year of Ms. Bridget’s class. Secondo was due to move into Primo’s class.

Child care had been a sore spot for us. We started with a friend of the family who took care of the boys at our home. We made it work for a year and half, but there were always stresses. We had a second sitter who did a good job and the boys enjoyed their time with her daughter, Favie. Still, it wasn’t always easy and cobbling together morning care before they went to school was always a challenge. They also needed more interaction with peers and it clearly was time to talk about preschool.

Unfortunately, April is really too late to make the move. Given that some folks have their preschoolers’ applications to Harvard ready, I should have known this was the case. There was a highly recommended preschool close to us (and my neighborhood pub I shamefully admit). We just missed the cut there. A pair of twins had cancelled the week before we applied, but one of the spots was taken.

We happened upon a program at Creative Playschool. The school is located at a Methodist church a mile from home and very close to the hospital where they were born. It seemed a good fit and works well for our commutes. I am happy to say that they have thrived. It’s a good omen for kindergarten, which is coming up this fall.

Peer interactions have been interesting to watch. P&S are one of three sets of twins in their class—the other two pairs are identical. One pair of girls, the other boys. My kids are on the sweeter side. Perhaps it’s a side benefit of autism. R. and W., on the other hand, are all boy. Two Fridays in a row, I had to sign forms after R or W scratched Primo. One day, Primo had a welt on his face and he said the R. had “licked” him. I suspect that was after getting a good chomp in! I sympathize with the father. He’s a nice guy and I’m sure doing his best. I suspect that school at this age is all about civilizing and socializing kids. Mine need socialization; his need civilization.

Lots of good stuff too. I dropped off the kids one day this week. While I was signing them in, I noticed that Secondo was the recipient of a group hug from the girls. One of the other boys hadn’t quite figured what was going on, but decided to hug Secondo on general principles. Both of them looked confused. There was a new boy in class the next day who was a bit shy and not sure what to do. Primo went up and introduced himself. This from the kid who was freaked out by being in a class 18 month ago.

There will be many hard days to come, but I think I’ll enjoy it for now. The special needs program was this marvelous bubble and we were afraid what would happen once it popped. Well, they’re in a bigger bubble at the moment, but it’s a friendly one. I’ve read enough to know that P&S have a difficult road ahead of them. At least it’s paved for now.

Oh! Did I mention that Secondo completed potty training? He finally got the idea of rewards. I’ll be happy to buy many bags of M&Ms to keep them happy.