Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Saturday, November 5, 2011

it's not a party until someone breaks

I was relatively nervous about yesterday. The Halloween parade at the school, originally scheduled for Monday ON Halloween, was canceled (as was school) due to the odd October snowstorm.

I remember when Hayden woke up that morning and I gently explained about the school not having heat because the power went out, and the parade would be another day. I was surprised when he cried and felt awful. Finally when I told him he would see Fluff later at Grandma and Poppy's house, he calmed down. Hayden's other grandma also stopped by that afternoon to see him in his costume before we left, so that too helped cheer him up.

The school was closed for two days, and on the third day he actually cheered in excitement when he was getting on the bus. But still we had an out-of-routine week, and since I couldn't prepare him ahead of time with the snowstorm and it's effect being unplanned...we just had to take each day as it came.

By Friday I was genuinely concerned between his recent difficult behaviors and this week being such a different one, that he might act out and not want to join his peers. The excitement of the day could certainly lead to hyperarousal and further complicate things.

The parade part would probably be fine because he generally enjoys being outside. As expected he walked at an appropriate pace around the field with the other kids, and held his Aide's hand the entire time. He was ecstatic to see his cheering fans (Grandma, Grandpa, Mom & Dad).

Once inside the classroom for the party portion of the afternoon, he was a little loud at times and often wanted to do his own thing. They had centers set up so each one was a different activity... crafts, snack, story time, ring toss, etc. He ate snack at the craft center while I assembled his bat complete with his own handprints as wings, and a Halloween picture frame. When he started to fidget I gave him my camera. Taking pictures occupied him for a few more minutes, and then his aide let him borrow the tail of her costume for some added amusement.

Once out of his rifton chair for story time on the carpeted area, he was not exactly in the mood to attend anymore. His K teacher has a small hand drum that she uses when it's time for the kids to switch centers. Hayden was fixated on it and that was that.

I noticed the classroom mom eyeing him every so often. (It was difficult to tell if it was a glance of disapproval, or if that's just what her face looks like.) So when she was setting up for the next activity while the children were having story time, I went over to introduce myself and ask where I should put the goodie bags.

Without even looking up at me she said, "Hi, how are you?" More as a statement not a question. She is certainly a task-oriented classroom mom, but doesn't smile much. I showed her where the shopping bag of goodie bags were, and asked how or when she wanted me to distribute them. She started to offer an over-analytical answer...something about "if the kids are doing this, and then they have those, maybe we should do it this way, but wait until after that, for these..."
No idea. She lost me. At one point she even added that she hopes the holiday party isn't like this.

Mid-conversation a mom standing to my left said, "I'm just in charge of the ring toss-- that's all I know!" When the classroom mom was finished speaking, I was left having no clue what I should do with the goodie bags.

Between the kindergarten orientations and a couple of these events that parents have been invited for in the K classroom, most of them are now aware which kid is Hayden and that he's a little different. They definitely know I'm his mom.

So yesterday when one of the other moms came up to me because she noticed the 'Our Fragile X World' brochure (with our picture) still posted outside the front office... she completely improved my perspective.

She recognized us, read it, and truly could not say enough nice things about it. She was smiling and teary-eyed. I can barely put
into words how that warmed my heart.

So I think in December when it's time for the holiday party, let the class mom arrive all wound up. As for me, I am going to arrive with a completely different attitude.

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