Friday, September 07, 2007

Exhale

Two beaming faces greeted me this morning when I arrived to pick Bub up from his third day of nursery school. Neither one of them was Bub’s – his face was buried in the book he was reading, perched on the bench of a playhouse while the other children rode bikes and built sand castles. His teachers, however, were jubilant.

“He ate his snack!” Ruby declared. On day one, he had refused to sit at the table; on day two he had reluctantly obliged on the condition that he could bring his book with him; today, he sat down with the other kids, putting his book down for later. “He digs his heels in whenever there’s a transition,” Ruby reported, “but he doesn’t melt down – we can negotiate with him, and he complies.” That’s not to say that we won’t have meltdowns later, she warned – she plans to up the level of difficulty, gradually expecting more of him, requiring him to respond to more instructions, to tolerate greater infringements upon his autonomy.

“Did he interact socially with any of the other children?” I asked. Pie was pulling me toward the sandbox, and Bub was pulling me toward the car – in the midst of this mommy tug-of-war, we dissected the day.

“That will be the last piece to fall into place,” Ruby said. “But he did say hello to Eamon today when I prompted him to do so.” We grinned at each other, bolstered by this success, excited and relieved that this first week has gone so much better than it might have.

“I’m going to the big, big, BIG nursery school!” Bub announced on our way there this morning. And as we left he gave the second teacher a big hug.

“Did you have fun today?” I asked as we drove home.

Bub thought about this. “I ate corn-raisins,” he responded (corn chips and raisins, according to Ruby – they served cupcakes as well, in honour of a birthday, but Bub did not sample these – he observes a uniform boycott of cake and ice cream).

I wondered why I had tears in my eyes as I bustled around the kitchen preparing lunch. I think it’s because for the first time I don’t feel so alone – I’m not the only one who knows when Bub is likely to stumble, the only one brainstorming solutions to the puzzle of his social and verbal development. Ruby has a plan – she’s challenging him in just the way he needs to be challenged – and she is as elated as I am by his success.

56 comments:

Blog Antagonist said...

Oh my God...that really took me back to Diminutive One's first days of preschool. They are eerily similar to Bub's. The transition thing...boy, that was a really, really tough one. The socializing too. He still has problems with that. He interacts just fine, but he doesn't have any patience for other children most of the time. It's his way or the high way, and he doesn't particularly care which one you choose.

I know the joy of those small triumpsh. To us, they are not so small.

niobe said...

I can almost hear your sigh of relief. I imagine it feeling as though you've been carrying a heavy weight for a long time and now you have someone to help you shoulder the burden. Or something like that anyway.

Kelli said...

Those shoulders of yours are abit more relaxed, huh.

What a super piece of news :) I'm so, so excited for you guys. Both of you!

kittenpie said...

That is so terrific, G. How great to have found someone who is and is willing to accomodate him and push him gradually. It sounds like you have foudn just the right place for him.

Lori said...

May some of the good fortune discovered in Bub's first week of nursery school be passed along to my daughter as she begins her own journey next week. I pray her teachers will seek to understand her very essence as Bub's teachers are working on understanding his.

What a happy day!

erin k said...

It sounds to me like the decision to put Bub in preschool, in spite of your doubts, was a good one.

nomotherearth said...

It's a dream situation you've found, I think. Someone who is willing to work with Bub as an individual. I always worry that in daycare/nursery school, they can get lost in the shuffle. This proves he won't.

Lisa said...

Sounds like he's loving school more and more each day. YEAY. But yeah, its sort of hard on a mom sometimes. :-)

Crystal said...

Big smiles for the big big Big nursery school and Ruby with her plan. This is going to be a good year for Bub and Momma.

Suki said...

Congratulations, BubandPie. I'm sure I cannot begin to imagine how special this day has been for you, but... as far as I can imagine it was way beyond just "special".
Let's hope this kind of progress continues. :)

The sad part of it is that from what we read, Bub does not seem at all "abnormal" to me. Just different, with a very very strong individualist streak. So what? If we can be that way, why can't we let a kid be that way? I know I don't have to live with it, but.. well, I just hate it when difference is seen as a flaw.

Take care, and good luck!

slouching mom said...

To have found teachers who "get" Bub so quickly and easily -- that must be the biggest relief.

I am so happy for you.

Suz said...

It's amazing, I feel, when we can find real partners in a teacher. Good for you. And good for Ruby!

the end of motherhood said...

Oh there is nothing greater than a great nursery school teacher. So glad you lucked into one!

flutter said...

Isn't that perfect? That is so exciting for Bub, and for you!

Angela said...

My Nina had a hard time in preschool....shy, struggled with transitions....her teacher at the time was horrible dealing with it. When we began kindergarten, though, her teacher was wonderful and amazing and truly brought her out of her shell....and I love that woman to this day for it.

Julie Pippert said...

That's fantastic progress!

And oh my how wonderful to have such great-sounding teachers on your Bub team now.

I don't doubt you felt a little teary---I think most of us do in similar. :)

Julie
Using My Words

Kimberly said...

You are so lucky to have found Ruby. I'm very happy for you and Bub that the Universe treated you well on this one.

cinnamon gurl said...

Awww. That's SO wonderful! I'm so pleased for you.

jen said...

what a blessing, isn't it..to know you aren't the only one watching out that they stay on their path.

an instant camraderie.

Bon said...

wow. this was so vivid, and your love and concern for Bub in this coming transition has been such a powerful undercurrent in your writing for months that i had little tears in my eyes just reading about it, happy you and he both have support and someone specially in your corner.

Patois said...

Wow! I'm so happy for the two of you, for all of you. How did you ever manage to have all the pieces fall into place? It's so nice to have others standing with you.

Swistle said...

I think we should form one long line to kiss Ruby.

Omaha Mama said...

Oh, I feel all choked up. Ruby sounds like a keeper. Your Bub has a teacher who is not wanting it all now. How wonderful. Truly a prayer answered for one mom in need. I know just why you teared up in the kitchen. It feels so good when fears are not met. Relief is a victory here.

Beck said...

Oh, I'm so happy for both of you. What a blessing.

Angela said...

I am glad you found someone working the way you need them to. So, happy for you guys

Amy said...

Congratulations. It feels wonderful when someone appreciates and understands your children *almost* as much as you do, and I'm sure it will only get better.

PeanutButtersMum said...

How wonderfully beautiful that Ruby cares so much for Bub and can make you feel so much more at ease with things. What a great gift she's giving you. Mind you, she's probably receiving a great gift in Bub herself.

I'm so happy for you.

Christine said...

sounds like you have a good advocate for bub. knowing someone genuinely cares for your precious child is important and touching.

metro mama said...

Fantastic. I'm so glad you have someone you trust and have faith in taking care of him.

Veronica Mitchell said...

Congratulations! What a victory!

painted maypole said...

how fabulous to have a partner in helping Bub, and it must be so wonderful for you after having agonized over where to put him.

Karen said...

when I saw the title I knew what this post was about...I'm still holding my breath - first day is Tuesday. Congratulations to Bub - and to you on your new found allies.

Kyla said...

Go Bub go!

This is good, B&P. I am so pleased for you both.

Jenifer said...

Hooray for Bub! He is trying and they are trying and all is good. You must feel about a million pounds lighter. This really is wonderful news. It is one thing to find a great child care provider it is another to find someone like Ruby. Your gut instincts proved to be right on.

Janet said...

How wonderful to have Ruby in your corner.

winslow1204 said...

Must be great to know she has a plan.. and is pleased with how everything is going!

Aliki2006 said...

Wonderful, wonderful news! It's such a relief to have that support system in place.

Gwen said...

This makes me happy for you guys. I sincerely hope things continue to go well.

danigirl said...

Ahhhhh. Isn't it wonderful to occasionally have some external, empirical validation of the endless choices and decisions we make? Looks like you've done good by Bub with this preschool. Good on both of you!

Jill said...

Whew! It is so great when you find an enthusiastic teacher who is on your team.

And why is it that snack is always the most memorable part of the day? Whenever I ask Joe how his day went, the very first thing I am likely to hear is what he ate for snack.

Erin said...

I linked to you through Swistle and want to comment on ALL your posts. But I'll comment here and just say, yes, I know that grateful and indebted feeling of having an ally, someone who really cares for your child, someone looking out for him when you're not there. No way to put a price on that.

Kelly said...

Ruby sounds like an angel...a perfect person to help guide our young ones.

Susanne said...

Sniff! (I actually had to wipe a tear off when reading your last paragraph.)

How great that he is doing so well.

Magpie said...

Ruby sounds awesome!

Christina said...

Ruby sounds like a great teacher for Bub. It is such a relief to see someone else understand how your child works and know tricks to help them understand a new situation.

The new head teacher in Cordy's preschool class is like this. In two weeks, she's convinced Cordy to drink from a cup, and can stop Cordy's meltdowns right when they start.

It's almost too bad Cordy will be switching to the district's preschool next month. But hopefully there will be more teachers like this waiting for her.

That's such great news about Bub. I'm so happy for you that he's enjoying school!

Redneck Mommy said...

I'm cheering for you and Bub.

How wonderful you found Ruby. Congratulations. I can't wait to hear about his next success!

Lawyer Mama said...

It's so wonderful that the teachers are invested in him now too. Whew. It sounds like Bub is going to be just fine there.

Amanda said...

What sweet joy to share the worry and then amplify the celebration!

Emily said...

Baby, a teacher like that is worth her weight in gold.

ewe are here said...

It sounds like you've found the right program for him. I'm so delighted for you -- and him!

Lisa b said...

Amazing. I am so happy for you. Also for Bub. What a great environment.

wordgirl said...

I'm in my 40s and I still don't transition well. Unless I initiate it.

Chaotic Joy said...

I get this. I truly do. ANd I am so happy for you and for Bub to have someone to walk down the road with you. And I am a bit envious as well.

There is so much hope in this post. It's beautiful.

Jaelithe said...

Totally awesome to have someone else in Bub's corner.

Thank Ruby for me, for making the world a little easier for the quirky kids, okay? Just tell her some weird lady from the internets wants to tell her thanks.

Lady M said...

Hooray for good teachers and good school experiences.

Q is observing some kind of code of silence, so I can't find out anything about preschool directly from him. The most I can get is that he did indeed play outside (which is a dead giveaway when his shoes come home filled with sand anyway.)

Luisa Perkins said...

I'm so glad Bub has an advocate in Ruby! That is wonderful.