First Day of School

Today was Eric's first day at his new school and the first day of our military schedule and frankly I think it went rather well. It was nice to know what I was going to do each hour. Terry took Eric to school (By design, he will be on time for work at least 4 days a week) and snapped this photo of the teacher and the aide walking him inside. I'm not sure how they got him to wear the backpack because I never can. I guess I'm a sucker, because he was wearing it when I picked him up too. The aide said that he did very well for the first day. Eric's first response (well, his FIRST response was that he wanted to get on the bus) was "I like my 2 little friends." So on Thursdays it appears there are only 3 kids in the class. I know that there are a total of 7 children in the classroom but everyone is not full time like Eric is. How did I get so lucky?? I am so happy with his IEP that I almost feel guilty - like we don't deserve all these services, but by golly we do and Eric definitely does! It was just very different to not have to take a defensive stand with these people like I feel like I have done for 16 months now, with teachers and directors and other parents and family and even doctors, feeling completely out of control, and pretty much like I was going crazy and everything was a figment of my imagination. I mean they were going out of their way (really, one lady was at home pregnant 2 days before her due date on the phone with them) to grant Eric services that I didn't even know existed (like the in home consultations and the school bus) and setting goals in the IEP that I couldn't even forsee as being a disability. They were so formal in the beginning saying "if he is accepted into the program...." over and over again. Then after the SLS and Psychologist went through their reports (there 6 people there - talk about overwhelming), they announce "we have met as a team and have decided that Eric is eligible for Special Education services" Whew. Then they pull out the IEP report and it was already typed out and printed! All I had to do was agree and initial. It was weird to not feel uncomfortable and in disagreement with inner rage. I feel like I've had a perfect day with the schedule and the peace of mind and I haven't felt this "normal" in a long time.

Well I was going to take Ryan somewhere fun just the two of us this morning before we had to get Eric from school, but Terry and I did something rather spontaneous last night (hey, let's do this before the military schedule won't allow spontaneity).

See 2 nights ago Eric was saying that he wanted to sleep on top of Ryan. Huh?

"I sleep at the top and Ryan sleep at the bottom."
"Oh you mean bunk beds?"
[blank stare]
"Is there a ladder?"
"YES, two beds and a ladder."

Terry and I actually thought about getting the boys bunk beds a while back and just not bunking them since they had separate rooms and then later when I wasn't afraid someone would fall, we could let them share a room and then turn Ryan's room (the smaller one) into a play room so that I didn't have to pick up all day - just close the door. Plus the only TV we have upstairs is in our bedroom and they are constantly destroying my room. I stopped making the bed because it never stayed made. But I digress...

We decided against getting beds because they always slept on the floor, beside the bed, but rarely on the bed, unless it was after they had already fallen asleep. It just didn't make sense to spend the money. Eric currently sleeps on the trundle part of my daybed that I slept on since the 1st grade (maybe earlier - perhaps one of my siblings can confirm just how ancient that trundle is) and Ryan's bed was a hand-me-down, so I decided to be humble and pass on the bunks.

So then last night, Eric repeated that he wanted 2 beds and a ladder so I asked,

"Would you like for Ryan to move his bed into your room and sleep in here?"
"Yeah, that's a good ideeeee. No I said i-dee-uh."

So on a whim, Terry and I brought Ryan's bed into Eric's room and moved the couch out of Eric's room into Ryan's room and moved the shelves so that Ryan's bed would be past the front door (some fung shui thing someone told me about). Once the kids were "down" Terry and I rearranged Ryan's room into a play room and moved the TV into there.

OK, so we forget that Ryan has SPD/SID issues and he starts to freak out by all of the change, bless his heart. I eventually had to lay down with him on his little toddler bed and sing him the song that I used to sing to Eric when I was pregnant with Ryan (that really works. it's cool).

By 10am this morning Ryan was successfully moved into "Eric and Ryan's NEW room" and the "Play room" was successfully stocked with multimedia. I let Ryan help me move his clothes into Eric's room so he could be a part of the move and perhaps not freak out again tonight, which according to Cris worked. They fell asleep within 30 minutes of the "no more talking" starting point. When I checked on them when I got home, it was just hilarious.

It's a good thing it wasn't a nose-bleed night for either of them, or this might have been a frightening scene.

Below is one of several videos I took of them in the NEW Play Room. (It was the last one of several clips so my fuse was a little short with Eric putting his hand on the camera lens - so just ignore the little "coaching" I have with him. tee hee) I wish I could have gotten video of them watching the playback of the recording. It was just as funny. Eric was doing great with faces in this one! His "scary" face is actually what he did when I asked him what he did in school today. When he did it the first time, I thought to myself, great. But he kept doing it, and I started to notice he was using the same "slide whistle" noise each time and then I realized that he was turning a frown upside down! So they must have worked on facial expressions today. I have a feeling that he put his own monster face flare into it though. Again, he did remarkably well at responding to my requests. Terry and I crack up laughing everytime. Check it out.

Afterthought: the curious george that Ryan has was his consolation prize after he realized that Eric was going to school and he wasn't. He didn't part with it all day and even this morning (friday) he came into the room asking me "where's george?"
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