We have made it through the first two weeks of term one 2012!
I didn't write about the first week because, to be honest, the kids were all tired, a bit overwhelmed and rather cranky, and I was cranky too! We had a less than ideal weekend that involved a fair bit of arguing and irritation. I knew it was just end of first week adjustment blues, but I didn't feel like writing about it.
This weekend I am having a proud mummy moment. I am reflecting on how well all the kids have settled back into routine, organising themselves to be ready in the mornings, getting through homework in the afternoons. For L in particular there have been so many firsts- the first day of high school, the first time catching the bus all on his own, the first time finding the right staff room to hand in a permission note, the list goes on. And, as I expected, he has done fine.
The first two weeks have not been without meltdowns, but as usual L picks himself up, looks for a coping strategy and gets on with it! The bus has been particularly hard for L. It took a bit of discussion to figure out exactly what the problem was. He isn't worried about getting on the bus. He isn't worried about getting off the bus at the right place. He isn't nervous about being picked on. He isn't worried even if the bus is running late. He just doesn't like being on the bus. It is crowded. It is loud. It is smelly (!!). It's not too bad if he can get a seat down the front, but sometimes he can't. He doesn't want to use earphones to listen to music on the bus because some of the older kids do that and they are also rude and he doesn't want anyone to think he is like them. He doesn't want to play a game on his phone because then he would have to worry about missing his stop. So after having all my helpful suggestions rejected, I just listened to him. He told me how much he didn't like it, and I said that I understood, but that I wouldn't be able to drop him off and pick him up. He looked upset. And then he got on with it. He hasn't complained since. I admire that. I'd probably have a bit more of a whinge! But one of L's strengths is that once he knows what the rules are, he follows them. When he knows what is expected, he does it. Sometimes if what is expected is washing the dishes he'll have a bit of a moan, but even that is rare. It's actually one of the things I like about Aspergers- the need for rules and boundaries to be adhered to. It makes things predictable for L and for me. I also liked the smile on his face when I offered to pick him up after school unexpectedly on Thursday- it made my day!
So, overall, a good start to the year. All the kids seem happy with the teachers they have. We have found our rhythm again as a family who has stuff to get done. Although I miss holidays, I am thankful!