Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jupiter's new song

Jupiter made up a new song today, as we drove up the street on the way to Mimi's.

Rumble Rumble

Crumble Crumble

The unfortunate thing is that it is 1000% accurate in regards to the car itself. It rumbles and crumbles daily.

I'm not sure she was singing about the car. She said her tummy was rumbly, but in that case I don't know what the crumble referred too. Though she does like rhyming.

Rumble rumble

crumble crumble

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jupiter's new night light

Jupiter was after me to buy her a new night light. Well actually she wanted three nightlights. One for each outlet. So today at the grocery store she spotted a night light and asked if we could get it. I looked at it. It's 1.49. Okay. I didn't know you could buy a night light for 1.49.

She asks me what it is.

I tell her it's the Virgin Mary.

We walk a little bit.

"Hey Mom! what's a virgin?"

kindergarten homework

Tonight, at suppertime, I plowed through the mountain of paper that came home on Friday in Jupiter's Eagle News. Hot lunch form. check. book order. wrote a check. picture day order form. Holy Moses but those aren't cheap. The read a ton of books program kickoff form. Jupiter is supposed to draw a scene from her favorite book she read over the summer and tell about it. Then they'll make a bookmark out of it. Sounds simple enough, except we didn't get to it until suppertime on Sunday night. So after supper I give her the form and tell her what she is supposed to do. She can't think of one at first. Then she starts artisting away with a green crayon. I try to look, but she won't tell me about it until it's finished.

"It's the girl in the green uniform." I have to think a minute. "You know, Mom. From the army book."

Ah yes. Now I remember. The book Jupiter found on the library table last week when we went to the "children's" library.

Life as an Army Demolition Expert.

I dutifilly write Life as an Army Demolition Expert on the line that says title. I send Jupiter to her room to find the book so I can fill in the line that says author. I ask her what her favorite part of the book is so I can fill in that line. Foolishly thinking her favorite part will be the guy with the explosive sniffing dog.

"My favorite part is the girl with the big sharp sword."

But of course. Now I have to practice for a conversation with the school social worker. We read about 150 books over the summer. She likes THIS BOOK. Oh thank you, children's library on Munjoy Hill.

Although I can see her going into the army, carrying a big sharp sword. She's tough that way. Can't see her doing well with all those bossy people in boot camp telling her what to do. But then, they're not me, so she might be okay with that too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hurray for Jupiter!!!

Jupiter stayed in her classroom by herself for almost the whole day today!!!!!!

On Monday, Mimi was outside the classroom with Jupiter in the room when one of the staff members approached her and begged her to substitute teach in one of the first grade teacher's rooms, because they had NOBODY to go into that room. One of the school secretaries, on her way through the parking lot, was blinded by the sun (the sunrise and the commute time are fairly entertwined for the next couple of weeks) and she hit one of the first grade teachers who was crossing the parking lot on her way into the building. She was not seriously hurt, but had to go to the hospital. That particular teacher's daughter also teaches in the building, so they were out two teachers and one school secretary. Jupiter was able to seperate to begin with and then she spent part of her day in 1st grade. She won the math game that the first graders played and had her own desk (the stop and think desk) so she thought it was the best thing. So I was concerned that we had to make kindergarten more appealing than 1st grade. But in the afternoon, when she chose not to return to her classroom, she missed playground time and got fairly bored.

When I went to pick Jupiter up, she had a meltdown. At least, by that point, I knew what had happened and what had triggered it..knowing that she would have to stay in her classroom by herself the next day. In case I had any doubt, she screamed it at me at the top of her lungs while we were sitting at a red light. She had to cope with a complete change in routine with no warning and no prep. And she got through it, even if the end of the day was tough. We got home, went for a walk, settled down, and then we made a book.

I had her tell me all the things her class would do the next day. Specifically. Dot to dot. Morning meeting. Reading. Phys Ed. Lunch. Recess. Centers. Snack. Recess. I had her tell me which parts made her scared. (phys ed. Lunch.) I told her that she could go to first grade for phys ed and for lunch. (the lunchroom is too loud.) We wrote down the times she could see Mimi. We wrote down on the pages after the schedule the things she could do if she got scared. Then we did a few pages with the safe adults at school she knows and trusts. Then we made a page with her friends.

All this took upwards of 90 minutes. I expected her to be awake at some point during the night, but though she woke up twice, they were very brief and she went right back to sleep. The cat jumped on her bed in the morning so she started off the day with a smile in her heart. She brought her book with her to school and she read it together with her teacher. Her teacher gave her stickers so after each page was done she could put a sticker on.

At 1:30 I had a voice mail message on my phone. I missed the call because I forgot to bring the phone with me while I was working in the storage closet. The message was that Jupiter was doing great, and was staying by herself. When I got home, I found out that she even went to phys ed. She had a few tears at the beginning, but she found her friend Amelia (one of the coaching strategies in her book) and settled down and decided that phys ed was actually quite fun. She did go to see Mimi for lunch instead of the lunchroom, but then actually ASKED if she could go back to kindergarten. She stayed for the rest of the day and waited for Mimi to pick her up.

I am amazed and so very proud at this moment. Hurray for Jupiter!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

trying the video again......

I think it worked. This is the short one, not the best one. If it truly works I'll try another one.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jupiter was born to ride a horse

wow. this takes a whole boatload of time to upload. It's kind of a long video. Maybe too long for blogger.

There. I gave up. I'll post a picture instead.

She smiled the whole time. Except when they were trotting. Then she laughed and giggled the entire time. My sensory seeker preferred to bounce on the horse as opposed to either sitting or posting, which was a bit harder on Tinkerbelle.

It was like the best thing ever. Dance in the AM was good too...I don't have a picture of her smile when she was leaping over the "flower" in the middle of the floor, but it was a good smile. I brought my Princples of Banking homework with me, but didn't read more than a page or two.

I wish I could post the video. Maybe I'll try a shorter one and see if it posts. Of course if it does it'll probably be way at the top of the post and you'll have already seen it. Oh sometimes challenges me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jupiter in kindergarten

Jupiter has completed five days of kindergarten. She has yet to stay at school by herself, but yesterday and today was able to stay in the classroom by herself while Mimi "volunteered" in the hallway by stuffing the kids' notice folders (swine flu information, anyone?) and creating a beautiful bulletin board outside Mrs. VerdantLand's room. Transitioning to the specials still throws her for a loop, especially since the classroom teacher doesn't stay with the kids during art, music, phys ed, or library. So the specials continue to be a source of anxiety. On Tuesday Jupiter went home with Mimi for a "lunch break." When they returned to school, the office secretary asked Jupiter what she's been doing. Jupiter answered her that she had swam in the pool and had lunch. The secretary said, "You're not going to do that every day, are you?" I had to think about that for awhile before I realized the extent to which that was the wrong thing to say. Jupiter's teacher, fortunately, is quicker than I am, and when she heard about that she promptly informed the office that Jupiter does NOT need editorial comments from the office staff about leaving school for lunch or for the day. And since after her break, Jupiter came back into that building ready to learn, as opposed to just being present and struggling to keep herself regulated, it was totally the right decision to have her go home to Mimi's for a break.

Wednesday is a half day anyway, and on Thursday she stayed a half day. But on Thursday, with the exception of art, she let Mimi leave the classroom while she stayed, so that was great work for one day. Today she stayed at school almost all day; leaving just before the final recess and dismissal.

Great great work. The secretary comment made me have a long thinking time about how much effort it takes for Jupiter to function in the school environment. When she was a baby living with a group of other babies and one or two adults, her basic needs were not met. She wasn't safe. So why WOULDN'T it be difficult for her? Especially at the beginning of the year when she hasen't had a chance to build up a level of trust with all those new adults. It dawned on me how every single interaction she has with every single adult at that school can and will affect her fear in a positive or negative way. Including when the secretaries make comments about Jupiter going home for lunch. It never occurred to me to inform them that if they sign her in or out of the office, the correct thing to say is something along the lines of "Hi Jupiter! Hope you had a great lunch!" "It's great to see you today!" I learn something new every day.

Mrs. Verdantland is extremely supportive. Despite the odd/judgemental looks my mother sees on occasion from the few staff members at the school who don't know who she is. Those are the same ones who think we should just leave her and make her understand that we're going to come back to get her. Mrs. Verdantland reminds us that WE know her better than anybody else and are the ones who knows what she needs. And agrees with us that if Jupiter's anxiety gets to the tantrum/rage level, it will severly impact her ability to be successful because the kids will treat her differently. Which is exactly what happened her first year of preschool. And is worth avoiding at all costs.

Tomorrow Jupiter starts a session of therapeutic riding. She's wanted to ride forever and I can't wait to see her smile when she gets up on that pony for the first time.