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Thursday September 27, 2007 7:46 pm

Calm Before the Storm

Posted by Monica Edwards Categories: Alijah, Family, Humor, Personal

alijah

Alijah started preschool on Monday. This will have been the third school he has attended in his short span of 3 years of being—oh, my bad, 3 and 3/4 years. The first school he attended was a private clinic mainly for children with developmental delays, and it was a wonderful place that we still miss. The teachers and therapists there were very patient, loving, and nurturing and it is the place that helped Alijah to begin to walk at the ripe old age of 28 months when most children his age had been running circles around him for months. It was a place very focused on setting a routine for the kids and Alijah became accustomed to that and to the friends he was making for the first time. He learned how to sing songs, and use more sign language than what we were teaching him at home to communicate as he barely spoke when he started there, and when he turned 3 he graduated from that school because they only treat children under 3 years of age.

We then enrolled him into a public school curriculum, yet still a class that was centered around developmentally delayed children his age, as Alijah still has some speech and social delays. This school and his last school were like night and day to us. The teachers were all great, but it seemed as if they did not have as much time to give the kids the one on one attention we had grown accustomed to. I am sure the private funding in the school he came from made all the difference but to a 3 year old, that doesn’t add up to a whole lotta’ beans. He was used to things a certain way so it took him a while to get adjusted to the kids and new routines. Besides that fact, this was a whole new class with a whole set of new germs so Alijah was out of school more than he was in class due to catching one thing or another every other week—-no exaggeration.


alijah

He never did get the amount of time he should have to get to know the kids and the teachers in a public school setting, and here he is, again starting a new school 2 1/2 weeks later than the rest of the kids because it took that long to get his transfer papers in order. We moved further north, about 20 minutes from our old place but we are in a new district so Alijah is once again thrust into a new environment that he is wary of. To top it off, he is now riding the bus to school and back home to help with his social skills. Right now all I can see is that the kids on the bus in the morning are probably all thinking, “what the heck is wrong with this kid that he has to scream until his head almost pops off from the pressure?” I feel sorry for the little boy that sits next to him because as soon as Alijah is strapped into his car seat, he begins his wails as if he is being unmercifully tortured. This little boy plugs his ears as hard as he can every time in the hopes of drowning Alijah out by going to a “happy” place.

This was the 4th day of school for him and the first day that he did not drown out the roar of the bus’s engine with his cries of despair. He just merely invoked the “silent cry” method. You know what I’m talking about parents…the one where the lip is so far stretched into a frown you are afraid your child will trip on his bottom lip as he is walking. The lip somehow freezes into that position as drool, tears, and snot all mix together to form one large drip of mucous-y delight as your child looks at you through those alligator tears begging you with their eyes to please, please, please not send them to this place where all they do is sing, paint, have snacks, and play on the slide. All of this happens without a sound coming from their little tortured bodies. It’s all a mother can do to not pull them back up into their arms and say, “it’s okay baby, mama is here”, well, until you snap back into reality and think about the blissed 2 1/2 hours you have without the little rugrat calling “mama, mama, mama, MAAAMMAA!” every 2 seconds. Today I just smiled and waved, delighted that it did not take a whole 10 minutes of drama before the bus driver could pull away from our curb.

Andru was waiting and waving by the door and he asks me, “Did he cry?” and I was able to proudly say, ’ well, yes, but he did not scream bloody murder like the other days, maybe he is getting used to the idea of riding a big scary yellow bus.’  Andru says, “I told you he would get used to it” so I felt reassured that maybe he had been right all along and I was wrong to think it would take him at LEAST 3 weeks to stop clinging to me like a monchichi and yanking my shirt down to my knees trying to stay attached to me, thus exposing me to a bus full of toddlers everyday. So I relaxed a little thinking maybe Alijah would have a better day and awaited his return.

Alijah

Two and a half hours later, the bus pulls up to the curb and Alijah is waving enthusiastically from his window, yelling “MAMA…” I greet the bus driver, and she says to me ” He is soo polite, he always thanks me for everything!” I beam, only as a proud parent would and board the bus. As soon as Alijah sees me he yells “MAMA, MAMA, wanna pway Hawo thfree!” Translation—“MAMA, MAMA, I wanna play Halo 3” My first thought was “oh please don’t let the bus driver think that we let our 3 year old play such a violent, obviously inappropriate game” not even stopping to think that she probably doesn’t even know what a Halo 3 is, as she could be my grandmother. The next thought is “why would he ask that of all things?” it’s usually, mama I want a snack, or mama, I go to school. Andru has been more diligent about not letting the kids be exposed to games with an MA rating so I was at a loss as to why Alijah would think he could play Halo 3 of all things.

We get off the bus and Alijah runs to Andru and repeats what he so excitedly asked me. I look at Andru accusingly and say “that is the first thing he asked when I got on the bus”. Andru gets a flush to his cheeks and says “I told him this morning that he could play, I didn’t think he would remember” WHHAAAT? I don’t think he has met our child. The child remembers the bribes we use to try and get him to go to bed—the next morning. He will wake up and ask for a cookie or to play a game on the Wii that we did not let him play before bed. He remembers everything.

Sooo…this is the reason Alijah did not erupt into a human fountain this morning, the promise of playing Halo 3 was at the forefront of his thoughts all day. You could say he lived and breathed Halo 3 all the while going through the motions of finger painting, circle time, snack and riding bikes. What kept his little engine running all day was Daddy’s promise of Halo 3 when he got home. The thought of actually playing a game he was forbidden to even watch was enough to hold back the flood of tears and screams this morning. I don’t know if I should kill my husband now—death by rocket launcher or let him live to see what kind of magical thing he will promise Alijah on Monday to appease him. Leave it to Daddy to curb those tears. Maybe I should hold out for something that will benefit me?

Anyway, here are some pics of Alijah before he realized that we were going to strap him into the big yellow contraption that would take him away from his parents and everything he knows…it was the calm before the storm to say the least.


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