So, my kiddo started Kindergarten exactly 20 days ago. The day started with giggles and anticipation and overall excitement for the day ahead. My girl was going to the big kid school armed with a glittery lunch box, metallic silver sandals, and neon.pink.LACE. This girl was ready to rock it out.
She was also armed with an IEP - Individualized Education Plan. In case this acronym is new, I will tell you that it is something that all children with special needs have once they enter the education system, and up to this point it has been our saving grace.
Her IEP was to act as the guiding rod for her academic path. It detailed all of the skills she had mastered in Pre-K, advised that she tested at average to above average intelligence for her age group, and what her goals would be going forward. It told all about her sunshine-y, nothing can stop me, I'm a princess-diva-rockstar and I know it personality, and her ridiculous love for music. Her IEP would give the teachers pretty good insight into who she is. I was confident that she would do wonderfully, and she would love it. No. Worries.
And yes, things have been going along great these last days. Her 1-on-1 aides send her home with wonderfully detailed notes about how her day was, and I always feel like I've spent the entire day with her after reading them.
Howevaaaaaahhhhhh - the other day THIS note came home.
The dreaded math worksheet. My heart dropped to my toes and fear slammed into my frontal lobe. We hadn't spent a lot of time on math over the summer because we were hell bent on communicating effectively. Why focus on numbers when what we needed to know was how to tell the teacher we had to go potty? If it came down to 1+1 versus peeing her pants and no one noticing, I wouldn't be too upset if she came home with this:
So no, fear didn't creep in with that note - it slapped me right upside my head. What was this going to be like for her? Would she struggle? Would she get it? Would she get frustrated and throw the pencils across the room? WOULD THIS BE THE MOMENT THAT WE DISCOVERED THAT THE DOCTORS WERE RIGHT, AND SHE HAD REACHED HER FULL LEARNING CAPACTIY????
So I did what all nervous wreck mothers do. I drank. Wine.
1+1=2 glasses, to be exact.
And then I went to bed. Because seriously - I'm not 21 anymore. 2 glasses and I'm done. And also, all this thinking about math made my head hurt. Or maybe it was the tannins. No. It's never the tannins. Never. It was the math. It's ALWAYS the math. But I digress. I went to bed.
The next morning I woke up (hangover FREE!) determined to arm my daughter with all the positivity she could stand. She was going to conquer math. Give math the same "F the World!" attitude she gives every challenge. I put this note in her backpack the next day:
And she was doing great. Notes were coming home saying she was getting it and understanding the 8 headed beast named Math. I was so proud I had, yup, 2 glasses of wine. Wine is NOT just for sad times...it's for ALL times. HOT DAMN! My girl was math-ing! This called for another glass of wine! In the words of Rick James a la Dave Chappelle - IT'S A CELEBRATION, BITCHES!!
But sadly that celebration was short lived because the next day I got a note home saying that they did a timed math assessment (1 minute) with addition and subtraction, and she had a hard time with it, not completing the assessment. While her aide noted that it was probably due to the time allotment, I couldn't help but have a massive internal freak out. The same internal freak out I had before: WHAT IF THIS WAS THE MOMENT THAT WE DISCOVERED THAT THE DOCTORS WERE RIGHT, AND SHE HAD REACHED HER FULL LEARNING CAPACTIY???? We had her transitional IEP meeting coming up (to discuss what her academic year would look like, and what her teachers had already observed), and my brain was in full panic mode. I walked into the meeting with a lump in my throat, choking back tears. I know my girls' capabilities and potential and it broke my heart to even THINK that somehow she had already reached it. I felt like I was reliving diagnosis day (or as I like to call it - D Day) all over again - dreams being ripped out from underneath us all over again. Of course I never let the diagnosis define her so the dreams were only lost for 1.2 seconds, but the wound to my heart was fresh again.
I walked in, sat down, and braced. They told me how sweet she is, and what a joy she is, and how they were all so amazed by how much she knows. Then I asked THE question. It was either going to be a sigh of relief or pass the Kleenex.
"So does it seem like she gets it - academically speaking? The math, writing, reading - is she getting it?"
They told me she definitely got it - they were just racking their brains in figuring out how to pull out ALL that she knows, because my girl is wicked smart and not afraid to try anything! F THE WORLD!
That night I sighed relief while drinking my wine (because DUH! IT'S A CELEBRATION, BITCHES!), and emptied out her backpack. In her green folder I found this:
My girl is writing, y'all. It's hand over hand but whatevs...writing is writing. And then THIS....
Yeeeeaaaahhhhh. My girl is gettin' it! No pee pants, and no math-shmath is going to stump her!
Now where's my shaker? Writing AND math??
That calls for a Martini!
IT'S A CELEBRATION!!!