Like a Champ

For those of you who may be new to my blog, I'd like introduce you to someone...

This is Aidan. He is my fun, fiesty three year old who has entered the world of "special needs" preschool this year. 

(Background: When he was about 2 I started to notice that he wasn't speaking as well as other kids his age.  After a few months of watching and worrying a little, I talked to you my aunt Diane who had early development challenges with my cousin.  She encouraged me to have Aidan tested for a speech delay sooner than later because before they turn 3 kids qualify for early intervention therapy from the State. 

He was tested and was in the 90th percentile for cognitive and phyical development and scored in the 1st percentile in speech.  Because he didn't have any other issues (at least they anyone could tell) they said he had a "speech delay" and we started on our journey...

Until he turned 3 (August 7) a speech and language specialist came to our home 2X a month and worked with Aidan.  We loved her.  Abby, if you are out there reading are amazing.  Now that he is 3 he has an IEP and started preschool a few weeks ago!  Now, back to our story...)

{The Mother's Battle}
If you've ever put a 5 year old on a bus you know how your heart beats a little faster and you hope and pray all goes well.  When they told me I could put my 3 year old on the bus to go to school my heart about stopped. 

Are you kidding?  Put a kid on a bus with an adult I don't even know and send him off to school?  Really? 

He refers to himself as "A" (we are working on the whole name), he isn't potty trained (once our commuication has improved we'll tackle that beast, but we have enough to get frustrated over right now...), and he is still a baby (well, at least for me...:))  My mind raced just thinking of what would happen if he got lost or scared.  Ahhh.

Once my heart started beating again and I pulled myself together...and I started to think it through. 

If I could get him on the bus, our parting may actually be easier than if I was to drop him off at school myself. (Thoughts of dropping him off at nursery at church on Sunday flashed through my mind.) 

Yes, if the bus driver is 1) a woman (less likely to be abusive), 2) has her teeth, and mostly importantly--3)gives me a "good vibe" (mother's instinct and God's guidance never lets you down) then I'll do it.

And guess what...all 3 worked out! (Thanks to the Big Man up above!!)

{1st Day}
Before I knew it the day had come.  Getting up, dressed, and fed by 8 just about did us all in.  Mornings have always been a struggle in our home.  Okay, let me rephrase that...I'm not a morning person so mornings are a struggle in our home.;)

But once we got outside the smiles started and we were good to go.  And if this Toad can give a few tips to any of you who may want them it is this...

#1 Straggly hair is awesome...on 3 year old boys anyway.;)

#2 If your child can't say their name, picture nametags are crucial.  If the teacher/busdriver forget the face/name combo then at least we'll get the right backpack on his back.

#3) Nametag on the back.  Obviously not a good idea for most kids, but when you someone asks Aidan his name and he says, "Blah, jabber, blah, choo choo, blah A" it may come in handy.  Bless his little heart.;)

Once he was labeled the whole family gathered with Aidan to wait for the bus.  With special needs kids they come right to your driveway.  Ethan, being the best older brother ever, was full of wise council and great advice about riding the bus and what to do at school. 

Aidan insisted that everyone who was waiting with him also wear a backpack.  And since all three of my guys will be in school this semester, getting backpacks on each one of them wasn't a problem.


And then we waited...

{The bus}
And it came.  Please forgive the blurry pictures.  Who even knows what I was thinking or doing.  I was too worried about whether or not I trusted the bus driver to let him on the bus.  (And yes, I followed right behind the bus all the way to the school.;))

And he was SO excited.  After a year of watching Ethan get on the bus for kindergarten, he got his moment.  This time, the bus was for him.  He loved it.

And he marched right up to the door and got on the bus like a champ...

Now, to dispell any myths that might be out there...this was a normal, full sized bus.  (Not like the short buses we knew growing up.)

These buses are also equiped with 3 point harnesses for the little kids.  (Can you image if they didn't buckle these little ones down?) 

And look at that smile!

And look how nice his bus driver is! (Sigh of relief!) My fears were dispelled as I met Kim (the driver) and saw that there was only one other child that would be riding the bus.  (Who by-the-way is the cutest little African American gal you've ever seen.)

And off he went.  I wasn't sure if I should cry or jump for joy.

Have you ever wondered why your kids were sent to you
Would anyone love them more?!

I may not always love what he does,
but I doubt anyone could love him more

Okay, except maybe his dad.;)

To let's hear it for brave little people, their lucky parents, and a great school year!   And just so you know, as of last Thursday Aidan's teacher said:  "his speech is really coming along, he follows directions well (I know! gasp), and he is alot of fun."

Tears are filling my eyes as I finish this post.  I guess sometimes you just have to love them enough to let them go.  Darn it.

We love you Aidan.
Love, Mom


Crystal said...

Oh he is such a cutie. We went (are going through) that with our oldest. She also has speech delays. He'll do great in preschool and will love it!

chris said...

Isn't it wonderful there are resources out there to help your sweet boy? So glad that things are working out.

Margethai Adventures: Finding Beauty at Home and Abroad said...

Love you both! Way to be brave Toad! I still get emotional at some IEP meetings!! Let me know if I can do anything to help. And, give that cute kid a big kiss for me! Hopefully I'll be up in a few weeks.

Dawn said...

Cute! Love the backpack pictures! You're a great mom and those boys are lucky to have you!

Megan Marie said...

so sweet! love this post. love your photos!

sherri lynn said...

Aidan is so cute! I love that every little detail worked out - the bus driver was nice, he was excited to get on the bus, etc! This was such a sweet post!

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