Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Preschool Challenges or How to Pack a Lunch for a Picky Eater

                Wylie has been in a preschool preparation program for a little over a week now. I just dropped him off about an hour ago.

                He really seems to enjoy it! When I drop him off, he seems to be in a good mood. One aide even mentioned that he seems so happy in the morning. The poor thing has had to quit napping cold turkey, but he gets about 25 minutes of sleep on the way home, haha.

                I am so grateful for the opportunity to face some real world challenges NOW, while we have an understanding staff who “gets it.” Wylie is such a bright little boy, but it is such a useful reality check to see him around peers who possess more skills than he. I don’t like to throw around the word “high functioning,” but these are children who have minimal behavior issues and have gained a lot of skills through therapy. Wylie is about “middle of the road” in this group, with some children ahead of him and a few with a few less skills, but I think he is a little on the young side, not yet being 3.

                It’s weird the things I suddenly feel weird about. They actually changed their sheets to reflect that “some of the kids are not yet potty trained.” Err. I am probably paranoid, but is my son, like, the only “some”? Logically, I know I need to snap out of the comparison game, anyway, but I’m glad I am dealing with it NOW (you can’t help your feelings, but you can try to change your perspective) than dealing with it when I thrust him in a regular preschool and try to play “sink or swim” with the neurotypical children, heh.

                The hardest thing for ME so far has been something I didn’t anticipate as being a big challenge at first: packing a lunch. WOW. Preschool lunch for a picky eater is, like, terrifying; absolutely terrifying. They won’t heat anything up and his spoon and fork skills are uh. Ya, he’s behind, I’d say, haha. Sooo, yeah, the first week, I didn’t really fight it. I knew I had to come up with a solution, but his lunch sorta screamed “A bad mom packed this load of crap” in that first week. We are talking, uh, crackers. Chips. Mini muffins. HAHA! Well! Jeez luise, the kid lives off chicken nuggets, grilled cheeses, and fishsticks. He eats yogurt and pears, too, but we were asked to join this program with such short notice that I had to wait until I had a day off to go grab him some insolated lunch bag (and wasn’t there just recently some fear mongering study that suggested these things are crap??) Well. I finally got an insulated bag with several ice packs and threw some crap in there I’m not sure he will eat, but hey, they have aides and therapists and a speech therapist who does feeding therapy, so maybe I can weasel out of fixing these picky habits myself, haha. Upon talking to my mom about it to see what she thinks, she responded “Yeah, dude, we totally tricked some daycare into potty training you, I’m for it.” Haha. And then on Monday this week they sent a note home saying essentially the same thing, that we should try foods even if they reject it at home, and it’s something they will work on.

                Either way, my fears have subsided. He doesn’t seem to come home grumpy or starving, eats well when he gets here (I mean, in comparison. Haha. Fishsticks aren’t exactly health food), and he doesn’t seem traumatized. I get reports about what they do all day (although they are a little light on explaining his level of participation… grr…) and I’m SURE he’s enjoying the YOGA class they have going, tee hee. I’m so happy. I’m so grateful. My baby’s doing okay.

                I cannot get complacent, though. He has kind of been reminding me of the hare in the tortoise in the hare (although not LAZY, he works incredibly hard) in that he was so ahead at a year and a half and now there are a lot of kiddos surpassing him. Again, I need to stop. Really. I need to stop comparing because it isn’t fair to anyone. I just need to make sure I’M never the hare, and I never get complacent just because he is a bright boy. I know parents make mistakes… but I hope I always do right by him.

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