between the hours of 9:05 am and 3:45 pm my heart skips a beat. I am scared that it is First Born’s school calling again to say that he has hit someone, or put someone in a headlock on the playground or just general disruptive behavior throughout the day and that they need me to come and get him. His behavior is getting better all the time, so that is encouraging. Actually, they haven’t sent him home from school this year yet. In Kindergarten, he was sent home quite a few times. But maybe I should start this story from the beginning, so you can get the real perspective.
First Born has been dealt a completely full deck of issues since he was born. He has/had a congenital heart defect and has had 2 open heart surgeries, one at age three and one this year at age six. He has been taking heart medications since he was very small. When he had his first surgery in 2007, we were of course, scared to death, hoping for the best and fearing the worst. He was so little. Husband even asked our surgeon, who happens to be a leader in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, “how can you operate on such a small heart?” To which he replied, “he’s a lot bigger than most of my patients.” Seriously though, his confidence made us confident in him and he came through surgery great and without any complications. In fact, we were home from the hospital in just four short days and he was playing in his room like nothing ever happened in no time. Kids are amazing. He is amazing.
So after that, and maybe a little before surgery happened, FB started having some behavior problems at daycare. They would call and say, “he’s uncontrollable. He climbs on the tables and we can’t keep him from misbehaving. You need to come and get him.” Eventually, that led to us being asked to leave that daycare and send him to another. Being new to this whole parenting gig, we we’re dumbfounded. We thought, “seriously, if they can’t handle a three year old, he probably shouldn’t be going there anyway.”
The new daycare started out great. When I called to get him a spot there, I of course had one of those moments where my brain said, “STOP TALKING.” But my words just kept coming out of my mouth. They were a little tentative about taking on a kid who had behavior problems but were willing to give it a shot. I still believed he was normal and they were just stupid at the first daycare and told the new daycare as much. The director offered to give it a shot and he did great. His teacher was awesome and he had zero issues, the director told me on numerous occasions that he was great and she didn’t know why he was having problems at the previous daycare. So we thought, problem solved. Why didn’t we save ourselves the heartache and move him sooner. We know better now, etc.
Fast forward two years and the same daycare has now moved to a new location. FB has a new teacher and they’re focusing more on teaching than just playing and having fun like they did in previous years. We started getting the notes home. “FB had a really tough day today. He wasn’t listening to any directions and disrupted class most of the day.” Great! Just what we wanted to hear! Eventually, we were asked to move him from that daycare too. By this time, we had started taking him to see a child psychologist. He said he believed that our problem was just a rambunctious boy who had been let to get away with things because of either his surgery or ineffective teachers at the daycare. He recommended we send FB to a new daycare, where a friend of his was the director. He said she was a “no-nonsense kind of director” and she would deal with the issue instead of sending him home. Which at this point, FB is smart enough to know that if he acts out, they’ll send him home and home is always way better than daycare.
We start out at the new daycare and he is having issues right from the start there, but they seem committed to helping us out and working with him. He does occasionally end up getting sent home from there too, but not quite as much. Eventually, he gets into a routine there with the new teacher and things are going well.
By now, FB is five years old and starting Kindergarten in August of 2009. We are just trying to make it through the last summer and he starts acting out more and more and eventually they are done helping him and although they never came out and said it, they wanted us to find a different child care situation for him too.
Next up, the Kindergarten nightmares…