So, I’ve had a hell of a morning.
Today was Kindergarten Orientation–of which I was made aware a few weeks ago by this lovely flyer sent home…
Now, yeah, I looked on this with trepidation. A loud auditorium full of kids and fluorescent lights and sing-songy voices, etc. But I also thought–HEY! INCLUSION! that’s AWESOME! Right? And maybe they’ll be on it enough to make sure Benji’s class is called first, etc etc. With as much anxiety as I had about the situation, I tried to remain positive about it. Other than too much stimulation, what could go wrong?
Subconscious: oh, you poor, poor naive little twit.
So, yeah. We weren’t supposed to even BE at that orientation. Benji’s class was supposed to just simply start today–like a normal day.
So, we spent an hour (AN HOUR) listening to the inanity of a meeting that wasn’t even a good idea for neurotypical kids, let alone my stimmy one. We had to sit on the floor, there were flickering fluorescent lights that was putting him into a spin, he hated the clapping, the shouting, the “woo-hoo”-ing–ALL OF IT. There was stimming (which I don’t mind) and staring (which I do)
They mentioned there was going to be picture taking! By a famous Rock-n-roll photographer! All you have to do is wait in this stupid heat! But please make sure you do! the kids will be making memory books! YAY!
(oh, this really can’t go well. really. NO. REALLY)
And as they were calling the classes, I am noting that Ben’s teacher STILL isn’t in here. So I walk up to one of the teachers and ask her (full of southern charm and grace, BTW) wtf was going on. And she looks at me and says–oh, he’s not with this group.
To which I responded– “well, that’s awesome.” Could I have been more pleasant? Undoubtedly. But I think the thing to notice here is that I could have been MUCH WORSE. MUCH. WORSE.
Teacher: “you’re supposed to meet in his room, not here.” *eyeroll*
YES. SHE EYEROLLED ME.
More important: I DIDN’T STAB HER.
So I grabbed Benji (hyperstimulated, stimmy overwhelmed Benji), make a face at my husband, and haul off to Room 3. Where we are greeted with big smiles and friendly faces, and not a sing-song or rock-n-roll photographer in the house.
Turns out it’s a full day for him with lunch and everything–and he doesn’t even have his lunch and backpack with him.
Now, of course, Benji is like–GET ME THE FUCK OUTTA THIS PLACE–which in Benjispeak™ is usually something like “ALL DONE!” or “WE HAVE TO LEAVE” (yay language, amiright?) so he’s freakin out, I’m freakin out, people are coming at us with all sorts of “hey let me help” and my Old Man (Goddess BLESS him) suggests in a smiling way that maybe everyone needs to back up for a minute. With the exception of one aid (who just REALLY wanted to help) everyone in the room was familiar with what needed to happen and stepped back.
Have I mentioned yet that I was crying? Crying. Not unusual for a parent on the first day of kinder, to be sure. But I believe I have established that I am not a pretty cryer. In fact, think of the prettiest cryer you’ve seen–I would be the EXACT OPPOSITE.
So, I step outside and allow myself 1 minute of fucked up crying. (because my face is already blotchy–why not go for it?)
When I come back in I am breathing like a human being again, Benji is sitting at a table with his dad–not fully participating–but you know at this point it’s coming. I go put some $$ on his lunch account since he has to eat lunch there today and come back to Benji still not participating 100%, but warming up.
I introduce myself to the aides, (I’ve already met the teacher before today) and one of them asks me what happened. After the story is told, she just looks at me with gentle eyes and says “I AM SO SORRY”–with the sincerity of a nun, this lady. No–a NICE one. Cue more tears. I pull it together again and we give hugs to Benji, who is already starting to ignore us. The sister Mary AmazingAide shows us where the pick-up gate is and apologizes again on behalf of the entire school.
GODSDAMMIT LADY–QUIT MAKIN ME CRY!
We thanked her and left quietly.
So now, here I am, knee deep in a pint of ice cream and jammie pants with nothing to do for the next few hours until it’s time for pick up. that SHOULD just give me enough time to pull my shit together. But I’m not making any promises.