Max started preschool today. He wore his new Spiderman backpack which is 2/3 the size of his small frame. He took the hand of the teacher and I walked away. He ran after me at one point, not with a look of panic, but more of a “Come and see the dinosaur toys with me!” expression. One of the teacher’s assistants ran after him and took his hand and led him back to the group and he held her hand as he watched me drive away.
Last Thursday we attended an open house for his preschool, which integrates both delayed and non-delayed kids as part of the curriculum, in hopes that kids who raise their hand and say, “Miss Sheri, may I please have another delicious peanut butter cracker snack?” will be an inspiration to kids like mine who are lying on the floor, wiping the excess peanut butter in their hair.
We loved Max’s teacher, Miss Sheri, and felt relieved to be taking steps to getting him the help he needs. We were also relieved to meet several other parents at the open house who praised the success of the program for their delayed kids. Many of those parents were bringing their non-delayed kids to participate in the preschool because it is such a good program.
At one point Sheri asked us if Max will be riding the bus to school.
“No,” I said, “I don’t think he’s ready for that. I think it would freak him out.”
She smiled warmly and said, “Well, when he says, ‘I want to ride the bus’, maybe you’ll reconsider.”
Ryan and I looked at each other.
“If you can get him to say, ‘I want to ride the bus’, I’ll not only put him on the bus, I’ll buy the bus and cover it in rhinestones.”
“He’s going to say it,” she said with such confidence that I had no other choice but to leap into her arms and hug her with all the fury of a concerned parent. Too bad Ryan beat me to it.
This morning, the bright yellow school bus pulled up in front of our house as I was loading Max in his car seat. I walked out and the friendly, motherly bus driver asked if Max was ready. I told her that we weren’t planning to have him bussed at this point and she said that was no problem, she’ll take him off the list until we change our minds.
I went back to find Max wiggling in his car seat as the bus drove away.
“Bus?” he asked.
“Yep, that’s the school bus.”
“Bus! Bus!” he cried, “Bus! Bus! Bus!”
I shut his door and got in the car.
“Bus! Bus! Bus! Bus! Bus! Bus! Bus! Bus! Bus! Buuuuuuus!” he cried all the way to the school.
I had not expected this. Not in the least. Hopefully, this will be the first of many pleasant surprises. And just in case you happen to know, how much are rhinestone-covered school buses are going for these days?