A family's story

Posts tagged ‘Friends’

Target- my social headquarters

English: This is a row of Cash Registers at a ...

English: This is a row of Cash Registers at a Target store in the US (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any more these days, Target is a hot-spot of social activity for me. I “run into” people all of the time. Yesterday, I had 3 “run-in”‘s with people whom I know. Ironically, when I say that I “ran into so-and-so today”, two of my three children think that I literally ran into someone. I am sure Jake and Tate envision their pint-sized momma charging head-first into the adult whom I’ve just named. Jake gets the giggles. Tate tries to figure out how an adult gets to “run into” someone without getting into trouble. And I find myself trying to explain what happened in non-jargon language.

Anywho, I “ran into” three people while Cole and I were running one of my many errands at Target. The first person that we saw was another parent from school. She’s got a daughter Jake’s age. She was trying to appease her 2 1/2 year old son with a Fisher-Price guitar while she did some last minute shopping before their trip out of town. We chatted about Thanksgiving plans and the “joys” of dragging a toddler/preschooler to the store. I had appeased Cole with a Transformer Bot Shot. He’s on a mission to collect as many as we allow. Right now he has 4. I am a sucker..and he knows it. Hubz made me promise to abstain for the next few weeks. I will try with all I’ve got. But man, when Cole turns on the charm, it is hard to say no to him….

After that chat, I made my way to the groceries. Among the frozen veggies and potatoes, I ran into Tate’s bus driver from 4-year-old preschool. It had been a while, but she remembered that Tate was my son..and she remembered Cole’s name. Color me impressed!! She asked how Tate was doing, and I gave the high-level overview. It was nice catching up with her. I showed her a picture of Tate and she couldn’t get over how much he slimmed down and had grown. She said, “He’s like a different kid.” She has absolutely no idea how true that is…since she shuffled Tate to and from school, he has matured and grown and learned and made tremendous progress. She really wouldn’t recognize him. I mentioned how he had “graduated” from his harness. She laughed and said knowing Tate from 2 years ago (not even, considering he last rode her bus in June 2011) she never would have guessed that he would be able to sit still enough. She said that was terrific, and wished us a Happy Thanksgiving. I wished her the same.

Cole and I had to get just a few other things, and then we were on our way to the check-out. As I made my way to the check-out lanes, it seemed like everyone who had been in the store was doing the same thing. Why does that always happen?! Luckily, Target is on top of it and opened up a few more lanes as we walked up. I chose a lane where the couple ahead of me was just about done paying for their merchandise. I was busy unloading and the woman popped her head up and said, “Hi, Lisa!”. It was Geo’s mom. Remember Geo? Tate’s friend? I asked how things were going. She said she was glad she “ran into” me.

The evaluation that they had done  revealed that Geo has PDD-NOS, and that he has ADHD. She and her husband (who waved sheepishly at me) knew it was coming, but they still had to come to terms with the actual diagnosis. She said once they did that, she struggled to get the school to address the evaluation. Geo only has a speech IEP at the present time. Getting the speech pathologist to get the ball rolling was a pain. Luckily Geo’s mom got things going, and they met to do a domain. Right now his eval is being reviewed by the team. She has been notified that their meeting will be in early December, and that Geo will most likely be moved to a different school. Our school, as we only have one class in the district for “instructional level” first grade.

I told her that she can feel free to ask me any questions as they come up. I also made sure to let her know how great the team is at our school–and how much Tate is loving, LOVING first grade there. I shared how much progress he has made in just the first trimester. I also told her that Geo would know a few of the other kids, as they had been in Early Childhood preschool with Tate and Geo. I offered my support with any autism questions, too. I know what it’s like to get that diagnosis for your child, even if it is a confirmation of what you already know is true. I want her to know that she’s not alone.

So we finished our conversation, promising to be in touch. We discussed having another play date soon. I think that would be a terrific idea. Tate still talks about Geo. I am not sure how much we’ll squeeze in over the next couple of weeks, but we are both around during winter break, so we’ll get a play date or two in during those two weeks, for sure. So, apparently Target is as much a hot-bed for social activity for Tate as it is for me!

 

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Friend woes

Jake is in second grade. Like many kids, ask him what his favorite part of school is, and he’ll tell you, “recess!”. So my kid likes recess. Considering that he struggles with traditional learning environments, that doesn’t surprise me.

For the majority of first grade, my laid-back, non-aggressive, non-competitive child spent his recess in the company of a girl. Apparently the arrangement worked well…she made the plan, and he followed along. Hubz and I were somewhat concerned that Jake didn’t want to play with the boys…but knowing his nature, we could understand the reason behind it. We let it go, as Jake seemed content and wasn’t being outcast by peers because of it.

This August we noticed that his friend was in his class. Crumb! For the first few weeks of school Jake continued to eat lunch with her and put up with her games. Every day I asked what he did, and every day I got the same-ish answer. I asked his teacher, and she said he was fine. Ok.

About 2 weeks ago Jake mentioned that his friend was making him play “babies”. Mortified that my 8 year old was pretending to be a baby, I asked what that meant. To my relief (somewhat), he explained that a few girls were babies and he had to be the dad. The babies ran away and he had to get them. Basically, it became “keep away from Jake”. I asked if he liked the game. He got quiet and whispered, “no”. I told him it was ok to say he didn’t like it and ask to play something else.

The next day the bossy boss told them what they were going to play. Jake stood his ground (YAY!), and she was a little brat to him! She said he couldn’t play with them anymore…so he went to sit on the swings by himself. (And cue my heart breaking…)

A few classmates saw what happened and told the teacher. The class had a big talk about bullying and standing up for yourself, etc. Jake’s teacher organized a group of boys for him to play with instead.

Currently, Jake is a little upset because his friend won’t talk to him…she says she doesn’t want to be his friend. I tried to explain it to him.  Not sure if he “gets” it or not…but it is so like him to be worried about her feelings and not his own. I am happy to report that he played with 2 boys yesterday who are similar to him in terms of interests and abilities. I am hoping that some new friendships blossom from this tricky lesson that is a part of growing up…

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