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!