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a compromise

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shad and I have always been on the opposite ends of the spectrum.
In high school he was a rocker...I was a country music girl.
He likes to watch movies...I prefer a good book.
He wants to live in the boonies. I would like to live at least on a paved road...if not within the city limits.
So it wasn't a shocker that when we sat down to really talk about the Maddie preschool situation, once again we were on complete opposite sides.
He wanted her to go to preschool full-time - which get her help and would free me up to work full-time.
I wanted to her to stay-at-home full time - which would mean we could bond and I would be staying home full-time.
Yea. Like I said. Opposites.
So I was surprised when I reminded him of Maddie's IEP meeting yesterday he simply told me 'do what you feel is best.'
Is this the same man who battled with me over her name for nearly a year?!
Is this the same man who still brings up the house 40 miles out in the country, that was way too small, didn't have a well for water and was too far away for his employers to agree to letting us live there?
I'm thinking some aliens abducted Shad in the middle of the night and replaced him with some meeker and milder version.
'Okay,' I said, and hurried off to my meeting.
It was a good meeting. They presented the test results, gave their opinions, listed to my concerns...and then we sat down to write the IEP.
They are recommending services in almost every area. Maddie is delayed in not only speech and language, but gross and fine motor skills, developmental skills, academic skills and maturity.
Simply put. She. needs. everything.
These ladies were quick to assure me that most of this is most likely just a matter of experience. She hasn't had to jump on one foot before. The orphanage, I'm sure, didn't let her play with scissors and glue. Of course no one took the time to teach her what long and short were.
These are ALL things she will learn with time.
'Are you planning to send her to kindergarten next year, ' one of them asked.
'Well, then, there are no worries. If you put her in preschool, she'll be caught up in no time.'
And therein lies the problem, doesn't it?
If I don't put her in preschool, it will take her longer to catch up.
If I put her in preschool, it will take her longer to bond with us.
I hate Catch 22.
It gets me every time.
The ladies recommended Maddie get one 30-minute sessions each of gross and fine motor occupational therapies a week. The preschool will help take care of the academic and maturity concerns.
And a whopping four times a week, Maddie will get 30 minutes of speech.
Wow. That was more than I expected. This whole thing may be harder than I thought. (That's a recurring theme for me these days.)
Somewhere in the middle of all this I started thinking it might not be such a bad idea to have Maddie go to preschool. Obviously she needs the help. Much more than Shad and I can do alone. And she will love it...her gregarious personality will eat it up.
But there's still the matter of bonding...which thankfully the ladies understood.
'Go home,' they said. 'Think about it. Talk it over with Shad, and let us know what you want to do. We'll be happy to help you in whatever decision you make.'
So we talked about it.
And we talked about it.
Ad nauseum. Really.
And we have come up with a compromise.
Maddie will be going to preschool two days a week. The other two days she will be getting speech help either here at home, or at the developmental center. (I'm voting for home so I can get some things done while they're working.)
I am hoping it is the best of both worlds. We will still have Maddie and Mommy time...something which we both need desperately. And she will get to go to school to get the help she needs.
She's excited.
She's already asking about getting a backpack, pointing to her school when we drive by and telling everyone she can that she's going to school like a 'biiiii girrrr.'
Tuesday's the day.
My baby starts school on Tuesday.
I hope I survive.

sage brush diaries - the compromise

12 salty messages:

Diana October 10, 2008 at 6:21 PM  

As I mentioned before, we really strugged with this very same thing and for the very same reasons. The wrinkles have mostly been ironed out now and I can honestly tell you I'm very glad we made the decision we did to keep him in school all 4 days. Between school and finally getting him into the right therapist, he has made HUGE amounts of progress in all areas - oddly enough, including (and especially) in bonding with me...MUCH more so than he could have or would have otherwise. We started Matthew out at 2 days this time last year. We bumped him to 3 in about February and he's going all 4 this year and hopefully next year as well. It sounds like you're on the right track!

Rachael October 10, 2008 at 6:40 PM  

2 days sounds like a good compromise.

Christine October 10, 2008 at 10:03 PM  

It does sound like you guys work well together. Good for you guys.

MamaPoRuski October 10, 2008 at 10:12 PM  

Perhaps learning these skills will help her relax in her new and exciting world, making your time together more meaningful! Z scored 2 1/2 yrs old on some of his testing for some of those very same reason. As he has gained skills he has also emotionally matured. HUGS and Blessings!

Tina in CT October 10, 2008 at 11:21 PM  

2 days sounds right in the middle and see how it works. You can always bump it up to more like Diana said they did with their son. Great that the school is able to provide such help for Maddie.

Christina October 11, 2008 at 8:47 AM  

That sounds like a really good compromise - I would have been concerned about her being in school full time, because of bonding issues too. But this way she gets the best of both worlds and you get a bit of break too. (and maybe can do some freelance work from home? ... or just get caught up on everything else!!)

Ashley October 11, 2008 at 4:22 PM  

Sounds like a great compromise!! I am so happy that she is excited about her school. She is going to do great and so are you!

Tina in CT October 11, 2008 at 7:03 PM  

Great new header on your blog.

Annie October 12, 2008 at 1:51 PM  

I wish I could remember how old Maddie is, but I hope you go with your gut instinct. I always kept even my biological children "back" a bit. Why rush them?

And adopted children not only have to learn a new language, and a new way of living, they also have so much emotional work to do that I think they lose a year in some other developmental markers, just because they're so busy with those things.

Even with that point of view, I was lured into putting my Zhenya into kindergarten. Hey - he was 6 after all! Then, even though he rolled around on the floor during story time, and was at the bottom of the class in most academic measures, they convinced me to put him in first grade. Then against my better judgment they convinced me to put him in second grade.

Finally, I put a halt to the devil-may-care promotion. Particularly as my instincts were confirmed by a bone scan telling us that he was probably two years younger than they'd told us.

Finally, repeating second grade (had to move him to another school to accomplish this) did the trick. He did make progress; he did make friends; he did love his teacher, love school, life fell into place.

The compromise sounds OK, but if Maddie is too stressed, I'd revisit it.

The Pabsts October 14, 2008 at 4:24 PM  

Did you survive? I bet she had a great day and will do very well. Here's hoping she gets on the right track and stays there. You'll probably be amazed at the progress. A.J. was in speech therapy for a while when he has little. Once it clicked, he was off and running. Watch for her to catch on, it will be incredible!

Old DAN AND Little ANN October 15, 2008 at 12:52 AM  

Who says it will take her longer to learn those things if you don't put her in preschool. Those teachers aren't any more qualified to teach YOUR child than you are! God gives the grace and the wisdom on how to teach our kids what they need to know. You are one of the brighter woman I know and very creative. I am certain that Maddie would blossom in both the bonding and the development areas under your loving full-time care. There you have it. My unsolicited opinion.

Suzanne October 22, 2008 at 12:05 AM  

We had the same pressure from the district. They wanted to make sure the children caught up with all these measurable skills; I was concerned about attachment. I did it 'their' way and regretted it. Now the kids are being home-schooled and one of them is receiving 1 hour therapy at the school. For us, this is the right choice.

I'm just sharing this to remind you that you can agree to a plan and try something out and if it doesn't fit, switch it up until it does.



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