Monday, January 12, 2009


Well, I listened to you all, picked the brain of one of Chase's therapists, talked with the mommies in my group, inquired at the preschool, and trusted my gut...

...and Chase starts school tomorrow!!

He will be going on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-12, which I think is perfect, aside from the fact that those are the opposite days that Ian goes, so I will not be gaining any alone time. That's ok, though. I wasn't really ready to send him away 3 days a week, and even though it makes a little more hassle on more days of the week (getting 3 children up and out the door before 9am) it makes for some time alone with Ian and Chase on their respective mornings at home with me, so that's cool.

The director of the school was really encouraging. She said she had another new one starting this week, too. She thought he'd fit in perfectly. She's going to make sure that the teachers in his room start to learn some sign since it's his main (ok, only) mode of communication right now.

Drawback to looking at the school:
It was impossible not to look at those other little kids in the one year old room and not think about what Chase isn't doing yet. The director made some comment about how the kids in the class I was watching were a little older than Chase (I was looking at the MWF class)-- that most of them were about to turn 2-- and that the other class had younger kids in it. And I couldn't help but think that um, Chase is almost 2. Well, closer to 2 than 1! I mean, we have 3 months left until the big 2. And the kids in there were walking all over. Not even that drunken sailor walk, the real one where they weren't so wobbly. I even saw running. And talking. One of the teachers said something like, "I love this age because they are saying new things every day." And I was like..."Yeah. Me too." Only Chase doesn't say new things every day. He isn't picking up words. He doesn't repeat everything I say. That hurts. A lot.

I know that Chase works at his own pace. And that he is learning new things. And he is starting to say things ('Hiiiiiiiii' and 'Dada' and the occassional 'Mamamamamama'). And he knows and can use over 30 signs. Some in 2 word sentences. He asks for help. He tells me what he wants to eat (as long as it's ice cream or banana or popcorn or cheese or apple). He stands up in the middle of the room and cheers for himself. He does awesome things.

But it's hard sometimes not to be slapped in the face by Down syndrome. I try really hard not to let it do that to me, but it's definitely there and I think acknowledging it is better than pretending it doesn't matter to me, even a little.

Ok. Pity party over. I'm off to fix my mascara.


Chris said...

Stop! You are not having a pity party. It hurts; understandably so. It's ok to admit that.

I hope Chase (and you) have a great day tomorrow. I am inspired by your decision. I have to admit John and I have sort of been living in a bubble. It's still so hard to see him around typical kids. He'll be two next week, and it still hurts to see all he is not doing. Even though all the stuff he is doing is great and fun and wonderful.

Can't wait to hear about Chase's new adventures.


Jen said...

Oh, I hope he has a great day. I know he will!

That was the hardest thing to me about having Evan in a typical preschool/daycare (well, except getting there completely dressed with everyone's backpack in a timely fashion, but I digress.) Seeing the kids who had birthdays within a few months of him doing things that were lightyears beyond where he was. Watching them grow from babies who were all sitting there like lumps into toddlers who were running all over the place while my kid sat in the same spot. I did my best to ignore it, and you will too, but it was hard.

He's going to do great. Let us know how it goes today!

Angelle said...

I hope Chase had a great day! We are starting Erin in February. Are we still gonna carpool?

Mandi said...

I didn't realize that Chase knew 30signs - I find that amazing in itself. So he doesn't speak english.. he's talking and in sentences? That's awesome.

Chase may not be "normal" by society's terms, but Chase inspires me everytime i see a picture of him. His smile and laugh is just adorable and I can still remember a certain hug in the park. So why be normal? Chase is inspirational and i'd say that's not normal. That's extraordinary.

Bryan said...

Mandi, your awesome!

Laurie, you forgot Chicken for a food! Don't short my boy now!!

Ruby said...

Chase is awesome! Sophia is awesome! and every other person/child out there with Down Syndrome is AWESOME!
I have the same feelings you do. When I am around another child Sophia's age it slaps me in the face, too. It really is so helpful to know that other moms have the same feelings from time to time:)

You go Chase with 30 signs!:)


carydip said...

Although you won't have any rest, alone time with each child will be awesome. 30 signs? Seriously?? 30 signs-I'm awed and amazed. Could you send me the words so I could get a book? I want to learn the 30 signs so I can "talk" to Chase when I visit. OK? 30 signs!! Love~His Grama