You know when you’re in a deep sleep dreaming that fabulous dream where the location is perfect, you’re in love with whatever or whomever you’re dreaming about? That particular dream from which you don’t really want to wake up and experience the dose of reality that’s about to hit you in the face when the alarm clock goes off in about oh…three minutes?
My husband and I are living that dream so far. It’s been two weeks since B started Kindergarten. The painstaking anxiety both her and I felt about that first day of school has past, and the dream just keeps on going. She’s doing so incredibly well! She’s excited to go off to school every morning. She has access to whatever sensory tools she needs throughout the day (water bottle, gum, therapy brush, deep pressure touch, dry and crunchy snacks, noise cancelling headphones, and wiggle cushion). She hasn’t had one, noticeable (I say noticeable because she masks her sensory issues pretty well in most social situations) melt-down at school in the last two weeks. She comes home excited to tell me all about her day.
We’ve only had a couple of small discussions about lunch in the cafeteria. Both were smell-related problems. The first day she had to move away from someone eating a hamburger. The second time she told me she had a hard time smelling the pizza. She’s been getting really good at figuring out solutions to her sensory challenges. I asked her what she thought we should do about it. She said we should try smelling the italian spices in small doses at home so she could work her way up to handling the smell of pizza at school. I was pretty impressed.
I did make a mistake though. Since she hadn’t mentioned a lot about the smells/appearances of food in the lunchroom, I assumed everything was fine. Another strike out for mom. B wanted us to light a candle at home to help her with the smell of mashed potatoes. I pointed out that the smell of them didn’t bother her at school. I also reminded her that she doesn’t have candles at school. She came back with, “The smells bother me, I just don’t tell!” Big punch in the mommy gut. Despite those minor setbacks, school has been great. Her teacher has nothing but positive things to say and no more phone calls to keep me on the up and up about how she’s doing (they’re not needed).
We have seen a few emotional hiccups at home, but that’s to be expected. She’s feeling especially jealous of all the 1:1 time her younger sister gets while she’s at school. She’s been a bit more emotionally needy when she gets home. She cries very easily and needs some rocking and deep pressure snuggles to help her emotional radar return to its center. Nothing we can’t handle 🙂
She’s even trying to eat some new snack foods. This is where I have to focus on the positive and remind myself that even snack foods are better than nothing. She tried some cinnamon toast crunch at school, some cheesy curls at church, and she’s still working on chewing and spitting out nuts. I try not to get bogged down with the other things…like how she used to eat red apples, but since we’ve introduced green she’s decided that only green are tasty (same w/ grapes). Then there’s the fact that we still haven’t found one other protein food that she’ll eat in addition to the few she eats.
Focusing on those few things would mean that I have to wake up from my dream and face reality. I’m enjoying this dream too much at the moment; therefore, I’m going to snuggle down a little deeper and revel in the growth B’s made in the last month or so. At some point, that alarm will go off, reality will set in, and I’ll have to face the other moments head on. So, for now, I’m going to dream a little while longer…