This post is proof that, at one day shy of his 3 month b-day, Loka finally allowed me to wear him.
In a second rate sling thingy.
For 15 minutes.
It was a glorious 15 minutes too. I could interact with Nava at the playground. Hold her hand, spot her in the slide. I still needed help (thank the maker for help!) but I could be there with both for a little while, for the first time.

Here's hoping this is a sign of things to come.

Two steps forward...

Three mornings of preschool
+ One Nava
3 separation cries
3 "oh you're back" pickup greetings

Yes she cried each morning but I think it's more the transition and the desire to be near me all the time (esp due to Loka's arrival) that causes crying more than any fear of school. 2 times I arrived for pickup and she was in a teachers lap. 3rd time she was at her table spot enjoying snack. Her teacher reported she had signed for cracker.

The biggest unforeseen this week was Nava's seeming aversion to joining in with the group. I knew the loud crying of the kids who aren't cool with school would be a turn off (who would wanna do her 'work' a few feet away from a crying kid?!?!). But it's more than just the crying. Nava kinda shuts down a bit in a large group. Well, large for her, like more than 3-4. Sometimes it's an outright refusal to join, sometimes it's pulling her "shy" body and face. I'm hoping it something familiarity will overcome.

For example, music time in the circle. She resists joining but I know she loves it because she wants us to sing and do the motions with her at home. As of last week she was willingly "sitting on the blue line" and danced a bit.

She's getting there though. And it's really fun to watch.

Except at drop off time.


Don't cry

I left Nava at Pre-school for the first time today. I really wanted to ensure today was a happy one...she got a full nights sleep, woke up happy, but the morning took a turn with what I think was jealousy frustration. Two year olds are not for the feint of heart.

But I sucked it up, put on some music for her to dance to and kept to the plan. She brightened and danced and smiled happily to get in the car and leave her brother behind. She dragged her feet a little getting into school but was mostly excited. She quickly sat down for shoe removal, helped put them on the shelf, and was keen to have her snack (which is totally kosher-kids chose their snack time there). So I felt string and gave hugs and kisses a d headed out.
Only then one of her playgroup buddies burst out crying when I went to go (maybe reminded her or her mama going or?) and Nava followed suit. We had a 2nd snuggle and one of her teacher swooped in to distract and I practically ran out to not lose my nerve.
I left Nava with a nanny (Supernanny Noi) at 3 months. This is harder though. I trust the teachers completely so it's not that. It must be because of the pressure of the concept of school. Of inclusion. Achievement. Independence. Or just the reality that she's growing up.

Anyways. Im going to go order a no sugar mango shake to go, get back in the car and slowly go back to school. Less than 2 hours today. Tomorrow a little longer and the next day a little longer after that.

We can do this. I just hope *I* don't cry.


oh goodness, it's school

Nava has been in school for 2 days now. As mom, it has been such an intense two days. And I'm sure if Nava could blog she'd pipe up with a "Mom, how do you think *I* feel!?!?".

Firstly, the good.

It's a great school. Really it is. She can color or paint at any time. She can have her snack whenever she wants. They have a lady just for assisting on the potty--and the bathroom has perfect fully functional half-sized flushing potties. She has playgroup buddies in her class.

And the really really cool highlight? She picked up a colored pencil and scribbled on a piece of paper of her own accord for the first time today. Seriously. No amount of watching Mom, Dad, Noi, Goong or Saeng with chalk, crayons, pencils, or markers ever got her to do it and she does it all of 5 hours into her school career. Worth the month's fees right there :)

The bad? No, nothing's bad. It's just a challenge. To know how much I should stick around. To explain her signs. To make sure she gets the support she needs, that the teachers understand her learning style without demanding she is somehow given more attention than others or making it seem like she's actually too much of a challenge and perhaps shouldn't be there. Keep in mind, this is a new experiment. This school has never had a child with Down syndrome before (I doubt any other special needs either but I could be wrong on that). She is a fully inclusive pre-school with no special aide (well, she's had me for 2 days, but starting tomorrow I'm leaving for part of the time).

It's fantastic.

It's also a little bit tricky.

We'll get there. The director today suggested Nava's assigned seat in the kitchen get mode to the end of a table so she doesn't have to maneuver around quite so many little squirmy bodies to get to it. I was elated because I really wanted to ask for that yesterday but was afraid to make additional demands. Since she brought it up I asked if we could go ahead and make the accommodation of putting her on the end of all the places the kids have name assigned stuff: the basket for her snack box, her water cup slot, the towel in the bathroom, her bag cubby, and the shelf for her shoes! It's a lot of assigned places and they're all labeled with the child's name and an icon of their choice (we went with a turtle) but making hers on the end should help a lot compared to searching through the crowd (there's like 15+ kids so it takes *me* awhile to find her name, for example).

And tonight I have homework. Figures huh? the kid goes to school but I---

Anyways, yes, so I had to prepare a list of all the words Nava signs so the teachers can learn some. They are also keen to see Signing Time so I'm *sharing* our collection with them tomorrow.

So far so good. Lots more to learn.


What I See

I see Nava growing up by the day, the hour even.

Her body is stretching out.

Her clothes preferences becoming undeniable.

Her friendships are emerging.

Her words are coming (bye bye was the clearest new one I heard this week but there are many others).

Her confidence is increasing-she's not intimidated by the bigger, louder, faster kids at the playground like before.

I see my beautiful first born. I see her blossoming. Changing. Slipping out of the realm of Mine and becoming Herself. Her own person. Something she always was, of course. But now, now, it's just a lot more undeniable.

The person she's becoming is still the person I get to cuddle every night and wake up to the pitter patter of her penguin walk every morning. But I can see far enough out to the coming horizons to realize this super fun age is fleeting too. Here's hoping the hugs and cuddles stick around a long time.
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