Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Liam's first day of Preschool!

Ready to go to school with his lunch box and change of clothes

Today was Liam's first day of preschool! We have waited a long time for this day! Because of Liam's health we were not able to put him in any activities that had lots of kids. From as early as 6 weeks old Liam has caught every cold his sister was exposed to and caught things all on his own with very little exposure to the world. His little immune system as many of you know just could not shake your typical cold/virus. When he was 2 1/2 he got the go ahead to start preschool or be in mommy and me groups. We tried it and he that is when he came down with Ulcerative Colitis. A year later and now we have the go ahead once again. I searched and searched for the right preschool for him. I thought at first a co-op. I had my daughter Savannah at one and loved it, but the political side of a co-op as well as the time, and fundraising just would not work. I called about three preschools with low ratios and they all seemed great until I told them about Liam. I would begin to explain that he has U.C. and as soon as they realized he had dietary restrictions and would have "flares" they said that they may not be the best fit for him. A bit discouraged and sad I decided to call one more place. I was familiar with Innovative Preschool from college. Innovative is a  unique, fully blended inclusive preschool for children with and without special needs. When I called them they said it would be not problem accepting Liam  and they would support his diet restrictions and if he had a "flare" they would allow him to still come to school. He was put at #66 on the waiting list. I was at first a little worried it would be forever before he was able to attend. But I thought "if this is the place for him, it will happen when its meant to." Within 3 weeks I got the phone call that he was accepted. Wahoo! Now time to prepare him. Of course I thought I need to start telling him about preschool to give him time to process it. We took a tour of his room (turtle room) and met his teacher. We played for a good hour and he was all ready to start. Unfortunately for him he had to wait 6 weeks. So for 6 long weeks Liam asked every day "today I go to preschool?" Last week we went shopping for his very first lunch box. Four stores later and he settled on Scooby Doo. Last Thursday Liam came down with his first virus since his tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy. He had a 6 week run with no colds, which was awesome. Around 9:30 pm Liam came down with croup. I am used to croup, but was worried he would not be well enough for his first day of school. Typical Liam before surgery would not have been. I am super excited for him, because his body fought this virus better than it ever has. He still has a little wet cough, but overall is ready to start school. 

Well last night we told him "Liam you get to go to preschool tomorrow." He said "Yay" and then said "You go with me to preschool, come back one minute or I be sad and cry." I said "I will drop you off and will pick you up a little later." He replied with "I do not go to preschool". For the past 6 weeks he has said with enthusiasm "I go to preschool you drop me off and pick me up later". I was a little worried as any mom would be. 

This morning he had a big break down and refused to get dressed. After 20 minutes he snapped out of it and helped pack his lunch. We packed a gluten free peanut butter and jelly sandwich, banana, cherry tomatoes, mandarins and a fruit leather. He was very excited to go, which made me happy. 

When we arrived, Mike was there waiting for us. Liam was super excited to see daddy and show him Sheldon the turtle. We signed him in, showed him his cubby and found his buddy Malia. He gave her a big hug then said goodbye to us.  I started to walk off and he grabbed my dress. I thought to myself okay this is when he is going to cry. But instead I told him I would be back very soon and lets find something for you to do.  I showed him the play dough and he sat down and started playing.
Liam with his friend Malia!

Savannah and I got to go to the park, out for smoothies and to the grocery store. It was fun just spending time with just her. I enjoyed her stories with no interruption from Liam. We both agreed that is was weird not having him around. 

When we picked Liam up he was super excited to see us. He got his shoes on faster than I had ever seen and grabbed my hand to leave.  He told me" I play with play dough then I cry. I draw pictures....I cry...I eat lunch...I cry." I asked you want to go back? He said" NO". I told him he has to go back. He said "Okay". I think overall he had fun and it will be good for him. I am so thrilled I found a place, where he can socialize, learn and grow. It gives me peace of mind knowing he will be accepted and I don't have to worry about what he eats or when he has a flare up. 

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