Friday, September 5, 2008

Need a break or I'll break!

You have NO idea how over-worked my mind is/ has been the past few weeks!
And it's about T1 starting Public School...

Why would this be SO different from her Kindergarten?
These were my thoughts before the open house and back to school nite...not in any particular order!
1. It's a totally new place.
2. It's much much bigger than her other school.
They prolly have to walk a mile each day getting from one class to another, to the cafetaria, the gym, the playground, etc...
(No, I am NOT complaining about the walking part, just trying to bring out the vastness of the school).
3. Completely new faces, from the teacher to her classmates, to the Principal...
4. Eating at the cafetaria. All I had to do last year was sit down with her, go over the veggie menu and let her pick the days she wanted us to buy from school. Then the teachers it served to them...
Now, on the other hand, she has to memorize her ID and use it on the key-pad if she were buying lunch
(At least we have the option to pre-pay, and she does not have to handle money...)
5. Logistics of how the heck am I going to get both kids ready by 7.20 and rush to the bus-stop!
(At that point, all I knew was an estimate of the bus-arrival time).
At least now, my in-laws are here and I can leave T2 home and drop T1 and come back, in the worst case...
But what happens after this month?? (T2 usually wakes up around 7.30...if it's 8.00 she loves it better)!
Just doesn't make sense for Pup to leave so late everyday...
Traffic's a b i t c h around here. Even 15 minutes make a huge difference for his already long commute, so 2hrs certainly will.
Also, I'd rather we spend more time together in the evening...
6. And if I have to make the mornings work, I have to get them to bed by 8.00! Which means I have to be up by 5.00 (if I have any intentions of continuing my already getting-fewer kapal bhatis).
And this also means dinner at 6.30 and start bed-time routine at 7.30. And somewhere in there squeeze in HWs and Kumon and 15-minute reading...
Talk about life-style change!
7. Travel changes for her - taking one bus to school in the morning, take another to after-care in the evening.
8. Not forgetting to bring back her backpack or her lunchbag or HW! (I was sure I'd have to buy at least 10 new lunch bags this year)...
Even the previous years, it's been her responsibility, but we picked her up from school, so we were able to check her bag and make sure everything was there...
9. New academic structure, new HW patterns, etc...
10.Her food and seasonal allergies, of course! This is prolly what has been my biggest cause for concern!
How much can I educate her? How can I bring every possible situation to her attention? Or even know what to tell her?
Everyone has been telling me how vocal she is and how she's going be fine...
But as true as it is, it is not really true! Does that even make sense?
She "can" be very vocal, if she is not distracted, that is! When she's with friends or other kids, she "completely" forgets all rules!
She does not stop to think, even though we have been re-iterating it to her more than we like.
I'm almost like a "thenja" tape - a worn-out tape - playing the rules over and over again. Until I actually see her in action following the rules, I will keep telling her the rules and will keep asking her to repeat after me!
- NO SHARING - NO accepting food from other kids even if you have eaten them before, you do not know if they had peanut butter -
- NO SHARING - Wash your hands before and after eating (let's hope the other kids do it too) - NO SHARING - NO SHARING - NO SHARING.

How the Back-to-School and Open-House Events changed some of my worries -
1. It won't be totally new to her now...She's seen the entrance, her classroom, teacher, classmates, and a little bit more of the building...
2. Is is much bigger than I thought it would be! Good heavens!!
3. At least she knows her teacher and the assistant teacher now by face...and a couple of classmates that she said hi to (and sad a bit that one kid did not say hi back :)
4. I found out that her school does not do a separate table for kids with allergies! sigh! they will be made to sit at one end of the table is all...
But the cafetaria folks will know that Tanvi has Nut Allergies.
There will be helpers the first week to help the kids use the keypad to buy their food.
5. Still an issue!!
6. Still an issue!!
7. Again, volunteers will be helping to guide children in and out of school.
Her after-care center had already contacted the school to make arrangements.
Her teacher made a note of each kids' PM arrangements for the first day, as well as every regular day...
That was the most important piece of info they collected from us.
May be I'll follow her school-bus and see if she gets in ok...and then again when school closes to see if she gets in the right after-care bus.
8. Still an issue!!
9. Lots of homework to come, lots of assessments to take place...
But, most often homeworks are going to be given out on Mondays and not due until Fridays.
We'll have time. Not so bad...
10.Talked to the principal, who was very accomodating and directed me to the School clinic Aide.
She switched T1's classroom to another where there were already 2 kids with Peanut Allergies.
That was thoughtful!
Met with the school Nurse/clinic Aide (whatever she's called...), handed in the necessary paper-work and Benadryl and Epipen (hoping that it never gets used, of course).
She said the cafetaria staff and specials teachers will all have a list of the children with food allergies (and other health issues like diabetes, seizures, etc...) Goodness! Scary, innit??
Her Class teacher, Ms.D, has a lot of experience with kids having food allergies and is comfortable administering an Epi.
I volunteered to help in anyway to bring an awareness to other kids and parents. Prolly sounded like a paranoid parent! Which I was!!

I think I felt a little better after those meetings. Thanks to our Local Allergy Network for Educating me and others like me.
Even though I'm more worried now, I'm glad I have the information!!
I knew what to do, what to expect, what to request, what questions to ask - wouldn't have dreamt of asking them otherwise...
Thanks guys!!

1 comment:

Preethi said...

Oh my.. I am getting all worried. It will be Cheeky's turn next year!! But you know what, we parents just worry too much.. So hang in there it will all work out well!! **HUGS**