In late August and early September, everyone went back to school and we started a whole new routine for our family. Dave was first to go back, but we didn't make him pose for pictures. Mairead was next and was very excited to go back and see her Kindergarten friends. She loved wearing a new dress and was happy to smile for the camera. Once it was actually time to line up, though, she had a very hard time separating and actually going in. It was NOT a fun morning as she was sobbing, Jack and Ben were whining, and of course, had to go to the bathroom while I was trying to get her to calm down. Lots of kids have back to school jitters, of course, but it just seems like so many things are so much harder for her than for other kids. She did go in, thanks to the wonderful special education teachers who came over to help, and she handled the day just great. She always rises to the challenge; I just wish that everything didn't have to be a challenge for her. I'm always so proud of how resilient she is.
The boys were next to go back, and that happened on the same day that Christin returned to work after maternity leave. That meant that my niece, Mairin, started coming to our house for full time day care. Lots of changes for us! We love having her here and the kids are obsessed with her. The boys were exhausted after their first day (a whole 2.5 hours) but had fun overall. That experience was not great, either, since Jack was literally hysterical about separating from me and going in to school. Other parents were saying things like, "Oh, that poor little boy." One mom said to me, "Oh my god, I would be crying if that were my kid, I feel so bad for you." Not great when your kid is the one who is the MOST upset... and it's the second time in a week that happened. I'm hoping that future first days of school are easier than this year's first days! At least I know they are in a great school, and they are all together. I love having them all at the Pyne and it's so cute when they tell me they saw each other in the hallways and waved. When I pick them up, the boys immediately grab hands with Mairead so they can walk to the car together. School is such a huge part of life that I just want so badly for them to have good experiences.
I should have known this was not going to go well- Jack had no interest in going, didn't want to pose for pictures, and tried to go back in the house.
Ben was super excited, though, and gave me lots of smiles.
Reading comics on the way helped to calm the nerves a little.
The kids are so lucky in that they all have great teachers. Mairead's teacher has been incredible with her and is so helpful in giving her the extra attention and support she needs. She has an extensive background in SpEd and that is reassuring to me. The boys were scheduled to have the same teacher that Mairead did for preschool, but that teacher had to unexpectedly take some time off for a family issue, so there was a brand new teacher. The boys love her and she has been wonderful. She is young and energetic and has red hair just like April from the Ninja Turtles, so that's pretty great. My favorite thing about her is that she has been awesome about getting to know each boy and I have never heard her get them mixed up. The other kids in the class are great, too, and they all seem to think it's fun to figure out who is Jack and who is Ben. I think they are proud of themselves when they get it right. I do try to put Ben in blue nearly every day to help them out. I'm glad that people are trying to see them as individuals and not as 'the twins.'