Monday, January 4, 2010


Drum roll, please..........

The first day at school was.........

A resounding "OK."

Martin had a mostly uneventful day in his new classroom. He refused to listen a few times and found himself in timeout. He told me that he played some games. He told me liked his teacher. He was in good spirits this afternoon and evening. He went to bed without a peep at 7:50, a little earlier than usual.

Having vivid memories of Martin's other first days of school, I consider this day a victory. When Martin was just three, he got politely expelled from preschool after four days of his refusing to do anything the teachers said. (This was just prior to diagnosis.) When he started in a special-needs preschool program just a few months later, he had to be carried into the classroom as I walked away sadly. Even with a tutor helping him last year, Martin struggled for the first six weeks in his mainstream preschool class. And you've all read how he did with no tutor this year. We decided to use that old college romance tactic of breaking up with the school before they could break up with us.

Martin went to school by himself today. And it went just OK. But just OK - even if it involved some disobedience and timeout sessions - is something I welcome. And this seems perfectly fine for me, even if I was a kid with enviable report cards back in the day. Before I had a kid, I would probably have expressed a lot of ambivalence about having a kid who gets a "C" on a good day. I'm fairly tough on the kids in my classes. Having Martin hasn't made me want to promote every C into an A. Instead, I just don't care that I have a kid who gets Cs, as long as he seems relatively happy and healthy and is learning how to be kind to people.

Tonight, I remembered something important I had forgotten to mail. Martin saw me rush into my room, dig through my handbag, and search for the lost envelope. He touched my arm and said, "Relax, Mama."



  1. ...and in all reality if you ask all the children how their day at school was, even their first day, I would predict that most of them would say, "OK". Even the ones that get As. I too believe that OK is something to welcome -mb-

  2. Good news for Martin's first day. All children have to learn to adjust to the first, second and third days of school - I'm sure in time he will adjust as he has in the past.
    Looking forward to walking him to school when we are there.

  3. I'm cheering for you all! Can't wait to hear more about his teacher and this classroom. It gives me hope.


  4. definite A+! congrats on the successful 1st day!

  5. Sounds pretty great to me, too. Can't wait to hear more.

  6. Whoohoo going up for Martin and a double hoot for his parents!