Jade and I went to the Child Development Centre today so that she could meet her new teacher for the preschool program she’ll be attending until Christmas. I am thrilled that she got a spot in the program, as she’ll have access to her various therapists for three hours a day, four days a week.
Besides the preschool teacher, Jade’s physiotherapist, speech-language pathologist, and child psychologist were also there to observe and to “play” with her. While she was busy doing an activity with one therapist, the rest of us would talk about how the program will work, how the keto diet might affect preschool activities, and skills Jade needs to work on. I was asked if there were any particular skills I wanted the teachers to emphasise.
One thing I mentioned was working on Jade’s group social skills. She’s happy to initiate a conversation with one adult or one child, but if there is a group of unfamiliar children playing, it’s sometimes painful (for me) to watch how she tries to enter into the group. I want things to go well and there’s not much I can do to help enter into the game.
As the words left my mouth, I suddenly realized that the situation I described is one that I’m terribly awkward in. I hate going to gatherings where everyone else knows each other and everyone’s too busy talking to notice that I’m on the fringes. It’s an intimidating scenario, even as an adult. Am I asking a little too much of my four-year-old, or am I just hoping that she can be taught skills early on that haven’t come easily to me? (In fact, is it possible that she already handles the situation better than I do? Yes, yes it is.)
I said as much, and the language pathologist laughed in recognition. “Sometimes when I’m in schools working with groups of kids on these types of skills I stop and wonder, ‘Am I a good friend? Do I know how to do the things that I’m teaching these kids to do?'”
Nice to know I’m not alone.
Well, regardless of whether Jade gets to practice this particular skill, I just know that she is going to love going to her school. Bring on the school year!
P.S. Everyone was very impressed with Jade’s language development over the summer. The speech-language pathologist was excited that Jade can make rhymes. A happy Mama moment, indeed!