It’s been a month since Ronan started kindergarten, which means Ethan should have had a month of learning too. Well, that’s not exactly how things went, but I do feel they are getting better. The first week was really rough. We spent about half of school time in the back of our uncomfortably warm Expedition. We spent an hour or two at the library each day, but then Ethan would get to loud and rambunctious and we had to leave. We tried going to the park twice – Ethan was immediately bored. We shopped at the local thrift store and walked around the grocery, but Ethan wanted to yell and grab for things so those activities didn’t last long either. We started parking in the parent pick-up line two hours before school let out and doing more schooling there, but it was always a struggle because of the heat and because by then he was hours overdue for his nap.
After a week and a half of that, I ran into a lady I had seen several times at my local library. She also happens to be the PTA president at Ronan’s elementary school and lives only a few miles from our house. She asked if I wanted to carpool, and of course I jumped at the opportunity. She then said that she wasn’t sure if her shy daughter would be ok riding with me, or if her husband would ok sending her kids with someone who was basically a stranger, but she’d still be happy to take Ronan to school. So…a carpool where I don’t have to do any of the driving? Sounds too good to be true. And I’m starting to think it was. That lasted a week. Then she had a death in the family, followed by a medical issue, and now I haven’t heard from her in a while. I told her to text me when she’s ready to start carpooling again since I don’t want to be a pest. I mean she really does get absolutely nothing from this relationship. I just wish I knew if she changed her mind. I see her most days, either dropping her kids off or picking them up, so I’m not sure what other reason there could be. I’ve stopped expecting the break to be temporary.
The last couple of weeks have been easier. Not as easy as staying home of course, but not really bad at all. Ethan is now used to the library enough that we can stay all day most of the time. On Mondays, the library is closed, so if I have Ethan, I just waste the extra gas and go home. Ethan knows basically all of his uppercase and most of his lowercase letters now. He knows some of his letter sounds – probably a lot more than he wants me to realize. He has improved drastically at puzzles, coloring, blowing bubbles, and voicing semi-coherent thoughts. He is still completely hopeless at counting and number recognition. Colors and shapes are also iffy, though once again, I’m pretty sure he knows a lot more than he lets on.
When we started, I tried to entertain him, to guide him through learning activities. When he got bored with one activity, I would look for something else, and honestly, I think that was most of the problem. At home, he’s pretty much left to his own devices. He knows that if he wants me to read, he should bring me a book. If he wants to play with me, he should bring me a toy. I think the forced interaction was difficult for him to handle. Now, I usually read a book while watching him do puzzles, play with letter tiles, or play make believe, which he can do with no toys whatsoever. I get interupted a lot, but I don’t get frusterated much. On average, we probably read about ten books a day and he does six to ten puzzles. He spends a lot of time in his own world doing things that seem to make sense only to him. We meet his brother for lunch. At the end of the day, we park instead of waiting in the car line, and he runs around while I talk to other adults. We might not be accomplishing as much as we could, but life sure is a whole lot more enjoyable this way.