I am not even really sure where to start on this. I didn’t think that anybody could be against Fridays. End of the school week, end of the work week. What’s not to like?
Leave it to Kaitlyn to find something. Amber and I were getting ready for work this morning, and Kaitlyn was finishing up brushing her teeth, when we heard the beginnings of a meltdown. We were both stumped, because Kaitlyn had only been up 20 minutes or so at this point, and it usually takes her a little bit longer to have a meltdown in the morning.
After wading through the tears, and calming her down a little, we were able to decipher what she was mumbling about, and what had upset her. She declared that she no longer likes Fridays.
Apparently, there is one thing in particular that bothers her about Fridays at school. And no, it is not the fact that she will not see her friends for two whole days. What bothers her about Fridays is that some of her classmates want to use the computer in the classroom, and the ask (according to her, they demand) her if they can have a turn. For some reason, she thinks that she is the only one entitled to use the computer on Friday, or at least use the her “usual” computer. She did suggest that they could use another computer in the room.
Amber and I tried to reason with her that sharing the computer is the right thing to do, and it is being a good friend. She really was not buying that at all. I really don’t know why we are surprised by her attachment to the computer; if we let her, she would be on the computer or iPad non-stop at home.
By the time I dropped her off, she seemed to be over her whole hating Friday meltdown. It will be interesting to see how today goes, and if another student asks her for a turn on the computer (gasp!).
I was not looking forward to breaking the news to Kaitlyn. Not with how well she has been handling the move and other stress she has been under recently. But it had to be done, and sooner was better than later.
I found out yesterday that the slide for our pool has to come out. It seems that the company that is underwriting our homeowner’s insurance feel that it is too much of a liability. I went over a few scenarios and fixes with our insurance agent, and he kept getting rebuffed, thus had to give me the bad news (I don’t think he was overly excited about the slide coming out, either).
So, one of the first things I did after work yesterday was to squat down on Kaitlyn’s level and give her the bad news. And she responded pretty much exactly how Amber and I figured that she would. Badly. The meltdown was pretty intense. At first, she cried like she had lost a best friend; then, she got angry. Really angry. She clenched her teeth really hard and her face turned a dark shade of red, sort of like this, but darker.
Amber and I had to explain why the slide had to come out, and that we still had the pool to use. We had to offer alternative ways for her to splash and have fun, and after a while, she seemed to accept it. We shall see how she handles it when the slide is taken down over the next few days. I anticipate yet another meltdown.
To say that Kaitlyn is “all-in” emotionally would be an understatement. To attach those same feelings to how she feels about the Sprague boys would be an understatement. But even Amber and I were surprised/heartbroken with the meltdown that occurred last night.
The plan for the day was simple: the entire Sprague crew was going to come over in the afternoon and eat, the kids would play, and the parents would play a board game or two. Kaitlyn knew that they would be arriving between 3:30 and 4:00, and they did, but she made sure to give us time checks about every minute or so starting at 3:00; she was just a tad excited to have them coming over.
The afternoon/evening went as expected. The kids had fun playing together and watching movies, and the parents played a few games as well. All in all a very nice get together.
It was after the party bus pulled out of the yard that the meltdown started. Kaitlyn was crying because her “love was now lost” and her “heart was empty.” You could almost hear the heartbreak in her voice. But this was deeper than her friends just leaving, and I probably should explain how we got to that particular moment last night.
The Spragues are moving. Not out of Tallahassee, just out of their current residence. That in itself is not a big deal to you and to me, and this is not the first time that a move or potential move has upset her; Amber and I were looking at houses online one day when Kaitlyn was almost inconsolable, and when we finally got it out of her, she was upset that we were moving and leaving her bedroom behind. But Kaitlyn processes things differently. To her, they are moving far, far away from her, thus her heart being empty. No matter how we try to explain it to her, in her mind, she may never see her friends again. I think the meltdown last night stemmed from that belief, and she feared that last night was the last time she would see them. We will see them this week, no later than Thursday; it is rare for us to go more than a few days without seeing them. In the meantime, Amber and I have to reinforce that they are not moving very far away at all, and that we will continue to see them frequently.
The location will be different soon, and the routine will change a little, but Kaitlyn will have her friends really close to her. Her love is not lost, and her heart is not empty.
Kaitlyn starts kindergarten Monday, so when Amber got a call from her teacher yesterday wanting to meet already, the first thought that might have gone through our minds was “how can she be in trouble already?” But, knowing Kaitlyn, that may never be the reason the school calls us, and yesterday was no exception.
With both parent and student orientation this week, we both just figured that we would get a chance to meet Kaitlyn’s teacher and get Kaitlyn adjusted to her classroom this week. We were wrong.
We met with Kaitlyn’s teacher today, and at her request, brought Kaitlyn along. It turns out that she had taken the opportunity to read over her entire file and wanted to give Kaitlyn a chance to come in by herself to start to become acclimated to her classroom. We sat and talked with her for a while, got background info on her (she wants to become a guidance counselor in the next few years, and just got an EDS from FSU), and Kaitlyn explored.
While were sitting down talking, Kaitlyn was working on puzzles, and decided that she wanted to color. The teacher got a piece of paper and some crayons, and Kaitlyn decided that she wanted to draw Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She helped Kaitlyn with the drawing of Belle, and while Kaitlyn was coloring the dress, her teacher got a small taste of what she is in store for this year. Because the picture was not perfect in her eyes, Kaitlyn became very upset and agitated, and crumpled up the drawing and threw it away, all the while showing her displeasure with the imperfect artwork. After she threw it in the trash, she proceeded to sit down on the rug by the board, appropriately on a blue square.
Never once did her teacher seem overwhelmed by the challenges she may face with Kaitlyn and her Asperger’s. She actually seemed to embrace the chance to have her in the class. Amber and I came away from the meeting very impressed. This was our first “real” interaction with her school, other than a few calls about an evaluation or any questions we had, and we are already happy that she will be getting her education there. They have been wonderful to us and to Kaitlyn already, and if today is any indication, great things lie ahead for this school year. All of the headaches and stresses of the last 6 months or so will be worth it if Kaitlyn is treated by everybody at the school like she was treated today.