I took Raccoon to visit a preschool today. With the baby coming and all, I thought he might like to have a few hours a week where he gets to run around and play with other children. He's a bit of a hermit, although oddly enough he seems to have some qualities of an extrovert as well. At least in the sense that he wants my or my husband's attention all the time. Does he need time away from us, or at least time with other children? The socialization question has been bothering me recently.
The place we visited was the same preschool that I used for N and J during their time with us, so there were a lot of bittersweet memories going through my head this morning. One of the staff members is still the same and it felt surprisingly good to catch up, even though I don't have any news about the girls. Just having someone know about them and that they were in my life was nice.
Why am I thinking of sending him to preschool? (Goals)
* For him to realize that other children are not always a threat and can be fun
* To improve his second language (he understands it but doesn't speak it and this is increasingly becoming an obstacle with my husband's family)
* I am exhausted with the pregnancy and Raccoon not sleeping, so honestly, I could use a break
I loved this post about being "That Mom." I know that's what the teacher was thinking, that Raccoon is the way he is because I am overprotective. Maybe yes, and maybe no. Except for a few hours he's spent with my husband while I ran errands, I have been there for every minute of his life. Exhausting? Yes. Rewarding? Yes. Have my husband and I ever gone somewhere together and left him? Um, no. But only because we've never found a babysitter who can handle him, family member or not. Is he really that intense? Yes.
I think when you have a child with special needs, especially "invisible" ones like SPD, it is easy to get labeled as a helicopter parent. I realize that I am helping Raccoon function at home in ways that the teacher will not because most children his age don't require that kind of support. Can they cope with his perfectionism, his need-to-know, his easy frustration, his sensory overload? I am not sure, and I suspect that the only way to find out is to dive in.
Now the question is, am I actually going to send him there or not?
To be continued...