Sunday, April 26, 2009

Party Time

Yesterday was Sarah's birthday party at McDonald's. Yeah I know, not the most original, but with it being April here, the weather is unstable, so an outdoor party wasn't an option. Plus, Jeff has ix-nayed home parties for awhile. It's just too stressful. So, McDonald's it was. Which was fine. They provided the food, cake & ice cream, along with a huge inside play area for the kids to run amuck on. Sarah had 2 friends that came from her preschool class, and we had 2 of Emma's friends, and her friend's little brother. Everyone seemed to have a good time. In fact, we had to postpone opening up presents until we got home due to the fact that we couldn't pry Sarah off the play structure. This is why I don't go to this place without backup. There have been instances where I'm standing on the outside, yelling at the girls to come out, knowing I can't fit myself in there to get them. Not a fun experience. Talk about feeling like a crappy parent.

But, I digress. The kids all had fun, and that was the point. Emma got invited to her friend's house for a few hours, and then we invited that friend over to spend the night. This particular friend has ADHD. I also know, via her grandmother, that this girl doesn't take her meds on the weekends. I will the first to admit that I don't know much about ADD or ADHD. That being said, I was unprepared for the onslaught of energy that this little girl has. She's a very sweet girl, but very determined when she puts her mind to something. Like incessantly chasing our cat. LOL But, she's Emma's friend, and for that I'm grateful. This is first real girl friend Emma's had. They have fun together, and that's all that matters. She and Emma were up until 11pm last night, and then up way too early this morning. I guess I should get used to that, since this will most likely not be the only time this friend stays over. The only sad part is this friend is in 4th grade, and that means she won't be going to this school next year (the elementary schools are separated into four K-4 schools, & two 5-6 schools). But, I'm hoping that they'll be able to stay friends. Emma needs to have some consistency.

I've been pondering some things, and I'm conflicted as to what to think of them. I find it interesting that I'm majoring in Special Education, and suddenly we have multiple children interacting in our lives that would fall in that category. First, Sarah, obviously. And Emma, too, since she has an IEP for her speech. Then, Emma's friend's little brother was recently diagnosed with Autism. And now Emma's other friend, with ADHD. I'm vacillating between thinking it's just a numbers game, where more kids are being labeled with something (even though I hate labels) so it's inevitable that we'd come across more kids with special needs, and thinking it is some sort of cosmic preparation for the job that I'll have once I graduate. Either way, I'm grateful for the opportunity to get experience with multiple children with multiple needs. That was my biggest fear with Sarah starting K next year: that she wouldn't have teachers who would understand her needs. And honestly, that's MY biggest fear about becoming a teacher. I'm worried that I won't be able to fulfill the needs of all my future students. I know I won't always have the right answer or know exactly what to do, but I don't want to be blindsided with a child and not having any idea how to help them. So, I'm thankful for the chance to get experience in whatever way I can.

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