As you know, children have to reach certain milestones at different stages along the way and this is how we track their development. Obviously, my son didn’t meet certain milestones on time and this is how we discovered he had some delays but this post isn’t about my son and his milestones. Instead, it is about a milestone that I have reached as a parent.
We are almost at the end of our 12 week ESDM therapy at Reed. It has been a whirlwind of information and play therapy, that sometimes is hard for me to even remember where we came from to compare where we are now. In speaking with Killi’s doc, I wanted to know what the next phase is in our therapy plan. Since Killi is not speaking yet we are clearly not ready to be finished with therapy and Reed.
In discussing our next semester with Ali at the Reed Institute, he mentions how we will start bringing Killi in the morning and dropping him off, leaving him at the Institute for the entire morning and we will also be increasing his session time by one hour. There will also be some days where I will take him to a playgroup at a preschool on a soi right by the institute so he can have interaction with other children his age in a structured setting.
As the doc tells me that I will be dropping him off for the entire morning and leaving him all I can think is “How is Killi going to be okay without me?” A couple hours a day is okay when he is with the nanny but now until noon alone (no nanny or mommy) and that means he won’t be home until 1ish… I am a little nervous but again whatever the doc says I agree to and I know it will be best for my son. This is all in preparation for preschool that we will be signing up for in September.
Although this doesn’t seem like a big deal, it is! I was okay leaving my son at daycare back in the states, when I had to go to work. As dumb as this sounds, I am thinking “I know he isn’t like every other kid. I feel as though he needs me more now than ever.” What’s funny is I am not the helicopter mom type, the one that is always hovering over the kids. I am actually super laid back and let my son explore and if that means he falls and scrapes his knees or breaks one of his toys because he is discovering how gravity works then so be it. It’s funny how hypocritical I am as a parent. In one instant I am saying “Go son! Do your thing but be careful!” but in the next second I am paralyzed with fear thinking “I am abandoning him when he doesn’t have the tools (speech & social skills) he needs to be without me at school”. I think that if he was on track developmentally like other 2.5 year olds I wouldn’t even think twice about him in a school setting without mom but for some reason this is a little more difficult for me to wrap my head around…
Back to the story, so Ali says “Don’t worry we will do this next term.” – that was on a Friday. I think “Ok cool! I have another month. I am sure I can handle this next month.” Monday morning I take Killi to therapy and Ali says “Well I thought about it this weekend and you can go now. We don’t need to wait until next term to do this.” “Huh? You want me to leave? Right now?” Ali says “Yea sure! You can go relax at a coffee shop and come back to pick him up at noon.” So I try and make an excuse “Well I didn’t bring my computer so I can’t go work at a coffee shop….” Ali says “Ok well go home and relax! Killi will be fine!” All I could say was “O. Okay…” and I left. Killi didn’t even bat an eye at my leaving because he was playing but as I left I couldn’t help but worry a little “Am I doing the right thing? Is he ready for this?” After a BTS ride, I arrive home and Odie is super confused and nervously asks “Where’s Killian!?” All I can say to her is “I left him….”
I would say that I did reach and survive the milestone of dropping the kid off at school and instead of crying like a baby I went home and went to work. Better to work than to think about how we aren’t together. After a week of this process of dropping him off at therapy and leaving, I find it is actually liberating! I am now a huge fan and I know that this is wonderful social playtime for my son because he has to be with others instead of clinging to mommy’s leg all of the time.
Freedom for mommy. Freedom for Killi.
Next week is our final week of therapy for the term. This is when we will find out Killi’s progress on all of his developmental goals the doc set for him and what’s next with his therapy. Exciting!
Until next time….