There was some slight drama surrounding scheduling the girls' parent-teacher conferences after Allie's teacher sent us back the scheduling notice with the day that I couldn't attend checked off. Thankfully, we checked back with her and it turns out that she had accidentally marked the wrong day. It was nice of all three teachers to coordinate so that Rich and I could go to all of conferences together instead of trying to split up.
Long story short - the girls are doing really, really well! They are progressing and learning right as they should be and there are no behavioral issues.
The first teacher we met with was Emily's reading teacher. I thought it was funny that she began the conversation by commenting that she just loves how I dress the girls. I was quick to point out that I don't dress them. It would be nice if I could but they select their own outfits and I really have no say. Well, it needs to be seasonally appropriate. No short sleeves or bare legs when it's cold outside.
We have received so many compliments regarding the clothes that Grammy and I have made for the girls. Wait until I allow the girls to wear all their Disney customs. I had placed them on lockdown in preparation of our redo vacation.
All three girls are shy but Allie is defintely more outgoing when compared to Anna and Emily. Her shyness hasn't really been a factor at school and that continues to hold for kindergarten. There has been some concern with Emily and we were very happy to hear that she is really coming out of her shell both in class and in her reading group. She even walked up to her teacher and asked for help with something which is HUGE!
I was a bit surprised to hear that there had been some behavioral concerns in Anna's reading group but the teacher was quick to point out that Anna wasn't the one with the issues. Because she is so small, the other kids thought that she was much younger and were acting different around her, not really understanding why she was there. The teacher told them that Anna is the same age and should be treated like they treat each other. Anna has been shy as well, which hasn't helped the situation. Her teacher said that it has been getting better. Although, we were told the story of how one boy poked her in the arm and asked if she was ever going to talk to them.
Anna has been skipping around the house and after speaking with her physical therapist, we discovered that she has been doing a lot of skipping and hopping in PT. Her therapist told us that she is completely amazed at how well Anna is doing given the fact that she was born with myelomeningocele. She told us that Anna is very determined and when given the option of hopping with two feet while "playing" hopscotch, Anna refuses and insists on using one foot.
"Anna can't really hop on one foot," I thought to myself during that conversation. Boy, was I wrong. Later that day, I asked Anna if she could hop on one foot and she hopped five times without putting her other foot down or holding on to anything. I can't believe the progress she's been making. I still think of that first ultrasound when we were told that our baby would most likely need some type of assistance in order to walk on her own.
Anna has somewhat of a "proud" gait. It's hard to describe but as her therapist pointed out, she's obviously overcompensating for something. Her therapist told us that she always feels like she's with a celebrity when she brings Anna to and from PT because of the cute way she walks and there are always kids saying hello to Anna or "Hey, I know that girl."
This post was almost ready to be published when I heard the unbelievable news of the terrible tragedy in CT. It didn't seem fair to complete it yesterday, knowing what those families were going through. It's incomprehensible to me how someone could do this. I hate how we have to worry about the safety our children at school.
On the day of parent-teacher conferences, the doors to the girls' school were unlocked. Rich and I walked in, signed our names to an unattended log, pasted visitor stickers to our jackets and walked freely down the hallway passing by classrooms full of young students. My kids didn't have school that day and I was actually surprised to see that only half day kindergarteners weren't in attendance. I commented to Rich that it didn't feel safe.
For the winter months, the walkers are allowed to line up in one of the school's lobbies. One set of doors has been unlocked and I assumed that it is only unlocked for the time when they know parents and students are going to be congregating there. I was the second parent to arrive yesterday and a bit surprised to find all of the doors locked. (I had not yet seen the news.) The dad that was there before me buzzed the office and the doors were unlocked for us. A mom arrived and spelled out for us what had happened in CT.
I don't know what the answer is but something needs to change. And I'm not talking about turning our schools into jails either. I never thought there'd be a day where I'd be afraid to leave my kids at school or bring them to the mall.
My heart and thoughts are with those affected by this tragedy.