I'll be honest with you. There were moments in the beginning, during the sleep deprived fog when I never thought I would see this day. Three 10 year olds. Rich and I used to say that their fifth birthday would be a turning point. Life would be easier. What you learn as a parent is that life isn't necessarily easier. The difficulties merely shift, but the aspects of life that used to be overwhelmingly difficult do become easier. You can sleep more than 90 minutes at a time. You can shower without praying that the baby in the bathroom stays asleep. You can eat a meal almost uninterrupted.
It's true what they say - it does go by incredibly fast. I still remember the day they were born and what their tiny little faces looked like the first time I saw them. I tell them this all the time too.
Despite what feels like never-ending triplet drama, they really are good kids. They are doing so well in school this year too which was always a bit of a question with respect to Anna. I know I haven't been talking much about day-to-day specifics as of late. It happens when kids grow older. But I do want to point out the school stuff, even if it sounds like bragging. Maybe I am just bragging. I know some readers come here specifically for spina bifida/shunt updates because they have little ones in the same boat.
I've been told that reading comprehension becomes difficult in the fourth grade. This means that kids not only need to be able to read but they need to fully understand what they are reading. This was brought up a few years ago during an IEP meeting. Basically, if she's going to have issues reading, it will most likely begin in the fourth grade. I feel like our school system does a pretty good job of pushing comprehension starting in the first grade with new readers. Regardless of the reason, Anna is a strong reader, comprehension and all. For example, her average for this school year for vocabulary tests is 100%.
Our school system is also very well staffed and provides extra help for kids who need it. It's easiest to think of the class divided into 3 groups. You have the kids who stay in class for ELA and math. Then there are kids who may be having a little bit of trouble so they temporarily see a specialist and work in a smaller group. Those kids are periodically tested and can return to the classroom at some point during the year. Then there are the kids with known needs/on an IEP for learning who automatically see a different teacher.
Anna remains in the class for all subjects. She doesn't need any special help. The one area that trips her up is math with multiple steps. So multiplying 83 times 34. Or dividing 872 by 7. Based on our research, this is shunt related and means she just has to work harder than her peers when it comes to these types of problems. That being said, on one of her recent math tests, she brought home a 100%.
This could totally be a mom thing but her logic and reasoning is quite mature. The girls competed in a Junior Jeopardy at school last week. One of the questions was: Which is the definition of novice? Beginner, expert or professional? Anna knew it was beginner and she explained to me why she was confident in her answer. "Expert and professional basically mean the same thing so beginner had to be the answer." I was impressed.
Raising kids is not easy. I've always pushed that we don't make fun of other people. You don't have to be friends with everyone but you need to be nice. Emily has a few friends in her class this year. Her teacher told me that when Emily has been asked to pick a friend to assist with a task or run an errand, she sometimes chooses a girl who doesn't really have any friends in class. Allie has also been in similar situations. I'm proud of them for seeing the bigger picture.