Monday - walked the Kittyboy in thinking we were late, and no, the bus was late. We hung around about ten minutes trying to get him settled in and happy. That wasn't happening, because we weren't leaving him in the way-cool classroom with the big trucks and big dollhouse and all the awesome toys, we were leaving him in a gymnasium with a lot of other little kids running around being really loud. The other only time he's been in a gym with kids loudly running, he was walking through the gym at the school where he was getting speech, and he cried the length of it - and went on and on, the rest of the day, about "da gym SOOO YOUD!!!" One sweet little boy, who was adorably determined, repeatedly took his hand (or wrist, firmly, after the first couple times), and lead him away from us. Like clockwork, about three yards out, Kittyboy would tear free from his new friend - or was it "fan"? - and run back crying. After a lot of that, we just handed him to his teacher Miss K, and left. Could hear him out through the fire door and down the sidewalk.
When I picked him up, he was all smiles! Miss K said after about 7-8 minutes, he calmed down, and was happy the rest of the morning. He chattered all the way to the car, and as I buckled him in, I asked, "So did you make any friends today?" He thought for a moment, and said decisively, "No Mommy." And went on chattering, but WOW! A yes/no answer, straightforward and without repeating a single word of my question!! Sweet!
Oh, and we sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" all afternoon and evening. Boy, does he like that song now! I figured they sang it in class or something...
So Tuesday morning, we said, "Hey, you're going to play in the gym when we get there, right?" and he seemed to be okay with that, but then when we got there, "okay" was not it. I commented on "Twinkle Star Music" as he calls it, and she said, "Oh, that was sooo cute. All the other kids were all around him when he was crying in the gym, just hugging him and loving on him, trying to cheer him up, and Mrs. B suggested they sing to him. And they all sang 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' to cheer him up!" I just love that mental picture, don't you? He was crying when we left again, but once again was happy when I picked him up - and better yet, was DRY ALL MORNING!
Wednesday morning, Kittyboy ran eagerly into the gym - which was empty! ALL buses were late! (Buses being ridiculously late was the theme of the week, seriously - hour and ten minutes one afternoon, Miss K said). Kittyboy immediately ran out again, his lip quivering. Here he was finally all geared up to play *sniff* and he had no one to play with *sniff sniff* and it was very sad! He grabbed the teacher's hand and ran back in. Playmate found, problem solved!
And Wednesday afternoon, he called himself "I" so many times in a row, I was afraid to say ANYTHING lest he revert to the echoing "you"!
Mrs. B also told me that he is just WILDLY popular with her class, they all just adore him and want him to play with them. SO FUNNY.
This morning, he ran into the living room, saw a cat on the trampoline where he wanted to jump, and said "Get off the trampoline!" After we laughed, we realized that he had just said a whole sentence declaring what he wanted. One thing that kinda annoys me - documented by Those Who Evaluate in his district speech eval - is that instead of saying, "Can I have ___" or "I want ___" or "I don't want", "This isn't working", "I broke this" or whatever, he will label the object ("Kitty??") and make you guess what he wants. "Do you want Kitty to come to you? Do you want Kitty to move?" and in this case he would have said "Kitty? Trampoline? Kitty on the trampoline?" and from the whiny tone, we would figure out that he wanted Kitty OFF the trampoline. Yeah, it can often be just as tiresome and annoying as that sounds.
"Get off the trampoline!" Now THAT is communication! We can work on niceties later.
One possible reason I can think of why his speech is already changing in FOUR DAYS of preschool is that I remember the EC people mentioned "role-playing" as a common exercise for practicing conversation and social interaction (I know, that sounds so artificial, doesn't it?). Maybe he's a kinetic learner and that's just right up his alley. Or maybe when he hears conversations back and forth between other kids and the teacher and aide, over and over, now it's actually clicking. My mom said, "Well, you were an only child at that age, and you were home with me all day long, and you didn't have that problem" but maybe if a kid has trouble getting personal pronouns, for example, one-on-one is just not as efficient at correcting it as a whole group - where EVERYONE calls themselves "I" and the others "you", over and over. I was slow to talk, but I will bet I didn't call myself "you"! I think my mom would have remembered that if I had!
Tomorrow they're off school, Monday they're off school, and Monday we have a conference with the teacher where I am going to ask, "What on earth do you do, and how can I reinforce it at home?"