|A Little Mama|
When I return for pick-up, the director says "Anna, she did great today!" I walk up to the classroom door and peer through the glass window. I see Miss M reading a book with all the children gathered around her. All of the children except one. Mine. My eyes sweep the room. There is Ellie quietly sitting in the corner parenting three baby dolls.
I started to silently cry. I say to the director with my voice cracking: "did she play with any of the kids? Is she trying to make friends? Did she remain alone the whole time?"
"Is it because she doesn't talk or because she puts everything in her mouth?", I blubber.
|Seriously, what is it with kids and the naked babies?|
Both the teacher and director reassured me that throughout the day there was a lot of parallel play among all the kids That Ellie is doing the same type of play as her classmates. The children sitting by each other playing. That Ellie did not keep herself isolated, but did follow kids around on the playground. They also told me that sitting for story time is not required. That it was her choice to keep playing with the babies. (It should also be noted, that true to Ellie form she was covered in blue paint. Seriously, it was like she thought it was sunscreen or something. All over. I can tell they tried to wipe it off, but this girl had punk-rock hair going on like her mama. . .only in dark blue).
|I know. . . I should have taken a picture of my little Picasso sporting the blue paint.|
I recognize that Ellie's play is appropriate for her developmental age. I know this. I do. She is doing pretend play with the babies, but not with other kids. It is okay for her to play next to and not with other children. I do not fully understand my crying reaction. She was happy. She was playing. In fact, she was sitting, which we all know is no small feat with her hyperactivity issues. I just couldn't handle seeing my little girl all alone. . . even if it was by choice.
Today was a better day. Even the director and the teacher said so. Just like yesterday, I observed through the window. There were no tears this time. I watched my oral-seeking daughter stand at an activity table with another girl manipulating with play-doh with a rolling pin and cookie cutters. She did not put any of it in her mouth! The teacher told me that she engaged in this activity for over 20 minutes and only tried to "taste" the home-made play-doh a few times. I was also informed that two seconds after I left, Ellie climbed into the water table which necessitated a change of clothing. Additionally, Ellie sat in circle time. . . with her own book (apparently the group book was boring). True to Ellie-fashion, she had to do things her own way!
My little girl is growing up and meeting all of her milestones right on time--Ellie Time. I need to step back and allow her to do what she needs to do. I am proud of her. She is a RockStar.