On Anticipating Big Things, Bombogenesis, and Barney
New school, week 2

3 Days at School and 2 Days at Home and Here Comes Monday

It was a given that this would be a challenging week for Charlie, who started at his new school last Wednesday.

Tuesday night he didn't fall asleep till after 3am. Thursday night he paced and called for us till 5am. Needless to say, he was drowsy on his first day at school. Calls for 'grey car' were frequent and there were behavior storms on the second and third days.

There has a been a steady stream of emails among Charlie's new teacher, new behaviorist, new principal and JIm and me cc'd -- as we've learned over the years since Charlie's first IFAP when he was 2 1/2 years old in the St. Paul School District, when a child, one of whose chief challenges is communication, is in question, communication (optimally, frequent, good and open) among all responsible parties is de rigueur

Charlie was thoroughly conked out in his brown chair by 6pm on Friday night. Jim walked down the street to get a pizza after which Charlie awoke, only to go back to sleep till midnight when he had something to eat, before heading straight for bed.

Saturday Charlie slept past noon. He and Jim had their usual  long bike ride after which we visited my parents and saw my sister and her boyfriend.  Back at home, Charlie sipped a little from several sodas then poured them all down the sink, a known sign of him striving to deal with nervousness.

Then it became apparent that he was having a major stomach issue.

Once that was resolved (and he'd showered and the kitchen sink and some of the living room floor got a thorough clean-over), Charlie was somewhat more but not totally relaxed. He paced for a long time before going to his room to watch iPad videos and sleep.

Sunday he was up early. Seeking to help Charlie work on waiting, and staying calm while waiting (and with a view to helping him manage the sort of anxiety he has when he's been at school and calling for the 'grey car, grey car, grey car'), we told him we'd, well, wait till some time passed.

I sat on the green couch and worked my way through some of an ode by Pindar while checking the headlines on my phone.

Jim sat on the black couch and began his daily reading of several news sites that is clearly analogous to his late mother's daily reading of four newspapers over the breakfast table, TV blaring in the background.

Charlie stood, looked around, smiled some.

I went running straight up into the Berkeley hills; for the first time, didn't mistakenly run the wrong way; and got a super terrific view of the whole bay from Marin to the Golden Gate to Angel Island to the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Fields. 

Jim and Charlie had a spectacular bike ride in warm sunshine. I got bread, Charlie's medicine, an awful lot of very colorful fruit, gas and a new portable bike pump courtesy of the 5-minute-away-from-us bike shop.

After a nice visit with my parents (during which Charlie waited in his sentry way at the front window as my dad had gone out to lunch with his silbings), there was a second bike ride featuring a new twist, a ride over a bridge over a big interstate.

No one knows what the week ahead holds. Obviously it was going to be -- it is -- a major challenge to take a boy who's spent five years at one school and plop him into a new one in the middle of the school year. We did know, when we left Jersey, that new adventures us would await.  


Patricia Wright

Kristine - so great to hear that Charlie is enrolled. I would like to think that the frequent school-home correspondence is indicative of a budding relationship with frequent, good and open communication. Happy Monday!

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