Where It Stands With Leelo & Iz

Leelo seems to be doing well these days. Occasional what-the-hell? where-did-he-go? episodes where he looks right through us and runs around speaking in tongues, oblivious to all--but for the most part he has been with us lately. Talking to us. Noticing us. Saying "yes" and "no" appropriately (I know I keep going on and on about this, but it is an enormous, abstract conceptual leap for the boy, and not a goal his therapists would ever guarantee achieving). I have to keep reminding myself that his full-scale, full-time, tracked and monitored ABA therapy only started in August, and just how much can a person expect in less than six months' time?

About Leelo, I am feeling optimistic. Seymour and I are cautiously daring to think that we might get a real boy by the time this is all over. Probably always an odd boy, but we'd be fine with that.

Which is why I'm feeling okay about delaying his chelation indefinitely (sample arguments: pro/con). His progress is good. The ABA is working. I'm not sure it's a good idea to fuck with that, as the behavioral after-effects of chelation can be nasty. We've had enough bumps already. I'd rather just keep rolling along.


February 2nd is upon us. The day groundhogs and the local school district get to fuck with peoples' heads. Indeed, it is the first day of registration for kindergarten! If it fucks with your stomach to see an overly proud and dithery parent slobbering all over the screen about her precious, brilliant offspring, then you should click out now.

I'd like nothing better than to hand Iz's completed registration form right back to the person I wheedled it from on Friday (she wasn't really supposed to give it to me until today). But I can't, and not just because I have no idea what Iz's social security number is or where to find that information in my Superfund site of an office.

Nope. It's because we still can't figure out what to do with the girl, whether she should go to kindergarten or first grade. Every time I think hey, she'll be fine in kindergarten, she'll do something like get sick of waiting for me to finish reading Charlie and the Choco1ate Factory with her, and polish off the second half of the book in an hour. Aiigh! So, here are the piles of arguments stacked on opposing sides of my brain (keep in mind that Iz is a January girl, so if we do move her up she'll only be six weeks younger than the officially sanctioned youngests):

Go Directly To First Grade
-By her teacher's estimation, our girl will easily complete the Montessori kindergarten curriculum by the end of this school year. If she was going into an English-speaking school, she would go into first grade.
-The bilingual school does not require its incoming first graders to speak Spanish.
-In kindergarten, she will learn Spanish in three months, get bored, and will start figuring out how to torture everyone around her (according to my former first-grade teacher friend KV).
-During my tour of the bilingual kindergarten (all three classrooms), I noticed very little that she couldn't already do, Spanish or not.
-She is a confident little shit, and has no problems hanging out with older children.

Don't Pass Kindergarten
-Spanish immersion kindergarten will keep her from being bored. It's all in Spanish. It's all new.
-It will suck to enter first grade as the only one who doesn't already speak Spanish.
-She is going to be a late bloomer, if her dad and I are the models. If she's also younger than everyone else this may set her up for some horrific future social ills.
-We get one more year with her before she bolts off to college (yes, I am selfish! But there's a chance that she will be my only college-bound child. I don't want to kick her out of the box any sooner than necessary).
-Last year's bright little January girl from Iz's school went in to this kindergarten and is doing just fine. However she is a much more compliant and docile child.

So, aiigh! again. I can't make up my mind, but am selfishly leaning towards kindergarten. Seymour is leaning towards first grade. We've many friends and associates lined up on both sides of the divide. Meanwhile, I've yet to hear back from the Principal (who was going to ask the teachers what they thought of Iz's work and reading level), or the parents of a similar student from last year who were supposed to contact me.

Until then, feel free to cast your vote in the comments section! By all means!

Final note: I just want to gobble up that cute little marshmallow chick of a four-year-old-girl who came to our playgroup for the first time today, and told us that "she wasn't going to have any more brothers or sisters because her daddy had an operation on his pea-nuss."

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