Today was a preschool day for Baby J and it was also the day for parent/teacher conferences - our first. While I was waiting to be called in to talk to his head teacher, I felt like I did as a kid waiting to be called in to the principal's office - not that I ever did anything that would have gotten me in trouble...
I've mentioned before that I am always a bit nervous that I am missing something with Baby J because I am so focused on Bean and his health and developmental challenges. There was no reason to be anxious. The meeting went great. Baby J is doing well and he is developmentally appropriate. He is learning to play with his friends, take turns and participate in all of the activities. I was a little surprised to learn that he doesn't say much there because he is a chatterbox at home. His area for growth is transitions, but that wasn't a surprise to me. We have challenges at home moving from one activity to the next, too. We'll continue the strategies we've been using - countdowns and timers.
He gets so much out of school and interacting with his peers. I really think this has made him a better playmate for his brother. He has learned to sit for brief periods of time for stories and he'll sit and "read" a book to Bean.
School has also really fostered Baby J's love for song. He has always enjoyed all things musical and singing songs, but his category of songs (and words and sentence structure) has really exploded since starting school. Baby J talks constantly now but when he isn't talking, he's singing.
He has also become keenly aware of his brother's interest in music. Music, especially children's voices, is very calming for Bean. Every time Bean fusses now, Baby J starts singing to him. It's usually "The Wheels on the Bus." It usually works. Even at doctor appointments. Baby J sang yesterday at Bean's appointment with Dr. C and I really think that's what helped keep Bean calm for the appointment.
We stopped at the grocery store on our way home from Bean's appointment yesterday. The whole time we were walking through the aisles, Baby J was singing Christmas carols. And he was loud. First, it was Rudolph. Then it was Jingle Bells. I tried explaining that it was not the season but Baby J didn't care. And neither did Bean. He was happy as could be and clicked and ahh'd along with his brother. The passers-by didn't seem to mind either. I saw plenty of amused faces and Baby J and Bean beamed back at their audience.
Then, on our walk to the car, Baby J sang a rousing rendition of "We're Walking to the Car." It is a variation of "We're Walking to the Gym" to the tune of "The Farmer and the Dell" and he learned it at school. I think it's pretty cool that he can transfer his current activity to a song that he learned at school in an appropriate way. And I'm thrilled that an early preschool program is helping me give him the tools to do just that!