Friday, September 2, 2011
This past summer, we made a very important decision. Maddie decided that she wanted to go back to school. Instead of going to the private school where she attended K-2nd grade, with a full-time nurse to keep a watchful eye on her, she went back to public school. Back to having 25 kids in one class, back to me not knowing what or how much she's eating, back to a nurse being at the school ONE day per week, back to regular daily recess and PE sessions, and back to me worrying about her for approximately 5 hours of the day.
I honestly enjoyed homeschooling Maddie. I can't guarantee that I was the best teacher in the world, but we had a really good time. Unfortunately, I'm not one of these supermoms that I have come in contact with on a weekly basis over the last 2 years who have made it their life's work to educate their children. I just did what I had to do at the time, and now I'm through with it. When I started really thinking of all the "normal" fun things that she was going to miss out on by not being in a school setting, I started to feel guilty. It doesn't have anything to do with her social skills, but more importantly, little things like chatting with her friends at lunch and recess, playing an informal game of kickball on the playground, field trips, Go Far, and the list goes on and on.....
I had started thinking about checking into the school where the neighborhood kids attend. I asked around (including people whose kids do not attend there) and found that it was in fact a great school--the best elementary school in the county. I made a brief mention of "going back to school" to Maddie, and she was all over it. All it took was one tour of the school, and she was hooked.
Then came the logistics.
"Maddie, you HAVE to remember to check your blood."
"Maddie, you have to speak up when you are feeling low, or are high."
"Maddie, you have to call me if your site needs to be changed."
"Maddie, you have to remember to give yourself insulin when you're through eating lunch."
"Maddie? Maddie? Maddie, are you listening to me?!?"
Then it came time to talk to the teachers, principal, and nurse about diabetes. They are so very sweet. I laid everything out very simply and neatly, and they took notes, and asked questions, but they have never had a diabetic child at the school before, so I still worry. I was surprised to find that they were all attending a Type 1 seminar before school started, but I'm not sure how much information they were expected to retain--sometimes things like that are very overwhelming. I do believe that if there is a question about anything, they will not hesitate to call me.
So, now we've been in school for over a week, and I have to say, she LOVES it. Every day there's a new friend. Every day, something hilarious happens in class. Every day, they do some crazy-fun experiment or game. Every day is better than the day before. But still, every day I worry about her blood sugar. But at least I know she's having a great time and enjoying herself, and that they're taking good care of her....every day.