First Year of Preschool: The End Par Deux
The twins have officially entered their first week of summer. This was a year of a lot of change for all of us the HK homestead. While we have gone down the first year of preschool road before, doing it with twins was a whole new set of challenges. This year we got our first good dose of dealing with two separate teachers and two separate classrooms. For this new adventure we did choose to change things up by sending the twins to a whole new preschool. The reason for this change was based on what we witnessed with other twin parents who went through preschool with Paley. What I found was twins do better in a structured environment versus the typical preschool play time all the time environment. After our first year at GH we have determined that we made the right choice in the end.
Don't get me wrong there are a lot of great things about the first preschool that Paley experience and we didn't completely regret that choice at that moment in time. The one thing that is proven constant is there are so many wonderfully talented and amazing teachers out there. This year we got lucky again with two amazing teachers who not only loved our children as much as we do while maintaining structure and a positive learning experience. They truly cared for us as a family that doesn't fit the norm of the school or community. We also got very lucky with the teacher assignment this year.
One of the main struggles of having twins, which I learned from Paley having five sets of twins her first year of preschool was each set of twins had a twin that excelled in the region of communication and speech. While second twin struggled with either being silent most of the time which led to the other train communicating for the other twin. Or the twins developed a twin speak dialogue between and one another. Thankfully we did not end up with twins dialogue but we did end up with a speech impairment for Lochlan. In the fall we were communicating with his teacher about common problems she was noticing which after three months of school. Ultimately, his speech problem was causing social problems during classroom time or even on the playground. This problem progressed into working projects as well.
What we found was most of the boy students weren't able to understand his vocabulary and they would walk away from the situation leaving poor Lochlan all alone and no one to play with. Right after the new year we decided it was time to nip this problem in the butt and start working with a speech therapist. The first therapist we were recommended we only used a couple times, sadly that experience didn't work out due to the fact the therapist was going through a divorce. The erratic schedule started to affect all the progress we were starting to see. Eventually we found another amazing speech therapist through our school and three months into therapy, we are happy to report that Lochlan has improved greatly.
During Lochlan's first year, we had all the typical struggles and hurdles to recover from. Like hitting, pushing & shoving. Ultimately what we figured out was that Lochlan didn't understand how to use his strength. After the third or fourth incident of pushing and shoving, we realized it was that he didn't have control over strength or momentum during play. By the end of the year like he was having several great days with no issues or incidents. The highlights for the year certainly include the realization that we definitely have a rule enforcer on our hands. In the classroom everything has its place, in his classroom everything belongs where belongs. The first sign of this behavior was your first week of school when a teacher from another building came into their's to get carton of milk and upon leaving the house, Lochlan stopped her from leaving the classroom demanding she return the milk back to the refrigerator. He has certainly developed his older sisters knack for being a stickler for detail and order. I see judgeship seat in the Supreme Court or ninth circuit In his future.
Where do I begin about Margot, I think the best place to start with is her great love of friendships. One thing is certain is that she forms really strong friendships. This year it was with to other girls in the class C and L who became her besties by the second week of school. The trio have been inseparable pretty much all year. A typical morning always started with the girls screaming at each other when one of them it would arrive, followed with pounding feet across the room for a big hug. By midyear Lochlan was exhibiting some jealousy of all the love his sister receive upon arrival but he soon got over the small inkling of he was being left out. Of course as a parent, you try to take control of such a situation and form an interaction with the kids. Thankfully I got over that need to control pretty quickly, it could have been ugly and damaging.
Margot's personality grew amazingly this year in an environment of learning as well as socialization. The first half of the year the twins were only in school for half-day which was from 8:30 AM until 12:30 PM. I spent that first half of the year picking up Margot who would immediately turn on the water works every time I would arrive because she didn't want to go home. She wanted to stay, while her brother looked like he was ready to drop down on the ground and fall sleep for a long winters nap. After New Year's we were lucky enough to switch them to the all day program which thankfully only went till 2:30 PM. Almost immediately Margot adapted to the new schedule with a smile that went from ear-to-ear. While her brother struggle for several weeks to adjust to the lack of nap time around 12 PM. Thankfully we figured out a better schedule which truly did work with my belief that kids need naps regardless of their age. Growing up I was taking a nap up until I was 10 years old I believe.
Of course the kids did find themselves with the usual "terrible 3's" during year, leading to the teachers and us as parents at home, fighting with the attitude and the word "no" or the phrase "I won't". Thankfully the twins didn't hit this stage at the same time. But both did make it out of those bad days within a week or two. One parent in our class did share that they've been struggling with it for at least three months. Every child is certainly different. The only other major struggle between them that we dealt with was their personal relationship as brother and sister. Both of their teachers did praise them on several occasions, for their ability to work well with the other students and their level of sharing and helping other students when they saw their friends struggling. When it came to sibling interactions in the classroom, just like any other twin set, heads were butting and arms were swinging for a good portion of the year. One thing I will say that Margot always had her brothers back when I came to her brothers problem with communicating with fellow students or the teachers. Towards the end of the year the "3's" were gone and the duo were now helping each other, want mining to play with each other and even holding hands when they would walk together.
This year was a prosperous year when it comes to socialization. The twins made many new friends this year and while Lochlan did struggle socially with some of the older kids, he still had a few that stuck by his side. Next year will be an interesting chapter for them both. Lochlan will have the hurdle of being alone in a new environment because a lot of the friends he made this year are either moving away or moving the old kid house. Margot on the other hand will have her two besties with her next year but she will also be jumping into the world of dance, something she seems to be very good at. She is showing signs of being a little performer just like her older sister. For now the summer will be filled with summer camp at school, along with daddy driven adventures around the bay.