Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quick Story

I promise to get a post about LegoLand up soon. For right now, I have to tell you this little story. It probably won't mean as much to you all as it does to me, so just humor me.

I've mentioned several times how shy Ella is. I try to make light of it, but it really bothers me. I want others to see the funny, smart, adorable little girl that we see at home. While she has grown leaps and bounds in preschool, we still have some struggles. She cries every day when I drop her off. While it does make me sad, it's more annoying (does that make me a bad mom?). She's going to have to go whether she cries or not, so I just wish she wouldn't fight it so much and would just walk in without a problem. The teachers assure me that within a minute she's completely fine, and when I pick her up she's smiling. And I believe that if she did cry the entire 4 hours they would call me to come get her, or at least tell me about it at the end of the day.

The problem is that Ella still isn't really talking to the teachers and she's not really playing with other kids. She more just sits on the outskirts of the class and watches what the other kids are doing. I think part of the issue is that there are 10 boys and 4 girls in her class, so I think Ella spends a lot of her day just trying not to get pushed, bumped, knocked, etc. by any of the boys. Don't get me wrong, the boys in her class as good kids, but boys are, well...boys. And anyone who's been around 3 year old boys and 3 year old girls knows that they are VERY different.

Anyway, it really worries me that she's been in school this long and is still having problems socializing with other kids, as well as her teachers. I want Ella to grow up and be a well-rounded person, but I can really see how being an only child and being at home with a nanny for 3 years has caused her to be very introverted and unsocial. Until this year she has never been anywhere without me, Joe or Metti standing right by her side, holding her hand. At the time we really felt like we were doing what was best and were taking every precaution to keep her from getting hurt. Now I feel like that has kind of back-fired. Sure, she didn't get hurt when she was 1 year old, but instead she doesn't have social skills. Of course the second she gets in the car she tells me all about the kids at school and she calls them her friends, but she won't interact with them during the day.

I am part of a bible study through our church that is specifically for moms of special needs kids. I'll tell you more about this group later, but today when we were doing prayer requests I mentioned how I really want Ella to learn to play and interact with other kids her age. It's really bothersome to me that she's been in school this long and still has trouble interacting. So as we were praying the leader specifically prayed, "Lord, please give Ella a friend." It was so touching to hear her pray that.

When I picked Ella up from class a couple of hours later, I got to talking to her teacher about some things and the teacher and her assistant told me about something that happened in class. Apparently all the kids were sitting on the floor and the teacher asked them to get a partner (I don't remember what they were going to do). She said that one of the little girls instantly scooted right next to Ella and put her arm around her.

Well, you know me...I burst into tears! I told them all about how the bible study leader had prayed specifically that Ella would get a friend, and now one of the little girls was reaching out to be her friend. It's just so awesome how God not only answered our prayer, but answered it immediately.

This may have been a fluke and not happen again, but it was the encouragement I needed. I have to keep reminding myself that Ella is only 3 and if we keep putting her in situations to interact with other kids, eventually something will click. And I have to keep reminding myself where Ella was this time last year. Compared to last year (even compared to last summer), Ella has made remarkable strides! I know that she'll get through this, it just may be a long road.


Paige said...

That made me tear up. God is so good!

Anonymous said...

Hi - I found your blog through Paige and Emily...I've been a "lurker" for awhile but just had to comment on this story. Our daughter also had a nanny for her first three years. We moved out of state and decided to go with a preschool. The teachers went on and on about how sweet she was but she just really kind of stayed to herself. Anyway, seven months have gone by and she has friends and has really blossomed. My husband and I were just talking this morning about how much she has changed and how well she is doing in school.

Will keep Ella in our prayers, especially that she develops some great friendships! Keep your head up...it's amazing how one day things have just changed before your eyes.

Linda said...

Hi Katie: What a great update. It made me tear up too. I really don't think you have anything to worry about. Ella will be just fine. Just give her a chance to grow in her own way. Ella really is an exceptional young lady, but you already know that.
Take care and give that little girl of yours a hug for me. Love and hugs. Leah's Nana

Gale Alexander said...

Your blog made me think of a young girl in our town who wanted a Christian friend in high school. Her mother prayed for her to have just one good friend. The prayer was answered and her name was Osa.