1. I HATE California!
We left home at 3am Saturday morning. We figured we would take about 12 hours to get there. I was hoping by leaving at that dog-forsaken hour, I could get about six hours of driving in before Miss Kat woke up. I was wrong. It was only about four. It wasn’t bad, though. She was very cheery and excited for the trip. It’s overall not that bad a drive UNTIL we get to L.A.
I had to make three freeway changes in the space of a tenth of a mile and then, at that moment, Miss Kat got carsick (it happens sometimes. She gets it from her Daddy.) and she starts screaming that she is going to throw up. There’s nothing I can at the moment since I’m concentrating pretty hard on not getting us killed, but she won’t stop screaming. I finally turned and said “Fine! Throw up! I don’t care!” She doesn’t.
So, we find JTC and I discover that I have forgotten the paper that tells me the apartment name and address. I can’t go into JTC, or anywhere else for that matter, because everything is gated and locked and there’s nobody in sight. I pick up the phone to call home and discover that my cell phone isn’t going to work here…
What do I do now??
I end up getting a handful of change and finding the world’s most expensive pay phone (not in a lovely part of town) and I call my sister and husband. After about an hour of standing in the heat, I am able to get the address and figure out how to get into the building. But while I was on the phone, Miss Kat did end up throwing up all over the sidewalk… poor baby.
So we finally get situated and today we start school. Miss Kat is in a class with four other kids. Two have implants (one bilateral) and two have hearing aids. They are all younger than Miss Kat, but I think that will be okay. The first 45 minutes of class, parents stay and play. We do a listening test and just get settled. The classrooms (and speech rooms) have one way mirrors so whenever we have a free moment we can sneak over and watch the kiddos. Miss Kat seems to really like the class. I hope she is doing well.
The parents’ schedules are very busy as well. While today was mostly an introduction, we did have a session with the counselors. They had us write a letter about our hopes for the week. We sealed them and will read them at the end of the session. Mine was mostly about fears. I also wrote for a counseling session about my fears. I told them that I worry that if I take this next step and begin this path of oral learning that I will end up crushing her spirit and ruining her emotional well-being. That is my biggest worry.
I’m also having some trouble with Miss Kat’s behavior. 99.9% of the time she is a wonderful girl. Don’t get me wrong, she is no angel, but she is always trying to do the right thing. She doesn’t ever (usually) do things she knows are wrong. Mostly our issues are from misunderstanding expectations and from her just general monkeying around. But today was different. Miss Kat was on her scooter (a birthday present from her Nana and her favorite thing EVER) and I very clearly explained where the boundaries for riding were. She did not like them, so she absolutely ignored me and rode off down the street. I FREAKED OUT!!! I do not like this area, and whenever we are outside I don’t feel safe, so I do not want Miss Kat out of my sight at all. This is different from home where she walks (or scoots) over to her Nana’s or Grammy’s house by herself all the time. I was so upset and I was very firm with her and told her that it wasn’t okay and if she couldn’t follow the rules, we’d have to go back inside. She got upset and threw a royal fit. I finally got her calmed down (after I was repeatedly being told that I was not nice and many, many tears). A few minutes later she decides she wants to have a picnic out there on the lawns. I told her we needed to wait a few minutes because we had just eaten and that we would get cookies and come back down and have our picnic. She got ultra-pissed and picks up our only dorm key and chucks it. I immediately start hunting for it. For forty minutes I search the lawn for a little gold key. Miss Kat says “Oops. I made a mistake. I threw the key. That was wrong. Sorry.”, but otherwise she doesn’t care at all. She won’t help me look. She won’t even stay in one spot so I don’t have to watch her. She still believes that nothing really matters and that Mommy and Daddy can fix anything. She tried to tell me to go to the housing people and get a new key. I was really frustrated with her. I wish I had handled it better.
I am worried that all of this is too stressful for Miss Kat. I hope that this is just a transition issue and not another or a bigger problem. I’m going to give it a few more days before I make any judgments.
One last super cute thing, though. When we were walking over to the school, I was reminding her that JTC is an oral school. She said, “Yes. This is a talking school, but if the teacher wants to know any signs, I will raise my hand, and tell her.” How sweet is that?