We're spending the weekend there, to see some friends and to see a small barbershop show. The show was the impetus for the trip taking place this weekend; the fact that there are friends to see makes the trip that much more exciting.
From Pittsburgh to the general Southeastern Michigan area is a 5-something hour trip. Might be closer to 6 with the kids and stops and such. Much more palatable than the 10 or 11 hours it would have taken from New Jersey.
It's been a tricky week, with Musical Daddy leaving the house long before dawn to go to his new temp job. It's a job that involves working with his hands, putting things together and lifting things. Very different from teaching music, or math. He likes the fact that it doesn't stress him out and the people seem to have their heads on straight, although he's not crazy about the drive or the early wakeups. Additionally, it seems like we've just had a lot of extra stuff going on this week. He isn't working tomorrow, which is nice. Instead, we're going to a Shabbat program at The Boy's soon-to-be preschool and then leaving for our trip.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Tuesday morning, we visited this preschool program. It is a part of one of the Reform Jewish congregations in town. The Boy would be able to start in January. His class, with him, will have 3 boys and 6 girls. There are two teachers in the room, so a ratio of 1 adult for every 4.5 kids isn't bad at all for that age group. We stayed to check things out for awhile. The Boy did a puzzle at the table and played with those foam peg boards along with another boy. The class has some structured activities and some unstructured activities. There are two little toilets in the room, which fascinated The Boy but not enough to make him want interrupt his playing to try and go on one.
The teacher was very receptive. I told her about The Boy's medical history and about my current concerns with him. He is socially awkward and more than a little stubborn. And the potty thing...he's mostly there but not quite. He forgets sometimes if he is busy playing, and he is more likely to still have accidents when he is clothed. "Academically" he knows a LOT because he had the time to learn it with us and on his own instead of being able to go out and run around. The teacher assured me that the kids all get into a routine together, with procedures in general and with the potty in particular. They have certain times that they all try and go, and they also figure out that whatever they are doing will wait for them.
There are scholarships available, so this isn't going to cost us a fortune.
I liked the feeling of the school. I liked the idea that they focus very little, if at all, on "academics" for the 3-year-old preschoolers, and same goes for the next year. The kids are learning to spell their own names, but that's about all I could tell. They do projects and talk about holidays and of course they have a Shabbat celebration on Friday. The Boy loves that stuff and does it on his own; he needs to build castles with other friends and chase them around. I'm also pretty keen on being able to spend a bit of time with just Meatball. Although I fully intend to devote some of that time while The Boy is in school to a friend who needs the time and the company.
Meatball is saying more and more words every day. He'll echo just about anything (so we need to watch our mouths!) but even more amazing is the stuff that he says without being prompted. One of the highlights of yesterday and today was him saying the word "potty" and actually sitting on the Elmo potty, although with clothes on of course. Potty training isn't TOO far away for him, believe it or not.
I'm doing laundry and have to pack for us all. We're very excited!