Despite all my big talk and confidence on Friday, Ezra completely freaked out and melted down at his first belt test. It was held in a different room, with a different instructor, and Ezra decided to show his displeasure with these changes by being as obstinate as humanly possible.
"Okay, boys and girls, everybody please sit criss-cross applesauce facing me."
Ezra sits criss-cross applesauce facing the opposite side of the room.
"Everybody line up in a straight line right here."
Ezra plops himself down in a random corner, seven feet away.
"Everybody stand up."
Ezra sits down.
"Everybody sit down."
Ezra stands up.
I pulled him aside on at least two different occasions and told him we'd need to go home if he didn't start...uh, where to begin? Cooperating? Listening? Participating? Doing everything that is the exact opposite of what you are doing right now?
He did not want to leave. He cried and begged to stay when I offered him his shoes, which made me feel just great, super great, I'm so glad we're spending a ton of money every month for this enriching experience, but then he would re-join his class and remain completely paralyzed by stage fright or shyness or general being-four-ness.
Luckily, the program has pretty low standards when it comes to the preschoolers, and they let Ezra stomp on his board and get a new belt, mostly to boost his confidence for next time. Hooray, everyone's a winner!
He was clearly thrilled.
So was Ike.
On Saturday we got to experience that thrill ALL OVER AGAIN, when it was Noah's turn. And of course, since he was the one I was worried about (he's been really struggling with attention and impulse control in class lately, to the point that I wasn't sure he was going to be allowed to take the belt test), he completely rocked it the fuck out.
Noah's test took me by surprise in another way, too: I didn't realize it would officially mark his graduation to the next level of the program, the one for eight-to-12 year olds. He's still only seven, so I mistakenly assumed that he'd kick around in the same class until his birthday.
Nope. Starting today he'll attend the big kid class, with a new instructor, officially on his way to a real honest-to-God black belt.
We also have an IEP meeting this afternoon.
No suspense or surprises this time, though, since I already know the team's recommendations and agree with them. Today we will come up with a transition plan to move Noah 100% back into the general education classroom by the end of this school year.
Uh-uh. That sentence. I just typed that sentence.
He'll still have an IEP next year and goals and specialized support in the classroom, but he will no longer be pulled out of general education.
Yes. That sentence just happened too.
And it's the right call, as much as I kind of not-so-secretly love that Noah has essentially been getting one-on-one tutoring this year as the highest-functioning kid in a very, VERY small classroom. He does just as well in the regular classroom and he actually gets his best grades in the gen-ed subjects. Overall is progress has been (as his teachers all put it) "AMAZING." It's time to step up the game now.
Sometimes I thought this day would never come.
And yet I always knew this day would come.