Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Group Time

Today was the first day of group for Da'Gorgeouses. Through Bright Start they are eligible to attend activities that help them with their developmental needs. It seems that although they are on target with their verbal and social development, they still need a little work in the gross motor area. So Joan, their teacher, enrolled them in the physical therapy walking group. It isn't that they aren't walking, it's just that they still lose their balance sometimes. I suppose that even at 18 months corrected age, they should probably be a little steadier on their feet.

As we walked in and greeted everyone, I noticed there was a mini-indoor obstacle course set up for them, allowing them many opportunities to practice several different skills. There were padded steps, a squishy foam ramp with stairs, a mini-trampoline, a mini-slide, hoops to step over and even a tiny balance beam. Pistol was not too keen on being told what to do at first and I think she was a bit overwhelmed at the new faces (both adult and children). It took her about 15 minutes to warm up and even then she wanted to do the obstacle course "HER" way. *I told you her papá called it right when he nicknamed her Pistol*

LongRifle on the other hand was quick to join in, she did what was asked of her and even interacted with the other children there right away. After the obstacle course they washed their hands at a cute mini-sink just their size and sat at a table for snacks. I hate to admit it, but Da'Gorgeouses still have some work to do before they master drinking out of a cup, but they quickly understood that they needed to ASK for more cookies if they wanted some. LongRifle even asked for cookies for her little neighbor to the side, which brought about the biggest smile from him---I think he might have been flirting...if such a thing happens at that young of an age (shhhhh...don't tell DrillSgt.---otherwise he might have to contact childsplayx2). If it makes you feel any better honey, I think she was oblivious to his shenanigans, you know she was just doing that trying to help a friend in need kind of thing.

After snacks they washed their hands again, but I think they thought it was bath and splash time not wash your hands time since A LOT of the water ended up on their blouse. Snack time was followed by circle time. They sat in these adorable kid sized plastic chairs and sang a hello song using each child's name. The child whose name was being sung was given a pom-pom to hold and shake, and each one had a turn---I guess that means I'll be learning that song PDQ. Pistol however, did NOT want to sit down and kept saying "NO, NO", and she was not at all amused when it was her turn to hold the pom-pom. Oh well, I think in time she'll get used to the routine. I also think that if LongRifle does it first she may be more inclined to join in.

Even though it was only an hour it sure seemed like WAAAAYYY longer than that to me, I even checked the clock to make sure. All in all it was a good experience, especially for me. I discovered I need to give them a little more breathing room. I will acknowledge that sometimes I hover too much over them and can kind of be overprotective. I've gotten better over time but I know that I still have a long way to go. I think it's difficult sometimes not to be overprotective, it's in my nature to be cautious (hence Pistol's wariness and overly cautious nature) and add that to the fact that they went through so much when they were little---well then that gives you me...watchdog mom! I did get some more ideas on what kinds of things to set up outside for play time, and it should help them develop some more of their gross motor skills. I know I'm a teacher and this kind of stuff should come easy, but hey, there's a big difference between teaching a middle school kid biology and teaching a toddler how to improve their walking skills. Opportunity and knowledge are key, and maybe even a little less caution. GrdnGirl I know you're just laughing at that last statement!




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