Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

Choose a Topic:

Mar '09

New Milestones for Wesley

Now that Wesley is about eighteen months (he turns on Wednesday) he can attend playgroups at Kids Who Count, which is the program for kids with special needs in our area. On Friday I took him to his first one. It was his first-ever structured playtime.

The playroom at Kids Who Count is terrific. It’s full of lots of toys that kids don’t normally have at home, like a table of sand they can dig through, a trampoline, an indoor playground, a cage with plastic balls in it, plus a whole assortment of smaller toys. And the toys are cleaned and sanitized every day so you don’t have to worry about germs.

The playgroup Wes attends is for kids eighteen months to two years, but he was by far the smallest kid there. The first half hour is toy time. At first Wes just looked around, checking things out. After a while he started to chew on the toys I kept trying to give him, but he wouldn’t play with them.

Then it was mat time. I helped Wes walk over and the teacher handed him a mat to sit on. I sat behind him while the teacher handed out objects, like bells and Slinkys, that the kids used as they (optical communicationread: the parents) sang songs. The teacher was really good in keeping things moving so the kids didn’t get bored.

Next was craft time. They have a low table with small wooden chairs that were the perfect size for kids as small as Wesley to sit in. His feet almost touched the floor. The craft was a hand puppet made out of a paper bag. Wesley enjoyed making watching me make it.

Lastly was snack time. Wes had to wash his hands before he could eat, and I realized it was the first time I’d ever washed his hands before (rather than wiping them with a wet cloth). There were two low little sinks, and Wes liked having his hands washed. Snacks were Cheez Its Party Mix and mini colored marshmallows. He didn’t like the marshmallows, but he ate six Cheez Its. There was also a small Dixie cup with water in it, which was good practice for Wes, since he’s not good at using a cup yet. I helped him hold it with both hands and bring it to his mouth, where he chewed on the edge more than drank the water. We were the last ones done since this took some extra time to practice. Then the kids (or, actually, their parents and the teacher) sang goodbye to each other as they put on their coats and left. Wes fell asleep on the way home.

Then, on Sunday, I took him to nursery at church for the first time. There were fourteen children there, ages eighteen months to three years. I used to think the chairs in the nursery were tiny, until I saw Wes sit in one. His feet barely come past the edge of the seat. I was worried he would fall off, but he managed to hang on OK. Snack time was first, with animal crackers, pretzels, cereal, and marshmallows. He still didn’t like the marshmallows, but the animal crackers were a hit. I watched him gnaw slowly on the corner of one for a while, then I looked away, and when I looked back the animal cracker was gone but Wesley’s mouth was stuffed full. It took a couple minutes for him to gum the cracker enough that he could swallow it (still no teeth!).

He sat through a lesson, and then had coloring time. He’d never seen or held a crayon before then. I helped him hold it, and tried to keep him from chewing on/throwing it. Together we managed to get a little coloring done.

After all that, there was about 45 minutes of toy time. I left him alone for that. When I came back at the end the leader said Wesley did fine. With fourteen kids, and Wesley being by far the smallest kid there, I wasn’t sure he’d make it without being trampled/sat on, but he seemed to do OK. So I guess we’ll take him again next week, too.

The other day I left Wes alone in his room for a few minutes. When I came back:

He loves his books.

He’s doing well with walking. Once he figured out how to walk, crawling became a thing of the past. He walks everywhere. Toddles, more like. He’s still doing fine on the stairs, although yesterday he fell down a half-flight because he got to the top, pushed himself to standing, then lost his balance and fell backward. I was close by and nabbed him before he went all the way down. I credit his corduroy overalls for causing enough friction to slow him down so he slid more than fell.

Sometimes, when life feels a little heavy and it seems like all I do is clean up pools of spit-up, clean the house (and re-clean and re-clean), do laundry, and provide meals and entertainment, it’s good to pause and remember how happy our little family is. Wesley is doing great. Life is generally good for all of us. We’re happy. And the spit-up won’t last forever.

1 Comment »

One Response to “New Milestones for Wesley”

  1. tara72 Says:

    what a great update!!! great to hear that he did pretty well in nursery (though I never thought about how big the chairs might be for him!). and I’m amazed you left him alone for play time! I was too wussy to do that with Savannah for a while. :) the picture is better than Savannah colored. I’m sure he’ll adjust great to nursery and play group and love them more each week.

    and I’m glad he’s okay from his little tumble! always a little scary, but I bet he handled it well (and so did you). I forgot to call you today…..but I’ll give you a call tomorrow or Saturday to catch up a little. :)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.