Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

Thank you for keeping up-to-date with Nathan. We hope you visit often and enjoy experiencing our son's journey as much as we do. Please feel free to leave comments.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lions, Tigers & Play Groups - OH MY!

Nathan's speech therapist suggested a few weeks ago that Nathan be involved in some play groups. She felt his participation would help him with his vocalization development. Well, last week we participated in three play groups. The first, at our local Town library posed many challenges for me. I was nervous about how people were going to react to Nathan - something most parents never have to contemplate. At home, Nathan's safe from the cruelness and the misguided curiosity of the world, but I had to do it. We arrived a few minutes late! Of course, everyone was already there - sitting in the nicely organized classroom circle and there was no room for us - so we sat up front next to the teacher! Center stage - right where we were meant to be.

After the silly song session, which Nathan loved (he was the only child - dancing) it was play time. Major struggle number two - germs! I literally sat there for 5 minutes talking to myself about whether Nathan should go play with the other children or if we should just go home. I weighed all the pros and cons and eventually let him go. YIKES!

Nathan was funny, all he wanted to do was take the toys from the other kids! I thought - yep, that's a sign of an only child. Danny disagrees. He said, "the kids with the most toys wins!"

What I've come to realize about these play groups is that the children interact very little and I think at this stage in life that's normal. It seems to be more of parental social hour, which isn't so bad but we don't attend for my benefit. I'm going to continue to attend these playgroups and see how it goes.


Mairead Elizabeth Hickok said...

Love the new picture at the top- he looks like he is having a blast! I think it's great that Nathan is spending time with some other kids, and that he is 'asserting' himself by commandeering the toys! Mairead does that, too! Parallel play is good for them- and good for moms, too!

Lianna said...

Oh, I have been right where you've been! For Gabe's first 18 months, I didn't go to playgroups. And I really regret it a lot. BUT I've been making up for it as best as possible. Your post took me back to those first tender times, too.

I just wanted to say that no matter where you go, you'll always have the curious onlookers. With a beautiful boy like Nathan, don't be surprised how many smiles you receive and how many people are drawn to you. Like you said, sitting right up front next to the teacher was a GREAT spot!

Germs. Just wait, sister! Boy, I think Gabe had colds for months on end, but you know what, so does every other little one. And even now that he is in preschool, Gabe gets all the bugs going around. BUT his colds aren't lasting as long as before! Yay!

And when it comes to play, don't be fooled. Parallel play is a form of socialization. I think of it as hanging out with someone who you don't always have to talk to...You know that "comfortable easiness" you share with a good friend or sibling...Like that.

Our family did attend a playgroup hosted by the Down Syndrome Research Foundation in Burnaby, BC where we learned how to let Gabriel lead play. Just following Nathan's cues when playing instead of leading him into play will teach him how to interact and play. Turn taking and sharing can be taught through this way, too.

Anyway, I love playgroups. They never seem long enough...

John and Michelle said...

I love the play group idea. Good for you for going despite the challenges. Nathan is adorable and if someone can't recognize that then they are just ignorant!

datri said...

Playgroups are wonderful! Since we're out here in the wilderness of Sullivan County, there's not a whole lot of options! But I took Kayla to library story time and she was wonderfully accepted by the other kids and other moms. I remember at 18 months the other moms were so impressed that she could sign "book", LOL. They didn't care that she couldn't walk yet. I was actually a little sad when she went to PreK full time at 2 years 9 months since we can't do story time any more.

Conrad, Megan and Our Precious Keaton said...

hello dear kandi and family.... Sounds like you are doing well.. i too take Keaton to a playgroup once a week and he loves it (me too!) Hope nathan enjoys it and that you meet some pretty awesome people along the way! LOVE the new background of the blog - my husband is born on st patricks day so we celebrate it in full force... big hugs to nathan... Love meagn and keaton

Carol said...

We don't have much time to go to playgroups, but Luci LOVES playing with the other kids at day care. I think that's one good thing about me working - she has gotten a ton of time to socialize with kids her age. Even if they ignore each other sometimes, they're building social skills every second they're together!