Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Playground

Thursdays are very busy days for us. Nikko has a playgroup in the morning from 9:45-11:15, then I have a chiro appointment at 1:30, then we ship out to OT at the clinic by 3. Today I also decided that we will visit the playground behind the Rolling Meadows Park District where we have OT since the weather today was gorgeous except for it being very windy. It was still balmy. Nikko and I were late to the playgroup because the sitter had overslept, but I definitely wanted to take advantage of at least part of the playgroup. The triplets weren't there today, but there was a new little boy named Jason who has some speech delays. He's Albanian and had a few English words in his repetoire. I don't think Nikko paid him too much/any attention. Nikko was into the bean box, a ball game, didn't make a craft for me, had a good snack and loved the parachute of course. He was being Noodleman again when Bethanne was trying to get him to sit down at the table. I watched Jason run back and forth delivering plastic pizza to each of us, as well as a cup of "water". He is a few weeks older than Nikko but is a little shorter and thinner. His mom kept remarking how weak Jason looked, but I didn't pay too much attention to his deficits. I was just thrilled to hear him use his words. Nikko didn't use any words, but jargoned a little bit at the bean box. These playgroups are supposed to help him foster socialization, but Nikko is still very content to play by himself despite the people in his surroundings. Like I said, he didn't pay any attention to Jason. I think it's not really going to hurt us too much if we have to drop the playgroup when Bethanne goes on maternity leave, but it is nice for Nikko to get out of the house and into a different surrounding. I just don't know how we'll be able to get him into another group if it is being moved to Mondays, and that ST/OT group will be on Wednesdays. We don't have Brianna on those days, so I have no childcare. What to do?

Nikko and I came home after playgroup and got lunch rolling. Then I rolled out the door with Audrey to go to the chiro. When I came back, Ronin was resisting a nap and Nikko had fallen asleep downstairs. He only slept for 15 minutes or so, but he didn't fight me when I picked him up and brought him to the living room for a diaper change. He also didn't fall asleep again until bedtime. That was surprising because he was so active today. The other surprising thing was that Ronin resisted his nap at home and didn't fall asleep for the rest of the afternoon. He was finally drifting off in the car on our way home from everything, but that was for only 5 minutes or so. He was extremely tired by bedtime. Nikko had a decent session during OT. It was better than the last two weeks, according to Shelly. I don't know if I saw much improvement this time around; he didn't want to do the obstacle course she conjured up for him. He sat in front of the mirror with the paintbrush and shaving cream and foam blocks, so that was interesting. He didn't interact with bean bag games or the swing, but he did enjoy scooting around on the tricycle. Shelly had pictures of the trampoline, wedges and bean bag chairs for him to pick what he wanted to do. He held onto a picture for a while, but I don't know if he actively chose what he wanted to do or if he recognized that the picture was a representation of the real item.

After OT, I took everyone to a playground around the Rollng Meadows Park District Senior Center, where the clinic is located. It was 3/4 fenced in, but the opening had a retaining wall that served somewhat as a doorway. The playground itself was very kid-friendly, although I got nervous every time Nikko ran toward the swings. Ronin also caused me to worry when he approached the swings. But for the most part, Brianna followed Nikko around as he climbed in and out of the equipment. He liked the slides and a wall that had spinning wheels and discs. Meanwhile, Ronin was running off to explore the other corners of the playground. He found a rocking tractor and more things to spin. But when he looked over one of the fenced he stood in awe at the sight of these huge fir trees that swayed and bobbed in the wind. He squealed in delight every time he looked up at the trees, and looked at them every time I identified them. I guess it was their sheer size that he found fascinating. I had hoped that after the playground the boys would be even more tired, but we came home and no one was dragging for a nap (except for Ronin's brief 5 minute zonk-out). I decided to serve dinner early and get the kids to bed early to make up for the lost hour/s. It's currently 10:15p and they were all in bed by 8:45p. I hope they stay in bed and stay sleeping! During nighttime prayers and songs, Nikko sat in Denis' lap and mimicked the wheels on the bus song. He made his fingers pointy and made them go 'round and 'round. He also liked the spider song. I sat across from him and sang the songs loudly and animated, which is why I think he was interested in watching me. I like to think that being animated is helping him find the songs interesting. It was a precious sight.

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