Saturday, July 29, 2006

More Child care dilemmas
Hannah's EI team are great. She and Kit go to childcare 2 days a week. The centre is a community one that has had a good reputation in the area for a long time. It is going through many changes at the moment. The staff are very well intentioned and friendly but I don't think many of them actually get the special needs aspect of parenting. One report to me was that neither of the twins were being challenged there - that it was more childminding than anything. The philosophy of the centre is the emergent curriculum and I must admit that some of the equipment is a bit old and out of date - certainly there aren't many toys that are particularly 'good' for Hannah - outside of all the usual - playground slides, sandpits, painting and drawing easels, dolls, doll houses, blocks, books ... so my dilemma. Do I try and move the twins elsewhere? Kit loves this place. Hannah is fine there and quite settled. Do I need to make sure that she is getting 'more' all the time? There is a strong part of me that likes the fact that she is basically 'free' at this centre. She is naturally curious and so it isn't that she spends all her time alone in a corner - she does get out there - as much as the only crawler in the centre can anyway! The staff seem to enjoy having her there and the other kids like 'baby Hannah' ... does she need to have every moment of her toddlerhood utilised in therapeutic activities? And what of Kit - he isn't being challenged ... but he is given space to be and to explore and to grow. He has formed a friendship there and calls out in excitement when I park outside in the mornings. It is only two days a week after all - guilt - something that I am becoming more familiar with all the time - damned if I do and damned if I don't.

Sometime after October the dilemma will be moving them into the older room - where there are more kids, it is a bigger space and let's face it Hannah bear probably still won't be walking - should I consider an alternative centre for then? And then preschool after that? I don't really want to move them around all the time. I don't want Kit to be a second thought to Hannah's needs all the time and I want them to stay somewhere in the local community. So fingers crossed - I hope I am doing the right thing by them.

How beautiful is my Kit?
When I ask him how many beautiful babies Mummy has he answers 'two' and when I ask who is the most beautiful boy he answers 'Kit'. One of his favourite games at the moment is 'going shopping' - He slings my pink handbag over his shoulder and waves goodbye. I ask "Where are you going?" "To shops" he answers. "What are you going to buy?" I query. He speaks without hesitation, sometimes signing as well: "MILK". "Milk," I repeat. "Anything else?". Here he thinks before repsonding, "bread, ...n... CAKE!" Gotta love him - he is his mother's son!

Hannah has stood unaided for a few seconds at a time but has really started to consciously try and stand alone now. I think it will still take some practice but I love watching the ingenious methods she comes up with to try and help herself. Here she has emptied out the toybox and is trying to stand alone in it. Today at the park she held my hand and the rail on the bridge in the playground - that is much harder as the rails are quite a distance apart. She has a wonderful determination coupled with such good humour - just this morning when Kit who was already monopolising two of the 'favoured toys' wanted what Hannah had - she held it out to him in response to his grizzling - Lucky her Mum was there to try and mediate a more equitable toy distribution system!


Michelle said...

Oh that Mommy guilt! We are damned if we and damned if we don't and we are always second guessing ourselves aren't we?

I think you have a lot of pros on your list to leave them where they are. I agree, it doesn't always have to be about therapy - it's just as important to just PLAY! And this is only 2 days a week, I think they are getting what they need at this center - allowed to just be kids. Will Kit be more challenged when he moves up to the new room?

I say if they are happy there and the workers are good to them and enjoy having them there then you are doing the right thing!

Oh the pictures of each of them swinging are just priceless!

And WTG Hannah on standing alone!

mum2brady said...

Ohhh - I love all the new pics!!! Kit and Hannah are soo darling!

I can definitely relate to your dilemma - it's so hard sometimes to know what exactly is the right hting to do! I love the fact that the kids can just play, because I think that really helps with social stuff and really - 2 and 3 year olds should just be playing :) I think sometimes society is sooo geared to early achievement that we forget that childhood is for learning through play, and that kids really do learn by playing. I'm happy that the kiddos are so happy at the center, I think that says a lot!!! I don't have any magic words of wisdom, have, and am, going through the same kind of wonderings for Brady! All I can do is - wish you good luck!!!

mum2brady said...

P.S. Just wanted to let you know that Brady has tagged Hannah and Kit for a Meme :) Check out my blog for details :)

The Imperfect Christian said...

Ya know, sometimes we're so busy giving our "special kids" more and going above and beyond that we forget to just let them BE! If you like the place, Kit likes the place and Hannah likes the place...then I say stay. She's already getting more from you, more from her therapists and more from a million other places. Maybe here is where she's meant to be...just being her and not "special".

Shelley said...

Thanks for the kind words. It is really hard to be sure you are doing the right thing unless you happen to hit jackpot and get an exceptional teacher that really bonds with the whole family! I really appreciate your comments.