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 The philosophy of the centre is the emergent curriculum and I must admit that some of the equipment is a bit old and out of date - certainly there aren't many toys that are particularly 'good' for Hannah - outside of all the usual - playground slides, sandpits, painting and drawing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!