Our big event today was Open Gym for 3 and 4 year olds. Today was the first day and I still get a little nervous about having the only kid with DS and wondering how he'll tackle the activity. Of course, HE ROCKED IT! He loved running back and forth with the kids, he is awesome at walking backwards (thanks to the Wiggles) and crawled faster than the other kids! He liked trying to jump on the trampoline and was great at crawling through the tunnels.
Its so different having a special needs child. I often feel this huge responsibility to "show him off", show what he can do, make sure that he's well-dressed and has all the things as the other kids. Its probably the same with a typical kid too though? I guess a part of me wants him to be EXACTLY like the other kids although he never will be. Its hard for me often to just let him do what he wants, to let him roll around on the mats instead of walking in an orderly fashion across the mat like he is "supposed to". If I don't let him enjoy Open Gym by doing his own thing then he won't want to go and 1) he won't get the exercise 2) he won't get to socialize 3) he won't be seen in the community...my struggles...still, despite "me", I think Phoenix had fun!!!
I will say one thing good about myself. I used to get embarrassed in situations where Phoenix was taking too long and kids were waiting. I would often let the kids cut in front of Phoenix or I would hurry him through the activity myself so that the others wouldn't have to wait. SHAME ON ME!!! That was so disrespectful to Phoenix and to the other kids, who missed an opportunity to practice patience. I love to praise those kids who do wait patiently for Phoenix. It's a practice in patience for me as well. I'm his advocate after all and I'm glad that I'm becoming better! Most importantly, I enjoy seeing Phoenix having fun and having time to learn new skills.