Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Play time and practice


I've learned that we have more than just one dog living with us; we also have a cat, a penguin, a puppy, a bird, and whatever other animal Isaac decides to be that day.  A couple weeks ago, when picking him up from school, his teacher asked me if one of the shows he watches has a cat in it.  She's also noticed his "gift" for quoting movies, books, tv shows, etc.  This is called echolalia.  I said that maybe an episode of Kipper has one in it, and that he'd been pretending to be a kitten for days.  Meooowwwwwww.  Apparently, that day Isaac told her that he needed to wash his paws.  We had a good chuckle over this.  For the first half of this past Saturday Isaac decided to be a bird.  He never broke character- even answering me in affirmative or negative tweets.  Much like Chica from the Sprout channel.  Is it bad that I'm already relishing his imminent acting success in Okemos School plays above that of his well-to-do classmates?  Probably.  But if you were from Okemos, you would do the same thing.

Besides a stream of sickness in the house, things around here have been pretty fun.  Isaac and I have reinstated our afternoon dance parties- just for something to do.  This time we've been dancing to the Ray Charles station on Pandora.  I recommend it.  Andrew and I have also been involving him in cooking and baking his own food, and he LOVES it.  I'm hoping that this might be a window into getting him to try new foods and add new activities into his usually rigid routine.  Today we made our best batch of oatmeal, flax, chocolate chip gfcf cookies to date.  It's always a mixed bag when baking with mommy, because I never use a recipe.  We stood in the kitchen and munched them while warm to try and sweeten up an otherwise gray and dreary day.  Seriously, I would opt to Rip Van Winkle the month of March if I could get away with it.

Isaac's parent/teacher conference was yesterday.  His team of teachers were overall very pleased with the progress he's made so far, but we all agreed that there is still work to do.  He will continue in the same class in the fall, and I'm grateful for that.  I can't believe I ever entertained the thought of keeping him home until he was four.  I honestly don't think he'd be where he is right now if it weren't for this special classroom.  His verbal skills since the fall are like night and day.  He's in a good place as far as pre-school smarts, and we received some good tips on some of the quirks we're still hearing and seeing in him.  Miss Minda asked about his sensory room- she's seen my articles.  Lesson learned; don't show off if you don't want to be held accountable!  Her compliment of the room was also an inquiry as to how intentional we are about using the room.  The short answer?  Not as intentional as we could be.  So we've been getting down there more in the past couple days to work on things.

I've been forcing (yes, forcing) myself to take part in some intentional imaginary play with Isaac everyday in order to practice his conversational skills, too.  He's just not going to naturally pick up on them the way other kids do.  I say forcing because imaginary play can be a little boring when you have a kid that gets stuck on one channel for an  hour or two.  Yesterday we pretend-played with his toy kitchen for over an hour.  For a girl who's imaginary play when young involved adult themes and barbies, making donuts for toy dragons just does not come naturally. Ha!  Life with a three year old as cute as Isaac has been mostly fun and games these days, but even playtime has been aimed at practicing the skills he needs.  I love this age, and wish time would slow down a little even if it meant 100 more hours of making food for toy dragons. 

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