Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gavin's 'Baby and Learn' Class

Gavin was able to attend a preschool program created through the Bloorview Rehabilitation Center, where he goes for Spina Bifida clinic, therapy and swim classes (both Gavin and Autumn). The class was once a week for a parent and child . Jeff was among only a few 'parents' that attended. The other adults were mostly nannies and one grandma. They try to maintain a 50/50 ratio between children with disabilities and able-bodied kids. One little girl was fairly severe - diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy among several other things. Another beautiful little girl was born without part of her arm. Otherwise, Gavin showed the most visible disability since all other children were able to walk. Of course, it didn't slow him down at all. After a few classes, he became a bit less shy and then was diving head-first down the slides.

Autumn and I both attended the last class with Gavin and Jeff. I was able to finally meet the mother with the shockingly foul mouth in front of the kids (confirmed within the first 30 seconds of talking to her). I was able to see for one morning what it might be like to be a stay-at-home mom. I chatted with the women there about doctors we should know, sales at local stores on children's shoes and school registration . . . all the topics that women tend to cover in groups . . . and, all conversations that don't come as naturally for Jeff with the other moms.

They played with toys and ate snacks.

The super soft, fully padded colorful gym was by far Gavin's (and Jeff's) favorite part of the day.

Wayne, the Music Man, was the highlight. He came in every week to the gym and taught the kids some cute songs that we still sing regularly - and now I use in Nursery, too. Since it was the last day of class, they took the kids to the outside playground instead.

Because Autumn will be in Junior Kindergarten for half the day and Gavin's preschool is so far away because of traffic (should be 15 when it usually takes 50 min), Gavin will be attending Autumn's nearby preschool instead this fall for only a few days a week. It makes my stomach turn to think of him being with someone else for even a few hours a week alone - especially given he has only been left alone a couple of times with sitters, other than Becky and Jeff's parents, in his 2 1/2 years. I'm his Nursery leader at Church - so, he's with me even then. I'm sure it will be good for him. But, it makes me so anxious . . . what happens when they take the kids outside to the playground? What if they have balloons in the classroom? What if they try to feed the kids kiwis?

As if being a normal paranoid mom wasn't enough . . .


  1. What a great place to have available! I can't believe you have to send Autumn to Kindergarten a year earlier than expected! I'll be thinking of you. I can't believe how fast they grow up.

  2. That smile on his face is priceless! He will do great at school and it will be so good for him!