Saturday, 30 August 2014

Kindy Fun

First day at Kindy
Well so much for easing Felix slowly into Kindy! He has taken to it like a duck to water and is already doing two full days a week! That was unexpected!!

Felix's first day of Kindy was an emotional one for me. I felt like after almost 4 years of being together, day in and day out, with intensive therapies, hospital stays and crazy amounts of play time, I was losing my little buddy. Having Felix around me constantly had become the norm, and the thought of dropping him off at Kindy and driving home without him seemed like an alien concept. There were also the worries that any parent, of a kid who needs a bit of extra help, has. Will he adjust to the new environment? Will they understand him? Will the other bigger kids be too rough with him? My mind was going a mile a minute!
Got his bag...ready to go

When we walked into the Kindy the first thing that hit me was that the kids were HUGE! Felix is a tiny 90cm tall and only weighs 12kg. He's probably the size of an average 2 year old. These kids were typical sized 4 year olds and towered over our little guy. Felix played coy for a little while, especially with all the excitement and noise inside the centre, but as soon as he saw the door to the playground open he walked away from us and straight outside. Once he was happily playing, we left him there for the next few hours. I didn't cry until we got back. As soon as I saw him content and happy, playing just like all the other kids I had to brush away the tears. He just looked so comfortable, covered in paint, with a big smile on his face. It was one of those moments I will cherish forever. As soon as he saw us standing there watching him he beamed the biggest grin ever. He rushed over to us and grabbed one of each of our legs and looked up, so excited to see us. After a quick leg hug, he went back over to what he was playing with which confirmed how settled he was.

Loving the Kindy playground
For the next 3 Kindy sessions we left him for 3-4 hours, but from week 3 onwards, he has been there for the two full days and is coping beautifully. The staff have told us that he is doing really well. He loves playing outside, doing crafts, and he paints lots and lots of pictures. They have also said he is cheeky and has a good sense of humour. He loves spending time gazing at himself in the mirror in the bathroom, and he has an eye for the pretty girls (volunteers at the kindy). Sounds like our boy!! The entire staff at the Kindy have been amazing. They have been so welcoming to Felix (and us), and always take the time to fill us in on his day when we arrive to pick him up. We feel so thankful! Did I mention they also love the hugs? :)
Dress ups for Kindy book week

The other kids are doting on Felix and he is always greeted by them when we arrive. The Kindy teachers have been teaching the children a few basic signs. How sweet to see Felix laying on the carpet one morning, and one of the little girls lay down beside him, face to face, and sign "Good morning" to him. Adorable!! A few of the kids have been coming up to us at the end of the day and telling us that Felix is their friend and they like playing with him. It makes me feel so warm inside to see how children that age do not discriminate. They have no pre-conceived ideas, but just see Felix as another friend to play with. Such a pity that changes in a lot of people as they grow! I also love the honesty and curiosity of kids Felix's age. One child said to me, "Why doesn't he talk?" I explained that he can't learn to talk quite as quickly as her, so he uses his hands to talk instead. She thought that was really cool and, this week, her Mum told me that she is teaching her little brother how to sign!!  Aren't kids wonderful?

In other Felix news.... We have even more speech/communication, which is super exciting. This morning I told Felix we were going horse riding. His response? "Piper...Yay!" (His horse's name is Piper). Yesterday, Felix found a picture of a tub of yoghurt in one of his sign language books. He walked up to the fridge, held up the page in his book and said, "gurt, gurt" and signed "please". He obviously really wanted yoghurt!! In my last blog I mentioned that Felix can read the alphabet... now he can say it all the way through without actually looking at any letters, which is pretty cool. When Felix and I were in the car this week, I heard him spell S-P-O-R-T-S. Looking out of my window, I saw that we were stopped next to a sport's store.

All of these things are HUGE to us. Speech is something that is coming along slowly so we celebrate every new word, and get extra excited when there are a couple of words together. Felix is attempting to say more every day and we are understanding more as well. It's a team effort. When Felix communicates something to us and we respond correctly because we understand him, he looks so satisfied and it's a great feeling. I can't 
wait to see what the coming weeks bring.