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Posts Tagged ‘infant games’

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As a side contribution to the continuing feature ‘Yes, May, but is it Art?‘ we ask May to consider the Welsh rugby team in light of their performance last weekend in the Rugby World Cup. May is an expert in many areas, and what a shame that we haven’t allowed her to voice her opinion on sport.

Because May is HUGE Wales fan. HUGE. And so, it comes to light that she was very very very disappointed in her team. Far more disappointed than the photos below indicate. (As you, dear reader, can clearly discern, that is some very sombre bouncing.)

May has been waiting for Wales to pull their finger out and destroy South Africa for years. Perhaps she wouldn’t choose to use such violent language, no wait… What is that May? Oh, she wants me to tell you she’d be far more aggressive, but that this is a family blog.

May’s struggle to come to terms with with her team is deep. And, if last weekend’s performance is any indication – a victory will be tantalizingly held before her eyes for many years to come.

Poor May had to spend a great deal of time cuddling with her Daddy post-match, she was so upset. Wales, May says, you can do better.

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I’m borrowing heavily today, some might call it stealing, from Ellen Seidman’s Love That Max blog. Her post Why dads of kids with special needs rock is a winner!  I give it a virtual headbang and two-divided-fingers thrust in the air – last seen by me circa 1989!

Too often, the fathers of special needs kids are not acknowledged for their role. We’ve definitely experienced many meetings, almost all of them actually (true – I’m afraid to say), where every question is addressed to me and I have to turn to my husband and include him myself. Sometimes, he is ignored completely even in his own home.

That’s why I loved her post which includes contributions from lots of special needs fathers where they explain their “awesomeness” as she puts it.

So I put it to my husband. His response? “I sing well to her in the bath. To an audience of one. That’s it, I think.”

WRONG. That’s not it.

Who was the one I saw singing to her in the hospital? The moment that made me realize that we would be okay?

You Gareth.

Who was the one who sat through all those heart-wrenching meetings with me? Who kidnapped me from the hospital to take me for ice cream in the park?

Who spends a Saturday afternoon in daddy/toddler bliss, snuggled on the sofa together? Who shares his ice cream and doesn’t care a bit when it comes back up all over his new shirt?

There are so many moments, I will bore people senseless if I continue.

But, if that isn’t enough – if you need further evidence that May’s daddy is the most awesome of all the awesome dads out there, watch this. In this video, taken this morning, May is doubled over with laughter, not losing her balance while bouncing – in case you couldn’t tell.

(Apologies to all Canadians – it will be clear why in a moment…)

What makes your child’s father AWESOME? Sappy sentimental mush welcome!

Read more from me about Father’s Day and my pregnancy on BabyCenter or via Twitter @MamaLewis1!

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May has conquered the Everest of the baby seat world THE BUMBO.

For those unfamiliar with The Bumbo Seat, it is one that babies can sit upright in as soon as they can support their own neck. The seat is made of a kind of firm foam that cushions and supports. The seat secures the baby’s legs, hips and lower back, leaving the upper back, arms and head free.

What the Bumbo manufacturers didn’t realize was that their design was actually a vehicle for kicking your legs and bouncing forwards and backwards (the point of the seat is that it won’t topple).

It took a long time for May to feel comfortable using the Bumbo. Archie’s grandma, Jill, our friends from Small Steps, encouraged me to drag it out from the depths of our closet and put May in it for just a few minutes once a day. At first, a few minutes was even difficult. But, over the course of a couple of months, and with the strength in posture her Supergirl Suit brings, May learned to love it.

Here’s the other thing I love about it… this is one more step towards independence. There is very little May can do on her own, and this is one.

Our resident Supremo Cute-o demonstrates below.

It can be hard to find toys for special needs kiddies. If you are interested, I posted about other toys May loves on BabyCenter this week. 

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Today, my husband pointed out that we are four years into the recession in Britain. “There will probably be four more,” he said, grimly.

“And, with the budget cuts the government has made, probably even longer than that,” I said, equally as grim.

It is just such conversations, casually breached in the comfort of my mother-in-law’s front room, that set me a bit on edge today. As a result, I’ve decided to riddle this post with GOOD NEWS. Here goes:

1. A couple of months ago, my students and I asked for contributions towards Small Steps School for Parents. May attends this lovely, little school where she plays games, listens to songs and rubs her hands and face in chocolate pudding – all in the name of stimulation and improvement.

To raise money, my students learned a Bollywood dance that they performed to an audience of fellow students. They gave assembies to their Year Groups about Small Steps and also raised money through a cake sale.

In total, the girls raised £324.74! (about $500)

2. My husband, also a writer, has a blog on WWI poetry called Move Him Into The Sun that has seen a massive gain in readership in the six short months it has been up. Of course, I am biased, but he is an incredible writer and if you are at all interested in the subject, you will find it as stimulating as May finds Small Steps.

Congratulations Gareth!

3. My mother is a genius. Check out the new bib that she bought for my daughter.

I refused to believe that May would tolerate such a presence on her arms, but again, I was proved wrong. A lesson that I really should listen to my mother. (She will be so pleased. It only took me 38 years to learn that.)

Congratulations Grandma Bar!

How about you? Got any good news?

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You can now follow Mama Lewis on BabyCenter, where I will be writing about my pregnancy, or Twitter!

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Oh, the delights of good health! Ah-goo! Ah-gah! Oh-boo!

Since May’s health has returned, so have her giggles and cooing. She’s also back to bouncing, something she didn’t do for a couple of weeks.

Now that was a terrifying realization for me. No bouncing? Seriously ill. Cue conversations with my husband where I ask, “Should we take her to A&E?” (We didn’t.)

It has been a tough month. Fevers. Puking. No sleep. Screaming as the main form of communication.

No, it wasn’t fun. For the first time ever, my husband and I discussed respite care, which seems like both a godsend and a cheat. I’m a capable woman and it is not easy to admit you need help. But, lots of other parents like us receive it gladly, but it makes me feel like I’m giving up on May. Like many things related to May, it is another emotional hurdle to get through and once I’m through, I’ll feel all the better.

When I next meet with May’s key worker, I’ll ask her about respite care. We are thinking about now, but more importantly once the baby comes. Who will do May’s stretches with her? Who will take her to Small Steps School? Who will coo silly sounds back to her when she asks?

Because, in May’s own way she has been communicating more of her desires. It isn’t a sophisticated system (I want water during dinner = screaming). But, one of her new techniques, to pretend she is being tickled in order to get tickled, amuses me to no end. May squints her eyes, pulls herself toward her tummy and starts to giggle. Adorable.

Also, May enjoys hearing me repeat sounds she makes. She even recognizes that I’m doing it – which is a big step in itself.

She also responded to this hilarious video of twins imitating two old Jewish guys. “Oy, gevalt!” said May. (She’s also Jewish – though I exaggerated a bit there with her use of Yiddish.)

Actually, everything to do with her mouth she loves these days. Getting her teeth brushed. Making bubbles. Chewing on things. Oh, and grinding her teeth – an unfortunate result of her inability to lift anything to her mouth to chew on. I can’t stop her and I can’t hold a teether in her mouth 24/7.

Any dentists reading this? Or, parents with know-how? Advice on teeth grinding much appreciated.

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You can now follow Mama Lewis on BabyCenter, where I will be writing about my pregnancy, or Twitter!

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I hate tummy time. I hate the cutesy name. I hate the action of turning my stiffened child, with little use of her arms, on to her tummy to labor there.

Tummy Time sounds like Fun Time! It’s not.

May has never liked it. At times, she hated it. Blue in the face, screaming fits, kind of hate.

News on Babycenter that decreased tummy time is associated with developmental delays, didn’t bring me much comfort. But, in keeping with their Guilt-Free Parenting Week – I’m not going to feel bad about it.

The fact is, May is already developmentally delayed. I can’t approach her development in the same way as I would a child hitting all the milestones. For us, tummy time involves a lot of prep: stretching, then May resting over my leg for support and then finally, on the tummy independently – and only then, if May doesn’t go into a rage about it.

As a result, May does less tummy time than a “normal” baby. But, we still do it and May is rewarding us with improved arm, head and neck control.

Yesterday, I Skyped my mom to show off May’s new-found strength.

(Ah, praise be grandmas. There is nothing more this mama likes than to show off May. And, there is nothing more that Grandma Bar likes than seeing May in action.)

I turned May on her tummy. May stretched out her arms to prop herself up and looked straight into the camera. Then, she rolled over!

“Did you see that, Mom?” I shouted.

“Yes, of course I did,” she said, with tears in her eyes. “Our little monkey!”

Turns out, tummy time isn’t all that bad when it starts working in your favor. And, even I have to admit, despite being hard work, it is working.

For more “Guilt-Free” reading, see my post ‘Post-Pregnancy Guilt’ on BabyCenter.

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