the eric update – day 522: preemie play group! and a contextually appropriate sign!

after struggling with the Continuum of Cautiousness during cold and flu season, some may remember that we decided after his previous developmental assessment to schedule odin in a play group sponsored by our “early on” organization ( which also performs his assessments ). although the group is not exclusively for preemie parents, it appears that all most of the attendees are (micro)preemies and their parents.

while we initially had some reservations about exposing odin to the unwashed masses – even though he’s getting rsv shots – we couldn’t be happier with the group. there’s usually only one or two other preemie kids in attendence with 4 or 5 case workers. thankfully, all the parents and staff are conscientious about preventing the spread of germs.

we’ve gone every thursday for the past three weeks and after some initial typical shyness, it’s fun to watch odin gain confidence in playing with people who aren’t mamma and pops! he loves impressing everyone with his walking skills, climbing in and out of the pool filled with lots of balls, pushing his preemie play buddie ( 27 weeker, 9 months actual ) around on a swing and – maybe most funnest of all – playing in another pool filled with beans. i think there’s some theory or another about the sensory experience of a pool filled with dried legumes, or maybe it’s just a whole lot of fun.

and today, when it was time to go and odin saw everyone packing up, everyone was very happily surprised when he started signing “all done/finished” and started walking for the door! ( i’ll write more on our experiments with baby signing, but suffice to say that he’s picking it up very quickly. )

this group is mostly unstructured play, but in january i think we’ll enroll him in a class run by the same organization that is specifically for preemie kids that are walking which provides a little structure along with the fun.

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