Sunday, January 11, 2009

Parents as Teachers

We had a pretty nice weekend. BD's birthday is tomorrow, so we did some celebrating last night at one of his favorite restaurants. Thank goodness the food is good, 'cause that drive is no joke. Over an hour for a meal? Yeah, it has to be good.


Today, we woke up to a beautiful morning. Seriously. It was a high of like 70, which is amazing here. Playette had an appointment at 10 so we were up and out pretty quickly. Since we ended up being a little early, we drove down to the water's edge and checked out the view for a few minutes.

The appointment we had was with the Parents as Teachers program. Have you heard of it? Here in our area, we access it through this organization called Parents' Place. PP is fabulous. They have all types of classes and events and I'm sure plenty of things I don't even know about yet. Last year this time, before I started my 9-5 job, I was going to PP at least weekly. There was a core group of moms and kids up to the age of 1 that met once a week. We'd have an hour of discussion and networking for the parents and then an hour of structured play for the kids. We sang songs and stuff. I never thought I'd be that kind of mom. To my surprise, I totally loved it. I even miss it a lot. I also took Playette to Infant Massage once when she was little-little and then, more recently, I took the morning off and took her to a class called Tots in Motion. The military has some type of arrangement with PP that makes almost everything free to us. You know I like free. Along with "snacks" it's my favorite word.

So, when I went back to working outside of the home, I was told by my core group facilitator that I should check out the PAT Program. I didn't listen. I thought it sounded like more work and that's the last thing I needed. And it also sounded like they thought I needed to take a parenting class. Total turnoff. Then, about 6 or 7 months later, someone else suggested it. Good grief. I investigated, thinking I was going to have to bomb somebody out.

Turns out it's nothing like I thought. Per their literature, PAT "is designed to offer developmental information and support to all parents of infants and young children. The goal of the program is to help parents give their child the best possible start in life."

That's actually not too unlike the purpose of Early Intervention, which is something Playette's participated in since she was 1 month old. The Parent Educator is not a therapist though and may be limited in exposure to kids with Ds. Regardless, ours is great and she's always providing us with ideas of how to play with Playette, stimulate her learning, progress with milestones, local resources, events, etc. She even brings us books. Love that!

She came to our house the first few sessions, but today was the second time we met her at PP. Playette really enjoys having her run of the place and there are tons of toys everywhere.

The music plays while she pretty much does whatever she wants.

She's been letting go a lot more lately and just started standing independently (without having to pull up) yesterday. WOOHOO!

Playing ball with Daddy.

It really is a great activity for us to do as a family. We've been participating once a month for a while now and I always look forward to it. It's worth checking out in your own area if you're interested.


Michelle said...

Whoo hooo! Standing up - that's great! That place looks decked out with fun toys, too. Cool!

how's the reading program going - we need an update!

Peaches323 said...

Is that a tu-tu that she has on? Too cute!!

sheree said...

way to go malea! Love that tutu ;)

That sounds like a great program. I am going to have to ask about that in our area!

Anonymous said...

i see you malea with your mohawk...your mama better not get mad when you get older and start expressing your own identity through your clothes...i'll be sure to remind her she trained you early :) - djskinnytee

Michelle said...

I have heard of something like this program before...sounds like it's a wonderful resource! I see that they have one in the next town over from where I live now, I should look into it. Is it free through the military -or is it free to you through the PP and not actually through the PAT program?

Mindy said...

I see the full on punk-rocker stylin going on, too cute!!!

Go Lea standing independently!!!!