Awhile ago and on more than one occasion, I've been told about the "magical" age. That magical age - 17 months - where the child starts to do more, act more, become more of a toddler than a drooly baby. Yesterday was Brady's 17-month birthday. Do I think there has been magic in the making? Even though I may jinx it all -I will say yes.
For awhile now Brady has been progressing with the little things - reaching out and grabbing more, mimicking, muscle strength increasing, eating food more, gaining weight... and little things that normally you may not notice on a typical child. Things like little looks he gives you that seems he understands, more and more half smiles at the appropriate times, sitting unassisted for a length of time while playing... heck, just playing. He won't be walking next week, not even crawling, but he seems to be on the cusp of great things happening. For so long Brady has been a baby. He actually needs a haircut but we haven't done that yet because... he was a baby.
So as he grows, he can start to do big-boy things... like go to school! Brdy and I went to the Early Intervention playgroup yesterday. It was held in their center and the group we joined was for 9-to-12-month old babies. His PT felt this was a good age group for him to be in since he was delayed by that much and I agreed. No need for him to be laying around while other 17-month olds ran by him. The children in this playgroup all receive services from EI for one reason or another. I did mention at the group that Brady had WS to explain why he was in a younger playgroup, but I don't know what challenges the other children face. One little girl is a year old and just starting to crawl, but that was all I saw. There were five of us there, with one child transitioning out next week. The two women who ran the group (a PT and a ST) said there are 10 enrolled but usually only 5 come each week.
The center was very clean; the toys get put in the dishwasher or spray cleaned after each use. The multitude of "educational" toys were plentiful, and an adorable table sitting no higher than a foot off the floor served as the spot for snacktime with little seats with no-slip padding for the children to sit in. Everyone was very nice, the leaders were very entertaining and integrated with the kids all the time. It was a very friendly room.
So you are now saying, "So... what's the problem?" Well, Brady did not seem as pleased as I was to be there. Very much out of character, he cried a lot, flung his back out and went all stiff so I couldn't bend his legs. He would look around at the kids a lot --seemed to watch a little girl named Lauren the most, who kept trying to take his glasses off -- but would then go into a freak-out mode, then settle, on and on. The PT wondered if he was overstimulated, but while it is possible, it doesn't seem likely. It was no more louder in there than in my own house, or my sister's (she has four boys), or the mall, or the school I am at all the time. I definitely think there was one toy that had a high pitch that bugged him, but that wasn't going constantly. Case in point, we went to the elementary school tonight for an educational fair and, like always, he was fine.
So we'll try again next Tuesday! He sat at the table like the others and had some bottle, even chewed on a few Puffs. He looked around to everyone constantly as they ate their snacks. Maybe next week it won't be "new" so he'll deal better.
Funny how this post started with the "he's doing better in life" mode and ended with the "he screams at playgroup" mode... yet it still all describes Brady. What a complex child.