I am in the midst of accepting something. It started a few days ago and I guess has been brought on by these new problems Lucy is having and by her decreasing hand functioning. I think I struggle endlessly to try and make Lucy's life and world as "typical" as it can be for a child with her disabilities. I long for her to be able to sit with her toys and talk to herself and pretend and play and build things. Not only do I long for it, but I worry incessantly that the lack of it will affect her negatively in some way. I don't see any negative effects as of yet, but I really agonize over it, and this isn't the first time I have lamented it here and everywhere else. But...the key is to not force what I wish was reality, and miss out on things she could be doing. They might not be what a "typical" 3 year old does each day, but I guess my only concern is keeping Lu stimulated, active, and engaged with the world around her.
We have a book of wild flowers native to PA and we walk along our woodsy driveway and play a little matching game to find the flowers that we see. So far we have identified St. John's Wort, Crown Vetch, Daisy Fleabane, Ox-Eye Daisy, and Sundrops. And, while Lu was in her stander one day this week, we made sweet potato muffins to freeze for snacks. I also look and look for art projects that are open-ended so there is no particular goal for the end project, but ones that I can modify for Lu.
This was a project where we used a little hammer to pound leaves and flowers between watercolor paper and paper towels...it didn't turn out as amazingly as I had hoped, however, but it was a good experiment.
One day we were reading some books about cows that Lu had requested from the library. However, the pictures were mostly of giant dairy and beef farms where the cows did not especially get to enjoy the "cowness". Lu did a finger painting to create a more natural cow habitat and we added a few cows that she chose, to the pasture.
Here is a nature shadow box we made the other day. It is still drying as there is a large amount of glue in the box. We went for a walk with mom the other day and Lu napped most of the time so I gathered supplies and then with her yes and no she chose what to put in it, and then was able to drop each item in the box! This was quite a feat considering how stubbornly ineffective her hands have been recently. http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/11/our-nature-shadow-boxes-in-preschool/
And here is a special spot we created to display Lu's beautiful artwork!
So, we don't do the things I thought we would do, but we do our best to keep things interesting, stimulating,
and and as age-appropriate as possible. The last part can be difficult as Lu is cognitively three, but her motor skills are
are similar to that of an infant. I think we are doing okay and I think she is happy and engaged and likes the things
we do. I imagine that as I do the things that work for us, I will still occasionally think about how I thought it would
be, but I realized this week that maybe I will think about it less and less as time goes on.