Saturday, September 7, 2013

rEcess Time!

The school year has begun, so we've started rEcess again.

For those who don't know, it's a volunteer program where several of us, including at least one or two medical people, get together to babysit special needs kids so that their parents may have a night out.

These are children with severe problems, so you can't just leave them with the kid down the street.

This week, we had Lana, who despite being one of the only children in the world with a mitochondrial illness, has managed to learn to crawl, and can throw a toy now and watch the grown-up pick it up

Pete came, with his twin brothers.  He has Down's Syndrome, and is one of the most fun kids to watch play.  His brothers are 3, he is 5, and they are all about the same size and developmentally about the same.

Jack was there, who has braces on his legs, little use of his arms, and who lets nothing stop him.  Put him on the floor, and he rolls wherever he needs to go, even up a step or to, onto the stage.  He performed a comedy show up on the small stage for us all.

Anna, who has some developmental problems and used to have a feeding tube, came with her two sisters and her brother.  Her tube is not needed any more, she has learned to eat without choking, and she was full of fun.

Then there was my special charge, Grace.

Some might remember Grace.  She spent the first two years of her life in an orphanage in Bangladesh, and as is typical of orphanages in many nations, she was in a crib with no stimulation and the only contact she had was when her diaper was changed or she was handed a bottle.  No rocking, no being spoken to, little to no input.  She does have a seizure disorder, but it's minor.  Her biggest problem was simply lack of stimulating environment.

She's been in the US with her adoptive mother for almost a year now, and the difference is striking.  She's about 3 now, and her development is about that of a 1-year-old, but she can walk and run more like a child of 3.  So, like a 1-year-old, she is now at the babbling stage, where she strings syllables together in sentence patterns, but it makes sense only to her.  She also now has a much bigger vocabulary and even a couple of sentences.

She's no longer afraid to get in and try to play alongside other kids, and we had fun throwing the ball to another child.  Ella, a daughter of a volunteer, who is almost exactly her age, spoke to her and showed her how to use a couple of the toys.

Grace also now has a pillow pet from which she is inseparable, and a personality that has its own likes and dislikes is emerging quite strongly.

We spent a good bit of time running, played the drums for a bit, and she decided she was the best thing around with her funny clown glasses.

A few pictures i managed to get, between sessions of running down the halls:

Grace loves the trampoline, though she can't jump well yet.

The glasses.

Grace running with the glasses on.

Play ball!

It was a good night, we all had fun. 

Today is:

Air Force Day -- Pakistan

America's Day For Kids -- sponsored by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Aunt's Day 2013 -- not the same as Aunt and Uncle's Day in July, or the Aunt's Day some list in May, this one i can't find a sponsor or reason for

Beer Lovers' Day -- ESPN began to broadcast on this day in 1979

Boonesborough Days -- Boonesboro, MD, US (living history, food, antiques, and a celebration of the original spelling of the town's name; through tomorrow)

Braemar Royal Highland Gathering -- Braemar, Scotland (one of the largest gatherings and Highland Games, celebrated for the last 900 years)

Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day 2013 -- US (the Saturday after Labor Day, everyone is encouraged to volunteer in cleaning federal land, recreation areas, or waterways, to help do their part to keep these places beautiful)

Chadds Ford Days -- Chadds Ford, PA, US (Brandywine Valley traditional art celebration; through tomorrow)

Classic Boat Show -- Tuckerton, NJ, US (the Tuckerton Seaport and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society present classic wood and glass boats exhibitors, entertainment, demonstrations, a parent/child boat-building contest, and more; through tomorrow)

Feel the Love Day

Festival of Children -- Costa Mesa, CA (weekends through Sept.; a community-wide charity outreach with over 100 stage and hands-on activities through the month)

Grandma Moses Day

Hang Around Victor Day -- Victor, NY, US

Independence Day -- Brazil

Little Falls Arts and Crafts Fair -- Little Falls, MN, US (arts and crafts from hobbyists and pros; through tomorrow)

Lusaka Peace Agreement Day -- Mozambique

Mushroom Festival -- Kennett Square, PA, US (food, fun, and fungi in the Mushroom Capital of the World; through tomorrow)

Naked Gardening Day -- scare the neighbors!  get rid of those pesky squirrels!  experience nature (and sunburn, and mosquito bites) with your whole body!  not to be confused with World Naked Gardening Day, which is now held in May each year

Nanticoke Powwow -- Millsboro, DE, US (Native American gathering and celebration; through tomorrow)

National Acorn Squash Day

National Hummingbird Day -- not official, but someone loves them enough to have started this

National Napoleon Day (the dessert, not the general)

National Threatened Species Day -- Australia

Neither Snow Nor Rain Day -- celebrates the opening of the US Post Office in NYC on this day in 1914, which building has the famous inscription on it

New Jersey Maritime Heritage Festival & Antique and Classic Boat Show -- Tuckerton, NJ, US (lots of seaworthy fun; through tomorrow)

Nijamati Sewa Dival -- Nepal (Civil Servants' Day)

Onam Festival -- Kerala, India (first day of the rituals celebrating the legendary King Maveli)

Salami Day -- sponsored by

Sheriff's Ride Ceremony -- Lichfield, UK (dating back to 1553, the sheriff and his men ceremonially ride the circuit of the boundary of the city; originally on the 8th Sept. every year by order of Queen Mary, now held on the Saturday nearest)

St. Cloud's Day (a/k/a Clodoald the Confessor; Patron of nail makers; St. Cloud, Minnesota)

St. Regina's Day (Patron of poor people, shepherdesses, torture victims)

Turn A Cartwheel in Public Day -- the internet has it out for us

Valparaiso Popcorn Festival -- Valparaiso, IN, US

Victory Day -- Mozambique

Welsh Fairies Bonnet-Hurling Competition -- Fairy Calendar

Anniversary Today:

Sergey Brin and Larry Page incorporate Google, 1998

Birthdays Today:

Gloria Gaynor, 1949
Richard Roundtree, 1942
Cuneyt Arkin, 1937
John Phillip Law, 1937
Buddy Holly, 1936
Don Messick, 1927
Peter Lawford, 1923
Anthony Quayle, 1913
Elia Kazan, 1909
Michael E. DeBakey, 1908
Grandma Moses, 1860
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533

Today in History:

Traditionally, the solar eclipse date that marks the birth of Heracles of Thebes (Latin Hercules), BC1251
The Roman army under Titus occupies and plunders Jerusalem, 70
In the world's first submarine attack, the American submersible craft Turtle attempts to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe's flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor, 1776
The "Troy Post" of NY first uses "Uncle Sam" to refer to the US, 1813
Last hold-up of Jesse James, 1881
Edith Eleanor McLean becomes the first baby in the US to be put in an incubator for premature infants, 1888
The Boxer Rebellion in China officially ends with the signing of the Boxer Protocol, 1901
Eugene Lefebvre (1878–1909), while test piloting a new French-built Wright biplane, crashes at Juvisy, France when his controls jam. Lefebvre dies, becoming the first 'pilot' in the world to lose his life in a powered heavier-than-air craft, 1909
The first day of the first Miss America Pageant is held in Atlantic City, NJ, 1921
Philo T. Farnsworth demonstrates the first use of television in San Francisco, 1927
The last surviving member of the thylacine species, Benjamin, dies alone in her cage at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania, 1936
Integration begins in Washington, D.c. and Baltimore, MD public schools, 1954
Desmond Tutu becomes the first black man to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa, 1986
A 5.9 magnitude earthquake rocks Athens, rupturing a previously unknown fault, 1999
Hurricane Ivan, a Category 5 hurricane, hits Grenada, killing 39 and damaging 90% of its buildings, 2004
The first presidential election is held in Egypt, 2005

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely thing you do for these precious little ones and their parents. Excellent.

    Have a fabulous day. :)