Friday, November 21, 2014

PT at the Park

I mentioned recently that Maddie's physical therapy has decreased to every other week. Because she has "mastered maneuvering around her home environment", the PT suggested we meet at parks, museums, play places, etc. Yesterday was warm enough to meet at the park.

We scheduled to meet at 1:30. The park is between preschool and home, so we arrived early after picking Jackson up from preschool. I figured I would let the kids have a picnic and play before the therapist got there. I've been to the park by myself with the kids countless times, but I had a hell of a time keeping everyone safe. The trio normally stay together, but not this time! James and Maddie took off for the big kids playground, which has four foot drop offs with ladders and poles. 

I wrangled the trio over to the toddler playground. Approximately seven seconds after I took this picture, Amelia discovered she could walk on the sidewalk and parking lot. 

Amid the borderline chaos, Jackson announced he had to poop. Unfortunately this park keeps all bathrooms locked unless there is a scheduled sporting event. I normally make Jackson pee behind a tree off in the distance, but I wasn't sure what to do. I ended up having him poop in the tupperware container inside the van. Needless to say, we didn't take any leftover snacks home from our picnic.

My nerves were shot by the time the PT arrived. Her presence and extra hands helped calm things down a bit. Jackson played by himself most of the time, while the PT and I followed the triplets lead. 

One of the things we worked on with Maddie was to hold her hands to walk up shallow stairs, rather than let her crawl up them. We also worked on lifting her feet so she could climb on top of higher stairs or equipment. The other thing the PT encouraged was for Maddie to walk on uneven surfaces. Maddie was very cautious going down the hills and kept wanting to crawl. Most of the strategies would be great if I were one-on-one with Maddie, but not as practical while watching everyone.

Before leaving, I asked the PT to take a picture of the kids and I while I was wearing my "Team Karen" shirt.  (I have a friend and former colleague who is undergoing chemo for Stage IV cancer. Many of us bought shirts to show support and help raise money for her medical expenses. She asked us to send pictures to her.) The PT suggested we take a picture on the slide with all four kids lined up. This was the best we could do!

I think it will be a while before I venture to this particular park solo with the kids. Maybe the cold weather isn't so bad after all...

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