Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beeping Easter Egg Hunt

Jack was invited to attend a "Beeping Easter Egg Hunt" sponsored by a local church and our local chapter of NAPVI (National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments). I was very excited and hoping that Jack would enjoy hunting for Easter eggs that he might actually find. He has never really enjoyed Easter Egg Hunting. (Go figure) The only Easter Egg Hunt he ever really enjoyed was the time his music therapist, Rochelle, and his physical therapist, Melissa, teamed up to create a "Shaker egg hunt". One of them shook an egg and the other one assisted Jack in walking over to it. I did not get to see that one. I think that was back before he was walking independently. Anyway, David said that Jack looked so proud as he found each egg and put it in his basket. So I was very excited about the beeping eggs and had visions of Jack finding all these eggs and maybe even saying egg and just being so proud of his finds.

It was the end of a stormy week and we needed to let the grass dry up a bit before sending the kids out for the hunt. They tell me that this year's hunt was not done in it's usual order. There was great live music and hamburgers and hot dogs first. Weslie helped me inspect the hamburger buns for dairy ingredients. Woohoo! We got to eat! The indoor dining and entertainment area was a little much for Jack to handle so we ate outside near the hamburger grill. When we finished our burgers (and Weslie finished her hot dog), it was time for the hunting to begin!

Here we are getting ready to start the Easter Egg Hunt. Jack seemed all ready to get started.

They cordoned off a grassy area with yellow tape. Sighted siblings were required to wear blindfolds so that they too were just listening for the beeps.
Technically, children with any sight were supposed to wear the blindfold but I did not think Jack would tolerate it and it really did not matter anyway. Jack wandered around the grassy area once we got in. Here I am taking a moment to remind him that we were trying to listen for and find the beeping eggs.

My vain attempt to get Jack interested in these eggs. I think I was saying, "Hear that. It's the egg!" while Jack crawled away from me. I hope Melissa is seeing this and noting that now that he can walk, when he crawls, he crawls up on his hands and knees instead of the pre-walk commando crawl he used to do.

Jack had his own ideas of what would be fun. Look at him pulling me as if to say, "Hey! It's Yellow tape!!!"

Now that I've looked back through the pictures and I am not obsessed with getting him to hunt Easter eggs, I think Jack was using the yellow tape to keep himself oriented.

He was done with hunting. He followed the tape out to the exit and took off into the grassy field. I picked up one egg and traded it in for 5 eggs filled with candy. 1 egg gets you 5 at this Easter egg hunt. How cool is that?

After I stopped Jack from tromping in the mud, he took off for the concrete. He ran over and then sat down to feel the road. I said, "Weslie, I'm gonna put this basket down. You take a picture real quick so it looks like he is sitting with his Easter basket." She was ready with the camera. I put the basket down and before she could snap the shot, Jack knocked the Easter Bunny basket over. No posed shots that day!

Jack loved running up and down the road.

His spoken words are increasing daily. He is so patient when you don't understand him. He uses signs and other non-verbal cues until you get what he says. For instance, I was walking along the road and Jack said "Wa". I said "Wa?" He said "Wa" and back and forth like that probably 3 or 4 times. Finally he said "Wa" and then ran in place. "Oh run?" and he said "Wa" and pushed me forward so I ran and he was happy and I was thrilled. What a great little guy!

The next big event was the tactile puppet show. They were setting it up in the big indoor area. There was more live music while set up was taking place. Jack really did not want to go toward the indoor area so we decided to check out the pier. I did not even know this lake or river or whatever was there! But then again, I might not exactly a geography whiz. It was windy on that pier and of course, I was not about to let Jack run about on the pier by himself. He loves water , has poor depth perception, and I've recently realized that he does not walk a straight line without having something to orient himself by.

He loved the pier even if Mama hung on to him nearly the whole time. He loved the cracks in the pier and would get down on his belly and peer through the cracks at the water below.
After the pier, Jack was ready to go. I think he thought he would just drive himself!

Jack loves to walk alongside buildings and feel their exterior.

Doesn't he look tired? He actually said that he wanted to go.

Getting him in the car was not so easy. He wanted to go but he did not want to really go. I think he knew that he would soon be asleep. Here he is snacking on a little popcorn as we pulled out of the parking lot. Not long after this he was sound asleep.
David, the regional representative for NAPVI, was kind enough to allow us to bring home some beeping Easter eggs so we can practice with the eggs all year long. Next year, maybe we'll find more eggs and get to see that puppet show. Thanks everyone! We had a great time!
I hope to get to talk to a few more parents at the next event!