Saturday, July 16, 2011

What Time Is It?

Waiting "patiently"

IT'S SIGNING TIME!! Live in the park! Today Milo & I went to a fabulous park in Highlands Ranch to watch Rachel Coleman from Signing Time perform. Luckily the performance was between 2 thunder/rain storms, quite a feat considering our crazy monsoon season this year :0) We got there early and had to wait sitting on the lawn.  I was doubtful that this method of waiting would work but Milo did very well, I only had to chase him once!

Doing the "Hopkin's Hop"

I think the best thing about this gathering was the diversity of families that attended. There were deaf/hard of hearing kids (I saw more cochlear implants than I could count), trach kids, kids in wheel chairs, kids on oxygen, kids with Cerebral Palsy, autistic kids, Downs Syndrome kids, and oh yeah typical kids too. No one stared, no one made faces or rolled eyes when kids ran around crazy or screamed, no one blinked when Milo lifted his shirt and showed off his g-tube (in fact a kiddo sitting on the blanket next to us had one), everyone seemed to understand. We met a mom and her daughter who sat next to us, the little girl had a trach & the mom quickly spotted Milo's stoma scar so we talked "trach" for a few minutes.  When Signing Time was created I doubt Rachel and her family had any clue about how many families she would help.  Even though she has two special needs kids (one deaf and one with spina bifida & cerebral palsy) I suspect that the success of Signing Time within the special needs community was beyond her expectations.  You see, Milo learned his signs from watching the Signing Time series over and over and over.  He would never "practice" with the videos but when he suddenly started signing, it was an explosion of language for him.

Up Close...

This show was so family friendly. They asked the kids to come up right in front of the stage to sign, sing & dance. I wasn't so sure Milo would get that close but he did. We started out at the back of the group and ended up right at the stage so he could be close to Hopkins the frog.
That frog is "humongous"

Rachel, host of Signing Time, and Hopkins, the mascot

Rachel sang and signed many of the popular Signing Time songs, she had kids come on stage to help her out and Hopkins even signed the songs.  Quite a feat for a person in a frog costume.  Rachel also taught us a few signs that didn't make the cut for the videos such as "tantrum" and believe me that one will come in handy :0)  She also told us that they just filmed a new Signing Time about potty training and they are coming out a very cute app for it providing positive reinforcement.

Dance (and sign) Party!

For one song (Turtle Rock, which happens to be a favorite of Milo's) she asked the kids to get up and dance.  Well quite a few took that as an invitation to come up on stage with her so she invited all the kids up and had a great dance party while singing and signing.  Milo took the opportunity to get up close to Hopkins but he wasn't so sure about all the other kids running around.  I picked him up and Hopkins patted him on the back, that made for one pretty happy 4 year old once he escaped the crowd.

Checking out Hopkins...

Rachel is a bit "over the top" in her acting on the videos but it captures the kids attention wonderfully. She even made fun of herself during the show!
Rachel and Hopkins braving the heat.  The hat & flip flops
are not a normal part of her wardrobe for shows.

Milo did very well and sat for the whole show with the exception of one break to get cold water, it was crazy hot sitting in the sun.  I can't image how Hopkins lasted as long as he did in that costume!  He did take a break at the end and Milo was concerned he wouldn't be back.  But no fear, Hopkins was back at the end for the Meet & Greet session.  We waited in line to take pictures with Rachel and Hopkins and finished up just as the rain started sprinkling again.  Milo certainly wasn't going to say hi to the frog on his own so I got in the picture too (as I said it was hot so I looked a bit weary).  Rachel was super nice and autographed a t-shirt I bought for Milo.

Sharing a little "I love you" in sign :0)