This was not really the way I'd planned to start my morning.
Anyway, I cleaned him up, bundled his sheets and pajamas into the washer, and then fed him a huge breakfast, which he was terribly hungry for as there was absolutely nothing in his stomach: its usual contents being all over the laundry. Then we headed off to the Children's Therapy Unit at Good Samaritan Hospital to get measured for a stander and to drop off his tricycle for modification. Hopefully we'll have the trike back next week-- something that I'm really excited about. Connor doesn't get to do many activities that other little kids his age are doing, so riding a tricycle with some of his buddies would be a really big deal. I can't wait!
After we finished up at Good Sam, we drove to the Puyallup Library for Connor's Toddler Treasures reading group. The library hasn't been able to find an interpreter yet, though they're still looking, so in the meantime I'm doing the interpreting for Connor. I'm not remotely qualified to do it-- I've only had a little over a year of sign language, and I have nowhere near the skills, speed, or experience to be an interpreter. If I was asked to do it for anyone other than Connor, I'd decline; watching me would probably be worse than having no interpreter at all. I'd rather leave it to the professionals.
Interpreting is hard.
For one thing, the songs and rhymes we are singing have a lot of words I've had to make up signs for, as there is absolutely no way I'm fingerspelling, for example, "Skittermerinky Dinky Dink." Not happening. There's also the fact that I have to adjust to someone else's speech pattern and rhythm. While it helps that I get a chance to look at the books beforehand, it's not like there's a happy little script I can follow; the kids are asking questions, the librarian is throwing out answers, and none of that is something I can prepare for. I just have to muddle along as fast as I can and hope Connor gets the jist of what's going on.
I'm getting some major practice in learning new vocabulary quickly though, which is probably a plus. I don't see the books until about half an hour before the reading time. This week one of the books was about patterns, and it described many of these patterns in detail. There were about 18 words I didn't know, so I had to memorize the signs really, really fast. Good practice for me, but sheesh.
I'd also like to point out that I'm not big on being the center of attention in a room. When the books and songs are happening, I'm sitting right next to the librarian. And for the most part, the kids aren't watching the librarian, they're watching me. As are all of the parents. This is rather disconcerting, especially when I know I'm screwing up. And believe me; there is a whole lot of screwing up going on.
Connor has a good time though, which is the important thing.