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Posts Tagged ‘special needs tennis’

Monday Minute: You Call It Teasing, I Call It Exposure Therapy

Prospect Park Tennis Domes

Prospect Park Tennis Domes

Every week James plays adaptive tennis at the Prospect Park tennis center (awesome program), and during the colder months the outdoor courts are covered in giant domes. Domes, not bubbles, as I was harshly reprimanded on the walk over to tennis practice the other day.

Well, once I realized how sensitive he was about my terminology (remember James’s horrific phobia of anything that could conceivably pop), and since he wasn’t exactly polite about it, I couldn’t help but poke around a bit to see just how far I could go. Teasing? Ehhh… Funny? Oh, yeah.

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Monday Minute: Squishy Shoes And Dark Humor, A Tutorial By James

So today was a bit of a doozy. On the plus side, adaptive tennis is awesome and James was super excited about it all the way until bedtime. On the downside, Adam gagged on a fruit snack and threw up all over the cafe table and floor, our stroller, backpack, ergo, my shirt, shoes, hair and himself about 30 minutes before it was time to go home.

One entire bag of wipes and horrifying public restroom sponge bath later, the kid (and cafe floor) looked like new – thank goodness I bring a change of clothes for each child all summer. The backpack was destined for the garbage and the stroller and I were due for a scrub down as soon as we got back home – you know, the 3 subways, 10 flights of stairs and 90 minutes it would take to get back to Manhattan from tennis. Needless to say, despite my best efforts it was a mortifyingly gross trip, but in retrospect, perhaps also a little bit funny.

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James is in italics, my responses are in bold italics, my other kids are in bold.

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M: Adam threw up all over the place at tennis. (so much for “hello”)

Whoa! Gross (James has a huge smile on his face and begins to make fake retching noises loudly on the sidewalk, Adam immediately joins in, laughing)

Stop it right now. Do you want him to throw up again?

Gross!!! (laughing)

It was really gross, it’s not funny. It’s really bad when someone gets sick, you should feel sorry for them.

M: He threw up everywhere! In the stroller and the backpack and on the floor!

Whoa – that’s disgusting! (still barely containing his glee)

Enough, guys – so how was tennis?

Awesome, I think the coach was really impressed with my skills.

Oh yeah?

Yeah he thought my serves were huge.

Wow, that’s great! Did you make any friends?

Yeah, but just three friends so far. Mom, what’s that noise?

What noise?

That squishing noise.

Oh, my shoes.

Why are you shoes squishing?

Because they’re wet – I had to wash them in the sink at tennis.

Oh because those shoes have barf in them?! (two young guys passing by give us a wide berth at this comment)

Well, I hope not. So did you play back and forth with your friends or just do serves?

Mom, your shoes are still squishing.

I know – please try to ignore it, we have a long way to go. Tell me about tennis.

It was great – it’s my favorite sport!

Really? Do you like it better than soccer?

Hey, there’s some more barf on the stroller over there. (several people turn to look at my stroller)

M: Gross! (goes to get out of the stroller)

Margaret, get back in the stroller right now. You can’t run around on the subway platform.

M: There’s barf in there!

See, Mom? It’s right there!

(I throw a towel into the seat) There, it’s gone. Please get in right now.

Are you standing still so your shoes don’t make noise?

No, I’m standing still because we’re on the subway platform waiting for the train.

(explaining to two teenage girls sitting on the platform with shopping bags) She has barf in her shoes and it’s squishing like this – “sqqqweeech, sqqqqweeech”

James enough! (both girls look at me, smiling like he’s making a joke but then faltering when they see the panic in my eyes)

A: I want to get down too!

You can’t get down because you barfed on my shirt so now you have to stay in the ergo because I’m in an undershirt.

You’re not wearing a shirt?! (many, many more stares)

I just have my tank top on because Adam got barf on my shirt – James, please keep it down.

M: Mom put her shirt in a bag because it had barf alllllll over it.

Gross! (laughing)

Guys, please be quiet. Look, here’s the train – James watch the gap so you don’t trip.

Okay mom. Watch your step so your shoes don’t squish out any barf.

Thanks, James.

A Look At The Week Ahead – July 8, 2012

Despite the intense heat, it was nice to see new and familiar faces last Friday at the playground, and the kids certainly had fun in the sand and sprinklers! It should be a little cooler over the next few days so here’s hoping for more friends to join us again:

July 13, 11:00AM at Mariner’s 84th Street Playground – Central Park Brass interactive concert and playground time, picnic lunch to follow.

July 15, 12:00-4:30PM at New York Botanical Gardens: Dig! Plant! Grow! Join us for a picnic lunch at the gardens followed by hands-on family gardening in the Ruth Rea Howell Family garden at 2:00PM.

In addition to the scheduled social events, James will be starting adaptive swim and tennis lessons this week. I believe there are still limited spots open for both programs – email me or click the links for more info.

Also keep an eye out for a bunch of new posts this week – the Monday Minute, weekly Top Ten, travel reviews near and far (watch for special tropical discounts), and stories about everything from graduations to playground meltdowns.

Special Aces Tennis Starts Next Week – Limited Spaces Still Available!

The Prospect Park Tennis Center will offer group tennis instruction for children with special needs this month. Their amazing staff of tennis professionals and physical and occupational therapists will provide children with the individual attention they need to enjoy the experience of tennis.

The Special Aces usually run during the year but for the first time they are offering summer sessions from July 9 – 12 and July 16-19, Monday through Thursday: 4 – 6 p.m.

Going to be out of town for one of the weeks? Only available on Thursdays this summer? You’re still in luck – since this is a new program players have the option of choosing how many and which days they’d like to attend during the two weeks of camp (advance registration is required). And the price is not bad either – between $30-60 per session depending on how many hours you sign up for.

Watch a short video about Special Aces

Read about Special Aces in NY Tennis Magazine

Tennis is one of the only sports that James hasn’t tried yet so he is very excited to start lessons next week. There are only a few spots left open, and unlike some of the other special needs sports advance registration is a must so that they can have the right amount of staff and equipment available for each session. You can go to http://www.prospectpark.org/visit/activities/tennis/special-aces to download a registration form. Feel free to email me or call the Paul at the tennis center (718-436-2500) for more info.

More Free Accessible Sports Brought To You By The NYC Parks Dept – There Is Still Time To Join This Summer!

I’m taking James to his first day of adaptive swim lessons tomorrow (see The Murky Waters) – we’ve decided to stay in the familiar waters of Highbridge Pool, uptown. I had planned on taking him to both the Tuesday and Thursday lessons until I started reading about some of the other special needs sports programs offered by the NYC Parks department.

Many thanks to Victor Calise, the NYC Parks Accessibility Coordinator, who has generously and patiently provided me with the information below (while also fielding my numerous emails regarding adaptive swim lessons).

Adaptive Tennis

Prospect Park has an adaptive tennis program for all disabilities and runs from October-May, you can call them at 718.436.2500.

The USTA has adaptive tennis for people with physical disabilities that runs about the same time.

Adaptive Track & Field

There is an adaptive track & field program for kids ages 5-16 with physical disabilities, offered in two locations. In Manhattan practice takes place at Thomas Jefferson Park on Tuesday and Thursdays, and in the Bronx at Pelham Bay Park on Monday and Wednesdays. Both parks start the week of July 11th – just show up and register on site. Ages 5-7 meet 9:30-10:30 and ages 8-16 meet from 10:30-noon. All equipment is provided. And, it’s free! Please click  http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/pdfs/cityparks_Trackbrochure.pdf for more information.

So now I need to decide whether to take James to swimming two days a week or use one of those days to try the Track & Field program this summer. I want to push swimming since he has finally started putting his head underwater but would also like for him to try something new.

In any case, I’ll be all set if this is my biggest problem this summer.