Sunday, January 31, 2010

Toddler Talk

Before I was a mom, it always amazed/amused me at how parents seemed to understand their toddlers perfectly well, while I just looked at them in confusion trying to figure out what, "Myfdakl;afdkajfdkda;aaaad no!" meant. Now? I speak Toddler. Or, rather, the Carter dialect of said language. I can understand my kid perfectly fine, but other kids? Not so much. I still look at them with a big smile and said, "Really?" in a very excited voice, but have no clue what they just said to me.

And what's funny is that I don't even notice the words that Carter mispronounces until it's pointed out to me. To me, he's speaking perfect English. For instance, I never thought twice about the way he said, "What are you doing?" until my mom laughed about how he says, "dooning" instead of "doing." Sounded right in my head. It's like when people are immersed in new languages and they stop translating to their first language and start to dream in the second language. Carter is my second language.

So now I'm trying to keep an ear out for how he says things, just so I can remember these toddler days and how he sounded. For example:

girl = gwer-uhl
doing = doo-ning
ladies = wadies
Miss Dorothea (his teacher) = Miss Dor-fee-fah

There are many more, but as I'm paying closer attention, I'm actually finding that he really does have good pronunciation for the most part. If you talk to him on the phone, you can have an actual conversation and understand what he's talking about. In fact, he even speaks dog. He talked to Uncle Brian's dog Remi on the phone the other day. They had a whole conversation. For real.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Catching Up

I've been offline a lot recently. I've gotten back into knitting and find that I'm doing that more at night, rather than getting online. I miss my online friends but I'm really enjoying knitting again. I just finished a pair of fingerless gloves for work. My hands get freezing and I'm hoping these will help. I've also finished a sock, and am getting ready to cast on the second one. I love knitting socks. They're quick, fairly easy, and don't require a lot of "finishing" work.

On the Carter front, he's doing really well. He took about two weeks of training for him to stay in his bed but he's consistently staying in there through the night. He calls for me or Chris and waits for us to give him permission to get out of bed. Usually. There were several times in the beginning where he'd just stand next to my side of the bed and quietly wait for me to wake up and notice him. Scared the crap out of me more than once. Imagine opening your eyes at 2 a.m. and a little person is right there in your face. Makes me shiver just to remember it.

He's enjoying school a lot. He's participating and making friends and learning all sorts of new songs and games. His teachers are great and give us a positive report every day. I take him in the morning, and sit with him in the multi-purpose room while he eats breakfast, and then I either leave then, or I walk him to his classroom and then head out of there. I try to wait until he's done eating because he gets VERY upset when I go to work. According to his teachers, he recovers fairly quickly, which I'm sure he does, but it's so hard leaving him like that. He never even noticed when I left him at Shaista's. But I realize it's a very different environment for him and it'll take some getting used to. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later. It breaks my heart every morning to see him so hysterical about me leaving. Chris gets to pick him up in the afternoon when he's happy and smiling and life is good. In fact, the other day Chris sat down right next to him but he was so enraptured with Story Time that it took a full two minutes for Carter to even notice Chris was sitting there. One of his teachers takes pictures of the kids every few weeks and it's so cool to see what they do all day long. I can't wait for Carter to be in those pictures. Hopefully this week I'll have a few to share.

And in other happy news, my dear friend Canape had her baby boy Colin Henry this morning. I couldn't be happier and can't wait to meet the little dude. He's gorgeous, of course. I'm a thrilled "auntie"!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First Day of School

Today was Carter's first day at his new school. I was nervous about his adjustment from the small group at Shaista's to a larger class with multiple teachers and new routines. We've been talking about his new school for weeks and he's gone to visit and play a few times with Chris. He pretty much knew what to expect and was as prepared as we could hope for.

We got there at 8:00 and his teacher saw us out there (we were waiting on Chris) and Carter took her hand and went with her into the multi-purpose room for breakfast. He was given the choice of cereal or a Pop-Tart and he chose the Pop-Tart and some milk. He sat with the other kids and ate breakfast and when he was done, we took him down the hall to his classroom.

He played for a little while, always making sure at least one of us was in very close range. He colored a little bit, played with trucks, read some books (or, rather, had me read him some books), and looked at the posters with shapes and colors on them.

Chris went to school and I stayed for a little while later. He did Circle Time where his main teacher sang some songs, and he sang along as best he could and even imitated the hand motions the other kids were doing. He caught on really fast! He wanted to sit in my lap but I made him sit on the carpet with the other kids, but he turned around a lot to make sure I was right there.

After Circle Time it was time for their snack and I thought that was a good time to leave him there. I got him situated and explained that I was going to work and that I'd be back for him later, just like when I would leave him with Shaista. He got very upset and started crying but I left anyway, knowing that he'd be okay after a little while.

About two hours later, I had to come back to drop off a copy of his birth certificate, and I saw him in the multi-purpose room eating lunch with everybody and he was doing great. One of his assistant teachers came out and told me that he cried for a little bit after I left but then he was fine. They played outside and he enjoyed that. That made me feel better about leaving him while he was so upset. But I couldn't stay all day and he has to learn that when Mommy and Daddy leave, we always come back to get him.

Anyway, Chris and I went to get him together at 5:00 and he was having a great time sitting at a table with a few other kids playing with Magnadoodles (which happens to be one of his favorite toys at home). He was happy to see us but when I asked if he was ready to go, he said no. He wanted to stay and play with the kids. We stayed for a little bit longer and then told him to say goodbye and give his teachers hugs. So he walked up to another kid's mom and gave her a hug. It was hilarious. He didn't know she wasn't a teacher; he was just looking for big people. She was a good sport about it and thought it was funny too.

His report for the day was good. He had a few crying episodes, and got upset each time it was time to change his diaper, but all in all he had a great day. He even was able to take a nap, which surprised me. I thought being in a new place, in a new bed (they sleep on little cots), with a lot of people around would be too much for him but he took a little while to fall asleep, but he eventually did.

It only gets easier from now on. I'm so happy he's at this school.

Some pics from his first day:

And for comparison, his first day with Shaista, and his first day with Miss Dorothea:

Thursday, January 07, 2010

This is how we entertain ourselves

This is how we entertain ourselves on cold winter nights.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Bed Update

Okay, so Night #1 didn't go so well. He went to sleep just fine, as I said in the last post, but at 12:30 I heard him thump out of bed and next thing I know, he's in our doorway. I let him come into bed with us because he kept whining/crying every time I suggested he get back into his own bed. He laid with us for a while but I find it impossible to sleep with him, so I offered to lay down in his room with him. He said that was okay so I laid down on his new toddler blow-up mattress that we use when we go away, which is more like laying on a pool raft. It sucked. But I dozed on and off for an hour or two and then snuck out back to our room. He slept the rest of the night in his bed and around 7:00 (maybe earlier?) I woke up to a little boy breathing in my face staring at me.

Last night we spent the night in Baltimore and he slept on his blow-up bed. He fell out around 12:30 (something magic about that time, I guess) and slept for another 15 minutes on the floor, but then wanted to come into bed with me. I let him lay with me for just a little bit and then put him back in his bed while I laid on the floor next to him for a few minutes. I told him I'd be right there in my bed next to him and he watched me get into bed and seemed fine. He fell out of the bed/mattress a few more times throughout the night, but both times put himself back in. Thank goodness!

Hopefully each night will get a little easier. We're bringing home a bigger toddler rail from my mom's house to use for a little while and maybe that'll keep him from falling out so easily. The rails that came with his crib are pretty tiny.
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