A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: child development

Lazy Weekend Mornings…

My three-year-old little man didn’t wake especially early, but the rest of the house was still asleep. I’d been up for an hour enjoying the easy quiet of the house…wasting time as Mommies do when no one is around. It was too early for me to be roaming the house, but the lure of no one else around was too strong, and that’s why caffeine exists.

Eventually, my son treks downstairs, eating his banana in front of the sofa where I continue to lay. Upon finishing the prelude to his breakfast, he walks to the bookcase housing almost the entirety of our children’s reading collection, and chooses his latest passionate obsession.

Image result for ping the duck book

Mr. Man climbs into my arms, snuggling close. My son has the tale mostly memorized…at least the first few pages, so he begins until it is my turn to take over. In a relatively hushed utterance I read each page, my son rapt. He periodically stops me to inquire about the illustrations…the reflection in the water…the rings around the fishing birds’ necks…asking if Ping looks happy. Small inquires like that are typical to my curious little boy. My son continued to burrow into the snuggle, telling his love for me during breaks between the repetitive story renditions.

Little Man and I agree to change his diaper after I read one of his favorite pigeon books.

Image result for pigeon finds a hot dog

But, just as the story concluded and Mr. Man sought the solitary image of the eaten hot dog among the tantalizing complete ones on the back cover, he heard Daddy stirring upstairs. The spell was broken. My son rushed to meet his hero. Simultaneously, Warrior Queen announced her awakened state with cries to join the morning rumble. I guess the diaper will wait…

Read Along

My soon-to-be-threenager loves a story. Scratch that, he is absolutely passionate about a story. It doesn’t matter the quality; Little Man does not discriminate. I read to him so often that he has the entirety of his bookshelf memorized. I don’t remember him on this front when he was Warrior Queen’s age. Newly mobile, she is too consumed with exploring to sit for a tale. My best shot is when she is partaking in a bottle or solids meal. I have her feed herself a bottle in her car seat bucket with a towel supporting the bottle for when she has difficulty maneuvering her beverage. It’s become her preferred bottle method, the independent sprite she is. I came to realization yesterday that phasing out the use of her bottle in a scant month or so will be a nonissue. My daughter much prefers non liquid foods, and would gladly do away with bottles altogether if she knew what to do with the sippy cup.

Image result for munchkin sippy cup

(We use a Munchkin sippy cup. It doesn’t cause the same transition or dental issues as a typical sippy cup.)

I imagine she will get it once the time comes. I’ve stopped fretting on such things, as my kids always manage to do things like this in their own time as long as I don’t get in the way of their progress. If I’m a strong enough Mommy to let them be independent, they usually rise to the occasion, and it breaks my heart a little every time.

But, I digress…meals are the only time Warrior Queen will attend, unless her brother is reading to her…Mr. Man will take a tale whenever. It is a common site to have baby sister in her high chair, and big brother on my lap. We will all be snacking or nibbling something, and I will be reading from a collection my son chose and carted over to the kitchen table. Little Man will have a selection of certain favorites each week. Some of the books so practiced he will “read” them after my run through. Sometimes we alternate pages; sometimes he will recite sections randomly before requesting me to continue. I’m surprised of my love for a read aloud, even when the repetitions are tiresome. The best stories are the ones with an easy, rhythmical cadence; and I have to say I’m quite a good story orator.

I’ve found that Little Man quotes excerpts from his stories randomly throughout the day. One particular prized usage is from one that is tops on my list.

Image result for the duckling gets a cookie

Basically, the pigeon in this series is a toddler…and hilarious…because I don’t have to discipline him. My son’s preferred quote to throw at me is from this book, “It’s not fair. Ducklings get everything.” Usually the life context is correct even if there is no duckling…or cookie involved. If he isn’t particularly distraught with his situation, he will continue a bit further with the dialogue.

Several months back I schlepped a box of books up from the basement. Our shelves were becoming cluttered, so we temporarily retired some of the books I read to my son when he was a baby. Since my fierce sprite is older, they were called back into service. Mr. Man was absolutely delighted and pilfered the selection on the regular for a couple weeks.

The bucket feedings, however, are the purist opportunity for me to read to a captive baby audience, even if she demonstrates no literature preference just yet. The other day is an example of a moment I want to recall easily for the remaining days of my life. Warrior Queen was in her bucket enjoying her bottle. I was sitting on the floor next to her, Mr. Man on my lap. He chose two among the week’s favorites, and as I read Brown Bear my son bobbed his head to the predictable rhythm of the words each and every time I read the story.

Image result for brown bear brown bear what do you see

When I read Llama Llama Red Pajama, he laughed to himself at each of his favorite parts of the book.

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Warrior Queen was rapt on the pictures, drinking peacefully. It was such a small memory, one that would likely evaporate in my family’s story. But, I have these words, and one day when I sit with my mug of tea, I will come across this, and the clearest picture will rush to my mind’s eye. For that brief moment my children won’t be quite so independent…quite so distant.

It’s Never All Bad

I don’t like leaving things on sour notes, so perhaps it’s time for some sweet news.  As I wrote many posts ago, my son is receiving speech and language services.  His therapist thinks it is an issue of motor planning.  From her characterization I’m inclined to agree although I don’t have an array of selection understanding.  He likes her.  He likes the toys she brings, and seeks opportunities to pilfer her giant monogramed bag immediately upon her arrival.  I have to say I like her too.  She is the right mix of knowledge of her craft with honesty of research and literature deficits.  She stated that motor planning typically resolves on its own, but the purpose of the intervention is to help it correct in a good way (i.e., He doesn’t start avoiding certain sounds or develop other unhelpful habits as a result.).  I can buy that.

It hasn’t been much time since he began, but I think I see positive shifts in his language development and behavior even though he continues to point and gyrate his needs as his primary mode of communication.  He’ll get there at some point, and it will likely be repetitions of my snarky commentary that he will choose to recite when it is least appropriate as his grand awakening to the art of speaking.

Little Man reached the point in his treatment length when a brief behavior assessment is administered.  There are no concerns, but there was a specific question that made me feel better about something that I mull over whenever I take my son somewhere he is allowed to explore on his own to some extent.

Having a professional emphasis in children and families, I’ve taken several classes discussing attachment theory and the various child development assumptions.  I’m lousy with all of them, especially really understanding the implications of attachment theory.  Actually, the only area in this academic arena that makes sense are Piaget and Erikson, but I wouldn’t harken me for a lecture on their specifics.

Part of what I have clear recollection of from my two graduate programs is this notion that toddlers my son’s age trot off, but frequently check back to ensure their parents are present.  Mr. Man just trots off.  If I set him down at the mall, he just goes never looking back to me for assurance like I’ve heard in so many classes over.  I haven’t been concerned per se, but I wondered what that meant.  I described to the therapist this behavior following a specific question from her assessment.  She looks at me and says, “Wow, he has really strong attachment.”  Toward the end of the day’s lesson, Mr. Man backs into my nonexistent lap without looking…like he always does.  I think nothing of it, but the therapist notes almost to herself, “He just knows Mommy is there.”  I still don’t understand attachment theories much less their implications, but I’ll take whatever good news I can after a time span of stuff that I can’t believe has only filled a week.

At the end of the day it was pleasing to see my little man using his coy manipulations with his therapist to get what he wants without actually participating in things that are required; He’s quite ingenious, actually.  I liked having a professional in the room who chuckled at his antics, and that would have been enough, but she says, “His cognitive abilities are really advanced.”  I don’t know what that will mean for his future, and it isn’t like I thought differently about my son’s intelligence prior to her comment, but since the idea of him I’ve been determined not to think of such things, asserting that I have no issue setting high expectations, but they will be for him, not me and my desires for his future.  But, when everything is an avalanche of bombardment, it’s quite pleasant to have good things pointed out for me because of the extra burden it is to retrieve them among the issue cacophony.  I still don’t spend too much time considering my aspirations for my son that are more his responsibility as he grows, but I like hearing other people notice the things that make me smile.

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