Tag Archives: 2 years

Little voice

Our Curly is a soft spoken guy.  His speech development is still a little behind his peers and a large part of the time we have no idea what he’s saying.  But he continues to improve and his teachers aren’t concerned.

A few nights ago he shocked us by starting to quietly sing along to the last few words in the chorus of “Moon River” as we sang him to bed.  And the next night he did the same thing with “Rainbow Connection” and again the following night with “Goodnight My Someone” (these are our 3 main rotation “lullabies”).  It’s just so heart melting to hear that soft voice singing the “and me”.  He’s a long way off from singing a whole song, but we love to hear him finding his voice.

Protected: Baby, let’s cruise away from here

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aaand we’re back

P-word protected post coming soon about our cruise last week (not the one that sank!) Let us know if you need it.

Here’s a teaser…

Anchors away!

That’s a wrap!

So long 2011, and happy new year! The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for us. There was Hanukkah, gatherings with family on both sides, making latkes, making cookies, eating eating eating, a weekend spent with friends 2 hours away with more latkes, cookies and eating, tons of presents, the week Nutella and I wait for all year long (the one after Christmas when the place we work is closed but Curly’s daycare is open), and of course, New Years. We managed to visit two museums, see two movies, and re-decorate and paint our living room during our week off and enjoyed the fruits of our labor last night when my brother and sister-in-laws (outlaws?) and other friends of ours came over for a low-key but fun new year’s eve.

Here’s a pictorial essay of how Curly’s been spending his time. We also leave next Sunday to go on a week-long cruise to FL and the Bahamas. Go on, hate us, we completely understand. Wishing everyone lots of love and laughter in 2012!

First night of Hanukkah

New toys

Not sure who enjoys the train set more, him or us

Fun with friends

Serious cookie-making

Happy cookie tasting

Getting ready for the cruise, thanks to IKEA furniture boxes

To Pee or Not to Pee

This post is all about potty-training (consider yourself warned).

By 2 years of age, Curly was the kind of kid who would happily walk around in a soiled diaper and not think twice about telling us. This led us to believe that potty training would not really happen until past 3…maybe even 3.5. But, we bought a Baby B.jorn potty by the age of 18 months and had him sit on it sometimes, and were overjoyed when he did manage to pee on it every now and then. We also managed to catch a poop in his potty and thought to ourselves, well…it’ll be a blue moon when that happens again, but cool! Low expectations. Very low, but hopeful.

At almost 2.5 years of age, we decided to try the potty every night before bed. To our surprise and joy, Curly actually peed in his potty half of those nights. And then most of those nights. And now pretty much ALL of those nights.  We used to read to him as he sat, and within 5 minutes, he might have peed a little. Even a drop of pee won him a prized sticker and tons of praise from us. Now, we’ll just tell him to go potty, he’ll sit and within a minute or two, have peed OR pooped. We think he’s figured out on his own that peeing and pooping in the potty means no diaper change, and hey, that’s a good thing! After he’s pooped, we have him lean over onto the couch or ottoman in his room and ‘spread em’ so we can wipe his butt. He is very compliant about this surprisingly…probably because he knows he’s going to get a sticker as his prize, which he loves.

We bought one of those potty books with star stickers and a calendar for him to stick them onto. Within a month, the whole calendar is now full of stickers. We went out and bought new, more exciting stickers, like Elmo and it appears Curly is really excited about going potty to earn them. We are just in amazement that this is happening this early.

We’re done with our diaper hybrids and have switched from disposables to pull-ups. We have ‘training pants’ underwear lined up for him soon. He manages to keep his pull-ups dry during the day for 2-3 hours at a time. His teachers told us he’s been using the potty at daycare usually 2 or even 3 times a day. He usually wakes up with a poop in the mornings, but this morning he woke up with just a wet diaper, asked to go potty, and proceeded to pee AND poop in it. Joyful dancing ensued in our household (and Nutella might have even shed a happy tear).

Now, we KNOW there will be setbacks and accidents. And that nighttime training won’t happen for a while. But it seems the momentum of potty training is really picking up and we are hopeful he will be daytime trained by 3, which is better than we ever imagined. So I wanted to document this here, and give other parents hope that hey…it *might* not be so bad after all!

[I thought about posting a picture of Curly on his potty here, but I don’t want him to hate me one day for it, so… sorry]

Version 2.5…ish…

My goal was to do this every 6 months…fill out the categories below that describe how Curly is doing and growing and changing. Apparently I haven’t been so good at it. I thought the last one I did was at 2 years, but it seems it was at 18 months. And I forgot to do it right at 2 1/2, although it’s not too far past that point so I’m doing it now.

Anyway, here’s Curly at uh, 31 months…

Food

  1. Describe what and how your child eats: He’s still a very good eater, and we don’t typically have problems in this area. He likes dairy, meat & poultry, fruit and grains…with the occasional vegetable thrown in. He has his toddler periods of rejecting formerly beloved foods, like bananas or bread rolls, only to welcome them back a couple days or weeks later. And then we’ll have surprising moments like at the farmer’s market this past weekend, when he turned down an offer of an apple slice only to want to eat a raw Brussels sprout (wtf?), but then proceed to eat nearly an entire whole apple later on, including part of the core. Anyway. His favorite dinners remain chicken shawarma with hummus or the little meatballs with lingonberry jam from IKEA.

Sleep

  1. Does your child have any sleep problems? “No, as long as he has darkness and quiet, he’s good (so he doesn’t nap too well at daycare).” That was my answer from 18 months and it remains the same. He typically goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps until 7am. He takes a 2-3 hour nap at home, 1 hour at daycare. He will not nap anywhere but his crib/cot or Peapod tent and it really does need to be dark and quiet/white noise.

Activity and Motor Development

  1. Describe your child’s gross and fine motor skills (how he moves around, grabs things, etc.). He is great at walking, running, climbing and jumping. He has clumsy moments. He handles stairs like a pro, alternating feet. He uses utensils 50% of the time and is good with lidless cups most of the time. He likes to clean his own face, hands, and table area with a napkin. He can thread beads and put small pegs in holes. Can do simple puzzles, but doesn’t have much attention for them. He doesn’t draw pictures yet, just scribbles, lines and the occasional circle…although he will tell us what he is drawing (boats, animals, etc).

Social Skills and Environment

  1. What can your child do for himself? He can take off pretty much all articles of clothing, including shoes. He has more trouble putting things on, but he tries. He clearly knows how to pee and poop in the potty and is further along with potty training than we figured he would be by now (woo!), although most of the time he doesn’t let us know when he needs to go and we have to ‘catch it.’ He’s sometimes unsure of himself and can get easily frustrated and ask for help with some tasks, but for the most part he manages. Not brushing his teeth well by himself at this point. He likes throwing out trash.
  2. Can your child follow simple directions? Yes, although he usually has to be talked into helping clean up his toys. He’s also great at doing things in a group/doing what other kids are.
  3. How does your child react to family outings and visitors? “Loves new places, very interested in people but can be a little shy with people he doesn’t know. When he’s shy, he clings to one of his moms.” This is the same as 18 months. He is getting better with talking to new people once he’s had a chance to warm up to them.
  4. If your child is in daycare/school, how does your child handle it? “He loves going to daycare and has a lot of fun. He eats well but sometimes has trouble napping. Likes his teachers and the other children.” Same as 18 months, and we’re thrilled we don’t have to worry about The Biter anymore.

Coping

  1. Describe how your child copes with discomfort, frustration, or other distress: If he’s hurt himself, he’ll cry and run to one of us for comfort. Otherwise, usually he just whines, sucks his thumb, gives up, or on a more rare occasion, have a tantrum. Those are few and far between now, and within a minute or two of having a time-out, he can usually calm himself down and ‘re-set.’ He’s on the much more passive side of coping, although we have witnessed him push another child or steal a toy when particularly riled up.

Language and Communication

  1. Describe your child’s language abilities: At this point, he says anywhere from 1-6 word phrases, with most phrases between 2 and 5 words. His language has always been slower than his peers, but he seems to be catching up. Some words are still a guessing game, but he can get his point across eventually. He doesn’t really sign anymore, just sporadically. He often repeats what we say, asks ‘what’s that?’ and really listens to the answer.

Toys and Play

  1. List your child’s favorite toys and describe how he plays with them: He loves building with his Legos and playing with train sets. He likes stickers and looking through books. We’re at the stage of needing to do a toy purge of old things and making room for new, more age-appropriate toys (good timing with the holidays coming up). We think he’s ready for more imaginative toys, like Little People and more Lego sets.
  2. Does your child have a lovey? Nope, he prefers sucking his thumb to soothe himself. He does like to sleep with his stuffed bear, puppy and sometimes Elmo at night.
  3. Does your child play with other children? Yes…it’s a 60/40 split between independent play and playing with other children respectively. He likes to do what bigger kids are doing (or try to). He talks to other kids and likes to run around with them.

Feelings and Moods

  1. Describe your child’s range of feelings (comfort, discomfort, pleasure, joy, anger, affection, fear, hostility, depression / sadness) and how he expresses them: Overall he is happy and has a good sense of humor. He is the definition of ‘slow to warm up’, but once he does, he’s cheerful and boisterous. He is a very sweet kid…not really a cuddler, but will definitely give hugs and kisses when asked (and sometimes out of the blue), and can be very charming. At times he can also be highly sensitive, and small things can knock him out of whack for a bit.
  2. What is likely to upset your child? Taking something away from him, blocking him from going somewhere, telling him he has to clean up his toys.
  3. What makes him feel better? Giving him what he wants (ha!) or letting him know he will get it back later, giving him a hug or kissing a boo boo, taking him away from the situation so he can re-set.

Other

  1. How many teeth? All of his baby teeth are in. His last 2-year molar came in several months ago. Overall, teething hasn’t been bad for him…just a few difficult ones.
  2. In what ways, if any, does your child behave aggressively toward you, his siblings, his playmates, or others? He’s not very aggressive. The worst we usually see is pushing/shoving, and that’s reserved for playmates.
  3. Does your child have a strong preference for one parent? No, he seems to be equally attached to us both, although at times he’ll prefer one mom to do a specific task over the other mom.

And here’s Curly’s 2.5 year old school photo:

So that’s how that works

Until about a week ago, Curly was mostly saying one and two word phrases: ‘big truck’, ‘dog eat’, ‘bye mommy’, ‘want more.’ Occasionally we would hear a 3 word phrase: ‘more cereal please’, ‘I got it’, ‘No want it.’ Without comparing his language skills to his peers, of equal or lesser age, it seemed Curly’s language skills were slooooowly increasing and not terribly shabby. Compared to the rest of the kids in his daycare class, they were largely lacking and it worried us. When would he start using sentences? Pronouns? The word ‘the’? Referring to himself? Expressing himself better? All the other kids were already doing it. We had considered for the 900th time getting him evaluated again. He just seemed so behind.

And then it happened. We had heard stories of people saying ‘one day my kid wasn’t really talking, and then next day, boom! Language explosion.’ We thought it might not happen for Curly. That he would need extra help. But then we began noticing him using 4 and 5 word sentences. Referring to himself with ‘me’ and ‘my’ and us with ‘you’ and ‘your.’ Using the word ‘the.’ Talking, talking, talking. People said, ‘don’t worry, once he starts talking he won’t stop’…and we see now, they’re right.

Things we’ve heard over the past few days: ‘Open the box, mommy’ (‘please’ after coaxing him)’, ‘I need a tissue’, ‘This my hat, not your hat’, ‘Mommy comin downstairs!’, ‘I wanna go [friend] house’, ‘[Curly] get in the car’, ‘Train broken, Ima, fix please’, ‘[Curly] see BIIIG boat!’  He much more consistently uses people’s names, instead of not calling them anything like he used to. He asks ‘what’s that?’ all the time and listens to what we tell him, repeating the words we say much more often. He tells us what’s happened at school when we ask…well, a couple things of interest at least. His pronunciation is still pretty poor, but that’s normal at his age. We are just so relieved and happy to hear what he has to say.

Happy song

All kids do cute things. They come and they go; this one started over 6 months ago and we never expected it to hang on as long as it has, but we love it. The prompting you see here is just so we could capture it on video. Most of the time, we hear this song from across the room as he plays by himself or he’s in the car seat.

Enough.

3/8/2011
Activity: snack time
Description of incident: Children were getting up off stage to wash hands when child bumped into another and was bit on his shoulder

3/14/11
Activity: free play
Description of incident: Child was playing with a puzzle on the shelf. Another child bit him on the shoulder.

3/15/11
Activity: Free play
Description of incident: Child was playing in housekeeping area and another child walked up to him and bit him on the back

11/11/11
Activity: Free play
Description of incident: Child was sitting on stage area reading a book when another child bit him on the hand

11/14/11
Activity: Free play
Description of incident: Child was sitting on the stage playing and another student walked up to him and bit him

(There were more, but those were the ones I had on hand)

The worst bite of all happened yesterday, 11/14. Through his shirt, drawing blood, as big as a child’s wide open mouth can get, and hard as she could clamp down. Many other children were getting bitten many months ago. Now it is just Curly. She is singling him out. He is passive, gentle, soft-spoken and not as verbal as the other kids. He doesn’t provoke her. She’s picking on what she sees as weak. They say 2 year olds can’t be bullies. We beg to differ.

The assistant director of our daycare sent her home after that last bite. She will not be returning the rest of this week. Her mother finally wrote us yesterday. Daycare was still trying to keep names out of it, but they know and we know. Her mother was deeply apologetic. They have never seen her bite before so they can never discipline the behavior. But they’ve been trying…to talk about it, to get doctors’ opinions, therapists’ opinions. They know her dismissal is now an imminent possibility.  We wrote back that we know it’s not their fault and that we’re sure it’s just as disturbing to them as it has been for us. The director told us there’s a meeting with upper management to talk about next steps. The only next step we really want is for her to be gone and our boy to be safe.

NaBlo No No

Obviously we’re not taking part in NaBloPoMo…just too busy these days. Here are some bullet-y things that have been happening:

  • We took a 5 hour road trip to attend Nutella’s sister’s wedding last weekend. Curly does well in the car but he doesn’t sleep. He just chatters and looks out the window and then eventually turns into a zombie. We had a good trip and got to visit a really awesome kids’ museum. Unfortunately, the end of daylight savings time was hard on Curly and he didn’t do well at the wedding ceremony. I had to stand in the back and try to occupy him because he wouldn’t sit in his seat and kept babbling. He was D-O-N-E even before the reception started but as luck would have it, there was a little phone booth room we found that was perfect for napping in. We grabbed his Pe@pod tent, set it up along with the monitor, and he napped for over an hour while we were able to eat a nice meal and chat with people. He did NOT want to be woken up, but dancing was beginning and relatives were going to start beating us over the head if they didn’t get to see him. It took him a while to feel comfortable, but in the end, he was dancing and looking very cute all dressed up.
  • Daylight savings time is always interesting. Curly is a great sleeper, but very much adheres to a strict schedule, wanting to go to sleep at 7pm and sleep until 7am. So we’ve been keeping him up to the new 7pm, which feels like 8pm, but he’s been waking up around 6am (yes, we know others have it a lot worse than that!) This has been throwing him off and turning him into a crankypuss. The thing is, he would gladly sleep in most days until between 7 and 8am, but he wakes up because he poops. Yep, he’s a first thing in the morning pooper and that’s his alarm clock. In order to change his schedule, we must change his pooping schedule. Over time, we’ve found out little tricks to help with this- bananas (or better yet, plantains), iron drops in his drink and complex carbs with dinner… grapes/raisins/peaches with breakfast, beans later in the day. The goal is to get him to poop later, at daycare, or in the evening. This morning was the first time it’s worked since DST ended. He had pooped at school yesterday afternoon and we had to actually wake him up at 7:45 this morning so we could get to work on time. Fingers crossed this pattern holds until he can readjust.
  • It has been months since we’ve gotten the dreaded call from daycare that Curly has been bitten by a classmate. Then it happened yesterday. And while daycare can’t give us names, Curly told us who it was- the same girl who has been biting the other children now for over a year. Daycare told us months ago that if this continued to be a problem in the 2’s room, they’d have to take further action. I guess we can let this one slide, but I won’t be surprised in the least if it happens again and then sparks will fly. This is bite number 7 or 8…and that’s just Curly’s bites from her, not to mention the other kids.

We’ve seen very few wedding pictures at this point, but here’s Curly enjoying a little snack during the cocktail hour while one of his uncles tries to teach him how to play cards