Thursday, July 17, 2008

New milestones

Josefa was just here for a quick visit on her way back from a wedding in Brooklyn, NY. (Arwen's cousin Miriam got married in an orthodox Jewish ceremony. How exotic!) It was a brief stay, but while she was here she got in some QT with Roan. She was taken aback at how much Roan has changed since April when she was here last. She remarked that for the first time Roan seems like a toddler, not a baby any more. Of course she will always be my baby (I can already hear her groaning in disgust at this remark. Oh Mother! Geez, I am so suuuuure).

Hey I don't think I mentioned - or maybe I did - I am far too scatterbrained to remember much of anything these days and far too short on time to actually re-read my own writing - that we have started a little potty training. I swear I am not in a hurry for this kid to grow up, but she seems to have other plans. Out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago when she was in the bathroom with me she started pulling toilet paper off the roll, saying "Pay-puh", throwing it into the toilet and saying "Bye bye!". We're still scratching our heads on who taught her this. She also started talking about "poop" and "pee pee" with great interest, so I thought I better go ahead and look into potty training.

I had been under the impression that parents should NEVER start potty training earlier than 18 months lest the child develop all kinds of mysterious Freudian psychological problems (Roan was not even 15 months when all this started). I did some reading and checking in with friends as well as the Highland Mommies and found out that different families do all sorts of things, especially in different cultures. "Elimination communication" is all the rage now, which is basically toilet training for infants (crazy nuts in my humble opinion), and I also learned that lots of people right here in my 'hood introduced a potty when their kiddos were less than a year old, even if it sat ignored in a corner. I figured it was time to spring into action.

The first potty we tried was a miserable failure. She liked it in the store but not when we got home. So I tried another one. It is crazy with a capital K some of the potties they have available now, including ones with music, flushing noises and stickers that shoot out of them. Since our Roanie is somewhat sheltered when it comes to electronic toys and television I thought one of these fancy thrones might be overwhelming to her. I didn't want her to get sidetracked with stickers and forget to do her business. So we opted for something middle of the road. This is a three in one I think they call it - it's a little kiddo potty that looks pretty basic, with the cup you remove after they do their business. And for when she graduates to the next level, the thing comes apart and you can put the seat onto the grownup potty and the base flips over and becomes a step stool.

I'm glad we got started early because I think this is going to take a while. But it doesn't matter - there's no pressure - she has plenty of time. She likes to sit on the potty and read books. (We got some topical books with titles such as "Everyone Poops" and "Once Upon a Potty".) She talks about the potty and is somewhat aware of her business, but she seems to prefer to squat and make a mess on the floor rather than get it into the bowl. There have been quite a few messes to clean up. But the up side of that is with each one she becomes more aware of what's going on and seems more committed to getting things done on the potty.

Ok - brief sanity check: Have I actually been rambling on about my child's baby business for the past 15 minutes? Lord have mercy.

Long story short, she has had two successful episodes on the potty so far, one of each kind. Go Roan!

In other developments, she started going two full days a week to daycare. Last week was pretty rough because it was her first time going 2 days a week and it came right on the heels of our 10-day vacation, where she got to spend every day with us both. Last Friday the caregivers confided in me that it was her worst day so far. She apparrently cried off and on all day long. We were concerned.

This week we tried something new. A friend who used to work in daycare suggested to come up with a morning routine and always do the same things when we drop her off. So today I made sure she had her favorite blankie (not the runner up) as well as her cabbage patch kid (whom she refers to as "baby" and cares for tenderly throughout the day as well as steps on and drowns in the bathtub). I also put together a little picture book with photos of me holding her, Arwen holding her, Aunt Jen holding her, and her beloved Uncle GaGa holding her. Today when I dropped her off I spent a few minutes sitting in a corner with her on my lap, holding blankie and baby and thumbing through the book. When I got up to say goodbye she cried as hard as ever, but when I came to pick her up they told me she hadn't cried ONCE all day. I can't tell you how that buoyed our spirits! Even if we have some backsliding to come, it seems like we're on the right track. At least we hope so.

The other recent development is that we started a music class together (called Music Together appropriately enough). Last week at her first class she seemed somewhat detached, but this week she was into it big time. She was dancing (her baby moves involve an awkward combination of bending her knees while simultaneously sticking her neck out), clapping, and doing some hand motions. A few times she even shouted "Yay!" at the end of a song. It was freakin adorable.

One last development. It appears with a fair amount of certainty that Roan received the bookworm gene from me. "Reading" is a component of every day, often self-directed. I'll find her flipping through books on her own in the other room, or she'll bring us a book (or a stack of them) to read her. She is just now graduating to "real" paper books, not just the chewable board books. Her favorite for a while was One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. But now she is taken with Hop on Pop (she says "hop pop! hop pop!") as well as the Peace Book (a beautifully illustrated volume Papa picked up for her). Today The Cat in the Hat Comes Back arrived, but we haven't had a chance to read it. You might not realize it, but these little Dr. Seuss volumes are quite lengthy - 60+ pages apiece! And she actually sits enthralled through them. Who says kids don't have decent attention spans.

Other than that Little Miss is showing more personality and more willfullness every day. She is very good at asking (read: demanding) what she wants. I feel like a broken record because I must say 50 times a day "Oh that's not how we get what we want is it? What do we say?" What amazes me is that with that phrase she goes from whining/demanding to saying please and smiling in one second flat. She is also finding out more and more that we can't always get what we want, and that crying does not always get her way. One can't help but wonder all the time if you're striking the right balance between being responsive and raising a selfish brat.

I guess I'm quite the Chatty Kathy this evening. I keep thinking of "just one more thing" to add to tonight's entry. But I couldn't sign off without telling you how cute Roan was at the pool the other day. There was a little boy about 2 years old who was just the sweetest thing. He brought a ball and she had a ball, and he was sharing/trading with her so nicely. No fighting, even when she was rather brusque with him. At one point he came over and gave her a hug, ever so gently, without knocking her over in the kiddie pool. She was apparrently rather touched by this, and a few minutes later waddled over and planted a kiss right on his cheek. Wish I'd had my camera!

Ok that's it for me tonight. Later!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful update. I can't believe how fast she is moving to the next stages. I love that little cutie pie! GLolli

Incognitough said...

I still talk about "poop" and "pee pee" with great interest.

Anonymous said...

Way back, your cousin Jakob was visiting with you girls and your Mom. You were all seated at the table waiting to be served something or the other and, of course, Jake did not show the good maners you girls had been taught. (Please) Leah said to him,"Now, Jakob, what is the majic word?" He tought a bit and then replied, "Abracadebrra".