Monday, 24 December 2012

Bringing up baby: late December 2012

I've been busy, and tired. So not many updates.

We've been having many pleasant days, where we all go to bed content with ourselves. We laugh a lot, and have fun playing with each other, go to the playground, sing, dance, and a nice bedtime routine.

Tilly has begun brushing his teeth again, after a hiatus. The solution was to start Brush Teeth routine before Mummee got too tired to put up with Tilly's faffing.

On Saturday, 22nd Dec, he woke up before his parents and decided he wanted to play with me. I was still asleep. That didn't deter him. My hand was made to hold my cellphone and to press buttons so the screen lit up.

Yesterday, 23rd Dec, he woke up before his parents and decided he wanted to play with me. I was still asleep. That didn't deter him. He sat and stared at me until I decided I ought to wake up. I opened my eyes, and received the nicest, biggest grin from the most sweetest face. I laughed, and hugged him.

This morning, 24th Dec, he woke up before his parents. He decided he'd play by himself. He muttered and talked and discovered the wonders of an undefended parental bedroom. He found a few bits and bobs - a discarded card holder - and explored in his idiosyncratic manner "Dadee" "found" "all gone" "finish".

He likes my singing. He has requested songs. He knows the classic Jingle Bell song. He will tell me when he wants to get into his own bed to sleep. He has a penchant for Daddee to help him sleep. But he'll settle for Mummee after a long episode of whining. We just got to get to the end.

Yesterday I established that when Tilly is wailing, he can hear me speak and understand the words I say. It's been a routine where he wails so loudly, I keep repeating myself in an effort to have him hear and understand me, to the point I lose my temper and lash out by shouting or absenting myself from the situation abruptly and ignore him, and he wails even louder which antagonises me even more.

Last night, before I felt myself reaching the lashing out apex, I decided I wasn't going to repeat myself four times (which is my trigger: I don't enjoy nagging people). As Tilly is wailing his utmost as usual, I spoke at my normal level of voice.

"Tilly, you aren't listening to me, so I'm not going to listen to your crying."

He looked disbelieving, and continued his performance.

"Tilly, you aren't listening to me so I'm not listening to your crying."

He came to an almost sudden halt, with a couple of hiccoughs.

He evaluated his options. He stopped wailing and chose something else to do.

Ever since I obtained the vocabulary list from this survey, and conversed with a few parents of toddlers around the same age as Tilly, I've decided to try to expand my repertoire of conversation with Tilly.

I've done my best to give him some grounding in languages other than English. My ability in the other languages have been reached. So now it's grammar time.

Admittedly, Tilly's 1- 2-word vocabulary is absolutely charming, and I am loth to not hear it for much longer. However his frustration tantrums is quite infuriating to everyone in the household.
On balance, I'll live with the sentimental loss.

The day I spent with Tilly at daycare, I learned more of Tilly's socialised tendencies.

He has been bullied. When other kids 'share' (aka take things away from him), he waits for authority to intervene, or becomes sad and finds another activity. This 'downtrodden' reaction is how I've been brought up, and I want better for my boy.

His teachers explain to Tilly he can tell the other kid to "stop". But without modelling of that new behaviour, or role play, Tilly is unable to internalise the new reaction.

My solution to Tilly's nice nature: it's okay not to Share; it's acceptable to hold on tight to the object and shout "Mine!"

He is a nice boy. He does know how to share. He often shares things he isn't possessive about with people he cares about.

It can wait until later to learn about sharing things you care about with people you don't care about. 5yo. Or 6yo. When he's cognitively strong enough to process the strong emotions that will entail. Many adults haven't surpassed that stage yet, and get quite selfish with such things as public access across their land to public beaches, forests, shared ancestral land, rubbish bins, stationery. Toothbrushes.

So, I praise him when he stands up for himself against Daddee or Mummee.
"Hey, that's good Atilla. Good standing up for yourself."

I may regret this. He is itenaried to start the Terrible Twos.

He saw our Christmas tree. He stood, and he looked.

"Christmas tree!" He stood, and looked.
"Christmas tree!"
He stood, and he saw. "Santa" (puppet Santa)

He really has been a lot of fun.

I wish the same joy for everybody.

Merry Christmas!

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