Tag Archive for Stages

Toddler Empathy

We had a fabulous day today.

First we went to a “Soccer Tots” demo. We’ve been joking all week about what a 1-3 year old soccer clinic looks like. We imaged half the kids sitting on the floor, a quarter of the kids crying, and a quarter accidentally kicking each other.

Despite my high expectations for humor value and low expectations for organization, the class was actually quite fun for the kids involved.

Baby LOVES kicking the ball around so I was hoping it would be a big hit. She’s been getting better and better at being around new people and today she participated like a champ. A little boy her age wanted to share with her which is just about the cutest thing, but Baby isn’t quite at that stage yet. I was very proud, though, that she managed to throw the ball as well as kick it in the right direction. Here’s another picture…faces blurred to protect the cute little people who aren’t related to me.

After her nap, we ventured out again to check out our local libraries. We have a choice of two and as a Libra I am incapable of reaching a quick decision.

At the library was the calmest, sweetest dog and Baby actually got close enough to touch the dog (though she stopped short of an actual petting)! This is huge for us. Usually she doesn’t even want to be in the same room as a dog, although she is fascinated by plush dogs and dogs in books. All the way home she kept telling me, “Mama, Woof Woof!”

Just for fun, here’s another pic of my cutie:

Finally, at bedtime tonight, my daughter gave me a glimpse of the caring young woman I hope she will become. We were reading Babar, one of her new favorites, and when we got to the part where Babar cries because he misses his mother (who was shot by the hunter), tears started streaming down my little girl’s face. She pointed to me and said, “Mama!” I hugged her and told her that I was fine and mumbled something about trying my best to avoid getting shot by a hunter.

Then I reminded her that the story had a happy ending and asked her if I should keep reading. I made sure to keep my tone upbeat through the rest of the story as we followed Babar’s homecoming, wedding, and coronation. Her smile grew as we continued the reading and then she burst out in applause as Babar and Celeste rode away in their beautiful balloon.

The End.

Where’s the Kitten?

If you check out Mamanista, you know that I’ve been trying to introduce Baby Diva to other languages, specifically Spanish and Russian.

One of her favorite new books is Where’s the Kitten? (English/Russian bilingual edition). I’ve been reading it in Russian and Captain Dad reads it in English. When I ask “Gye Zhe Kotyonok?” she squeals and points to the kitten. At first she found it easier to find the kitten when it was standing solo. After a little while, though, she had no trouble finding the kitten in a box of toys (which cuddly creature IS the kitten) and in a bag of groceries (he’s hiding…but THERE’S the kitten!).

Then we tried a different book, that refers to the feline as a “cat.” “Where’s the kitten?” No problem. She points right to it. How about the horse? Simple, mommy. Wow.

Whenever we stump her (please point to the sheep), she squeals we delight as we identify the correct animal or object for her.

So we’ve been trying a few other items. A couple of days ago she went and fetched “The Pirate Ship” and “The Ball” from a big box of toys.

ETA: Oh, I forgot my favorite part. We asked her to point to “Daddy’s ring,” even though we had not really used the word “ring” with her before. She looked puzzled so I hinted that “it is gold and shiny.” And just like that, she pointed right to it!

This is probably completely normal, and I understand that they comprehend a fairly large vocabulary at this point, but color me impressed.

And…we…have…lift off!

My baby makes the cutest little wake-up noises. I hear her cooing and babbling from within the co-sleeper as the sleep fades from my eyes.

This morning, I glanced over to the co-sleeper. We recently put the rail up so she doesn’t wiggle out when she is napping alone. Oh look, her tiny little hand is grasping the rail! Isn’t that adorable?

Oh, my. She’s sitting up. Doesn’t she look proud of herself?

Of course, it was just a matter of time. For a long time, she has been getting on her hands and knees and onto the ground from a sitting position. And she has been lifting into crawling position from a completely flat start as well. So, it is no surprise that she put two and two together.

By now I am familiar with the patterns of emotions that follow. Pride that my little baby is growing up. Bittersweet sadness that another stage of her infancy has passed. And closely following on the heels of joy and nostalgia is anxiety…dread, fear.

Baby Diva gave a repeat performance of her new trick right before her morning nap and she’s been pulling herself up a few inches on a regular basis for a while. She can also balance on her feet if we support her.

I don’t want her sitting up, pulling up, and toppling over! So, with just a few weeks left in this house, I am going to have to re-think her sleeping arrangements…an issue I was hoping would wait until we moved.

All of a sudden, I have to adjust to something new in my parenting, with new safety measures and new vivid terrors.

Yes, I am aware that thousands, no millions of other parents have made it through all of these stages just perfectly fine.

Of course, I know that this is a normal step in her development.

Absolutely, I want her to spread her wings and fly (though, preferably, not over the edge of her bed). I cannot, will not, and do not wish to hold her back from growing, experimenting, and learning.

Doesn’t matter. I’m scared anyway.

I know that the stakes will only increase as the years pass. Sure, it would be horrible for her to lean out of the co-sleeper, but the fix is easy: we will just move her somewhere safer for her to sleep. In the stages that follow, the solutions will be neither so simple nor so obvious.

Okay, now I’m terrified.