Ongoing Projects

1. Still pregnant. Last night I had about three hours of mild contractions, and I was so psyched, but they never went anywhere. I was pretty bummed when I figured out it was only Braxton-Hicks contractions (“false labor”), which is something I never had with Robin. I’m still a week away from my due date but I feel just impossibly huge and awkward and achy and ungainly and exhausted—and, if you couldn’t tell, whiny.

I’m remembering, now, an interaction I had with a nurse last week when I told her I felt certain the baby would be born closer to 38 weeks than to 40. She just smiled and told me kindly, “They all say that.”

2. Potty training continues. Robin’s happy to sit on the potty and be read to for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, but he has yet to make the crucial breakthrough about what he’s supposed to be doing there. Today I’m pretty sure he was holding a bowel movement while he was sitting on the pot, because as soon as I put him back in diapers he dropped a big load in his pants. I tried to tell him that he could have pooped in the potty, but he shook his head and told me “no!” So, I dunno.

I’m aware, by the way, that whenever people complain about parents blogging, it’s always the potty posts that bother them most. The thing is though, potty training is a pretty big deal when you’re in the middle of it! Anyway, let’s just say that I certainly don’t hold it against anybody who chooses to skip over these particular posts.

3. Robin’s bed is working really well so far. Yesterday and tonight he fell asleep cuddled up in our bed, and then we moved him into his own bed, where he slept until the early morning. Both mornings he climbed back in with us to snooze for a few hours before getting up to face the day. But he doesn’t seem upset to wake up and find himself in his own bed, and we’ve gotten our bed to ourselves for the majority of the night. It’s been really nice! I like snuggling with Robin, but I also like sleeping in my own bed without getting kicked in the ribs, or having to balance on the very edge of the mattress while a little boy pretends he’s a starfish in the middle of the bed. So we’re enjoying having our bed back, at least for now.

4. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a vocabulary update? I am proudest of teaching Robin to say “please” and “thank you”—or “pease” and “tank you!”, as he actually says them—and I think Sam is proudest of teaching him to say “cookie” and “dude”! Robin also asks for “nums?” when he’s hungry, which is pretty cute. Or he requests specific foods, although his vocabulary on this front is limited to “noodles,” “orange,” “bee-yeah” (banana, an evolution from the original “mmm-yeah!”) or, again, “cookie.” He pronounces orange very well, although this is a very context-dependent word: he does like to eat oranges, but sometimes he’s requesting orange juice, or even talking about something that happens to be orange. It’s easier to tell when he wants milk (“nolk”). He’s also started talking about the bath (“baf”), which he now quite enjoys so long as nobody is trying to wash his face or hair. He will even scrub himself with the washcloth!

Other than that, it’s pretty much all Thomas all the time. Robin frequently tries to initiate conversations with us, other family members, or complete strangers at the grocery store about Thomas (“Dass”), James (he pronounces this pretty much spot-on), and Emily (“Ah-me”), and I think just today he was talking about Harold and Toby as well. The problem is that once he’s initiated the topic, he can’t tell you much about them other than the fact they go choo-choo. It does get repetitive, but the attraction of the topic is, for Robin, apparently inexhaustible.

Although he continues to add new words to his vocabulary, Robin still doesn’t often make longer sentences. We’ve heard a few two- and three-word sentences, but mostly it’s baby babble with the pertinent word stuck in at the end. I think what Robin really needs to stimulate his language development is to spend more time with other kids, and adults who don’t already know (as Sam and I do) what he’s likely to be talking about.

There’s a local preschool, the Peter Pan Cooperative Nursery School, that I would like to sign Robin up for: they’re full now, but I’m going to try and get him in for the fall. They’re right next to our local park, and they take the kids to the park every day, so I’ve started timing our visits to coincide with theirs. It’s a nice group of kids and adults: I like that they mix kids of different ages together, which seems more natural to me than strictly age-segregated groups, and I also like that their focus is on socialization and play. And because they’re a coop school (meaning that parents also volunteer as teachers) the costs are insanely low. $255 a month for three mornings a week is very, very reasonable by Bay Area standards. I’m not entirely sure how I would fulfill my teaching commitment with a baby on hand too, but assuming I could work that out, I really like the idea of being fully engaged with Robin’s school in that way. And every time I take Robin to the park at the same time the Peter Pan kids are there, he tries to leave with them when they all line up to go back inside! So I think he’s itching for a larger social environment.

2 Responses to “Ongoing Projects”

  • Dom Says:

    although his vocabulary on this front is limited to “noodles”

    All set for student life, then! 😉

    I think what Robin really needs to stimulate his language development is to spend more time with other kids

    Why, out of interest? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child of Robin’s age learn language from other kids. In fact they generally don’t talk to their peers much at all. The alleged benefit is typically improved social skills… such as the ability to hoard all the good felt tips or push other kids off the play equipment you want to use!

    • shannon Says:

      Well, I could be wrong — but from my observation of kids at the park, the ones who go to daycare or preschool seem really chatty, while the stay-at-home kids of Robin’s age are generally about at his same level of language development. It may have more to do with communicating with the adults than with the other kids, I dunno. But he has reached a new stage of interest in other children—they are suddenly very very interesting to him—and I can’t help but think that playing with them would be an impetus to make himself more understandable. Although it’s true that what he mainly wants to play is Toddler Tag, which mostly just involves running and screaming.

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