Sunday, February 26, 2012

Milestone: independent play!

This past Saturday, mid-afternoon, we put up the gate to his bedroom and left him with the television on (Treehouse) and with him having access only to his regular toys (nothing new). When there was no immediate protest, we flipped on the camera and started timing....the ten-minute mark came and went, and it was a bit of a revelation - he can play by himself! I think in part it was because Sesame Street was on, and he knows the characters well.

So, today, Sunday, I removed the gate, and did some sorting of clothes and other housework in the master bedroom while he had his toys and television in his room on the same floor. He was able to run back and forth, managing his attention to check in on me and engage me at times, and otherwise to play in his room and amuse himself. We kept this up for over two hours, with me in earshot and occupied, and him content to have me close by but not in the immediate vicinity.

There have been other times, of course, when we left him in a room for him to finish watching a YouTube clip (1-3 minutes), after which he will come find us, or we will return. However, it seems a big leap to what we did today, for him to sustain 'different activities' for the better part of the afternoon waking time. It's feels like a measure of freedom for me, and should feel like that for him too.

He's becoming more confident and self-sufficient, and this is a good sign, as he has a few short weeks before he has to contend with a sibling, and his parents' divided attention!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

32 weeks!

Even though I'm 32 weeks along, I think I still think of the pregnancy and my toddler as being separate. Either I'm focused on the state of being pregnant by responding to movement or while at an OB appointment, or I'm interacting with Tyler. The past few days, I find I'm referring to 'kids' and 'children' and it's no longer hypothetical or a manner of speaking. Soon we will be parents of two...

I carried my toddler a bit more than usual tonight and I saw how much it calmed him to be at that vantage point, secure. I miss it too, how he settles right into me and we become one unit. But then, it becomes too much, or I'm aware of the added strain, so I set him down. I'm excited to see those new interactions between him and the newborn. It will be the beginning of him not being an only child, of having someone look up to him, of being the bigger, more able, and more independent one.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How cute are you?

21 months old:
We play a game - as you run by while I'm sitting on the floor, I say "hug!" and fling my arms out. You run into my arms, then run just out of sight before turning around...we repeat a dozen times...

You yell extra loud to our friend's sons: "older brother" in Chinese to get their attention.

When I lie down with you in bed and see if you'll have an afternoon nap by pretending to sleep myself, you laugh at me and lick my face.

Sitting in your car seat, drowsy, you suddenly lean forward to check that I'm still next to you before closing your eyes.

You join a group of older kids running around to bop about and flap your arms in their midst, picking up on their energy.

You don't mind when other kids play with your toys!

After you flip through the pages of a book, at the last page you say "bye-bye."

You like to examine and name the contents of the fridge, and sit on the ledge, even though it must be cold.

You've learned to turn the television off before leaving the room.

You imitate words said in conversation.

You say the same word over and ove again if you think it's fun to say.

With the Talking Tom 2 app, you say "Ty," "mama," "dan tat (egg tart)."

You can count to ten in Chinese, sing parts of the teletubbies song, and say "go go go" on cue in the thingamajig (cat in the hat) song.

You snuggle up close to watch TV.

Sometime you laugh and laugh and laugh at the repetition of something funny.

You name the family members you see in photographs.

Every weekday as I come home, you greet me, and then alert me to the mail that came in that day.

If we have company and you are distracted, you still look for me and do a visual/physical check in before heading off again.

You make a Valentine craft (with help!).