Friday, March 23, 2012

My sensitive boy

It's been pointed out to me that Tyler is "relational," "sociable," "empathetic," and "self-regulates his emotions well." As parents we did note that he seemed to be a calm, reasonable, and adaptable baby. I think what he is going to be is a kid highly attuned to the emotions and well-being of others. He reflects emotions well, knows when he is in disgrace, and shares surprisingly well for a 22-month old. During a play date today he noted which of his toys his peers liked and sought to offer them accordingly. He is gentle with his 7-month old guest and inclines his head to let her grab and pull on his hair. He's engaging in more interactive play with his peers rather than parallel play.

I know children observe more than we realize, but it still surprises me:
He saw me wiping the floor so he remembers where he saw another wipe container (belonging to his play date buddy) and went to some effort to dig it out, open it, take out a wipe, and then join in on helping. As he is learning language we are caught off guard when he repeats a phrase, using the same intonation.

I notice I'm talking to him more with the assumption that he understands at least the intent of what I'm saying, if not all of the content...that is, he may understand I am easing him towards transition of activity, if not exactly the timing why. He might understand we need to wait for some reason, if not exactly why. He knows I am trying to soothe him, and help him calm down, even though he's not happy at the moment.

All of this to say that I anticipate he will have his feelings hurt in future, being both perceptive and vulnerable to group dynamics/adult authority. However, he may be a good listener and a good and generous friend. I hope he is his own person and naturally leads and looks out for others.

I've continued to be reassured by others, mostly parents of kids he interacts with, that he'll be a great big brother. I've been consciously developing that nurturing side in the past weeks, as we look at books in which a baby is cared for by a mom and in the context of family, when we pretend he has twin 'bear babies' to pat, seat in a baby chair, and hug/stroke gently, and when we have play dates with infants. Since we opted not to be told the baby's gender, I've been wondering whether he really would get in better with a little brother who would look up to him, or a little sister who he would look after.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nesting second time around

The first time, we received an outpouring of support in the form of new gifts, gently used furniture and toys and accessories, advice, and encouragement. We bought a car seat / stroller travel system, chose a convertible crib, bought a dresser, and set up the second largest bedroom as a baby room. We washed all the baby clothes and cleaned house.

The second time, pregnancy nearly at full-term, the new baby's still an office. We are no less excited, but we know this one will initially stay in our bedroom, either co-sleeping or in a portable crib. We did our research and bought a sit-and-stand stroller months ago, and we are looking into a vehicle that will accommodate 2 car seats and up to 4 adults comfortably. Beyond that, it was reassuring to already have the basics, and to not have needed much more beyond some smaller sized diapers.

Instead of cleaning house, I am nesting by adding to the growing library of children's books...with added justification that two kids will benefit instead of just one...I remember as a child that books were how my parents indulged me, and that I would leave the library with armfuls of books each visit. The love of reading is a legacy that I've already started passing on to my toddler, and will be the gift the newborn receives also.