I knew since before I ever became a parent, I would want to raise my child multilingual. And like with anything parenting or motherhood related, there were always a few judgmental comments - usually related to speech delay or confusion. We experienced neither of these, but instead have only witnessed the incredible machine that is a toddler's brain. Here are a few fascinating things I've observed (of course, every child is different so this is just our experience).
I haven't Halloweened so hard since my days at UCSB, and you know what...this Halloween was definitely my favorite of all time. Let me tell you why...plus the five useful takeaways I learned from this Halloween.
For any parent out there who wants to cling tighter to their baby whenever they think about their babies going to school, and a physical pain sits in your heart like a boulder on your soul...I have hope for you.
I constantly feel guilty for how much screen time my son gets. But often, when it's just the two of us and I need to get work done or do something around the house that he can't "help" me with, I need a little help from "Baby Bus" or "Leo the Truck." Sometimes I'm just freaking exhausted and need a few extra z's in the morning, so I let him watch while we cuddle or while he eats breakfast.
That being said, I have noticed that with the shows I let him watch, he is actually learning and engaging with the programs, and I think it's because they're designed in a way to teach kids. They're designed in a way to teach him in ways I can't or don't know how to. So, I wanted to share a few of the ones we enjoy at home, in case anyone else needs a little help from adventurous pandas or busy vehicles.
A few months ago, I wrote about successfully potty training our 20 month old within a month. Well of course we haven't gone without hiccups. So, I'd like to share our experience in case it's helpful to anyone else, because as usual, our son doesn't oft seem to follow whatever other people or books say is "normal."
Roughly after a month of diving head first into potty training, I can finally say we are fully day potty-trained! There were a number of nay-sayers in my corner who kept telling me my son was too young, but just like with cloth diapers, I'm happy to have stuck to my guns. And I learned a few things along the way I hope will be helpful and encouraging to other parents entering the great adventure that is potty training.
Adventures in Potty Training
When my son turned one, I started doing some light Elimination Communication. It was so exciting every time we "caught" a pee or a poo in the potty. Recently, I unexpectedly dove full on into potty training, and it has been an adventure! Now instead of excitement, it feels more like a relief when we catch a pee or poo. Still, I try to make it exciting for the little one.
Last year, I heard a lot of people say to me how hard it must be being a new mom during these times. I really had no frame of reference as I didn't know what it was like being a new mom during "normal" times. I imagine, no matter the time, particularly those first couple of months is hard for any new mom. Pandemic or no pandemic, I had to learn to correct a bad latch so that I could nurse my son without excruciating pain. Pandemic or no pandemic, it was still lonely going through my unique situation. And by unique, I don't mean I was in any exceptional circumstance, but just that even though many of us experience generally the similar things, we each have varying factors that affect each of our situations differently. So at first, yes it was hard, but I was also lucky. If not for moving in with my parents, I'm not sure what my husband and I would've eaten at times.
Ask me now how things are being a mom in a pandemic, and it's a different story...
Are Kids Really Picky Eaters?
We were ordering from a restaurant recently, when we were asked if we wanted a kid's menu for my son. It suddenly hit me...why do kids have separate menus? There's this notion that kids are really picky eaters, and they either can or only want really simple foods--I'm not really sure which, maybe both? But ever since our son started eating solids, aside from making food the right softness for him and avoiding honey and cow's milk his first year, our son has pretty much eaten everything we eat. So I'm wondering... are some kids really picky eaters or do we just think they are? Have we conditioned them to be picky eaters?
Baby Sleep Struggles
Some babies can sleep through the night as early as a couple months old, or maybe even younger! Some babies never sleep through the night. Our baby is one of those that has slept "through" the night maybe just a handful of times if even that. Though we dabbled with some sleep training, we didn't keep it up and I've learned a lot throughout the process that I'm incredibly grateful for.