Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Last Few Weeks of 1

Well, things have obviously been busy because we're a bit behind on our blogging... like by 4 months or so. It seemed like once a week was pretty easy to keep up with, but things got pretty hectic for me at work around March/April and haven't really let up since. That has made it pretty tough to do much of anything extra. Rather than make excuses, we'll just try to get caught up. Scarlett will be 2 in just 3 weeks. Hard to believe! Time has gone by SO FAST. This week we went to the open house at Children's House Montessori in Arlington. She'll probably be starting there in August for a 4-week camp before the school year starts for preschool. Crazy to think that we'll be sending her to real school soon! They admitted her for the toddler program this year but we couldn't work it out because of the limited hours (9:15 - 11:30 am) and extra cost. Even if we could have figured out how to transport her from there to daycare every day, we would have been paying that tuition on top of her regular daycare costs. Unfortunately, we just aren't there yet! Preschool will also be expensive. It's already more for 10 months than we pay for a year of daycare and we'll still have to cover the summers at Betsie's. In the end, I think it will be worth it though. No one stays at her daycare past age 3 and she is definitely ready for a more structured program with some academics. She also really likes being with older kids and she's now among the oldest at daycare. The Montessori program involves having the kids in mixed age classes, which I think she'll like a lot. One of her favorite former daycare friends, Claire, already goes there, so hopefully she'll even end up in her class! We're also still n the wait list for the preschool at Bright Horizons (NSF) but she might not get through that wait list until she's four and at that point I'm not sure if we'll want to switch her. We'll see what happens though. I'll leave her on the list to give us some options down the road. Most people go to see 4 preschools but as of right now,, we're already too happy with both options. It seems like you can't really go wrong around here, so it comes down to fit, cost, and convenience. This one is right across the street from Betsie's and more on our way to work than the other one. We thought about immersion programs etc. but ultimately decided simple wasn't a bad thing for a 3 year old!

Since it has been a while, I'll provide a quick update on what she's up to these days. She is basically fluent now. She is a little chatterbox. Beyond repeating EVERYTHING we say, she comes up with words and sentences we didn't realize she knew. Most things are in sentence form now and she very clearly understands how to express her preferences ("I like that song! I don't like that book, I want another one."). She has asked for a gymnastics party for her birthday (seriously -- she came up with that on her own) and wants a pink birthday cake. Today she was rubbing Paul's back, gave him a kiss on the neck and said "I'm helpful!" All of it is very entertaining. She is still a really good eater. She loves vegetables and a range of strange foods like chicken skin, tofu, roe, seaweed salad, mussels, really any seafood... The only difference now is that she's a little more "toddler" about it in that she'll shove 20 mussles down her gullet one night but the next it's "I don't like it." It makes menu planning tough but we're still really lucky compared to most of the toddler palates I've heard about!

At the preschool they said this age is the "me do" age where they want to do everything themselves. We have some of that, but more often it's "Mommy, help! I need help!" She's more into manipulating us. She does a lot of "acting" and has mastered the lip quiver, has a pretty bad fake cry, and likes to order us around ("Mommy's turn!, Daddy's turn!"). Paul and Scarlett brought me flowers last week and she thought Mommy thanking her for the present was the greatest thing since sliced bread, so ever since she has been demanding that I thank her for the present again ("Thank you for the present, Mommy, thank you for the present!"). She is better at answering questions now and even tells us what happened during the day (e.g., "Tommy went to time out"; although he seems to go every day, even on the days when she is at her other daycare) but still isn't great at options. If you ask her if she wants this or that, she simply repeats "this or that." If you follow it up with a "which one" her response is always "that one!" and then she laughs and says "funny!" She's a bit of a character. She'll put herself in time out and tell us it's because she was naughty.

We're working on potty training, but in truth, we were a lot farther ahead in June than we are now There was a period of time where she made it to the potty every morning. Now it has been months since she made it. She is into the idea and tells us almost every time, but she tells us as she is going most of the time. She also likes to strategically cry wolf, like a bed time as we are on the last book of the night... Now it's funny because the deal is that she gets a sticker and an m&m if she goes on the potty, so as she is going she'll sometimes shout "stickers and m&ms!" Classic. She knows her colors, counts to 20, backwards from 10, and recognizes a little over half of the letters. She knows basically all animals, some shapes, and some numbers.

She is pretty athletic. She takes gymnastics on Sunday afternoons. It's her second session and she progressed a lot since the last one. Paul will talk more about that but she went from being one of the worst kids in the class to one of the best. She is definitely the best at the summersault! We also still take her swimming pretty often and she loves that. Some of the instructors who are at the pool have commented on how advanced she is and agree that there's no point in having her in lessons right now. Once she's 3 we'll get her back into a class. Despite being a bit of a tom boy in terms of athletics, she is a total girly girl. She loves pink, purple, makeup, shoes, and dresses. She has pretty good manners for an almost 2-year old. She says "bless you" when someone sneezes and please, thank you, and you're welcome most of the time. Something that I think has really helped is that our daycare provider reinforces everything we do at home. She works on manners, academics, sitting at a table, eating with silverware and drinking from a cup. She also uses time out for discipline, so I think it makes it easier for Scarlett to understand the rules of order since they are pretty similar no matter where she is. Overall I think we've been very lucky to be able to trust that Scarlett is in good hands when she isn't with us.

I guess things are a lot easier in many ways than they used to be. It's hard to remember how little she used to do for herself at this point. She climbs into her car seat on her own and can even buckle part of it herself. She helps put toys away, clear the table, brush her teeth, gets things when you ask, throws trash away on her own, puts clothes in the hamper, wipes herself during diaper changes... It's hard to believe that less than 2 years ago she was completely helpless. I see why people say every stage is wonderful. As much as I love infants, it's nice to have an extra set of hands sometimes!

Well, it's brief but it's a start. We'll do our best to back fill the last few months and do better with keeping up in the future. Who knows, maybe we'll end up leaving this blog behind and starting a new one in her second year... You never know what the future holds.