Diapers officially gone

I have offically donated my extra diapers to WST’s daycare.  We still have pull ups, that we wear overnight (just in case), but diapers are gone.

In just under 4 weeks.  Wow.

Now if we can just get from “I’m pooping to “I’m going to poop” we’ll be pretty good to go!

How do you spell M&Ms?

So we discovered recently that you can’t effectively “spell”  M&Ms over the head of a perceptive toddler.   “Later she can have some E-M E-Ms” lead directly to: “I like M&Ms – can I have some M&Ms?”

We’ve started saying “middle-of-the-alphabets” instead.

Thank you – 19 mos

As I left my daughter playing with a puzzle in her bedroom this morning, I stepped in front of the mirror and realized what I was feeling was: Thank you.

Not thank you to anyone/thing specific (fill-in-your-deity(ies)-of-choice), but an overwhelming thanks that I had a happy healthy, sharp and independent minded child.

She has in no way always been easy.  And, based on current hints, will likely be a LOT harder (that sharp, independent mind is GOING to give me trouble – I can tell), but things could have been SO much harder.

I have a pretty ‘typical’ child. Children who have disabilities, physical or mental, or chronic health issues, or emotional problems, are not of lesser value than ‘normal’ children.  But they are more challenging. They take more effort, money, patience, time, and planning.  I could have/can do that stuff, and would do so for WST if something happened. But so far, I don’t have to.

My life is pretty sorted out. I could be a single mom – instead of one with TWO partners.  I could be on welfare, homeless, or on drugs.  I could have horrible, awful, or no relatives and friends – instead of wonderful supportive ones (even the ones I’m not fond of are really just fine – ok well except THAT one).  I could have physical or emotional challenges myself (other than a tendency to overcommit and procrastinate).  I have a nice home, a good job it looks like I get to keep (as do my partners), decent health, and a minimum of emotional trauma in my life.

I feel I am fortunate.  I don’t have to face those extra challenges.  And I need to keep these things in mind when I am losing my patience, lost for a solution, SURE that this (situation or behavior-that-is-making-me-crazy) will NEVER end.

Lastly, I HAVE a child.  Others who want one do not.  And I WANT this child.  Others have one (or more) they don’t want.

And she has ME. And we have the DADS.

Thank you. To whoever is listening, perhaps only to my inner self – I am grateful.  Really, really grateful.

Communication Update, May 2009

We cannot count words.  WST* has totally glommed on to the idea of communication, and repeats and uses words just as fast as we can say them.  She has really begun to participate in the “can you say?” games – whether it is real words or just sounds.

On the pronunciation front, she is still difficult to understand by the unitiated – lots of times we only recognize the word in context and because of the cadence or intonation of what she says (it has the right # of syllables and accent).  Motorcycle, for example, is something like dOH-eh-ty-uhl;, but is produced without prompting when passing a Motorcycle in the parking lot.  It reminds me of how drunks are portrayed  on TV – THEY know what they want to say, but their mouth isn’t cooperating.

And man-oh-man is she understanding what we say.  No repeated swear words yet, but the time when we can talk about her in front of her is repidly coming to a close.  We are already regularly spelling words to each other over her head (b-a-th, c-o-o-k-i-e, d-o-n-u-t, etc.) as she catches those words representing things she wants or doesn’t want really well.  She also tunes in when we think she is occupied doing other stuff. Example:  (WCT playing happily on floor in living room.)

Daddy-N: “Oh man, she made a mess of her shirt with that cookie.”

OLM: “Yeah, but we’ll need to get that shirt off of her for the B-a-t-h in a minute so no big deal.” 

WST: “No sihrt, no sihrt!” and run from the room clutching shirt. Clearly she picked up on at least the “shirt off” – which she can SAY, not to mention understand.

Did I mention that her sense of personal space and dignity has kicked in?  WE are not supposed to touch or dress/undress her until SHE wants it done/is ready.

And then the other night, i could NOT get her to be quiet in bed.  We read our stories, she seemed calmed down, and then as we hit the bed, the talking started.  She sang songs (only vaguely intelligible), asked questions, identified body parts, ANYTHING but go to sleep.  How do you get through that “shhhhh” means not only “calm down-don’t cry, but also  ‘Shut your mouth and be quiet?”

How long does THAT take to sink in?

*WST – Worlds’ Smartest Toddler.  At 19 months, we need an update from WCB – World’s Cutest Baby – especially since we are trying to convince her that BIG girls don’t use a bottle, and sleep BY THEMSELVES.

Polyamory family news

I haven’t posted much about my family being polyamory on this blog.  Mostly because, to me, it is all so commonplace and every day.  But this article:  Threesome Marriages  (forwarded to me by Daddy-N, as usual), rang a bell. It would be nice to be “recognized” as acceptable to society at large.  This blog wouldn’t have  to be anonymous, for example…

Words update – March 2009

What we are doing now is communicating – and all that implies.  WCB is beginning to state opinions “no, mama, no!”  and hold grudges against the person who made her mad or didn’t listen to her (grudges take the form of pushing you away for an undefined amount of time, so far no more than 15 minutes, and often less than 5).

Here is a list of her expressive vocabulary at this time (to the best of my recollection):

  • Animals (14): Kitty, dog, bear, duck, hippo, bird, giraffe, frog, tiger, monkey, armadillo, mouse, moose, turtle.  (bunny, bee, chicken, dino, lion, cow, & gorilla have happened, but not reliably) Can you tell we read a lot of animal books?
  • Things(15): ball, box, star,  baby, book,  tree, bath, marker,  pillow,  wagon, car, umbrella, door, potty, stool, balloon, bubbles. (flower, blocks, moon,  blanket, & amber, have happened, but not reliably)
  • Clothes(5): sock & socks, shoe, hat, coat. (pants, shirt, diaper have happened, but not reliably)
  • Food words(12): Cheese, apple, bottle, cup, water, fish, o’s (cheerios), puffs, banana, chair (highchair only), bread, grapes,
  • Body words (13): Toe, eye, ear, nose, mouth, teeth, belly, elbow, knee, back, head, burp (used for all percussive body sounds), & “boh-boh” which is an all encompassing “diaper related body parts” word she seems to have come up with on her own – or at daycare. I think she also knows butt – as in wiggle butt.
  • Expressions (9): No, Nah, Yes, uh huh, ow, uh oh, yea, bonk, bop
  • Abstract concepts (7): Up, down, upside down, (what’s) this, (what’s) that, more, hot, cold, red, blue, and “poo poo” – meaning, generally, “something in my diaper…maybe.”
  • Verbs (2): dance, bite, eat (hand sign only)
  • Names (7+): Mama, Dada, Elmo, George (as in Curious), Pooh, Melissa, Ruth, Eva (and reportedly other kids’ names at at school). She has picked up names for Uncle L and Auntie K, and we are working on grandma and grandpa, but have nothing reliable so far.

So that’s like 90 word-sounds she makes that we can decypher, and  so many more that we cannot yet sort out.  And that is up from less than 10 in TWO MONTHS!  Somewhere, I missed that it would be this fast in the childrearing books.

Her receptive vocabulary and understanding is far more advanced. We are starting to be able to use LOGIC in in our conversations with her.  “Shoes & socks?”  “NO shoes!”  “You have to put on shoes and sock to go see grandma – shoes and socks to see grandma?”   [Big smile and nod] “Yes!”

And she can identify the letter O in her books.  Thanks Cheerios!

Working on words (after long break)

WCB’s grandfather is having troubles and was in the hospital in pain again recently.  My stepmother (whom WCB lovingly knows as grandma) reported that thinking of WCB and her struggles to be understood (“Up, up!”) was one of the things that helped him through the pain.

I sent them this report in return, and then Daddy-N chimed in with a story of his own.  The following 2 stories should give you an idea of where WCB is in language acquisition – at 15 months old:

Since the last time granddad saw her (about 10 days) she has learned:

  • “Bite” or “bite- bite” (with ALL the phonemes – although the t ends very hissy) – for “I want a bite of that thing you are holding.”
  • to wave when she says Hi
  •  “dAho” – for dog (2 syllables)
  • a very soft breathy “issth” for “fish” (meaning mostly goldfish crackers)
  • “Bah-toh”  – bottle now has 2 syllables, and the sign isn’t used as much – just in time for us to phase out the bottle for the cup…
  • The sign for cup (which gets a staccato ‘uht!’ sound occasionally)- unfortunately because she has both a sippy cup and a snacky cup, some confusion occurs.
  • The sign for “o’s” – Cheerios. (this one is unofficial, but watch this)
  • She also has just this past week seriously started getting the idea of “communication” as a method of controlling her environment – she looks into our eyes, says her sound, and uses a gesture to clarify – and when we get it right she GRINS and even laughs.  Sometimes the sound has nothing to do with the idea ( like when she said “ba” and tugged on my coat collar – I said “you want me to take my coat off?” – GRIN)

Daddy-N then reported:

Another word – and here’s been some confusion –  “hot.”  She doesn’t say it yet, but has been trying to pick up the sign for it. 

In particular, I’ve said “hot” and once or twice she’s patted her head a couple of times with a questioning look.  Seems she’s gotten it confused with the idea of “hat” or maybe “head,”  so enunciation is all important! 

The ‘hot’ sign itself has been confusing because when she tries to copy it, it looks just like her “I wanna eat” sign.  For those not familiar, the eat sign is to put your gathered together fingers to your mouth – usually a couple of times – “eat eat?” The hot sign is directly related – to start with your hand at your mouth (eating something) and then fling it away like it was too hot.  

Last night I worked on it a little more while running her bath.  We start the bath out hot before we put her in it to get the tub warmed up, so her bath won’t cool too quickly.  She likes to reach into the tub and feel the running tap water while I’m doing this, and I warn her it’s “hot!” with the sign.  Our tap temp can be pretty variable, so sometimes she sticks her hand in with no problem, and sometimes she jerks it back with an astonished look on her face if it’s really hot.  So this has been a prime opportunity to teach “hot.”  (It’s never scalding, so don’t worry!)

What I’ve started doing is de-emphasising the hand-to-mouth part, and making the jerking away part really big, shaking my hand hard like something hot.  Last night I finally saw Solvi catching on, and her “hot” sign is beginning to look noticeably different from her “eat” sign.  After I thought I had the temperature perfected and put her in the tub, she immediately looked at me alarmed and gave me a pretty good approximation of the “hot” sign!  I guess when it’s really important, you get better focus!

Anyway, I guess I’m fixated on this particular word with her a lot because I do most of the cooking and she’s often underfoot or demanding to be up on the stool where she can watch.  That’s a situation where that word is more important than at bath time, for sure!

I really like the baby signing – I’ve even caught her doing some odd things with her hands while making sounds at me – I think she’s trying to make up her own signs!

So that’s where we are – I know I’m way behind posting over here – and I have a lot of posts running around in my head!  Works pretty busy, but the sleep Saga is improving – so hopefully we’ll see more writing!