Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Judah Tried to Write His Name

Pre-preschool has started up this month. Janine organizes a group of moms to bring their 3-4 year olds to a co-op pre-preschool of sorts. It's a lot of fun for Judah. He always enjoys it, and it's helping him learn to interact constructively with other children.
Some of the kids can already write their names, or at least part of it, and so Judah asked to learn to write his own name. I have tried before in the past, but it was clear that he was not ready to write/draw so precisely. We are still not sure if he's right or left handed. So I put it on the shelf and figured I'd try again later. Well, today we tried again, and it ended up with poor Judah in tears. I wasn't pushing or anything, but he just didn't want me to let go of his hand. I guided his hand the first few times, and then told him to try himself, and he just cried saying that he needed help. He can barely hold a pencil, so I drew him a picture and told him to color that instead. I suppose he probably doesn't even color enough to be comfortable holding a pencil. I'll try to make him color everyday in hopes that he'll develop more on his own, and then we can try to write again once he's mastered his pencil holding technique.
I just couldn't believe how he was already sensing his own failure. He knew he wasn't making the letters right, and he just couldn't handle it. I tried to encourage him by telling him that it takes a long time to learn how to write your name, and that everyone has to practice A LOT. It helped a little bit. It didn't help that Taylor kept getting in Judah's way trying to grab his paper and pencils. I would take things away from her and say "no, no," and I was getting pretty frustrated at her, so maybe Judah was picking up on that frustration. I used to do more organized crafts and things with Judah before Taylor was born and when she still had a morning nap, but now it's too hard, so Judah has been neglected in this area. Taylor just demands too much attention from me. Grrr.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Judah and Taylor are Growing Up

So ends another long week. Both kids were sick, including Judah who had a hard day with an asthma attack. The good news is that he recovered quickly and has no more symptoms hanging around. Thank God for that. The last time he had a cold, his asthma symptoms didn't clear up for over two months. God was gracious with him this time. Taylor was also sick for the second time ever. She has been amazingly immune to sickness since she was born. I think that's part of God's way of having mercy on me since she's so difficult in other areas.
Ricky and I were both sick as well (and I am still recovering), but it has been a very mild cold. We both slept in a little bit, and seemed to be ok after that. I'm assuming that we both succumbed to the depression of losing our summer in one fell swoop. It was in the upper 80s last week, and this week we are down to the 60s. That's normal for this time of year, but the summer days came late, and that week of 80 degree weather was our first this year. It's amazing how in a few days time, we can go from backyard pool and sprinkler weather, to bundling up the kids for a trip to the park. Such is the life in the Pacific Northwest.
Anyhow, the kids are getting along better each day - most days. Taylor is playing along with Judah in his rocket ships and airplanes, and he lets her! Taylor has good days and bad days, when she's either really agreeable with both Judah and I, but then other days where she's inconsolable and impossible to please. I never know what to expect. Not to mention her mood can change in a flash when we thought things were going so well. Typical female.
Judah has been clinging to Dad like a leech, albeit a cute leech. He tries to do everything like him, and is repeating many of Ricky's mannerisms and idioms. They both completed a model F-18 which they painted to look like a Blue Angel, and Judah loved every second working with his daddy. Ricky's new hobby of RC airplanes has Judah reeling to have his own, or to fly one of Ricky's, even though he is much too young to grasp the concept of flight. I'm so glad that Judah has a great role model to look up to and try to be like. It would be hard if Ricky wasn't around much or had a bad work schedule, but Judah looks forward to Ricky's return home everyday, and every morning it's the same routine. Ricky hugs Judah goodbye, and Judah begs him to stay. "No, Dad, I need you to stay!" "I have to go to work though." "No, Dad! Stay two more minutes!" Once he's pulled himself away, Judah watches and waves from his bedroom window as Ricky drives off. As long as Judah continues to emulate Ricky, I know I don't have to worry too much about what kind of man he'll become.
Judah's new love is Disney movies. I have been renting them one by one from Netflix and having a family movie night about once a week. Judah will watch them over and over again. Right now the favorite is Peter Pan. He sits up in bed and asks to watch it, and is always distraught when I don't let him watch it a second time that day. He asks me to sing the songs at lunchtime, and quotes lines when he plays. While playing "Blue Angles" on his swing set, he yells, "Straight up ahead! First star to the right!" followed by swooshing and crashing sounds.
Taylor has crossed the 50/50 line of walking/crawling. She walks more than she crawls! She doesn't walk much in grass or uneven surfaces, but while at home, she'll walk all over. She's still not too good at it however. Unlike Judah, who walked and never looked back, she's still going little by little, and is much more cautious. This is a common difference between boys and girls, whereas boys are more fearless and don't think ahead about consequences. I, however, am just relieved that she won't be a baby much longer. Ricky and I both still view her that way much of the time. She shows these glimmers of intelligence, and we have to stop and reflect that she's really 15 months old, not 6 months old. She is smart, but we are always distracted by her whining and neediness. Of course, it's always a challenge to NOT compare her with her brother. Judah was always mellow and could sit and concentrate for longer periods of time. Taylor is quite the opposite. Besides being easily bored, it's a struggle to get her to even sit and eat lunch much longer than 3 minutes. She takes a few bites and strains and struggles and screams to get out of the high chair. She is still hungry, mind you, she just hates that chair! She'll then circle the table and beg and scrounge for more food. She'll come and pull at your leg and say, "Bi?! Bi?" (for "bite) or "Mu?! Mu?!" (for "more"). Her tone is impossible to ignore. She is assertive and loud and won't let you get away with ignoring her.
All in all, things are going well with the kids, and every month, I can look back at the last month and see that things really have gotten better. (In regards to Taylor mostly). The more predictable she gets, the more I'll be able to plan ahead. We are hoping for some road trips and day trips and outings in the months ahead, and we'll get there.