Alternating between practing the sound for “a” and “h” and “8” in the crib
We are learning letters and numbers! Tristan enjoys activities that involve such lately. He will stop to study with me if I stop to point out letters on a sign or otherwise in the environment. He can identify A by pointing to it and saying it. Now he’s pointing to B and saying A, so we have to keep drilling him on it. 🙂 But what’s really cute is that he distinctly can say A, H, and 8 but knows what they are at different levels. He knows A, but isn’t sure if other things are also A. He recognizes H but doesn’t know exactly what it is yet – he can say it, although not in association with the word “Hi” (he still says “aaaahhhh” or the like for “Hi”). Hopefully he recognizes 8 after today’s experience with the foamboard he was playing with at his school, but he doesn’t show that he recognizes certain numbers that often. I’m betting he does or at least gets the concept of quantity, especially since he understands “more.” But the most fun thing is that the kid is fascinated by the alphabet and he’s learning the song they sing in school – he’s added it to his humming repertoire and can chime in at the “a, a, a!” part.
Academics are a fun way to relate to a kid when the kid is interested. I’m so glad that he is now. He experiments with his environment and I want him to have the knowledge he needs to just do awesome things with it.
I’ve started thinking of Tristan as a 2-year-old rather than a 1-year-old. I figure it’s a lot closer, and he looks it anyway.
So, Tristan has been making leaps and bounds with his development. There’s been enough improvement in his communication and imitation skills that it’s been noticeable to people who last saw him about a month before. He’s learning how to ask for more complex things but is still easily amused – yesterday we were sending one of his stuffed bears down a slide, and it kept him entertained for a good half hour. He’s recognizing a lot of his letters by sight and sound. He’s a considerably better problem solver. It’s easy to set up for joint attention if I am labeling the environment, the alphabet, or anything in between since he’s making enough sense of language that he finds it interesting (and is therefore LEARNING IT!). He’s gone from very little ability or inclination to imitate something like clapping hands to full success in some activities. He tries very hard to vocalize the word “Go” and has a toy that says “GOAL!” that he likes to hear over and over.
We’ve been keeping the weekends fairly action-packed, as we no longer have things like regular park time in our schedule. Tristan enjoys swimming activities but he also tries very hard to drink the pool water, so we have had to be creative — tubes work best for keeping baby bodies but not heads in the water. We go to the water park about twice a month – the last time was not a good visit because Tristan was cranky, and a cranky Tristan doing stuff he usually wants to do but doesn’t that moment is never any fun. We had a weekend playdate over here just this past weekend and I hope we get to have some more.. it was a gently social but rather fun way to entertain ourselves and some kids.
Sleep has been irritating during the day and wonderful during the night. Tristan’s not napping very consistently — he may sleep from 1-4 hours now, depending on when he wakes up screaming. And he tends to wake up screaming even after having had a good, long nap. At this point, an inconsolable waking screaming fit after naptime is part of the day and not just something I hope won’t happen this day. And he also stalls as much as humanly possible to avoid going down for an earlier nap. So, the net effect is that I’ve had lots of time not stimulating him but get hit by the high emotions of the nap. But either way, he’s had a regular wake and sleep time for the longer portion of sleep and hasn’t woken up screaming (more than “a” scream, anyway) for a very long time, and he still wakes up cheerfully in the morning. I am sure that he probably needs a slightly earlier nap. There’s not a whole lot of earlier to go anymore, though.
Tristan has been in the Shining Stars program for about a month. He seems to be doing pretty well, and he’s bringing home knowledge rather often. They switched classrooms midmonth and Tristan doesn’t like the new classroom very well, but he’s managing. He’s no longer the “new kid” in his time slot — always the hallmark of getting used to things. I’ve been using Tristan’s preschool time to do crazy things like bike around and explore the area. Fun for both of us!
* Tristan is doing well in his center-based program, aka preschool. He’s finally getting comfortable with the idea of mommy disappearing for two hours at a time. Mommy has, in turn, had her hair cut and her back massaged this week as a result.
* Tristan’s finally showing interest and aptitude for pointing at pictures in books or at objects for them to be named. He is interested in “orange” (fruit) and “ball” mostly, and can answer by pointing to the objects when you ask him where an orange or ball is. It’s hard to get him to perform this, but he has done it! Anyway, he’s learning words. He tries to say the words, as well. He’s shown that he notices two oranges on the page are the same by pointing to both of them. I really hope this continues because it finally gives me some rote academic work to go over with him.
* Tristan’s also been interested in the alphabet. He’s been pointing to letters for them to be named. He’s managed to say L, D, and O so far.. probably more!
* I can point in a direction and say “Go this way” and for the most part, Tristan will comply. He tries to be contrary at times, but I’m ok with that. As long as he is capable and does it most of the time. He is not interested in walking while holding my hand unless he needs help with steps, but he is very good about following the pattern of where people walk (like staying on the damn sidewalk, not running into too many roads, etc.). We should practice this indoors at times and see if it’s as reliable..
Walking around with a sippy full of milk and tapping to the rhythm of baby toy music
Tristan started at the center-based Shining Stars program on Wednesday. He’s in a class with four other children with varying levels of ability. He’s the only one in the class under age 2, and I think each of the kids is of a different general ethnicity.
Now, Tristan is kind of quick to adapt after a good day of confusion about the routine. We’ll see if this happens tomorrow! I hear that kids do have a hard time at first. After all, we’re not really a family that spends time away from our child. I expect that he’s getting used to strangers who are women (one or two men, but even the doctors were mostly women) and he’s used to strangers who are children. The point of hemming and hawing here is that Tristan was extremely fussy and could be heard crying for a good portion of our observation. But he woke up at about 7:45am yesterday, and that’s nastily early even for him. He was also fussy through his therapy session at home, and he’s usually fairly cheerful for them unless he forgot to eat. I don’t remember any extreme fuss after his nap, so I suppose he caught up on his sleep.
The “curriculum” includes free play, a circle (kids in little chairs, “friend” attending to each child – 1:1 ratio, how’s that for preschool? :D) with singing, snuggle, greeting, and introductions for each child), some stuff in between that we did not see because we went out to lunch! Alone together! For the first time ever without having to beg someone to fly out here to watch out kid or arrange emergency care! *catches breath* When we got there at 20 minutes until the end of the hour, the .. OT supervisor? came out and asked us to please go away (she was more tactful :D) so that Tristan did not see us and think it was time to go. I suppose I should interject that the classroom observation is possible through one-way glass, so we were standing in the hallway watching and listening; the kids were outside in the play area when we arrived and there’s no sneaking past them. We killed a few minutes in the heat, trapped in a downtown parking lot (walking past the play area again; it’s in the front yard), and then sneaked inside the building when we heard no more little giggles from the play area. We got there in time to see.. more sitting in chairs and singing to de-greet each child! Tristan had two tambourines or similar in his hands; none of the other kids had any. Curious. Tristan was also having a bit of trouble remaining sitting in his chair, by which I mean he kept needing to be planted back into it.
It will be a busy day today followed by another class. I will very slowly keep updating.