Beaten Down to Exhaustion

I spent the majority of July in Radio Silence.  I didn’t do much posting.  There was a very simple reason for that, and that reason still exists.  I’m exhausted.  I feel beaten down and depressed.

Life with Norton is wearing me down.  For a while, I was able to make jokes about how we were getting into the Stockholm Syndrome portion of parenting a difficult child: I’d begun to sympathize and bond with my captor.  We’re slipping out of that wonderful ability to tolerate his nonsense.  I’d rather spend my days in bed hiding, avoiding my son. [Read more…]

Reflecting on “Those People”

Ever since Scary Mommy wrote her post on being one of “those people” who have had to depend on food banks at some point, there’s been some reflection going on around the blogosphere.  Some bloggers, like Jill of Life Is Not Bubble Wrapped, are focusing on helping “those people” in small ways that we can all do instead of condemning or demeaning them.

I already work to help “those people” as much as I can through my work with Cloth for a Cause.  There’s no shame in being one of “those people.”  Honestly, I pretty much agree with Matt Paxton of Hoarders: he’s said “we’re all three or four decisions away from pooping in a bucket.”  It can happen to anyone through a series of hard knocks. [Read more…]

Early Reading – Teaching Sight Words

I absolutely do not specialize in early childhood education.  When I wanted to teach, I wanted them in high school.  You know, at the age where they are fully housebroken, able to communicate, and have some reasoning skills.  Since having Norton, though, I’ve found myself with an interest in some aspects of early childhood education.  When dealing with his language delay, I had to learn things in order to help him and advocate effectively.  But now?  We’re starting to work on early reading.

Early Reading - Teaching Sight Words (Cloth Diaper Addicts)I don’t read to Norton as often as Heather over at The Parenting Patch reads to Poppy.  Some days I don’t read to him at all.  Other days, we’ll read five or six stories.  It’s whenever he comes to me with a book and says, “Read the story, Mommy?”  Like most things we do, Norton has to set the tone and pace.  If I try to set it, he rebels.

Most of our early reading activities surround Spot the Puppy books.  They’re simple, fun books that appeal to Norton because he loves puppies in general.  The language is simple; the illustrations are cute.  In fact, Where’s Spot? was the first book recommended to us by the speech pathologists of Norton’s language delay playgroup that we added to our library.  We started out using the book to get him to point to things.  It started out with just getting him to point to the puppy, as Norton was never a child who would point to communicate what he wants.  Then we started getting him to point to other things on the pages, like the boat, the bear, etc.  Eventually, it progressed to him pointing to things and naming them, or counting the number of flowers on a page.

It only makes sense that we’d continue to progress with the same books that have been meeting his needs with every other aspect of his language development for early reading skills.  One day, I decided to do an experiment.  Norton knows his letters.  He knows his phonics.  A friend in another city has a son that’s a few months younger than Norton who is learning early reading skills at their preschool.  So why not?  I showed Norton the word Spot when we were reading Spot Loves His Mommy.

Then it clicked.  He went through the book as we read the story and showed me “Spot” every single time.  To check and make sure that it wasn’t just a fluke, we put the book down for a while.  He ran off and played.  We ate Rice Krispy Bats and did cool stuff.  The next time we read Spot Loves Sports, he was still able to show me Spot on the page.  We later progressed to his recognizing the word “Mommy” and will probably progress to “Daddy” later.  It’s a start.  Even better, it’s an early reading start that Norton is enjoying.

Did you teach sight words as part of early reading?  How did you do it?

I Love You – The Sweetest Words

It took a while for Norton to show affection to me.  It’s really only been since Eudora’s birth that Norton has been inclined to show me any affection at all.  Now, though, I get lots of kisses and hugs.  I know that I always make sure that he hears the words “I love you” at least once daily, though it’s probably more than that. [Read more…]

Baby Talk – Eudora Gets Vocal

Language development has often been a topic of discussion in our home.  There was a lot of concern because of Norton’s language delay.  Now, though, the conversation is more joyous: we talk about Eudora’s baby talk.

It’s amazing.  I’m pretty sure that Eudora’s baby talk is far more developed than I thought it was: we’ve had moments of hearing her say “Bye-bye, Daddy!” as the husband made his way to work.  She’s been naming “puppy” for a while now.  Just yesterday, she pointed to the kitty on her shirt and called it a puppy.  (We have no cats, so she’s not exactly exposed to them.) [Read more…]

Talking Toddler Melts Daddy’s Heart

Eudora has undergone quite a few milestones this month.  She’s walking.  She’s climbing.  She’s starting to talk in ways that we can actually understand her.  While my daughter is continuously adorable with making animal noises, she’s exercising some talking toddler skills that are 100% designed to wrap her daddy around her little finger. [Read more…]

Is This the Beginning of Preschool Bullying?

The other day, I took Norton to the Prince George Forestry and Railway Museum for a preschool field trip.  He loves trains, so I was just thrilled to take him to the museum.  The only thing that disappointed me is that I’d planned on having a family outing to the museum at some point in the summer.  At least, that was the only thing that disappointed me….  Right up until I caught what might be the beginning of preschool bullying. [Read more…]

Working Past a Toddler Language Delay

This is the face of a toddler language delayWhen it was first suggested that Norton may be experiencing a toddler language delay, I was horrified.  I had all sorts of ideas in my head, and a lot of them were wrong ones.  Children in my family don’t do things late.  They usually do things pretty early.  My sisters and I, my nieces, my nephews, and Andy were all ahead of the curve.  Delays were things that happened in other families. [Read more…]

Toddler Language Explosion!

We’ve had our struggles with Norton in the toddler language department.  After all, he was referred for speech and language intervention when he was a year old, and I’ve written many a blog post about the trials and tribulations of a toddler language delay.

This week, we met with Norton’s new speech pathologist.  Because he was referred so early, we’re at the top of the wait list for support.  We’re no longer meeting with K.E. every six months.  Now we’re eligible to meet with K, our new speech pathologist, every week.  Of course, that’s only if the toddler language delay was severe enough to require services that frequently. [Read more…]

Toddler Talking Gets Useful

I love, love, love the leaps and bounds Norton is making on the toddler talking front.  Just six months ago, we were barely getting anything at all.  Now his toddler talking has greatly improved… and it’s gotten useful.

I remember thinking that it was the funniest, most adorable thing when Norton would call any animal that he didn’t recognize “puppy.”  And I remember the husband getting frustrated because Norton would call some random thing a puppy and he had no idea exactly what our boy was trying to convey.

One night during a bath, the husband swore that he’d teach “new kid” (our way of referring to Eudora while she was en utero) to call everything “thingy.”

[Read more…]