Counting Toddler Success

I was more than amazed when Norton taught himself the alphabet.  Since I was all about getting him to use more words in order to beat that toddler language delay, that wasn’t a toddler success that was even on my radar.  However, Norton’s showing me that he’s more than capable of surprising me with the things that he’s been able to pick up when I’m not particularly paying great attention.  His toddler success stories go beyond the alphabet.  He’s also taught himself numbers and counting.

He’d learned to recognize the numbers one through ten through his alphabet bus toy.  Even still, though, I figured it was just recognition of numbers, not an outright understanding of counting.  It shocked the heck out of me when he started counting along with the Count on Sesame Street.  I wanted to see if he was just repeating the Count or if he actually knew the numbers, so I asked him to come help me put Eudora’s diapers away.

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Promoting Early Reading – Now What?

I’ve always endeavored to promote early reading for Norton.  Before he was even born, I started acquiring books for him.  I did the same thing for his big brother Andy, too.  With Andy, there was a lot of reading Dr. Seuss.  With Norton, though, my focus on early reading took a back seat to working past his toddler language delay.

Now that he’s starting to catch up on his toddler language delay issues, I’m moving back into early reading.  Honestly, though, renewed focus on promoting early reading comes from Norton using a toy to teach himself the alphabet.

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How My Smart Toddler Taught Himself the Alphabet

The Little Scholastic Bilingual Alphabet and Number Bus

I’ve always known that Norton is a smart toddler.  He’s got the mind of a little engineer; he has to figure out how everything works.  Of course, having a smart toddler means that child proof locks aren’t always effective, but that’s just how things work.

There’s one area of Norton’s education that I’d been seriously neglecting.  I hadn’t bothered with putting much attention on teaching him his letters and numbers.  I was too busy worrying about Norton’s toddler language delay.  While I was busy worrying and focusing on other things, Norton was busy learning.

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Toddler Activity and Having Fun

I’m a stay at home mom.  I don’t have a lot of friends in the area with children, particularly when you consider my besties with children Norton’s age live in the computer.   (Okay, not literally, but we’re scattered pretty far and wide.)  With this in mind, I try to keep an eye out for a toddler activity that will have Norton around kids his age and one that he’ll enjoy.  One toddler activity we do on a regular basis is Norton’s play group for language delayed toddlers.  It’s fantastic, and it’s making such a huge difference.

Norton has discovered the magic of books.

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Toddler Behavior and the Best Day Ever

A couple of weeks ago, I was lamenting being a mom to “that kid.”  It’s hard work, and it often leaves me feeling like I’m failing or doing something wrong.  Toddler behavior can be unpredictable and difficult to manage with even the most malleable of children; part of being a toddler is developing autonomy.  This time, though, I didn’t feel like the mom to “that kid.”  I wasn’t embarrassed, ashamed, or wondering if I was doing something wrong.  In fact, Norton’s toddler behavior made it the best day ever for us.

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Toddler Talking and Hints of Progress

I’ve been going nuts over toddler talking… or, more particularly the lack of toddler talking in my house.  I’m happy as a clam because we’ve had some breakthroughs lately.  No, Norton hasn’t begun reciting Hamlet’s soliloquy or whatever.  I am still working with my little boy on overcoming a toddler language delay.  But we had a big week.

Norton and I were happily playing in his room.  (Okay, fine, I was trying to clean it and he was getting out toys almost as quickly as I put them away.)  He went to his toy rack and handed me a small blue ball.  As he placed it in my hand, he said “Boow.”  I was over the moon.  We played ball in his room for about twenty minutes, and numerous times, he proclaimed some variant of “ball” as he threw the ball to me.  And, almost as impressively, when we were done, he put his ball back on the toy rack in the appropriate bin.

That wasn’t the only new word attempt for the week.  Lately, Norton has had a thing for Greek yogurt.  He uses his spoon properly to eat it, and will do his best to scrape the bowl to get every last bit of yogurty goodness.  While I was mixing a small bowl for him, I’d asked him if he wanted his yogurt.  And he said, “Go-goo.”

It was close enough to yogurt for me to be convinced.  🙂  And I couldn’t be happier at the progress we’ve made this week.  Maybe this is the beginning of the toddler language explosion.


Toddler Talking and Feeling the Love

I have been increasingly frustrated with our lack of progress in the toddler talking department.  I’ve been practicing our five words that the speech pathologist gave us, and have been getting nowhere.  At least, nowhere with toddler talking.

There have been other toddler communication improvements… just of the non-verbal variety.

1.) Norton has stopped throwing his sippy cup at me when he wants more milk.  He hands it to me now.  While the non-verbal communication is nice, it’s come at a price: he no longer (or at least, very rarely) says or signs “milk.” [Read more…]

Parenting Stress and the Pressure to be a Perfect Parent

I know that there is no such thing as a perfect parent.  I know that every parent has bad days when things go wrong.  But still, that doesn’t help me feel any better.  I feel like I need to be the perfect parent in order to be good enough.

This pressure results in more parenting stress than I need.  And no one in my life is putting this pressure on me.  I do it to myself.

I came home from Strong Start earlier today feeling like a completely inadequate and overwhelmed mom.  In fact, I paused while writing my blog post yesterday to just cry for a while… and spent the rest of the day feeling like a terrible mother.  If I were a better mom, I’d be able to handle Strong Start like a super star.  I wouldn’t have felt like an overwhelmed mom who just wanted to go curl up in a ball and hide in a corner.  If I were a better mom, I’d have been able to do something as simple as toddler time at the library without taking my kid to the hospital. [Read more…]

Overwhelmed Mom Survives Strong Start

I’m an introvert by nature.  I’m not dealing with some sort of social anxiety thing or whatever.  I can handle people just fine, and have had to work with them in some capacity or another since I was sixteen.  I’m finding, though, that there’s a difference between doing a job and holding staff meetings and being social and talking to other parents.  I found toddler time at the library to be enough to make me an overwhelmed mom.  Of course, I may not have found it to be so traumatic if it didn’t end with a visit to the hospital.  Strong Start didn’t lead to a trip to the hospital, but I was still an overwhelmed mom by the time I gave up and brought Norton home.

Strong Start is a program in British Columbia that takes place at public schools.  It’s designed for helping with kindergarten readiness, but is open for all kids too young for kindergarten.  I went because our speech pathologist suggested it at our last appointment in order to get Norton around other kids more and help encourage toddler talking.  I was nervous about going, particularly since I hate to take Norton anywhere without the husband after the library disaster.  I always worry about doing something wrong that somehow results in another trip to the hospital. [Read more…]

Toddler Talking and Hope on the Horizon

It Takes Two to Talk

So, yeah.  Earlier this week, I worried about Norton’s lack of toddler talking.  I’d gotten some helpful things from It Takes Two to Talk, but it turns out that the book was more helpful than I’d thought.  While I did learn that part of the “problem” is with Norton’s communication style (he is very happy to play by himself and only starts an interaction when he wants something) and how I respond to it, and I got some ideas on how to work past it, I was still getting nervous about the lack of toddler talking.  I’d received more than one message through various mediums that maybe our toddler communication issues were a sign of something more serious… and while I didn’t think so, I did find the possibility to be worrisome. [Read more…]