4.15.2011

the age of understanding...

When asked, "Where do you put the keys?" he got up from the floor, keys in hand, and stood on his tip toes to try to put a key in the front door lock.

As he stood in the living room clearly looking around for something, I said, "You left Henry in the kitchen," (his favorite, for now, train), he walked right into the kitchen, picked Henry up from the spot he was left in front of the stove and happily went about his play.

If asked, "Would you like to eat?" he walks over to his highchair pointing and gesturing. 

Ask "Do you need a new diaper?" and he goes to stand by his bedroom door, waiting for us to catch up and take him to the changing table.
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Brain as sponge doesn't quite seem to cover how fast he is mimicking, catching on, learning and understanding.  As a first time mom, I often wonder if I am doing enough to nurture his learning. As the first and, for now, only child he plays independently quite a bit.  I have no idea how much is too much.  Is there a limit?  We read books, play trains, blocks, kitchen and I narrate a good portion of the day in English and (my limited) Greek. But, am I actually supporting his development the way I should and how does one even know?

Outside of play dates, running into other kids at the park and the one day a week that he spends with his Nanny and her daughter, he doesn't have structured socialization time.  I'm looking at options for toddler classes, thinking that now might be a good time to get him used to being around groups of other children his age.  But, which to choose...a gym class to get out some of his ever-present energy? A parent/child music class for more of a mellow experience? *sigh*

He is bright, sweet and funny and I want to give him every opportunity to reach his full potential, whatever that may mean for him. So, any tips would be welcome...

First time mom also = over-thinking and second-guessing. A lot. Clearly.

8 comments:

Jennifer said...

wow that sounds like you are doing a superb job ! I am not a mom (yet) so I have no advice but both of those sound good, maybe a little more towards the gym class thing because he has so much energy.

Meaghan said...

I agree- you are doing a great job! I firmly believe that there is no such thing as too much independent play. Both of my children can play for a long time by themselves, and that time to figure out the world on their own lays the foundation for a rich imagination and allows George to build confidence. I had the same questions about my son when he was an only child. Don't overthink- you KNOW what George needs. My daughter is now 20 months old, and it has been clear for a few months that she will thrive in some classes for socialization. Her personality demands it, and my almost 4 year old son's personality does not. So I think that by following George's lead, you are giving him just what he needs. Don't push too much structure on him; his whole life will be structured and scheduled soon enough. I always enjoy reading your blog- I've been following you since I discovered your beautiful scrapbook pages!

Jules said...

A takes a "busy bodies" mom and me class once a week and loves it. they focus on following directions, learning to jump, roll and control your body. also A loves her mommy and me library group. read-a-loud stories, choreographed poems, coloring and marching are involved. just a feel-good atmosphere for socialization. best of luck finding the best fit for G! love you guys, Jules

Derby_Newbie said...

It sounds to me like he is right on track (if not farther ahead) than the kids at my daycare that are the same age.

As for more socialization activities, I would say choose something that fits best with your lifestyle. Also, kids his age are still largely in the "parallel play" phase, where they will play beside another child, with the same toys, but not necessarily with the other child.

Jes said...

I've been having this same monologue with myself for the last month! being a stay at home mama with limited transportation makes it difficult to get out as often as I'd like, but we've got a great group that we get together with regularly for playdates at each of our houses (we rotate weekly), and also outings/activities as weather permits. but Olivia is the oldest of the 5 girls and I know she would benefit from being around some older toddlers more often and have been looking into a gym/tumbling class at our rec center. we'll also be hitting the pool once a week at the rec, and they have some other great toddler classes for very reasonable prices compared to Gymboree or some of the other places I've looked into.

Kristi said...

It is truly amazing how much they grasp. He is a little sponge for sure! It sounds to me like you are doing all the right things to help him be a very smart boy!

Jenn said...

from the sounds of it, seems like you are doing a great job. As for classes, most of them will let you try out one class for free so maybe try out a couple different ones to see which one he seems to like best. Musical Munchkins is a fun one in the local area.

Aurie said...

You are doing awesome watching his clues and stretching his imagination! He seems really well adjusted and socialized when we get together. Knowing that all too soon the girls' lives will be full of activites we've made the decision to keep it as simple as possible for now. We have playdates a few times a week, attend storytime at the library,and go to MOPS events 3 times a month.

A lot of programs will let you try a class (or 2) to see if it's a good fit. Whatever you choose, G will be wonderfully :)

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