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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our almost 2 year old

Aidan is very busy being almost 2. She knows her own mind and what she wants and is reluctant to relinquish control to another. Our short hand for this is "The NO MONSTER is here." Poor thing. It has got to be so hard to want to do so much, have limited things that you can accomplish on your own, and then have some mommy or mama tell you that you can't do one of the things you know that you could do it given the opportunity. Or, to think you can do something just fine by yourself, thank you very much, but have a grown-up have a different opinion (like teeth brushing).

We have 3 main issues right now:

1) Bedtime. Aidan does not wish to go to bed at night. Delay, delay,, play, play. I think it is related to her difficulty transitioning from having us full time on vacation to our work schedule (insert working mommy guilt feelings here), as well as her desire for independence. Our new plan is Aidan gets to pick out 4 books to read before bedtime at the beginning of the getting ready process. Then, for each time she doesn't listen or engages in delaying tactics, one book gets taken away. After all 4 are gone, no stories and just a hug and a kiss and bed. We'll see how that works.

2) Teeth brushing. We had some success with bringing a parade of stuffed animals into the bathroom. Aidan would brush their teeth, each in turn, and make them spit into the sink while singing the teeth-brushing song (it is pretty cute). Then, one of us would brush Aidan's teeth. Then she would get to brush mama's or mommy's teeth. It worked for about a week. Now, we are back to her wanting to do it "MYSELF" or just refusing altogether. Any one got any tips? I'm thinking of trying a sticker chart. (Curious about the teeth-brushing song? Click here and choose "Songs" in the left menu and then "Ready for bed." It is cute song. Cuter when Aidan is singing it.)

3) Dinner. The last two nights, Aidan has decided that she wants "treats" for dinner. Last night, she wanted little jelly fruit flavored things (at 17 grams!?!? of sugar, they are a rare treat). The night before, she wanted "ice" (ice cream). So, we introduced the concept of having to eat dinner before treats. Last night she finally got interested in dinner and ate reasonably well. The night before, we told her "2 bites of everything on your plate." She climbed up into her chair, crying pretty hard, and started eating. She got to the chicken and balked. We held firm and she ate her chicken. And then she got her ice. Poor thing.

On brighter notes, she is continuing to talk more and more each day and we can understand more and more each day. She's singing more of the songs she knows too. And she's counting more. She has some numbers all the way up to 20 now and enjoys counting as she does things. In the "be careful what you model" category, Aidan has started counting when she's doing things that I have told her to "hurry up" about, as when Aidan is given a choice, she has until we count to 10 to make a choice or we make it for her. So, now she counts as she doing things. Her counting usually goes like this "6...7...8...2...3..." Sometimes, it goes "16...17...18..." However, she's getting the idea.

She can now, with some reliability, identify the letter "A" when it appears by itself.

And she is GREAT at identifying animals.

She LOVES painting with paintbrushes now. We have indoor (on paper) and outdoor (on the sidewalk) paints and she is having the best time. We are having fun too, particularly when we are outside and can draw and paint ourselves!

She is working on her pouring skills too - and getting quite good at it. When we are outside, she likes to fill up a bucket with water and pour it into smaller buckets and then back again. She hasn't figured out that different sized containers have different volumes, but she's having fun experimenting. She's also having fun spraying us with the hose.

She continues to be my helper in the kitchen and loves participating in the cooking process. Lately, however, she wants to cut things herself. I'm not quite ready to turn over my kitchen knives. Last night, we worked on cutting bread (with a dull knife), however, and she thought that was great fun.

She can now jump with both feet leaving the floor. She is almost ready to start jumping off things. Right now, she tends to step off (with a little lift of her upper body that makes her think she is jumping). But the other day, I saw a true two-footed jump off a soft block.

Oh, and she loving swim lessons now. Doesn't really want to follow the lesson (other than the part about jumping off the side, doing the Hokie Pokie, and going down the slide), but loves going. Big improvement from the first two times.

In the cute now, but will become irritating later, category: Aidan's teacher informed me that Aidan will go up to another little girl and say, "No, no Lindsay. Don't do that. That's a no-no." Aidan seems to feel the need to take care of Lindsay (and boss her around). When we are leaving for the day, if Lindsay is still there, Aidan will try to take Lindsay's diaper bag to her or to one of Lindsay's parents if she sees them. It is really sweet.

Those are the main Aidan updates. Christianne has figured out how to get video off our camera and onto the computer. This weekend I hope to figure out how to upload it here so you can see Aidan in action.

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