Friday, September 21, 2007

16-month high- & lowlights

I don't mean the title of this post to imply that anything really bad has happened lately. Mostly, ours is a very happy household because of a certain hilarious toddler. However, August & September are months of transition with Matt going back to work, Tobin returning to school, & me facing the busier part of my work cycle. So the last couple of months have included their challenges. Here's the scoop...

School: I will make every effort to make this long saga very short & speed up to the happy ending. About 3 weeks before Matt returned to work, we got the bad news that Tobin's preschool could not guarantee him a spot for the fall (after taking a summer break) because (& this is where I'm cutting out a lot of stuff) the school had to unexpectedly reduce class size. We were pretty much heartbroken. We loved Tobin's old school & the people there. Most importantly, we felt completely confident that Tobin was getting good, quality care there. It is so hard for us to be away from Tobin during our work hours, but it is bearable knowing that he is in competent, caring hands. So we suddenly were faced with the prospect of (1) finding a space (2) in a good daycare. It took some scrambling & lots of interviews & visits, but we found a comparable school in a comparable location. I say "comparable" because it wasn't the same as our old school. The only advantage the new place had was a newer building. We had some concerns about the staff turnover at the school, which is fairly common in daycare but not something we had to deal with at the old school, which had staff who had been there for years. The teachers were very nice there, but seemed young & a little immature. I felt good about leaving T there but not great. And there's a huge distinction between the two in this context. Tobin spent a total of 5 weeks there when we got a call from the director of the old school that a spot had suddenly opened up. Without hesitating, we accepted the opening & enrolled Tobin in his old school the following week, which was last week. I was able to work half days last week so that I could spend some time with T in the morning at his school, allowing him to have shorter days & for both of us to familiarize ourselves with his class & teachers. Although Tobin hadn't been in the toddler class before we took him out for the summer, the teachers in that class knew him & have been really great with him. He's an adaptable little guy & seems to be handling the transition well. He even takes naps (sometimes 2 hours long) after lunch on his little cot. I think Matt was pleasantly surprised to hear this after a summer of trying to trick Tobin into napping midday--usually by taking him for a ride in the car. Anyway, the good news is we're back where we want to be & exceedingly grateful.

Food: At Tobin's last doctor's appointment, his percentiles for height & weight continued to fall a bit. He's hovering around 50%, which is understandable considering Matt's & my sizes. However, the doctor was concerned that he hadn't gained any weight since his 12-month appointment. We were pretty surprised. We knew Tobin was a rather finicky eater. He won't drink cow's milk (we keep trying) & doesn't like certain textures, like meats & certain veggies. But everything we read made us think this was par for the course for toddler eating. We compensate for the milk mainly with yogurt, one of T's favorites, & some cheese. And Cheerios are our fail-safe. Since the doctor's appointment, we've made a more concerted effort to encourage grazing. We feed T every couple of hours, even if we're just playing on the living room floor. For example, he likes sharing a banana & a cup of yogurt with Dad every afternoon. So hopefully the next weigh-in will show progress. I think Matt & I are only moderately concerned about Tobin's eating, because he does seem to be eating more & a better variety lately &, the fact is, he is still our pleasantly plump little boy (note the belly, legs, & cheeks). This was just another thing that popped up in these last couple of relatively challenging months.

Shoes: T is very into shoes these days. In a previous post I noted his love for his sandals. His summer/early fall sneakers have been a pair of white low-top Converse (of which Dad has a matching pair). Most mornings Tobin will find his shoes & say "dutch," which as best we understand means "I want this!" or "Can you help me?" or "I like this!" He laughs & smiles as I put on the shoes & then walks around happily watching his feet. In the afternoon, his dad has a ritual of sitting down on the porch steps with Tobin to take off his socks & shoes because there is a lot of sand on the playground at school. The only reason removing T's sneakers is acceptable to him is because he thinks it's hilarious to hear the sand hitting the brick stairs. And because he gets to put on his beloved sandals (by far, his favorites). Taking the sandals off for bath & bed nearly always brings some tears. I admit that last night I skipped the bath & waited until T was sleeping to take them off just to avoid this emotional routine of parting with his sandals. Yesterday morning, we had a new shoe drama. I dared put on a different pair of shoes in the morning: T's (awesome) navy Pumas. After all, it's officially fall, right? Anyway, after I put one on, Tobin looked at his foot & cried. And then struggled to get away before I could put on the other one. We made up &, with a milder whimpering, he allowed me to put on the other shoe. And then he smiled & said "dutch?" ("Can we go to the car now?").

Hannah: Matt & I often talk as though we have two kids. We consider Hannah our first baby, but we acknowledge the obvious difference between loving a canine child & loving a human child. :) But, seriously, lately, I've felt more like I am a parent to two siblings. Tobin LOVES Hannah. He even says her name very clearly now, except that he has trouble with the "n" & so it sounds like he's saying something like "holla!" or the Jewish bread "challah." However, his sister can also cause him consternation. For example, she always wins tug-a-war with her chew toy. Sometimes this little game is funny; other times Tobin tries to keep Hannah away from the toy by holding it away from & uttering a gutteral "nuh nuuuuuuh." (I've seen him use similar tactics with other kids at school. Part of me worries he'll never learn to share. But the other part of me is glad he can fend for himself...because it's kinda crazy in there with 11 other toddlers. And some of them bite!) Today, I gave Hannah my empty yogurt container to lick, which displeased T because apparently HE wanted it. So I closed Hannah in the bathroom with the yogurt cup so she could lick in peace. Oh goodness. T followed me to the kitchen crying & then pointed at the bathroom & went back & banged on the door. A few minutes later, I let Hannah out. Tobin was on it. He took the cup from her & then she took it back & ran under the table. He cried & followed her. And I finally just took the cup away from both of them. The whole exchange exhausted me...& was hilarious.

Oh, & there's so much more to tell...but I will save that for another post. Tobin's Aunt Sarah is visiting this weekend, so we're excited about that.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful info about T. Don't fret too much about the weight issue. With his walking, he is burning lots of calories. Better to be on the slim side! Those fat family genes are just lurking! So glad the child care situation turned out so well. Think of you all daily, since Birthday Tobin is my desktop background!
Aunt Beckie

DMW said...

That yogurt story is hilarious. Thanks for sharing!!