Acade(me)

The dissertation was only the beginning.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Toddler Talk
Last night, after I put ST to bed and went down to chat with T before settling in for some evening reading, ST got out of his bed and wandered downstairs to where we were. He grinned, looked at me and said, "Hey, Mom! Don't you think we should rock before I go to bed?"

He loves to rock in the recliner in his room before he falls asleep, mostly so he can talk and know that he has my undivided attention. We don't do it every night, but if he can't fall asleep within ten minutes of us putting him in bed, I know that he'll come to find me for our evening chats in the recliner. The routine is the same: he comes to find me, I sit in his chair, he grabs his favorite blanket, he lays across my lap so that his head is resting on the left arm of the chair, and he plays with my fingers as he chatters away. We always have the nicest conversations while we're rocking in that chair, and our conversations always amaze me. It is astounding to realize how much a 2.75 year old child knows about his world.

Last night we talked about using the potty. ST has been a real champ for the past week -- he goes in the potty all day long and only wears a diaper when he's napping or going to bed. We've always told him that he wouldn't be able to go to school or ride the bus if he wore diapers, because only big kids go to school and ride the bus.

"I'm peeing in the potty now, Mom. So I'm a big kid," he said last night.

"Yes, you are a big kid." I stroked his little face.

"So now I can go to school with the other big kids. Are there toys at school?"

"No, school is for learning to write your name, learning about numbers, and learning to read."

ST looked disappointed. "But they have toys at the bank, Mom!'

Whenever I do the banking (I usually don't -- that's T's province), ST comes with me. There's a Lego table in the lobby of our bank, and the tellers know his name and always give him a butterscotch sucker when we visit.

We talked more about the bank and people who worked at the bank. "Mom, will Dad go to work tomorrow?" ST asked me. I said that he would.

"Well, good. Because Dad has to get some money at work so we can buy more toys!"

Last week, T and ST had a chat about money, and about why we use money to get things like clothes, books, gas, food, and toys. T explained that Mom and Dad go to work so that we can get money to buy things. This confounded ST at first, but he's clearly understanding it now. When T left for work this morning, ST said, "Bye, Dad! Get lots of money for toys, OK?!"

Today, ST and I went to our local children's museum, which is fantastic. (I am always at home with ST on Wednesdays.) At the museum there is a child-sized grocery store, complete with small cash registers, carts, and tons of fake food on the shelves. I stood behind the little checkout, making a "beep" noise every time I scanned the items ST had brought to "purchase." After scanning everything (mostly toy brownies, yogurt, and about 20 plastic tomatoes), I said, "OK, now you have to pay me $25.00 before you can take this food."

ST looked in his pockets and looked in his cart. He didn't have any of the laminated toy money I'd given him when we started playing. "Well, Mom, I guess I'll wait for Dad. Dad's getting my money at work."

I anxiously await tonight's "rocker talk," because I never know where it's going to lead me.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 1/11/2006 02:39:00 PM  
2 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 11:56 PM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    It is astounding how much they absorb. #1, now 3.75 yrs spent a year with us in Czecho. The Czech word for yes is "ano", and a common phrase for "well, yeah" is "no jo" (a cognate I suppose for the German phrase "na ja").

    Upon our return to the States - he was about 2.5 then - we were taken to saying things like "no... don't push the button on daddy's computer," "no, don't pull on the wires," "no, please don't throw rocks in the house." Suddenly, one day, a glimmer arose on his face, in reaction to one of our "nos". He smiled and said, "no jo!"

    While we were caretaking for my father in the final throes of his battle with cancer, #1's room was across the hall from my dad's. He loved my dad, and watched him fade away with the rest of us. The afternoon my dad died, I emerged from his bedroom to inform the family. I explained that grandpa was not breathing anymore. #1 looked at a picture we have of my dad in better times, with a belly laugh apparent on his face. My son pointed to the picture and said, that grandpa is still breathing.

    So many more, but I'll stop there.

     
  • At 12:02 AM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    Oh... and one more... the other night during "snuggle time" #1 asked, "daddy, does the ocean have a drain?"

    Good night.

     
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