What about the other one?

Friday, October 25, 2013
The Little Sis is just the sweetest little thing, and I am fond of telling people that. “She’s made of sunshine and rose petals,” I’ll say. “She’s made of gumdrops and vanilla lattes.” “She’s made of unicorns and pixie dust.”
 

But seriously, she’s just the best little 2-year-old ever. She’s entered Parrot Mode, where nearly anything someone says or does is fair game for her to repeat, making it hilarious when she says things like, “Move it, buddy” with her innocent, angelic voice after I’ve just said the same thing to The Dog. Of course, that also means it’s not quite as hilarious when she tries to jump off the couch like The Big Sis (who is NOT supposed to be doing that in the first place).

 

She’s talking up a storm — she doesn’t seem to have the “second child talks late” thing going on, as she seems right on par compared to where The Big Sis was at that age (which we can tell by watching old YouTube videos of big sis) — and it’s so much fun. She’s all about noticing patterns and narrating everyday life, which makes sense, since that’s exactly what we do with her. “Mommy take stuff to car? Right back?” Or before dinner: “Go wash hands…then eat dinner.” Or when getting dressed: “Put sock on. Go get shoes. Put shoes on. Get jacket.”

 

She counts accurately from one to 11. She sings her ABCs very well. She knows her colors with accuracy. She knows her shapes — including the octagon, so every time we pass a stop sign, she yells out, “Daddy! Ock-a-gon! Right there!” I’m almost certain I didn’t know what an octagon was when I was 2.

 

The Little Sis loves reading books. She has her favorites, usually an animal or word picture book that she likes us to quiz her on. (She also likes to tell us the color square behind each animal/object.) Her other current favorite is a potty book, which she now calls the “i-cream book” because there’s a page toward the end that depicts a family enjoying an ice cream outing on a park bench after potty success. Naturally that’s the ice cream book.

 

Speaking of the potty, The Little Sis has taken some steps forward in that arena, though we’re still taking a mostly laid-back approach to it at this point and will continue to do that until she has regular success on her own. Right now we offer her plenty of opportunities to use the potty, or we allow her to give it a try if she asks to go, and sometimes she is productive, and sometimes not. We get excited with her successes, and we congratulate her on trying when nothing happens.

 
She is still very much obsessed with babies and is naturally drawn to them when they are nearby. She just looks at them and you can see the love in her eyes. She starts to smile — small at first, then bigger — and leans in for a hug. She’s adorably sweet with them.

The Little Sis still has a very clear preference for me, which is both super awesome and semi-frustrating (at times), but mostly super awesome. 😉 There’s nothing like seeing her when she comes home from daycare and having her exclaim, “MOMMY!!!!” as she runs over to me for a huge hug.

Two is such a fun age!

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Conference

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On the 17th, we had The Big Sis’ fall parent-teacher conference at school, which I was looking forward to. It’s one thing to know how your child is doing at home — and what you see as their strengths and weaknesses — but it’s also important to see how your child fits among his or her peers. Is she on track? Is there something we could be doing better with her at home? How can we make sure she’s challenged but not overwhelmed?

So we met with The Teacher at 5 p.m. that evening and had a nice chat about The Big Sis. We were pleased to receive an all-positive report — she’s doing well in all areas, including behaviorally, socially, and academically — and even more surprised at her fall test scores. Our school’s students take the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in the fall, winter, and spring. It is a test on the computer that takes about 45 minutes to an hour, though students have no actual time limit in completing it. The fall test is to get the baseline score, then teachers generally expect about 11 points of improvement between the fall and the spring tests.

In reading, The Bis Sis received a MAP score of 184, putting her above 2nd grade level. (She’s in a split 1st/2nd grade class, but keep in mind she’s a true 1st grader.) Then, the biggest surprise came with her math score: 198. This puts her above grade 3rd grade level for math. In the split class, students can do either 1st or 2nd grade math depending on how well they’re understanding the various concepts, and The Teacher said that The Big Sis is routinely handling the 2nd grade math just fine. This was actually a wake-up call to me to perhaps be a little less hard on her when she does struggle with something on her homework — she’s still doing better than what’s expected for her grade.

I think I mentioned before that she had been nominated by her teacher to the Primary Talent Pool program at school, and she was accepted for that, so she works with the gifted and talented teacher a few times a week, both individually and in a group with the other PTP kids in her class. Her teacher said that The Big Sis will be a great candidate for the official gifted and talented program that starts in 3rd grade, so we apply for that at the beginning of 2nd grade. (Though I’m pretty sure they changed the rules this year and you don’t apply a year ahead of time but would wait for teacher recommendations for entry in the spring of the 2nd grade year, but I need to clarify that.)

She and another boy at school have taken to each other and are inseparable, and I can see that’s true whenever I’ve been around them, but The Teacher said she’s also friends with plenty of other kids in the class as well.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this school year brings!


Breakthrough?

Monday, October 7, 2013

For several months now, The Little Sis has shown pretty much all of the readiness signs for potty training, but she wasn’t productive when giving it a try. We didn’t really press the matter, and weren’t in actual potty training mode or anything, but we just used it as a chance to give her opportunities for success, and if she did something great, but if not, then oh well. This has led to many, many times sitting on the potty without actual success. (Though, really, in our book, her sitting on the potty WAS a success.)

So we were at an indoor playground on Saturday, and I needed to change The Little Sis’ diaper before leaving. I took her to the restroom and tried to open the changing table, but she was very insistent, saying, “I wanna pee pee on the potty!” Thankfully, being a kid-centric business, they have a kid-sized toilet, so I told her we could give it a try, not expecting her to do anything at all. We went in, she wrestled off her own diaper, and she sat down — and I’ll be damned if she didn’t pee in that kid toilet within a minute. Go her!

I won’t bore with details, but we had two additional successes at home on Sunday, one with the potty chair and one with the potty ring for the toilet.

I still think we’re far from actually being potty trained, as she doesn’t usually let us know in time when she needs to go (usually, she has JUST gone in her diaper, so she can at least tell us that much), and she’s just beginning to have success, but it’s certainly exciting to see some additional steps forward and know that we are gradually nearing the end of the diaper-buying days.