Toddler Talk – August 2011

Remy is one short month shy of the 3 year birthday.  Where did the time go?  Now we need to figure out the whole “what do we do for his birthday” issue.  He’s old enough to start asking for birthday cake.  I’m thinking we make a trip to a bouncy house place.

But that’s next month.  For now, he’s still a 2 year old and here’s the latest on stuff that’s obvious now that we’d like to remember later.

Quiet and shy. Like most shy kids, he doesn’t appear shy or quiet around the ‘rents and at home, but he is.  He warms up to others slowly, meaning that the grandparents don’t get quite the degree of love that they would if they were around more frequently.  He will, however, talk to other little kids, but he’s not a social butterfly by any stretch.  This shouldn’t be shocking since Gary is quiet and I was really shy as a kid.   On the plus side, stranger danger is moderated quite a bit when you know that your child wouldn’t go willingly into someone else’s car no matter how much candy they offered him.

Remy’s computer.  I have an “old” laptop that kept losing functionality, such as sound, wireless internet and who knows what was coming next.  Since having a reliable machine is critical for my profession, I bought a new one.  As it turns out, the sound on the old one works fine w/ some cheap speakers and the internet doesn’t really need to be wireless.  In the past month, we betrothed this older laptop as Remy’s and got him going with PBS Kids games online. To say that he’s interested in the computer would be a wild understatement.  Once he got the hang of the touchpad mouse (which took a few hours), he’s been all about the ka-puter.  The first night, he got so enthralled with a particular game that he had a sweat going from running back and forth to give us the play by play with a level of excitement that only a child can conjure.  Frequently, Mom and Dad are directed to get on their own computers in the office so we can all do our “computer jobs” together.  If you’re wondering if I’m worried that early computer access is going to give him ADHD or something like that, no I’m not worried.  Why not? See the next topic.

A Man With Focus. Let me describe a recent scene to illustrate a pattern in the Remster’s behavior.  We spent a couple days at the Crumpler grandparents and Remy’s four cousins were there.  At one point, the living room was filled with three of the cousins doing a various gymnastics moves with plenty of laughing and calling out to Aunt Alicia to watch.  In the middle of all this is Remy hunkered down with a truck and trailer toy nearly oblivious to the chaos around him.  I asked Remy to do a somersault too, which he did his best rendition, but then returned immediately to truck duty.  Grandma said, “Well, at least he won’t be one of those kids they say can’t focus.”  Well said, Grandma Violet, well said.

Comfort in the Water. Gary’s been taking Remy to the YMCA pool once or twice a week.  It’s not that Remy doesn’t like water, he loves it.  Just hates getting it in his ears.  You may wonder how we wash and rinse his hair in the tub with this quirk, and the answer is with protest.  Anyway, he’s getting better.  In fact, the boys went with the Grandpa and his cousins to a beach near a lighthouse somewhere while I stayed back and worked.  The scoop is that Remy was on the thin edge of loving it and high anxiety about the waves.  When a wave would topple him over, he’d cry, then get over it and want to go back in.  Here’s the boys on the boat on the way there.

The Science Museum. We recently bought an annual pass to the Durham Museum of Life & Science.  This is something that he loves as much as the computer games.  It had been a while since we last brought him there and he’s just old enough to really get into it.  Boy is he into it.  Gary says that the first (recent) time we went, he just didn’t know what to do with himself he was so excited.  An extra bonus is that the museum is a bike-able distance with mostly bike-ped trails, so Gary gets some exercise while Remy gets a learning experience.  The annual pass was a good investment.

One Thing at a Time. The kid lives in the realm outside of his current skill set.  He insists on doing things that he can’t quite do yet.  All the time.  But he’s particular about how he goes about stretching his capabilities.  He likes to focus on one stretch variable at a time.  For example, when learning the computer games, he’ll repeat a particular specific skill until he feels he’s mastered it.  If a bored parent suggests he add new variables to the mix, we are greeted with a large display of discontent.  Similarly, Remy has a particular circuit he follows at the Science Museum.  Rather than go a different way each time, he’ll make small variations on his circuit.  He’s not receptive to large changes to the fundamental pattern.  One thing at a time.

So that’s it for now.  Next up?  The 3rd birthday.

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