Can a Toddler Be an Introvert?

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Recently, Baguette’s teachers asked to meet with us. Apparently she falls asleep throughout the day, and she doesn’t interact with children or her teachers the way they’re accustomed to seeing.

Her sleep is an issue, and we know that. And we’re working on it.

But apparently she’d often rather read a book with Bestie or by herself than trade toys with the other children. And she ignores her teacher when told that it’s time for a diaper change. (Which is strange, because at home she’s so cooperative about diaper changes. [/sarcasm])

What we see is that she holds back a little when first encountering someone–even Mr. Sandwich’s parents, who she sees regularly–but warms up when allowed to do so on her own terms. When Mr. Sandwich picks Baguette up from day care, she and Bestie want to dance and play and spin together. On playdates with one or two other children, she both plays with them and gets territorial with toys, just like they do.

And even in large groups in noisy settings, like birthday parties at indoor playgrounds, she has a great time running from the ball pit to the trampoline to the tiny basketball backboard. It’s not like she’s cowering in a corner. She’s just doing what makes her happy, without the need for constant companionship in her choices.

Also worth noting: when she moved from the toddler room to the two-year-old room, she went from a class of 8 to a class of more than 20, in a much larger setting (and by that I mean that I think our entire house might fit into her new classroom).

I know I’m on the cusp of introvert and extrovert. I can be very outgoing when I choose, but I also really, really like staying home with a book.

So when can we get a sense of whether Baguette leans toward the introverted side of the scale? Because her behavior doesn’t seem to require evaluation–I just think she leans toward smaller groups and smaller settings.

Don’t get me wrong. I do want to know about real problems, and I want to address them as soon as possible. But I don’t see “likes smaller groups” as a problem. It’s just a little different from what they’re used to seeing. And “different” isn’t a problem.

Photo by GenkiGenki, via Flickr.

Transitions

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Baguette is moving from her day care’s toddler room to a 2-year-old room. I’d say that I don’t know if it’s harder on her or me, but I’m pretty sure that would just be ego; it’s clearly harder on her.

But it’s hard enough on me. I don’t need it to be harder than this. And we have a lot of confidence in the school and her teachers–I’m not worried about where she is, just how she feels about it.

I’m also not ready for her to be drinking 2% milk. How can she be old enough to be done with whole milk?

Photo by buba69, via Flickr.

Rainy Day Toddler

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Baguette is still wearing last year’s raincoat. It’s a 12-month size. She wears 2T. But we looked at quite a few toddler raincoats this winter, and every time she would put the hanger back on the rack.

Me: Do you like this one?
Baguette: [says nothing but pushes the hanger away from her]

And so on. It’s hard enough to get her to wear a jacket–she screams and fights and takes it off–that I know it’s a failed effort to get her to wear a coat that she doesn’t even like the look of.

I have no idea what we’re going to do next winter.

Photo by GenkiGenki, via Flickr.

Traditions: Happy Valentine’s Day

I read this post about Valentine’s Day requirements at some schools. And I totally agree. Valentine’s Day is ridiculous for toddlers.

Mr. Sandwich and I have never paid particular attention to Valentine’s Day. The first year we were dating, the day passed while I was on a cruise with my parents. Another year, we bought each other gifts: I got him a cycling jersey, and he got me a DVD of The Princess Bride. Once we went out to dinner. Once, in January, we passed a store window that said, “Fall in love on Valentine’s Day!” I mustered up all the sarcasm I could (a considerable amount), and said, “Oh, honey, look! We did it wrong!” That was pretty much that.

When we got married (possibly before), I told him, “Don’t buy me flowers for Valentine’s Day. They just increase the price because of the date.”

But now we’re entering a new stage: Valentine’s Day with a child. I have somewhat vague memories of exchanging valentines in class, with decorated paper bags taped to the back each chair. Did I buy cards for everyone in class? Did I get cards from everyone? I don’t remember. It’s been a while.

Baguette’s day care, thankfully, does not require handmade valentines from each child. As far as I can tell, the main thing is that they sent home a pink slip of paper. Mr. Sandwich and I wrote a message on it to Baguette. Then I took it back, used one of the (provided) pink ribbons to tie a (provided) pink lollipop to the note, and dropped it in the basket so that someone can “deliver” it to her today.

I’m not sure I’m crazy about her having a lollipop. She’s not even two–does she need candy? I think this may be her first piece. But I also realize that she is now of an age where she will notice if everyone else gets a candygram and she doesn’t. And I don’t want her to feel left out–or, worse, try to swipe some other child’s lollipop.

We’ll just do a little extra toothbrushing tonight. Maybe that will be our Valentine’s Day tradition.

candy heart cake

Photo by bunchofpants, via Flickr.

Toddlers and Money

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Not how much they cost. Teaching them about it. A post on Babble.com‘s Toddler Times asks, “Is Toddlerhood Too Early to Teach Money Lessons?

Answer: I have no idea. I read this story and thought, “I’m not sure one incident demonstrates anything.”

But in fact I am trying to teach Baguette my own lessons on this subject. I do think she’s too young to learn about budgeting–right now she thinks every number is “3”–but when she starts to fuss about eating an apple in the store, I say, “No, first we have to pay for it. It doesn’t belong to us until we pay for it.”

Since she doesn’t yet know about bar codes, either, I am able to stick to this rule with pre-packaged items as well as things that need to be weighed. Yes, technically I could have let her eat one of the muffins (which she calls “CAKE!!!!”) in the bakery 4-pack. But instead I managed to delay the moment when she realizes that’s an option.

And, really, isn’t that what parenting is all about?

Photo by MoneyBlogNewz, via Flickr.

Sunday Morning Toddler

“Wicket!”

“Daddy!”

“Mommy!”

“Wicket!”

“No!” (to offer of water)

Runs out of room and back in. “Daddy read!” (hands over book but refuses to let either of us read it to her)

Runs out of room and back in.“Mommy book!” (hands over book but refuses to let either of us read it to her)

Runs out of room and back in.“Ball!”

Runs out of room and back in. “Mommy!” (holds out indoor portion of indoor/outdoor thermometer)

Runs out of room and back in.

Runs out of room and back in.

Runs out of room and back in.

“Wicket!” (picks up dog’s toys one at a time and returns them when asked, albeit increasingly grudgingly)

Runs out of room and back in. (Sneezes, reaches for Kleenex, takes the one handed to her, drops pacifier on floor, and wipes nose)

Runs out of room and back in. (Without Kleenex, which we will probably find in or next to the trash can)

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

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Actually, I like the rain, except when I have to commute in it. But I do think that the rain predicted for today and Sunday is going to put a damper (that only sounds like a pun) on our usual activities.

What do you do with an 18-month-old who would love it if I just sat next to her and let her watch Elmo all day long? Because I’m not going to let her do that.

Photo by amandabhslater, via Flickr.

Thank You, Los Angeles

I’d like to give a special thanks to the city of Los Angeles. Because I’m sure they realized just how bad traffic would be if they shut down exits on the 405 and started construction on Sepulveda Blvd., the nearest alternative for getting through the Santa Monica Mountains.

I know we’re supposed to be impressed that they realized that shutting down the Wilshire Blvd. on- and off-ramps now, on top of that, would be madness. And, sure, it’s good that the Rampture was delayed.

But did those planners factor in what it would be like when, just as you pull onto the long, long on-ramp that is jammed with cars, with nowhere to go but straight ahead (at a crawl), you hear the dulcet tones of your toddler vomiting in the back seat?

I’m going to guess not.