Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Snacktime! and a Turning Point for me

John Michael is almost 19 months old. He's drinking more from a sippy cup these days -- milk and OJ and sometimes diluted apple juice. He can use a straw very well, too, but these lightweight disposable cups are easier for him to maneuver. Psst, don't tell him it's an older girly princess cup of Greta's. He hasn't noticed yet. BUT! Yesterday, I gave him milk in a Dora the Explorer cup and I asked, "Where's Dora?" With his middle finger, he pointed to Dora and said Dih Dih. Another word! Yay! Now we have Dada, Bap for bath or water, Eh Duh for Greta, "K" for big brother Nic and Cat, and Dih Dih for Dora.

Check this out! He can reach and put his sippy cup in the cup holder of his high chair tray. We're beginning to work on simple puzzles now.

He loves snacking on graham crackers or baby Gold Fish crackers and orange juice. His pincer grasp is getting better. He used to pick up food with 3 or more fingers and shove it in. He's working on using his index finger more, although he still points with his middle finger more often than not.

It looks like he has a headache, but he's actually playing peek-a-boo and trying to hide his eyes from me. It's so funny, I can never keep a straight face! John Michael also will shake everyone's hand and give high-five's. He's very social and loves to get peoples' attention by forcing eye contact.
So here's my "Turning Point." I brought Anna to the racquet club this morning for summer tennis camp. BJM (before John Michael) I used to play tennis at least once a week, on a team or just fun doubles matches. Somehow as he's grown and his delays are more obvious, I haven't had the courage to put him in the play care room at the club so I could play tennis or exercise. As a result... well, I'm not physical enough.
On our way out, I decided to pop in the play care room and ask the woman there if there were slower times and whether they would take JM. It turns out that every morning from 9:30 to 11, the 4-6 year olds go outside to play on the basketball courts so the room would be quieter with kids more his size.
I went through the diagnosis, explained he's healthy as a bear -- just delayed in some areas. I was choked up and on the verge of tears the entire time I was talking with her. She watched him crawl over to the shelf, pull out some big plastic dump trucks and start pushing them around. She asked a few questions about whether he could eat Gold Fish (yes) and drink from a sippy cup (yes) and whether he was OK with strangers (not always, but a Binky will help). She remembered Greta from the past and asked if she would be joining him (yes!). After watching him play contentedly for a few minutes, she said he'd do fine in there and that it would be good for me and him. Before we left, she knelt down, looked John Michael in the eyes, and spoke directly to him and welcomed him to come anytime. I smiled, thanked her and said, "I promise!"
I left there with a load lifted off my shoulders. I'm still emotional typing this. It's been 2 years since I've played tennis. It's the only sport I thoroughly enjoy and I miss the physical and social aspect of it. Last year Nic and Anna got to play while I stayed home with a baby. Now it's my turn. I think this might be a great summer.

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  1. Monica- That's terrific! Cody is now 25 months- and I see a lot of the same things emerging in your son that I did in Cody! He's doing terrific! And as for my two cents... I am VERY VERY VERY grateful that Cody is in full time daycare. I kid you not- what mother says that.. it is not because I don't miss him to pieces every single minute of the day and pretty much speed home to get him... it is because he is absolutely positively thriving in there. He is doing so great socially and cognitively - and I know it is 75% due to the fact he is in that type of setting day in and day out. So don't sweat him not being able to fit in there. HE totally does!!!!! (Cody has been in daycare since 3 months old- talk about not being able to do the things the other kids are doing!!!! They are a great inspiration for him!)

  2. Now it's my turn to get choked up reading YOUR post!! First of all, it sounds like John Michael is doing amazingly!! He's also doing a lot of the same things Samantha was doing at that age, and I completely get what you mean about not wanting him to be in with the older kids in the play area. Same with Sammi--as her delays became more obvious and the older kids tend to be much more aware, I, too, worried about that. But I have found that the older kids at school have sort of "adopted" her and absolutely love playing with her. You'll probably find that, too, as your little guy starts school or starts spending time with the same groups of children. Lisa hit the nail on the head in her comment!

  3. Isn't it cool to see the typical mile stones erupt!! I love watching the "new" things that my Little Saint masters--we're working on potty training and I think she finally has age 6.

    Great to hear that you feel comforable in leaving JM for some Tennis. I'm tickled that childcare is working with JM and you. I'm not agreeing with the other comments about leaving your child in childcare all day long, but for yourself, you could probably use some "you" time without any worries.

    I hope we get to hear about your fist day back at Tennis. ;)

  4. Hurray for you both! I'm so impressed with John Michael... puzzles, new words... and just think about how much more he'll pick up (or accelerate what he's already doing) when he's with Greta and the other children in play care! Watch out! :)

    Enjoy the tennis. You SO deserve it!

  5. JM sounds like he is full of personality. The peek-a-boo picture is fantastic and it sounds like he's doing great and learning so many new things! And I'm happy for you and your turning point. Here's to you getting back into your tennis routine and JM having fun in the play care room!

  6. JM is doing so well and boy he is so cute! I would love to hold and love on him. Great for you and JM will have so much fun in the child center.

  7. so happy for you about your return to the gym/tennis club :) i bet john michael will love the play room!

    also - i loved the update on how well he is doing with the sippy cup, how he has perfected the straw and how his pincer grasp is getting better, not to mention his spoken words! yay John Michael!

  8. JM is so cute!!! I haven't read your whole blog "yet" but He it sounds like he is taking one step at a time like ALL the rest of us. :)
    I totally know about turning points... they just keep turning and you keep growing stronger and stronger!

    Have a GREAT TIME!!!


  9. First, John Michael is so growing up!!! Wow, he is really doing great and as always when ever I see his picture I just want to hug him:)

    I am truly happy for you, I really hope you can start playing tennis again, sounds like it will be great for both of you :) Have fun!! And you know what they say, When Momma's happy, everyone's happy :)

  10. John Michael is doing so good!
    I'm so happy for you that you will be able to start playing tennis again!I love exercising because it's something for me and I don't have to share it with anyone :) I think us moms deserve something to ourselves.

  11. That's super, glad you can get back to something special.
    John Michael is so cute and doing great things. I love the peek a boo picture.

  12. JM is sooo cute! Could he come over and tell Matthew that drinking from a sippy cup isn't that bad and that we shouldn't toss our sippy cup on the floor? LOL! JM is doing awesome! I love his words!!
    That's also wonderful that you are able to get back into tennis. I used to play tennis too. Haven't been on the courts for over 2 years.

  13. That is so exciting for you Monica! JM will do great and having him in there will give him more oppurtunities...something we are always striving for with our children! AND Mom gets to have a fun summer to boot!? It's a win/win situation ;)

  14. Monica, one of the best things that I did for "me" was start going to a Mother's group at my friend's church. I put Sydney in their daycare. It was the first time outside of church or someone I knew that I left her with anyone. They received her the same way. It was the "me" thing that I needed. So happy for you. I love reading about JM's eating habits. We are struggling with Sydney and she is 23 months, so it is always good to hear what other peers of hers are doing. I LOVE the details. Thanks for putting them in there.