Friday, December 16, 2011

Vocabulary and Behavior Milestones

The kids are both hitting milestones in vocabulary.  Calvin's is increasing every day.  Ball was his first word, followed by Hi and Uh-Oh.  Uh-oh has a long pause between the two words, usually when he drops something.  He has gotten good at Bye Bye (complete with a wave) and has a special word for Balloon (B'oon) too.  He is definitely working on more words and more importantly, copying our inflections.  He's trying.  Banana and Apple are big ones that he is working on too.  Right now, he is very into music too.  He loves to turn on music toys and dance to them, much more than Laci ever did at that age.  His favorite toys are also from the musical instrument box, mostly the recorder, tin can and bean tambourine.  He understands us very well and it is so nice that we can give him direction and he can follow.  

The big behavior milestone that he has hit is Tantrums!  The last few nights when we get home (the witching hour) have been bad.  He just launches into these crazy screaming, roll around on the floor fits that last for 20 - 25 minutes.  I just walk away until he is done.  He tries to hide in the pantry (it's a closet, not a walk in pantry) and will hide in the corner or roll all over the kitchen.  Little things just set him off.  I talked to one of his teachers and she said he's been doing it at school too.  I talked to his afternoon teacher and she suggested giving him a time out when he does that.  She said he hates time outs.  I have never been very successful with time outs, especially when Laci was that age.  But last night, when he started his fit, I put him in the corner for a minute.  He cried the entire time, walked away once (Laci was supervising him) but when the minute was up, he was fine.  I couldn't believe it worked.  I hope it continues to work until he is through this little phase.  He's really been struggling the last couple of weeks with his molars coming in.  So I am blaming the teeth right now.  After he calms down from his tantrums, we have a little dance from his music bus. 

Sorry for the upsidedownness - he's not floating
but he is trying to get into the pantry!

Laci's vocabulary is also increasing.  She is learning bigger words and now asks about their meaning.  She recently asked what "Jealous" means.  Sometimes she uses it correctly, sometimes she doesn't.  Last night she told me that she is jealous of all the presents Daddy has under the tree.  She doesn't have any yet because I haven't wrapped them yet.  But she also told Charlie that she is jealous of a friend of hers at school because he brings a toy every day which is odd because she also brings a stuffed animal to school everyday.  She asked me what "embarrassed" means yesterday.  I struggled with a definition for a 4 year old so I settled with "ask your dad".  

Reading and spelling are our next challenge.  Laci is trying so hard to read and spell.  She is good at the words "red", "bug" and "log".  Charlie's dad asked why she wrote the words "red" and "bug" on his Get Well Soon card and the simple answer is because those are the only words she can spell by herself.  That was a week ago and the number of words she can spell seems to increase every day.  She is constantly asking me how to spell things so she can write them down.  But the English language is so tricky that it is hard sometimes to explain it to her.  Why does "one" start with a O instead of a W (won).  Why does "know" start with a K.  Why does  "light" have a G in it.  She is getting better at sounding out words, especially when she is trying to spell a word.  Sometimes when we are reading books, I pause and point to a word and ask her to try to sound it out.  Once I asked her if she was reading it or just remembered it from the last time we read it.  She just giggled.  So far she seems to be an audio learner and can spell and sound things out by talking.  I am a terrible audio learner and can only comprehend things if I can see it.  If someone reads a book or passage to me, I can't understand what they are saying.  I need to visually see the words.  I am curious what kind of learners they will turn out to be. 

At school, they are learning about hygiene.  She has demonstrated to me the proper way to wash her hands.  She also explained that after they use the restroom, when they come out and give a friend a high five, they are spreading germs.  I laughed at the image of the kids coming of the restroom and high five-ing.  I am trying to work on learning humility with her too.  She seems to have lots of confidence right now (good) but sometimes is too bold about it (bad).  They get stars on the board if they do something good.  Each day, the child with the most stars get a treat from the surprise box.  More often than not, she wins the treat.  I'm glad that she wants to achieve but she needs to learn some humility too and to encourage each other.  I praise her for doing well and make sure that we praise her friends for doing well also.  I remind her that when she does something well, she doesn't need to tell everyone about it all the time.  Bragging about her is her mother's job. :)

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