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Why have PB&J when you can have a toddler sandwich?

Posted Jan 14 2009 8:54pm
The best part of having 4 kids is watching them interact with one another. Well, when they're being nice to one another, of course. Lately, they've all been into hugging each other. Here's a picture I managed to get the other day when both Cole and Bella decided to hug Garrett at the same time....

They actually have him lifted off the ground, which cracked me up. He thought it was all fun and games until they kept picking him up repeatedly and squeezing him between the two of them. Awww, good times....

I had parent/teacher conferences with Cole and Bella's preschool teacher on Wednesday. Seems like they are both on target with where they should be for 4 year olds. I was impressed with how well they're both writing their names now compared to back in August when they started there. The teacher also showed me their self-portraits...one done in August and one done last month...and there was also a huge difference. Cole now has a face and legs while Bella is just a big circle with legs.

The one thing the teacher did say Cole needs to work on is his confidence level, which didn't surprise me. We often hear from him "I can't" or "I don't know how" and as much as we encourage him to try, he'll either refuse or just start crying. Maybe he's a perfectionist and he's afraid of making a mistake....or maybe he doesn't have enough confidence in himself to even want to try. So we talked about ways we could boost his self-esteem and his confidence level in trying new things. Overall, I was happy to hear they're both doing really well and the teacher feels they'll be more than ready for kindergarten come next fall. Yikes...kindergarten already??!!

Yesterday, I had a developmental assessment for Garrett (Landon will have his next week). The hospital where they were born follows premature babies through the first 2 years of life to make sure they are developing on track and to line up services, should they need it. The nurse who did the assessment was one of the nurses who had taken care of Garrett and Landon when they were born and she was amazed at how much he'd grown. I was amazed with how well Garrett did during the assessment. Not at his behavior so much because he was pissy as usual...making angry faces when he wasn't happy about something and having major attitude problems if he didn't like something he was asked to do. But I was amazed at how well he completed some of the activities she had him do, like doing shapes puzzles...he actually put the squares where the squares go and the circles where the circles go. Then she had him do this thing where he had to put little pegs into holes and he did them over and over without any problem. He also pointed out pictures to her in a book when she asked where certain things were. This is when I had my "aha" moment and realized that all my reading to him wasn't in vain. He was absorbing every little thing even if he didn't act like it when I "quizzed" him. He was also very good at problem solving, which surprised me because at this young age, you just don't expect that. For instance, the nurse asked him to put 10 little square pieces into a coffee mug. As he was doing it, the nurse said to me, "this is always an interesting one because most kids aren't able to do it but it's interesting to watch them try it and see how they problem solve". Garrett sat for a good 5 minutes (which is long in toddler-time) trying to figure out how to get all 10 of those squares in the mug. And he never got frustrated...he tried several different ways and then finally he just started stacking the cubes on top of each other to get them all "in" the mug. Needless to say, the nurse and I just sat there in staring at this....it was so much fun to watch him figure things out. He's a smart little booger....high-maintenance, whiny and head-strong but definitely very smart. At the end of the testing, the nurse said the only thing he's behind on his expressive language, which I knew. We have a speech evalation next week for both him and Landon. It'll be interesting to see how Landon does with his developmental assessment next week.

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