Elise: “Where is Poppa?”
Elise: “With Daddy?”
Elise: “I think they are having a conversation.”
Mommy: “They are?”
Elise: “Yah, Boys do that.”
Mommy: “Do girls do that?”
Elise: “No, just boys”
I just had to chuckle at that!Â Wow, does she have a lot to learn about the differences between boys and girls!
When I started this blog I thought it would post a couple of times a week and it would be a good way to records things my children did.Â Unfortunately, exhaustion and semi-perfectionist ways have kept me from keeping up. So, I have decided to post anything that I want record and find somewhat interesting without it having to be long or even grammatically correct all the time whenever I can.Â Whether or not I will acheive this goal remains to be seen but I will try!
So the day started off nice enough. I brought the kids to school. Everyone was happy. Miss Lucy showed me that Gavin knows how to count to 3 in Chinese (very cute!) and Elise was looking forward to their special events. Tiny Chefs were coming to show the kids how to cook and earlier in the week they all made aprons and chefs hats just for the occasion. When I came back from work to pick them up, I was greeted by the director who cheerfully informed me that Gavin pulled the fire alarm AGAIN! Luckily she was able to call the fire department in enough time to let them know not to come. Everyone in the school is now aware that it is Gavin that has been pulling the alarm. He has now set another school record. First, it was the largest number of incident reports in one day and now, it is the most number of times the same child has pulled the fire alarm. There are 4 problems as I see it
1. He is much taller than he should be for his age.
Most of the other children in his class are barely able to reach the alarm
2. He has advanced fine motor skills.
Apparently there are some children able to reach it but are unable to pull off the dual steps involved in actually making the alarm go off (see picture below). I was told today he can do it with ease before they even notice.
3. He finds great amusement in the results.
The rest of the children scream and cry but he loves the fact that HE made it make that sound.
4. He lacks the mental understanding that what he is doing is wrong.
He can’t be told not to do it after the fact, he is too young to understand negative consequences. He must be stopped before the act occurs and told not to do it REPEATEDLY.
Wow, I just realized I totally sound like a lawyer making an argument for a criminal. I guess my pre-law days are coming back to me.
I knew this was going to happen again. Just didn’t think it would be so soon. This incident also caused Elise to ask thousands of questions about fire alarms and fires and to every answer I gave her I got a follow up question of why. For some reason, her questions lately have led to a place I am not prepared to go. Tonight, because exhaustion had set in early, I couldn’t seem to come up with many 4 year old appropriate answers besides, “because that’s just the way it is.” As you might imagine talking about fire alarms and fires, the topic of death came up (the place I am not always prepared to go) which has been happening a lot with her lately. I don’t want to lie to her and it doesn’t seem to scare he when I tell her the truth and phrase it in the proper way but being so tired tonight I pull a verbal version of the old “look over there and run the other way” trick. It seemed to work for the time being but I don’t know how long it is going to last. Things were much simpler when she had no short term memory.
So, pictures of the fire alarm are below and some pictures form tonight the chefs’ hats. For your reference, the fire alarm is approximately 46 inches off the ground.
Looks more like a mini Pope than a chef!
How could such a sweet face cause so much trouble!
A couple of month ago, I posted about Gavin spilling a whole gallon of milk at school when the teachers were not paying attention. I informed them at the time that Gavin needs constant supervision. Apparently, they either didn’t believe me or have since forgotten. I arrive at school today for the afternoon pick up. I go into the toddler room where Gavin is happliy (and quietly) sitting at the table having a snack. He is in a good mood and I do not see any incident reports. A good day, I think to myself. Then, the teacher informs me that Gavin had a very exciting day and so did the rest of the school. He pulled the fire alarm in the class room not once but twice! The first time, the entire school was evacuated. The second time, the entire school was evacuated and the fire department showed up. I was then told by the teacher that he is the only child in the entire room (consisting of children 16 months to about 2 and 1/2) that can reach the fire alarm. He is also the only one that did not cry when it went off. This is the part that really concerns me because he got a “reward” when he pulled it. It made a very loud noise and he thought that was cool. As I was on my way out, I started talking to the Director about it because she had just gotten there and didn’t know. While I was talking to her, Gavin made a b-line to the alarm by the front door. Luckily, his very responsible (and deathly afraid of the fire alarm) sister stopped him from pulling it. I have a feeling this will not be the last time. I am just hoping it is not an every day occurrence. I have a feeling one day we will be getting a bill for the fire department for the cost of them showing up if this continues. I guess we need to start upping our donation amounts! Luckily, the staff at the school had a good sense of humor about it. We’ll see how long that lasts!
So obviously I do not have a picture from this incident but I found this one that I think most closely resembles the look he had on his face immediately after pulling the alarm.
So, this will be a quick catch up post and then I will do a separate one for the incident today.Â It is definitely worthy of it’s own post.Â Anyway, there have been 5 incident reports since the last post.Â To summarize for times sake, 3 accidents and 2 biting.Â One biting was for “no apparent reason” the other was because another child was pinching him.Â That one is a little more justified.Â We also came very close to destroying some butterflies this past weekend.Â I took both Elise and Gavin to Brookside Garden to see the butterfly conservatory.Â Elise loved it and wanted to stay for hours!Â Gavin likes it too but wanted to touch everything and also try to step on the butterflies that had landed on the ground.Â So this trip was not so relaxing for me.Â Thankfully Elise is very good and doesn’t need that much supervision in a place like that once she is told the rules.Â Most of my attention needed to on Gavin so I could make sure he didn’t kill any of the butterflies.Â Obviously he didn’t really understand but by the end he got much better.Â I am hoping that is a sign of him understanding more and learning to listen.Â This will make things much easier.Â I have no idea how people how more than two young children and are able to leave their house!Â I couldn’t imagine having to watch another one at this place without the assistance of some sort of restraint system.Â Here is the link to the pictures.Â Elise took all the ones of just the butterflies.
Also this weekend we went to the playground and Gavin learned two new sentences.Â “I climb it” and “I can do it” which he insisted on saying over and over.Â He climbed everything on the playground all the way to the top which was about my height.Â I was in constant fear of him falling and me having to go to the ER with two children by myself.Â I know it is inevitable.Â It’s not a question of IF we will have to take him to the ER it is a questions of WHEN.Â Luckily, he is very coordinated but he also has absolutely no fear and coordination can only get you so far.Â Here are some pictures from the playground.
Notice that his feet are not touching anything. He has an amazing ability to support his 35 pound body with just his arms.
He climbed all the way to the top of this and he was just standing there holding on to the pole in the middle while I figured out how to catch him if he decided to jump.
This was the first time Elise ever attempted to slide down this pole by herself. Gavin also tried to do it.
I’m way behind on posts!Â We have had numerous incident reports, some freakishly strong baby moments and some things almost destroyed.Â It is very hard to keep track on a daily basis because it is just a constant flow of things I am trying to keep away from Gavin or tell him not to do something or trying to prevent him from harming himself.Â Sometimes I am successful and sometimes…not so much.Â Needless to say, I have been too busy and too tired to put much effort into posting lately.Â I will catch up eventually.Â I am hoping to catch up on sleep some time in the next year or so and now that I have a new laptop, I am hoping that writing posts and uploading pictures will be much easier and faster.Â My goal is to catch up this week or weekend hopefully.Â It may big one big mish mosh of everything that has happened lately but at least it will be there!
Well, we have been able to go awhile without and incident report until the other day when we received two. Here is the first one.
7/29/08 – 3:35pm – Another child was trying to put their finger in Gavin’s mouth. Gavin the child when the child tried again.
Preventative action taken: Explained to Gavin “biting isn’t nice”
These reports always make me laugh. I know they have to write them up but give me a break. I hope the other child received an incident report and that the preventative action taken says “told child not to be stupid by sticking you fingers in someone’s mouth because they WILL bite you!”
Here is the second incident report. I had to read it 4 times and then ask the teacher what it meant because I didn’t quite understand what happened.
7/29/08 – 9:30am – The children were sitting down on the carpet for story time. Another child sitting down next to Gavin wanted Gavin to bite them so Gavin bit the other child.
So, the teacher that was there at the end of the day didn’t really know what happened but on my way out, the director filled me in. Apparently, her son has been going up to Gavin, putting his arm in front of Gavin’s mouth and saying “Gavin bite me!” Well, I guess Gavin refused the first couple of times and then he gave in the bit him. I guess I can look at this positively. He was being a good listener and following directions.
Well, these incident reports seem to be getting a little further apart so hopefully we are getting over this biting stage soon. Now, if we could just get over the unexplained tantrum stage, we would be in good shape.
Gavin and I am a biter! Well, that’s what he might say if he could speak in more than 3 word sentences. If there was such a thing as biter’s anonymous, my son would need to go every night and sit in the front row. I just have this picture in my head of a small room with a bunch of 18 month olds sitting in little chairs in front of giant flash cards with pictures of other children biting and big red Xs through them. During break they could sympathize with each other about their issues over a good binkie or two…..ok, so I digress and my mind is a little warped tonight.
So, I think I said in a previous post that I did not want my child to be “THE biter” in the class. Every class has one and most of the parents know who it is. Well, apparently, Gavin is it. The director of the day care has a son in his class that is a couple of months older and tells her “Gavin bite” on more than one occasion. As I have also stated before, when a parent gets in incident report, they do not put the name of the offender on the report (of course there are ways of finding out) but some of the parents asked if it was the same child doing the biting. Kindly, the director told them “No” which is not entirely true. The sadest part of this is that he does not do it out of anger or because he wants something they have. Most of the time, he just leans over to them (and us and his sister) with a very sweet smile on his face and rests his head on their arm and then (for no apparent reason) bites them. I think of it more like a cat or a dog that gives their owner one of those bites that doesn’t really hurt but is to just let the owner know they are there. Don’t get me wrong, this does not excuse this behavior so when we see it, we discipline him immediately. I really can’t do anything about the ones at school, he is way too young to be disciplined after the fact. It needs to be done right away which the school is doing. So, I am still hoping he grows out of it shortly and I am STILL going to partially blame it on his teeth coming in. Yes, his teeth are still coming in. They seem to be taking a long time.
Most recent incident report:
7/15/08 – 10:30am – The children were sitting at the carpet singing songs with the teacher. For no apparent reason Gavin leaned over and bit another child.
Keep in mind, these are the incidents the teachers see. Who knows how many more there are that they don’t see. I am still trying to keep my sense of humor about all this so hopefully I will be able to keep it until this phase is over.
Kids thrive on schedules. Obviously, there are time when they must or should be broken but there are usually consequences. We had a great time on vacation and kept to the normal nap and bedtime schedule for everyone but they were in a different place and we were together all day for longer than a weekend. So when we came back and brought the kids back to daycare the last three days, they were a little out of sorts. Elise adapts much easier since she is older. Gavin not so much. He screamed his head off every morning when we left. I know that in less than 5 minutes he will be fine and happily playing but it breaks your heart to leave your child screaming. However, we have learned it is best to make the goodbye short and leave quickly rather than drag it out and try to soothe him because it will just prolongs the unhappiness. Needless to say, there is always some inexplicable crying for a couple of days after we disrupt the schedule. This week, we also had two incident reports in three days.
7/9/08 – 11:00am – The children were at the carpet singing songs and for no apparent reason, Gavin reached over and bit another child.
I love this one! They make it sound like everything was happy and smiley until Gavin the terrible had to go and bit another child without cause. Is is really necessary to include that type of information?
7/10/08 – 3:30pm – Gavin was climbing on the play equipment and he accidentally tripped and hit his bottom lip.
This one was actually the first that left a mark. But it doesn’t seem to be bothering him.
Hopefully, everything will be back to normal this weekend.
As most of you know, vacation takes on an entirely new meaning once you have children. Pre-children vacations consisted on time to relax and possibly explore you new surroundings at a leisurely pace. Post-children vacations are neither relaxing nor leisurely. Don’t get me wrong, they are a lot of fun but usually very tiring. We just had one of those in the Laurel Highlands area of Pennsylvania. We went swimming every day which the kids loved. Gavin seems to think he can already swim so he wants to jump off the edge and swim away from us any chance he gets. A good side-effect of this behavior is that Elise is becoming less fearful and making great progress on her swimming skills. We also went to Living Treasures Animal Park. Which the kids thought was great because you could feed some of the animals and see them all up close but from an adult perspective it was pretty sad. Something not right about seeing wild animals is small cages in Donegal, PA. Then we went to Idlewild Amusement park which is great for little kids because they have a lot smaller kids to do. I really thought that Gavin would be able to ride all of the rides for little kids. He is definitely big enough. Unfortunately, I began to realize that the fun for Gavin would not be to ride around in a circle on a little boat but to figure out how to get out of it and jump in the water. So until he is older or they start making these rides with 5 point harnesses, he will have to wait. It is amazing to see the differences between your children. Elise loved those rides at his age and still does. She would sit perfectly still until the ride came to a complete stop and never even think about touching anything she wasn’t supposed to. Gavin is now completely obsessed with buttons and will try to push everyone he can find especially if he knows he’s not supposed to. He calls them “buts” which is pretty funny to hear when he repeats it over and over again.
So, vacation was very busy. We rented a house with my sister, brother-in-law, niece and father. It was good to have Elise occupied with her cousin while we had to watch Gavin every second we were there. He still managed to destroy something that didn’t belong to us. Pictured below, a plastic salad bowl that he managed to crack almost completely in half.
Difficulty – 1 – Minimal amount of motor coordination needed to cause destruction
Destruction – 4- severe damage, unusable, not repairable
Cost – FREE! (Unless the owners realize it was us and charge us for a new one)
The only other Gavin incident during the weekend was a spectacular fall at the amusement park. Luckily, he was barely hurt. But I definitely wish I has that one on video. It was impressive! It had rained at the amusement park and after the rain, Gavin had a ton of fun splashing in the puddles. As he was running wildly from one puddle to another with Mike and I trying to keep up, he tripped, put his hands down on the cement and did a full somersault into a pile of mulch. As he did this, he hit the top of his forehead on the cement. He barely cried for 10 seconds and was off and running again. Fortunately, he is pretty coordinated so when he falls he doesn’t hurt himself very much. He is also amazingly tough so there is usually very little crying and he is back to his happy, destructive self quickly. I’m thinking there might be a new career option in his future…..stunt man!
Random vacation pictures