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Quailday: The Toddler Diaries

I tend to wear my rose-colored glasses on the back of my head. In other words, I may be filled with worry and doubt looking forwards, I may be emotionally volatile or obsessive in the present, but I also tend to mostly remember the positives of what happened in the past and not dwell too very much on what happened way back when. I frequently and quite literally forget the bad or rough patches. Call me a romantic, an optimistic, delusional or great coper- either way it is what it is. And it never really causes too much trouble right?

Well, just to be clear that every day in her new class isn’t sunshine and roses I’ll share this from class:

9/21/10: “The Quail was great when we first got there and even crawled away from me when she saw a toy she wanted to play with. Another toddler going for the same toy accidentally stepped on her hand though. She was upset for a few minutes, but let me put her back down. After that she was fine and would play with me but was less interested in the other toddlers or moving away from me. I really think that once she gets walking she’ll be great over there. It’s just tough for her to be down on the ground with ten other energetic babies running/falling around her.”

That little incident is one of my biggest fears with her moving in with the Toddler room. But it wasn’t an injury- just more of an upset and really it’s happened rarely since she’s been in there. She also seems to recover more quickly from those types of upsets which is ultimately good for her.

9/27/10: “The Quail was in a great mood today but even more stubborn than usual. She was already in the toddler room when I got there today and she was doing great. Miss Ashleigh told me they’ve been trying to keep from picking her up so she crawls when she wants to go somewhere. She wouldn’t crawl to me though. She would start to crawl towards me then lay down like she was too tired to keep going then sit up and sign “please” and flap her arms up and down in frustration. I didn’t give in and eventually she gave up and tried to pull herself up to stand using the round tables.”

It was around this time at home that we noticed that she would follow us into another room or if she heard Zuzu or Lovey she would perk up and ditch me to go see what they were up too. It’s so hard to not give in and pick her up at home, so it’s good that there are others with a stronger constitution to help her work through it!

9/29/10: “When I first got to her school, the Quail was finishing up an art project so I hung out in there with her for about 10 minutes. She also tried to pull herself up using a chair, the tables, the refrigerator, my leg, and anything else she could grab.Once she came down off the block I couldn’t make her sit still if I wanted to. Today I pretty much just followed her around and tried to work different activities into what she wanted to do. I had her crawl over the foam block to get a pretend phone (she did this three different times). Then I answered the phone and told her “dad’s calling, say hi dada” and she reached for the phone and said “hi da” and then hugged it. So cute! Next, I got out her puzzle. She almost got the star in by herself, but got distracted by the mailbox of the house. I put a puzzle piece in the mailbox and she pulled it out. Then I told her “open the mailbox” and put the toy in the mailbox” She did both. Then she just wanted to “mail” me puzzle pieces so we took turns with that. After about 5 minutes of this she went back to playing with the puzzle and got the square puzzle piece in completely by herself.”

I probably said it before but I just love how Miss Mattie seems to “get” the Quail and lets her take the lead while looking for teachable moments to get the work in. The outcome is still the same- in this example learning how to get the puzzle together, but her way of getting around to it is so much more successful than when we or other therapists have “drilled” her on a particular activity.

And the grand finale for this week’s post and her busy Toddler Room days in September….

9/30/10: “The Quail pulled herself up to stand two times in a row today! We stayed in Ms.Patti’s because the toddlers weren’t doing anything specific. First I worked on the wheelbarrow position with her for puffs and she crawled over my leg and I held her up in wheelbarrow while she reached with one arm (always her right I think) for puffs. She was able to hold her self up for a good 15 seconds each time before she would rest. She did this four times. Then, I got out her toys and she wanted her Puppies book. I read it once and she signed “book” and “please” so I read it again and then again. She kept signing “book” and “please” so I put the puppies book in the red toy bucket. She crawled over to get it. She tried to lift herself up but didn’t quite get it so she sat down and I heard her say “doggie” and then she signed “book” and “please” again (Ms. Patti heard doggie too). I told her to go get it and that’s when she pulled herself up. She grabbed the book and plopped back down so I read it to her again. Then, she wanted something else in the bucket so she pulled herself up again!”

It was the Saturday morning after this that she pulled herself up to stand in her crib with the only assist being our wild crowd cheering of her efforts! We’re so proud of her.

Up next month is her saintly ongoing battle with the wheelbarrow position and the start of the Toddler Shuffle!


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