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Toddler - Week #87

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20 Months; Week 3: Mommy And Daddy Left Me!

By Jodi L. Kelley, edHelperBaby

           This weekend was the first time since Evan was an infant that we went away without him. Evan stayed with Grandma while Mommy and Daddy went away for the weekend. I was worried about him because he had slept away without us only once when he was four months old. Back then, he didn't really seem to understand that we were gone. But at his age now, he is very attached to us. When my husband was away on business awhile back, Evan was looking for him. So I wondered what would happen when he spent an entire weekend away from us both. I chose to have him stay at Grandma's house even though the other children were staying at my sister-in-law's house. This is because we have dinner at my mom's house every Sunday, and Evan is very familiar with this house. He rarely sees my sister-in-law, so we felt it would be best for him to be in familiar surroundings.


Creating Good Readers:
           Grandma has a fantastic toy at her house which is helpful in early reading. It is a magnetic letters game. Evan can place the letter into the base and press it. Once it is pressed, it will sing the ABC song and also tell the sound of the letter that has been inserted. It will give words that start with that sound. This simple toy focuses on one of the important areas of learning to read, which is phonics. You don't need expensive toys to help a child become a good reader, but if you are going to spend money on a toy, there are many that help with learning to read. Kids love toys, so it is a smart idea to combine the love for toys with the acquisition of reading skills.


Book Of The Week:
            What Grandmas Do Best/What Grandpas Do Best  by Laura Numeroff       

       Maybe this author sounds familiar to you. She is the same author of the series of circular stories like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie . This book is fun because it is two stories in one. You read What Grandmas Do Best and when you come to the end, if you flip it upside down and turn it over, there is a second story about Grandpa. Of course, every child can relate to the story because the grandparents are doing all the very fun, very loving things our own grandparents do for us-especially hugging us!


           Grandma had all sorts of activities planned for Evan. She picked him up at school and tried to stay true to his normal routine. He had dinner with her. She made his favorites of course! He had his usual bath and followed his normal bedtime routine. In fact, my mom was shocked at how easy Evan was to put to bed! His story and drink are all it takes to get him to settle in for the night. Saturday was a busy day. Grandma had planned a play date for Evan and his cousin, Brooke. Evan loves Brooke. She is six months younger than he is, and they get along great. The only trouble was that when my brother came to pick up Brooke, Evan thought his Mommy and Daddy were coming to pick him up, too. He got his coat and waited by the door! Poor baby! Sunday was also busy. Evan helped Grandma cook Sunday dinner and enjoyed it with all of our relatives. He was very happy when we finally arrived Sunday afternoon.


Rhyme Time:

       Over the river and through the woods

       To Grandmother's house we go.

       The horse knows the way

       To carry the sleigh

       Through the white and drifted snow, O!

       Over the river and through the woods

       Oh, how the wind does blow.

       It stings the nose

       And bites the toes

       As over the ground we go.

       Over the river and through the woods

       Trot fast my dapple gray.

       Spring over the ground

       Like a hunting hound

       On this Thanksgiving Day, Hey!

       Over the river and through the woods

       Now Grandmother's face I spy.

       Hurrah for the fun,

       Is the pudding done?

       Hurrah for the pumpkin pie.


Evan's Opinion:
           Evan was not too thrilled at us being away. He was great on Friday evening and Saturday. But Saturday evening was tough. He had had enough of being without us. After seeing my brother and his wife come pick up their little one, he thought he should be going home. He was thrilled when we arrived home. He had a tough evening even when we were home because he wanted to hold onto Mommy and Daddy the entire night! The next day in school was also hard on him. It took a little while for him to get back into the swing of things.


You're Probably Wondering.....
           "Is my child too young to be left with relatives for awhile?"       

       I worried about that before I left and still questioned whether or not I had done the right thing even after I got back. But really, as a parent it is too easy to lose yourself. If a mom is asked who comes first in her life, she will most often answer her kids come first. But all the experts say this is not really what it should be about! The real person who must come first is you! Not an easy thing for a mom to do! We run around taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, driving the kids to different places, and doing whatever other jobs there are. We often forget to feed ourselves correctly, grabbing leftovers our children leave behind on their plates. We don't get to exercise enough except to run around after the kids. Lately, I have really been trying to get on the treadmill to exercise. If Evan is around, he will throw himself towards the moving belt. I always end up quitting because I am afraid his little fingers will get caught. It is a clearly manipulative move on his part. He wants my attention and knows I have to stop if he isn't safe around the machine!       

       But our children cannot get all of our attention. Yes, they need and deserve a great deal of attention. However, if we do not place ourselves first, we are not really providing our children with the best mom they can have. I am a better mom when I take care of myself. I need to eat well, exercise, and get the proper amount of sleep to be the healthiest I can be. And I need to get away once in awhile so I can be the happiest parent I can be! Often this means getting a babysitter for the night and heading out with my husband. The time to sit together without caring for the kids or having them interrupt our conversation is vital to keeping our marriage strong-another thing important for the kids. And this weekend, it meant letting trusted relatives care for the kids for a couple of overnights. Is Evan too young? I don't think so. He is old enough to understand what is going on-old enough to understand we are gone and he misses us. But he is also old enough to understand us when we say we will be back. Of course, I chose a relative Evan was familiar with. Grandma kept his routine which also helped. The time away helped me be refreshed and ready to take on another year and a half!


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