Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Moe and Probably a Bunch of Stuff You Didn’t

(I sent this email to Moe's new day care provider today. It seemed like something worth keeping, if only to capture what he's like right now.)

I'm experiencing a bit of anxiety about the upcoming transition, and it would make me feel better if I could send you this email all about Moe. It's more for my benefit than for yours - but you can take or leave the information as you see fit. I know he'll do fine, it's me I'm worried about. ;)

I don’t expect you to DO all these things, but it may help you during the transition to know what we do so you know what Moe expects. If you can incorporate any of these things into your routine with him, that’s fantastic. If not, well, at least you know what he’s used to and what he might be trying to tell you!

Outdoor Play
Moe loves to play in the sand – it’s his favourite part of the park. We’ve had some trouble with him throwing sand (less at others, mainly at himself). We tried immediately leaving the park when this happens, but he’s so easy going that he doesn’t mind. So we started doing an in-park time out. This has been pretty effective. We also warn him when we get to the park that we’re going to play nicely and not throw sand, or else he’ll get a time out.

Before his nap, which is usually after lunch, Moe is given a sippy of milk. We typically watch a show on Netflix – usually a 15-minute episode of Curious George, which gives him the time to chill out a bit and get prepared for nap time. Then we go upstairs, change his diaper, and put on his naptime music. We cuddle for a minute or two in the rocking chair, (with his soother), and he goes into his crib with his blanket and a stuffie.

Moe doesn’t have many words, and the words he does have, he uses sporadically. He communicates a lot by pointing and a few signs (when he points at something and then moves his hand back and forth, he wants it). I’m hopeful that spending time with other children will help those words come. Could you let us know when there are new words? :) Once we know what's he's said, we can encourage him to say those words again.

Because we can read his signals fairly well, Moe has been pooping on the potty most days for a month or two now. (Some days we miss the boat entirely, and that’s ok.) I generally know if he needs to go because he looks sort of uncomfortable and often tries to go hide behind something, like his toy garage. Or he kind of grabs at his diaper. We ask him, “Moe, do you need to use the potty?” and he grabs a toy car and heads for the bathroom without a backwards glance. He sits on the toilet on a reducer seat. He likes to look at books while he’s sitting there. (He also LOVES to play with himself. He’ll do it at any opportunity – the bath, the diaper table, the potty. I’ve given up the fight and we don’t discourage it as long as a) he’s not peeing on himself, b) he’s not hurting himself and c) we’re not in the middle of a messy diaper change.) Someone is always sitting by him while he’s on the toilet, and sometimes we hold his hand if he’s struggling with a big poop. We have no plans to take him out of diapers until he can really communicate with words, but the pooping on the potty has been a good experience for both of us! Moe tends to get a bit constipated if we aren’t careful, so when we pick him up, someone will likely ask you if he pooped today. *grin*

Moe’s only confirmed allergy is eggs. He gets a rash. He has been able to eat some baked goods that contain eggs, but nothing super moist (like a muffin). Basically, as long as eggs aren’t in the first half of the ingredient list, he’s generally ok. Things to watch out for: egg noodles, pancakes, French toast, moist muffins, sugar cookies, etc.

Moe has made huge strides in self-feeding in the last few weeks. He can feed himself spoon-fed stuff like sticky rice dishes, stew, and apple sauce. He's great with a fork for things like melon, broccoli, etc. And, obviously, he's got finger food down pat. We're trying to teach him that if he's done with something he should give the dish to us and not toss the stuff on the floor. (It's a slow process.)

Moe gets milk twice or three times a day, but other than that he gets water. He doesn’t get juice. I’m aware that we can’t keep this up forever, but I’d like to keep it going as long as we can. If you can keep his sippy filled with water until it becomes a problem (i.e.: he figures it out and asks for juice), that would be great. We really want him to love water and be ok with drinking it when’s he’s thirsty. If you do end up giving him juice, please water it down as much as humanly possible.

Moe is super affectionate, so please don’t hesitate to stroke his hair and give him little hugs. He’s used to getting lots of affection throughout the day.

Other Stuff
Moe loves pressing buttons, figuring out how things work, and playing with cars and trucks and things with wheels. He loves books and story time. He loves to dance, he loves music and singing. He adores the water – puddles, the water table, hand washing, bath time. We’re trying to teach him to be gentle with plants and animals. He loves to touch flowers, but knows to touch them gently. He’s a crazy mixture of sweetness and affection and seriousness and determination. I hope you fall in love with him, too.

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