Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Enter, the TODDLEATOR

The realm of the toddler is extreme. It seems that unless she happens to quietly sit and 'read' a book, she's thrown herself completely into a new task, but then I suppose the reason she's sitting so quietly is because she's absorbed in learning the book. There is no middle ground. It's no wonder when Fiona's attempts at a task are hindered simply by difficulty of that task, she sometimes has a melt down.
Periodically, I wish I could remember my toddler hood so I might better relate to her strife. For instance, if I could remember WHY soup was so great in my hair, then I might remember not to be upset at the mess it causes. The singleness of mind, the ability to be in and of the task, "in the zone" is the athlete's term--it can be considered meditative. No wonder Fiona gets bent outta shape when I disturb her passionate curiosity. When she recognizes that we are about to do something she enjoys, the reaction is a "Yah, YAH, YAH!!" accompanied by a lot of 'talking' and bouncing.

She's discovered a squeal...just over the weekend she found her upper octave. WOW. And she's been using it liberally. Her jargon, peppered with intelligible words, punctuated with the extreme pitch that only a toddler girl can produce. I'm surprised dogs haven't started flocking to our door. It's especially entertaining to be the observer of a toddler mom in a public place, attempting to 'work' with said toddler. My technique is simply to stand there while Fiona exhibits her dismay at leaving the market and her favorite thing lately--the carts with big unwieldy plastic cars on the front. If I match her intensity (within reason), name the emotion she's most likely feeling (i.e. Sad,sad, sad), then gently say "I think that's not a safe place to lay down, Fiona." She will generally get up and either walk or be carried to the car. She just wants to be understood and is learning to deal with emotion....would that we all learn, were allowed, to feel emotion instead of coping.

Yesterday we had a playgroup at our place. It was a great success I think, all the kids had a fun time, and I think the moms enjoyed it, too. Fiona was SO tired by the time everyone was leaving, she could barely keep her eyes open when I held her. She had a snack and crashed for a couple of hours. Today is music class and hopefully some training for mommy. Then of course there are errands and chores, never ceases to amaze me how busy I get when seemingly I've nothing to do!


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