Notes from Today

Photo of my 4-year-old and 11-month-old kids in our large play pen. They are each standing on all fours peeking at each other by looking underneath their own bodies.

I don’t believe parents who say adult music is okay because kids don’t really listen to the lyrics. My 4-year-old cried while listening to the end of Puff the Magic Dragon. I’m being modest. She was balling.

“One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more;
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.”

Note: She didn’t mistake the lyrics thinking Puff died. She said she was crying because they were leaving each other. Then we had a conversation about how it’s okay to cry, and how songs, stories and movies can make you cry from sadness or joy or make you angry or bored.

During meals, my 11-month-old is slapping his open hand against his open mouth while making random noises. We’re still awaiting his first word. He says “dadadadada” rather easily, but I’m universally referred to as “Papa,” so, sorry fathers if you think your kid said “Dad” first. It might be a tendency of linguistic ease.

Our preschool is holding a “Is your child ready for kindergarten?” meeting this week. Consensus among parents is it’s too late; many schools have closed their enrollment period for fall semester. In the coming weeks I’ll have one last product review, about preparing kids for kindergarten, then I’m afraid I can’t pretend my oldest is a toddler anymore.

Our little boy adores his big sister, producing bigger smiles than for his mom and dad. His favorite activity is chasing sister with his push/walker toy. He has also learned to peek between his legs while bending over (see photo).

Everything goes in his mouth. Licking the carpet? Help!


8 Responses to “Notes from Today”

  1. JMo says:

    Since he was 2 years old, my son refers to Puff the Magic Dragon as the “Jackie Paper song” even though we have never called it that. The two lines you mentioned are – much to my dismay – the only two lines of the entire song that he sings. And when we look at the book, he always point out that Puff is crying. Darn book & song make me so sad. One day I will be Puff…

    February 24th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

  2. nrbp says:

    My daughter was much relieved, some years ago, to hear a version of the song that included another verse about Jackie growing up and having a daughter (Sophie) who became friends with Puff. Much relieved… It’s the version we know by heart.


    February 24th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  3. Molly says:

    Good luck on the “everything goes in the mouth” stage – my girls were complete scroungers. Used to crawl around on the kitchen floor searching, dig their little fingers into the spaces between the panels on the outside of our oven looking for burned crisps of food left behind, and study the tracks of the sliding glass doors – whatever they found they’d pop into their mouths. Truly disgusting, and a real challenge to my sub-par housekeeping skills.

    The only plus was that if we didn’t think they’d eaten enough at a meal, we’d just set their tray on the floor, or put pieces of food on the seat of their highchairs. Apparently, if they believed they’d found food on their own, they’d gobble it right up!

    February 24th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

  4. Shannon says:

    My 9 month old likes to pet our dog by grabbing his fur between thumb and forefinger and the sticking her hand in her mouth.

    February 24th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

  5. Kara says:

    We have an additional verse we sing around here:

    “Dragons live forever, they’re right there in your mind and anytime you want to play, just close your eyes and you’ll find… that Puff the Magic Dragon will be right by your side, and Puff that mighty dragon, he won’t have to run and hide.”

    I’m looking forward to your next review. I’m a bit freaked out about kindergarten… maybe I’m more in need of something to prepare parents for kindergarten.

    February 24th, 2009 at 6:12 pm

  6. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    My baby said mamamama very early — but it was just a sound. I’m still not convinced that when he says “mamamama” that he menas me :( and he’s 18-months old. He just says it TOO often and not looking at me, or responding when I respond to it!

    Dad is “adadada”

    February 25th, 2009 at 7:06 am

  7. Pippin says:

    My name and my husband’s name both begin with “Da”.

    With no other kids around to call us “Mommy and Daddy”, for a very very long time we were both “Da”.

    February 26th, 2009 at 11:05 am

  8. Paul says:

    I wrote in a comment to you many posts ago that (within limits) I think kids listening to adult songs and other adult activities is wonderful, because with proper guidance they get out of it exactly what they are ready to get out of it _AND_ get an appreciation of how much more there is to learn. I think it’s great that you used the song and her reaction as an opportunity to discuss and interpret.

    My son is now 21 months and hardly talked or even babbled as he was growing up. Then at about 17-18 months he started and wham! 3 months later he is now well past what you would expect for a 2-1/2 year old, speaking in sentences of multi-syllable words. I’ll bet that your son is listening intently to every word his big sister says and exchanges with Mom & Dad, and when he’s good and ready he’ll unfurl all that he is learning from that great resource. The kids seem to focus intensely on learnning one kind of thing at a time … language, motor skills, emotions, sleeping, etc so you can’t really go by a schedule or guideline. Just as long as they are happy and learning we should be happy.

    One aside during the “silent” months until he started talking, we set a very strong rule for his big sister (and his parents) never to use baby talk with him, only real words and I think that paid off well.

    March 1st, 2009 at 9:25 am