Thursday, April 23, 2009

Alphabet song, headbanging, and the great outdoors

Romelie can sing her ABC’s, sort of. We first discovered this in Houston. She was playing with this toy at Nanny Angel and Papa Steve’s home that sings the alphabet and was “singing” along, and I swear, the sounds she was making sounded a lot like the alphabet sounds. But no one else was around at that moment to hear it, so I figured it must be a coincidence.

The next day, Chason tells me that Romelie was singing along with a different ABC toy. This one has a ball that spins. You spin it, and it sings a little bit of the alphabet, and then stops. If you want to hear what comes next, you need to spin it again. Well, Romelie would spin the ball, and the toy would sing “A B C D E F G” and then pause. Romelie would then sing “H I J.” She also sang “Q R S” and “Y Z.” She’s done this a few times since without the toys – just singing along with mommy and daddy. We give full credit to Jen for this one; apparently, they sing the song every day during morning group time, and the older boys often sing it over and over again throughout the day.

She also has a new favorite song – something about five ducks that went swimming one day. I think it’s the duckie connection that she enjoys. Before our vacation, we went to an open house at this place called Musikgarten which does music classes for kids 0-5 years old. They sang that song, and Romelie loved it. I use it to calm her down or focus her when she’s getting upset, and it usually works. So we decided to sign up for a 6-week session of music classes this summer. I think she’ll enjoy it.

In other news…Romelie’s becoming more and more, what’s the word? Willful. We’ll go with that. She wants what she wants when she wants it. And if she doesn’t get it, she throws a tantrum. And when she throws a tantrum, she hits her head. Either she bangs it on the ground, or she hits herself in the head with her hands or whatever she happens to be holding at the moment. It’s not good. Her pediatrician said that it’s part of throwing tantrums for some kids, and we need to be consistent with how we address them or they’ll just get worse. Most folks recommend ignoring a tantrum and then addressing it calmly with the child after they’ve calmed down. But I wouldn’t ignore her hitting another child or hitting one of us, so I don’t feel right about ignoring her hitting herself mid-tantrum. But then I’m giving her attention, which is apparently what she wants. Any advice?

Meanwhile, we are trying a new tactic – give her whatever she wants. I’m not talking about buying her a Barbie when she throws a tantrum at Target (that hasn’t happened yet); I just mean we try to do what she wants to do so we can prevent her from getting upset and throwing a tantrum in the first place. So if we’re playing downstairs and she wants to go upstairs, even if we’d prefer to be downstairs where we have a TV and comfy couches…we sigh, stand up, open the gate and follow her upstairs. Or if she wants to go outside…or wants a snack even though dinner’s in 30 minutes…or doesn’t want to give up her Great Grandma’s cat’s toy when it’s time to go home…she gets what she wants. Sorry, Annie – we’ll give your toy back next time we see you!

And finally, we have warm(er) weather in Minnesota! Which means we can spend more time outside. Romelie really seems to enjoy herself outdoors. Chason took her to the park a bunch of times last week, and we’ve explored the backyard thoroughly. So far she’s eaten at least two pebbles, put countless sticks and leaves in her mouth, and has managed to get one rabbit poo in there as well (we got that one back before she could eat it). Kids are gross.

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