I love Spring: the smell, the feeling of renewal, and watching the flowers start to peek out of the winter-trodden ground to begin their colourful bloom. Each day as we go outside the kids do a ‘Green Check’ to see if anything else is sprouting. I blame it on my severe and unrelenting case of nostalgia but I find myself watching them check the dirt thinking about how beautifully both my kids are blossoming along with our crocus and tulips. My first precious baby is almost 5 and my sweet 2 year old is blooming into the most wonderfully verbal little girl.
Lily is doing phenomenally well with her speech. It has been quite some time since we have seen our speech pathologist and I’m excited for Sarah to see the difference in Lily this afternoon. I’ve been trying to keep a list for Sarah and from what I’ve jotted down Lily is now saying 88 words and using as many signs. Granted, the words are still sometimes hard to decipher but she’s trying so hard. It seems almost daily now that at some point I’m asking if she knows a sign that will help me understand her rapid-fire words. Often, she quickly adds a sign or two but there are occassions when she’s at a loss. My little toad will cock her head and with a most thoughtful expression say ‘umm’ as she tries to think of a new way to get her point across.
I credit a lot of Lily’s progress to the YMCA. For many months, Lily would be standing with Melissa or Annette when I arrived to pick her up – rarely would I see her interacting with the other children. Annette mentioned that Lily was a little bit reserved at daycare; doing a lot of watching but not a lot of jumping in to play. Now, Lily is a completely different girl and I often have to pull her away from activities at the end of the day, coaxing her to put her boots on. I truly believe that their use of sign language with the other children has been an integral part of getting Lily comfortable and willing to open up. There is a lot of pressure when you’re not talking. I feel it as Lily’s mom and often used to cringe watching people try to coax words from her. Never-mind the pressure she must have felt. Annette and Melissa have provided Lily with such an open and secure space that she feels comfortable taking risks such as using her words with the other children. One afternoon when picking Lils up Annette showed me how one of the little boys was signing ‘friend’ – it meant the world to me and probably even more to Lily. They have created a space flush with communication, not just another place where Lily is told to use her words while her signs are disregarded or outright scorned. I think Lily’s new-found confidence and growth are a testament to their efforts. (And of course it’s nice that mocobabies products have helped!)
I adore almost nothing more than toddler feet and the adorable way toddlers run as if trying with all their might to coordinate their limbs. As the Green Check inevitably turns to tag, I watch Jack and Lily chasing each other and realize that I’m almost out of toddler feet. Although Lily is holding on to her awesome run-waddle, I see her keeping a close eye on her older brother trying to imitate his almost-no-flail run. It doesn’t seem possible that toddlerhood will soon be a distant memory; my babies are growing up. Before I know it the sweet toddler feet I love to tickle and kiss are going to be teenage stinkers.