Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Good

Do I whinge and moan? Of course I do. But not always. How much joy has Little Jo brought into our life?

Sister and the Bone Doctor are off to New Zealand tomorrow for a holiday and then Sister is moving to the country to be with the Bone Doctor for a couple of months. After seeing Little Jo pretty well weekly and becoming quite proprietorial about seeing her, it is going to be some time before we see her again.

What happened to Sister's baby? I can't believe how quickly it has happened. Little Jo is now a toddler. She can't quite string sentences together yet, but gets her message across.

R took her to the park for play on Wednesday afternoon and then looked after her Thursday night while Sister went for a meal in Lygon Street with friends. I was at work and missed out, so this morning I went for coffee with Sister, just really to see Little Jo.

I had printed out a photo of a Kiwi, a special ground bird in NZ, where they are going to holiday. I got Little Jo saying kiwi when I showed her the photo. I showed her photos of herself on my phone and she knew they were of her, well the recent ones. She decided she wanted to ring Constantinople and I said no. Mistake. You must divert their attention. You can't say no. Sister diverted her attention as I protested that it goes agin my grain. Doesn't anyone ever say no to kids? While I am going along with this divert attention thing, kids really need to learn the word no.

Trying to be objective, there is no doubt Little Jo is smart, in spite of her school teacher mother coaching. This coaching worries me a bit. Kids less that two years old should not be able to count up to six. At the park last week, I noticed she is quite tall for her age too. She is as tall as older kiddies who were well advanced on her.

But then without coaching, she became a cafe brought up kid. Unbidden, one day she picked up a note pad and started to go around the room taking orders. Chino? Milk? Chiz? (cheeze)

It is the first time I have seen it, but Little Jo can amuse herself on her own with her toys etc. She talked away to herself. Magic. I only stayed for a short time. Sister said, are you going already? Yeah, I have eaten your apple scrolls, drunk you crappy coffee and I amid a much exciting geanology experience. More on that later. Besides, it is vacumming day. If I don't vacumm, R won't do the house cleaning tonight and the Universe will explode and shatter. When I am dragged kicking and screaming to the shops tomorrow, if the house work is not done, R will be very grumpy.

Here is where I get serious, just for once. Dealing with Step Father's death wasn't easy. Dealing with my Tradie Brother's separation from his wife and the kids involved is not easy and nor is his new girlfriend against my sister law, who we love dearly. Obviously dealing with Mother is not easy. I am really not sure how we all would have coped if it wasn't faith in the future, Little Jo. It is a big load to put on a kiddie less than two years old, but she is our future and given us all a very strong connection.


  1. " is going to be some time before we see her again."

    But you'll be able to utter the always obligatory line, "Ooh, haven't you grown?"

  2. I believe distraction is good for toddlers. I think it's the best route to go. When they're older, I think the word "no" needs to come in place more.

    One of my pet peeves is when I'm disciplining my child, he's crying, and a stranger comes along to offer my child a goodie to distract him. This would be nice if he was crying because he was scared or nervous. Then I'm all into distraction. But when Jack's crying because I said no to a candy or toy and someone butts in, that is incredibly annoying.

    I once refused to buy Jack (age 5)a big chocolate because we were just about to eat dinner. He had a big fit. A woman followed us out of the store and said she had some chocolate I could give Jack if I wanted to. She was very sweet. I know she meant well. But if I wanted Jack to have some chocolate, I would have bought it for him.

    I actually think a combination of no and distraction is good. Say no and if the child continues to be upset, try to get them interested in something else.

    As for coaching. I'm against it, but children develop at their own pace. I didn't push anything on Jack when he was a baby. But by the time he was 2.5, he could find most countries on a globe. I never forced him to sit down and learn. He just gravitated towards it. So, although I don't believe in coaching, I'm also against forbidding a child to learn because they're not at an appropriate age.

    As for counting, there's a HUGE difference between rote counting and one to one correspondence. The former doesn't take much skill at all. It's simple memorization. Once a child can talk fairly well, they could probably do it. It's nothing really to do with math. One to one correspondence takes much more skill. It's where the child can actually count objects. This is hard for some kids and when they get to a certain number of objects, they'll start counting things more than once.

    Another fairly impressive skill at that age involving numbers might be being able to identify the numerals....point to a 1 and know it's one. That's the kind of thing Jack has always been good at. Memorizing and identifying.

  3. lol, Brian.

    I think that line is a law or something.

  4. As much as you dislike distraction I can't help but notice that Little Jo has been your distraction through all those difficult times. See - we just can't escape those things which shaped us as children!

    You're a lucky man, Little Jo is obviously happy to have you around. My nieces and nephews all think I'm the scary old homeless uncle and pay out on me for it!

  5. So gorgeous Little Jo is growing and you are appreciating every milestone she crosses. I love that she went around taking orders for chino, :) I used to take Mia and Sarah for a baby chino at a local cafe when they were little, they loved it.

  6. Maybe Brian. I think she has just had a growth spurt.

    Dina, you really need to dress better and then people will not think you can't afford a bit of chocolate for Jack.

    Seriously, you are probably right about them learning the word no when they are a bit older. She does actually know what the numbers mean in relation to say progressive steps on a ladder, but of course if you pointed to the fifth step, she would not identify it as such.

    Jack's interest in the world would come from you and his father too I guess. It is pretty impressive that at 2 and a half he knew some countries. Much better than most Americans. I am sure you now the stereotype.

    Mutant, she has been and connected our family really well. She does not have a lot of male contact, so I always make sure I don't shave before seeing her, so she feel prickles. I have grown up nieces and nephews too. I never appreciated them when they were young, because I was much younger. Perhaps if you were older, you would have a different connection with yours.

    Which is only froth isn't it Cazzie. Do they charge for it?

  7. Little Jo withdrawals before she's even left, Andrew ;)

  8. Starbucks did not charge for it, yet Gloria Genes does :(

  9. "No" is simple and easy to understand unless adults beat themselves up over it. When we were kids we knew we'd asked too many times or questions when an aunt would say after yet another round of "what are you doing?" or "what is it/"...she'd say "I am making a wigwam for a gooses bridle" ot "its a wigwam for a gooses bridle" we got the message to bugger off but it was funny as well...

    Your little Jo is very special...lets hope there are more little Jo's so she is not the only person in her generation...that would be hard. Enjoy her.

  10. Much the same for me when I was a kid MC.