Hello Little Bear,
We have to get a cat. Yay!!! We have to get a cat!
I can't stand it any longer. When we moved in, there were no mice. But, now that it's getting colder and little creatures are trying to find warm places to nest, they've come to our house. There is either one or two in our house. One, right now, is freaking me out by squeaking in a friendly way from the inside of a couch, next to my desk here. The other, is keeping me awake all night, in the bedroom, where it runs from a bureau to under the bed, where I believe it is trying to make a nest. I only noticed it last night. I thought I heard something the night before, but wasn't sure. Last night I couldn't sleep, watching the head of the bed and you, not wanting a mouse to hop into bed with us.
Spiders, no problem. Mice...They're cute outdoors and in cages.
We were told we couldn't have pets. But now that there's a mice problem, I'm asking for a cat. One cat is a very practical thing to have, in a farm"house" out in a huge orchard/farm. We need a mouser, to keep the mice away! I'm always sad for the mouse when I see it's been killed by a cat, but cats go for the jugular (right?). I am terrified of mouse traps and won't use them, and think they're mean, and poison, even if I don't have to watch, is a slow painful death and it stinks when they've died. My mother used to have a humane mousetrap that used food as bait, and then scooted the mouse into a little box pain-free, where it waited until you drove it away from the house and released it back into the wild (lots of animal lovers in our family, and no one even hunts).
I just think we should get a cat. A cat may chase them away from the house to begin with. But cats are a mixed lot. Some cats couldn't care less about mousing, and want to sleep all day, and other cats love it. There is a stray cat on our property, black with a bobbed tail, but it's elusive and runs whenever we're near. I've never seen it around the house, but only down by the river.
A few days ago we were down by the river and noticed a cage of some sort. I thought someone had dumped a perfectly good chicken coop. It was clean and had a door, like a little house. You loved it, and went inside and started playing. The thing was huge and heavy and I startedto drag it towards our house. I was going to fix it up as a playhouse for you. But then I found out, after killing my back, and spending 3 hours on painkillers trying to drag it more than 3 feet (it's really big--about 6 feet tall and the size of a walk-in closet around), that it's not a dumped chicken coop. It's a bird trap for our neighbors orchard. A humane kind. I was a little disappointed. One of his workers said he wanted to make one for you himself, and I said he didn't have to, but he insisted. So he asked what size we wanted but I've never seen him again. I'm a little sad for you because you were having so much fun; I couldn't get you out of the "little house".
Other stuff about you: You like your hooded bath towels. When I put one on your head, you run back and forth with your towel-cape flapping behind you. You still tip-toe around, and can stand on one foot, and you do a sort of gallop with one leg leading. You can run really fast, and cut a quick corner, without falling. And that's in Teva's, which are not the easiest shoe for a toddler to run in! For at least 2 months, you've held a crayon or pen between your thumb and forefinger, like I do, instead of with a fist grip, and you have an impressive attention span. We just got a new Barney movie "Live in NYC" and it's at least an hour and a half long and you sit through the whole thing, and want to watch it again! You laugh out loud when I imitate noises of things like the blub-blub-blub of air escaping a bottle when it's filling with water held down in the tub, or when I make a noise for the sound of rocks on water, or the "crreeeeaaak" of a cupboard door blown open by a cross-breeze. You push me out of the bathroom when you are in there, "busy". It's the only time you want privacy. I can't believe you are so insistent on privacy this young. 1 1/2! It's getting more difficult to change your diaper and I've told you mommy used to wear diapers too--you stopped wiggling and looked at me intently like, "Is she serious?"--and that as I got older, I wore them less and less and used a toilet instead. I told you you'll be able to do that too. I remember one time, when you were very tiny, only 4 or 5 months old, and we were at a big park festival and I was going to change your diaper there and you threw a royal temper tantrum. The people we were with were shocked. You stopped throwing the tantrum when I stopped trying to change your diaper. They said it was like you didn't want me to do it in public and I had thought the same thing, as crazy as it sounds. And from that day on, that is true. When I took you to a private area, where no one was around, you were fine. As for your privacy concerns in the bathroom now, it's so funny because I've always been careful not to make anything about elimination sound "bad", "dirty", or "yucky". I've been very positive about it. But you have developed your own sense of awareness and preferences, completely on your own, and not because of your environment.
I think you're ready for more structured time with other children. You've been ready for quite some time, but all the groups in town (and throughout the country, really) age-discriminate. They are firm about "18 months" and older lines. You've been like an 18 monther for months. But I hear, "no, at 18 months, kids really can't pay attention" or "they just want to eat crayons", etc. I have your artwork on our walls. You still sometimes gnaw on a crayon, but you have made real art, and wanted to do it, for several months. I'm really concerned about the whole "age" cut-off and deadline approach. I don't think it's going to serve you well. I know I was bored in school until advanced classes at University.
Even socially, it's been difficult for you. I've watched you and seen how you have wanted to play hide-and-seek and tag games for a long time, but kids YOUR age weren't interested, and then the ones who were older, who wanted to play the same games, snubbed you because you couldn't talk like they did and communicate the same way.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you are gifted or advanced in development. I think I knew you would be, before you were ever born, because I was reading books about raising gifted children and infants, while I was pregnant. It was like I knew I needed to get a headstart on learning about education and needs of gifted kids. One website/blog I subscribe to is maintained and written by Valentine Cawley. http://www.scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/. He writes about his son who is a science prodigy and his other talented children. I find his posts informative and interesting as he has one son who is close to you in age, Tiernan, who is now almost 2, and he also writes about giftedness on a broader spectrum. By reading his posts and educating myself about education for gifted kids, I feel I prepare myself for helping to direct you in your future. In educating myself for your benefit, I've learned a lot about myself and why I am the way I am. Being advanced, at your age, is generally meant when one acheives develomental milestones approximately 30% ahead of the average age. But then within the "gifted" context, there is a huge variation. There are classifications: gifted, highly gifted, exceptionally gifted, profoundly gifted, etc. The more gifted, the higher the risk of isolation as peers of the same capacity are fewer and farther between. I don't know where you fall yet.
But putting an exceptionally gifted child in the same classroom as average kids results in boredom and underacheivement or acting out. Age shouldn't be an indicator for everything. It's one factor, among many others, that should be considered for placement in a group.
Now that you're almost 18 months, you're eligible for some new group activities that you couldn't join earlier, simply because of age.
You get great satisfaction from doing things for yourself. You were showing me how you could put the dropper into your liquid vitamins, withdraw some fluid into the dropper and take the vitamins yourself. You had some of the liquid vitamins smeared around your mouth. Then you put the dropper back into the bottle, making sure I was watching you, and twisted it so it fit just right. You were so proud of yourself and I said, "Wow. You can do it all by yourself." You were smiling and then I grabbed a cloth and said there was some vitamin liquid around your mouth and I was wiping it off. The minute I wiped your face, you dissolved into a MAJOR temper tantrum. I wipe your face often and it's not that big of a deal, even if you don't like it. But I wondered if you were so upset because you had just showed me your autonomy and ability to do things for yourself, and then here I go, taking it away by wiping your face, and telling you how you got some on your face (didn't do it right? maybe?).
It's hard to be a kid, huh!
I love you,