Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Intellectually Speaking

I have a stupid question.

I am obviously not one of those people who likes to say "there are no stupid questions." Mostly because I think I ask plenty of them!

Anyhoo. So we all know that babies have developmental phases and as they grow different things they like to do different things and play in different ways.

For instance: tiny babies love black and white patterns and then they get a little older and like pushing buttons to make music play. A short time later they like touch and feel books and then they move on to puzzles, magnets, riding toys, etc.

In another respect, there are developmental phases like asserting control, wanting to make choices, establishing independence.

I really DO have a question, I promise: How do you know at what ages all of these things typically occur? Is there a book or a blog or did I miss some user manual they handed out at the hospital? Where is it written down that "Hey, at the age of 2 they'll love stickers, want to be more independent and go ahead and give potty training a try"?

I admit, I should have been asking this question a lot earlier. I've kind of been a tad lazy because I knew I would find these things out from Charlie's daycare. They've been so helpful to a rookie mom like me. It's been comforting to hear when things are normal, the other kids do it too or some activity Charlie particularly loved that day. In just a few weeks I will be need to figure all this out on my own. So that's kind of scary.

Now, don't get me wrong - I am not trying to create a baby Einstein here or put in place some action plan for admittance into Harvard. Last night I found some books on Amazon that were definitely not what I was looking for and had titles along the lines of Neuroscience for Dummies: How to Multiply Your Child's Intelligence if You are Smart Enough to Understand Our Book.

I'm reminded of that scene in Baby Boom where Diane Keaton takes her newly adopted daughter to the sandbox and the other mothers there bring her up to speed on how she should be educating her 2 year old. They refer her to 'The Center' where one woman sent her son who could barely speak and by the end of the week he was reciting The Raven! Next thing you know, Diane Keaton is at 'The Center' showing the baby giant flash cards with Whoopi Goldberg and shrimp sushi on them.

That's a bit off topic, but that's what I'm not trying to do. Plus I really love that movie Baby Boom.

Anyways, I just want to know what's going on in Charlie's little head and what kinds of things he would find interesting. Maybe even anticipate what we have coming.

I would hate to be so clueless that I show up at a play group and Charlie goes crazy over some activity or toy and the other mothers look at me in surprise, sort of like, you really don't have those for him?? Our kids have been loving those for 6 months!

Kind of like how I was way too late with getting Charlie a bumbo chair. Once I got it, he loved it - but could only use it for a few weeks before he was too big. Mommy didn't catch on quick enough to something he would have enjoyed.

I also don't want to be that mom thinking to herself Why is Charlie being so difficult lately? And find out at a later date that it was a totally natural phase and I should have been responding to it in a perfectly logical but non-obvious way.

Because let's face it: I've already been the mom that showed up at the 12 month doctor appointment saying Oh really? We should have been getting him off bottles for the past couple months?

I've also already been the mom that kept sending cereal and purees to school with Charlie long after the other kids his age were working on more solid food - for no other reason then I didn't realize it was time to switch.

Nothing like a good 'Duh' moment.

I guess I get so busy in the minutia that I don't always back up and take a look at the big picture. In this case, the big picture is the gradual flow of phases that comprise growing up. And like just about every other analytical thinker of my generation, I want information I can break down and understand. Directions, checklists, a flow chart. You know, the typical tools leveraged by a visual learner who likes to over think things. No big thing!

So someone please tell me: where do I get this? Where are we reading about this kind of stuff? What to Expect if You have Time to Read This Book? Help!


Tracy said...

This probably won't help as much as you're hoping for, but I really like the Baby411 and Toddler411 books. I find them really helpful as reference books. Any time I'm wondering about something or noticing something, I look it up and find something helpful. I can also send you updates about the things Owen's teachers do with his class since he's still slugging it out in daycare. :)

joven said...
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Lindsay said...

I'm also a huge devotee to Baby/Toddler 411. Love them.

But if you want more developmental books, try this series that LauraC reviews here:

Soña said...

Do you ever troll the message boards at the Bump? They are divided by age - more than once I've read another Mom's post about what her kid is doing and think "oh crap better unpack that toy from the closet I guess..." There's you're normal hyperbole - 3 week olds saying "Mama" and the like - but it's still a good guidepost.

Katie said...

Love the Baby411 and Toddler411 books. Dr. Brown is our pedi so before I ever bother calling the office, I just look it up in her books (otherwise, I feel the eyes rolling on the other side of the phone). I keep both books on my night-stand and pick it up a few times per week. I keep hoping there's a cure for whining in children. So far, I haven't found that book.