## When Do Toddlers Get A Sense of Time?

Friday, June 28th, 2013

On any given day in our house it can be Christmas, Fia’s birthday, Emmett’s birthday, you name it. Sometimes it is just a normal day. In other words, we live in a perpetual Groundhog Day. Except our time loop consists of every day of the week. Not just the same day repeated. Confused? We all are.

Here is how any morning might go:

Fia: Mom, do I have school today?

Me: No honey, it’s Monday. You have gymnastics. Then we play.

Fia: So do I have school after my nap?

Me: Your afternoon nap? No, then we play again, have dinner and it’s night time.

Fia: So after my second nap I go to school?

Me: What do you mean? You only take one nap a day.

Fia: The nap I take at night.

Me: But you don’t take a nap at night. You go to sleep.

Fia: I mean the nap I take at night.

Me: Oh, yes, okay, so tonight you will go to sleep and then when you wake up you will go to school.

Fia: But I th0ught I was going to gymnastics….

Trying to get your toddler to understand a sense of time is something I find really difficult to explain. I also imagine it gets really hard for them not knowing what each day is going to be. I try and tell her each morning what the day has in store and at night what the next day will be. But even though I can tell her until I’m blue in the face, she will still ask. Over and over and over again. And even though she knows the “days of the week” song, it doesn’t mean she has any clue what she is singing.

Fia: Is today Tuesday?

Me: No, it’s Saturday.

Fia: It’s Saturday?

Me: Yes, the weekend.

Fia: What’s a weekend?

Me: When mommy and daddy don’t work.

Fia: So when is Wednesday?

I keep thinking maybe a chart would help? Not sure how you would design it though. If there were icons like a desk that signified school on certain days, a balance beam to signal gymnastics, etc, and she could put a sticker on it each day, several times a day, whenever she got confused. But then I imagine the “sense of time”, the sense of 12/24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, etc, could make all this even more confusing.

Of course I can just keep having circular conversations with her too, as long as she doesn’t get frustrated and I don’t get annoyed. So far I find it cool that she is so curious what each day is. But if it’s oh, 4 years of this, well then it could get a bit tiresome.

Any tricks to share? And when do they really start to get a sense of time? I heard 8 or 9 years old. That’s a lot of years to have a circular conversation about gymnastics, birthdays and Christmas. For both of us.

Calendar picture via Shutterstock

## Milestone Monday: Is Your Toddler Different At School?

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Is it a milestone to suddenly turn shy? To go from boisterous to bashful?

The other day I went to pick Fia up from preschool. I asked the director if she was the wildest one in her class. What she said made no sense to me.

“Fia? No, she’s probably the quietest one.”

Huh? Feral Fia? The one who never stops chatting at home? Who oozes personality and spunk? Who dances and climbs and twirls? Even the other day while we were sitting at dinner, she squeezed her eyes shut, put her hands in prayer position, and went into a yoga chant. Phil and I almost died laughing.

“Fia, where did you learn that?”

“From yoga at school!” she exclaimed.

I’ve seen her do downward dog and tree pose, but the chants blew me away. It was so damn funny.

The school situation has me baffled. They said that during free play, she usually just plays quietly with herself, reading books or coloring. During the structured activities she is with everyone else. But other times she’s kind of a loner.

They told me she often stands back and just watches the other kids; that she is an observer, not a participant. I don’t know why the thought of that breaks my heart, but it does. Is she shy? Scared? Not confident? This is a girl that for months couldn’t stop hugging every kid she met.

She’s 2 years and 7 months. Is this still the age of parallel play? Or is she insecure? This side of her is a mystery to me.

She only goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The teachers suggested we bump her up to 3 days in a row. Tue-Wed-Thur. Perhaps the repetition will make her more interactive with the other kids.

I have no doubt this is a great preschool. So it’s not that. Maybe my girl is just more subdued in unfamiliar situations? Or larger crowds? The other day our nanny had 6 kids over. Phil observed from his study that while all the other kids were running through the sprinklers, Fia just stood back and watched. She did that for 10 minutes. When she is one-on-one with a playdate, she is much more engaged. I’ve never seen her just stand back.

Should I tell our nanny and the school to pull her into the group more? Or is this something where you take a hands off approach and let her find her own way? Is going to preschool for 3 days in a row a wise choice, so it becomes more familiar? (It’s only from 9-1 pm).

I’m looking for advice from the moms who have been there before me. I don’t want to overstep my bounds with her, but I don’t want to ignore something either. Thoughts?

## Frustrated. Need to Vent.

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

I am so frustrated. I can’t get anything done. I am like a chicken with my head cut off, running on a treadmill. Which means I’m not getting anywhere. I don’t even know what I’m writing about now except to say I have all these thoughts on posts I want to write but I can’t write them because all the other “stuff” gets in the way.

This morning my plan was to take 3 hours to write. Cleo was going to take the kids to the park. But then we couldn’t install the car seats correctly in her car and things just went array. After 45 minutes of trying to make them work, I said forget it. I’d just take them and pick them back up. By the time we did that, it was 10:45 and I had two back-to-back work calls from 11-noon. Don’t get me wrong: the car safety stuff is my biggest priority. I knew I was doing the right thing. But it doesn’t mean I can’t get frustrated about this sh-t.

I sat in my car in the parking lot eating a chicken leg (just realized if I wanted to be “clever” I could say my headless chicken had one less leg on the treadmill. Analogy: even less being accomplished).  My laptop sat in its case. Calls end and Phil calls.

“Hey, do you want to go to the movies?” Whhaaaatttt? He’s a screenwriter and has to do some research on his next project. I’m flattered he asked me, but I almost choked out the chicken leg.

“I can’t honey,” I said, as calmly as possible. “I have to go get the kids and Cleo.” He was there with the whole cluster-f–k carseat thing, so I’m surprised he didn’t sense how flabbergasted I was. He must really believe that I can handle all this. Ha! What a joke!

Call ends, I toss the chicken leg in the garbage, wipe the grease on my pants and went.

My problem is certainly not unique. But I keep saying I want to simplify. And for a time, I do. Then things build up and errands happen, calls come up and I’m back to feeling incredibly stressed.

I need to remind myself that I am incredibly blessed. I have two beautiful babies. I don’t work full time so I get to spend more time with them than most working moms. But I also think therein lies my problem. I am scattered because I don’t have a full time job. If I did, I’d go to the office everyday. Kiss them in the morning and then at night. Have a schedule. But having a “freelance” schedule can often mean no schedule at all, so I’m all over the place. Which leads to guilt. Lots of it. Should I be blogging about my kids or should I be spending time with them? It’s a conundrum.

Then, I wrote a post this week that I really loved (please read it). It came from the heart and was about how they grow up so fast. I think that is why I feel guilty for not holding on to every moment. Or when a day gets wasted, like today, I get so bent out of shape. I need to practice my hypnotherapy. In all my free time.

Oh, and by the way, I was already weepy from my writing the post on Tuesday when I went to get Fia from school. I walk in and guess what’s playing? Puff the f–king Magic Dragon. Seriously? That is arguably the saddest song on the planet. I almost crawled into a ball in the middle of Fia’s circle time. Yes honey, your mama is a whack job.

Thanks for letting me vent. Now that I am posting this one, I feel like I have at least accomplished something today. In other words, for these few minutes, I put my head back on and hopped off the damn treadmill. Lord help me.

## Fia Friday: Easter-Panda-Time!

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Fia hasn’t met the Easter Bunny yet. But at her little “transitional” school (ie: pre pre-school), they had a big Easter Egg hunt. Of course she loved it. We’re going to do a big one here since we now have a great yard. One of my best friends, Pamela Thomas, is coming from New York with her two girls, Emerson (age 10) and Elliott (age 7). So excited to see them. They are one of the families I miss the most since moving to LA.

Sidenote: Pamela’s company is in charge of the prenatal photo contest I wrote about if anyone out there is pregnant! We’re looking for the best sonogram/ultrasound photo of your baby. I’m one of the judges. Click on this link for more info.

Okay, back to Easter: My only problem is Fia still won’t see the Easter Bunny even though she will have had two egg hunts. We do happen to have a panda costume (don’t ask). Two actually. I asked Pamela if she would put it on and pretend to be the “Panda Bunny.” She’s game. Fia may grow up to have an Easter Bunny Identity Crisis (EBIC), but we’ll deal with that down the road. I’ll post panda pics next week!

And just for fun…here is the panda outfit. It actually looks kind of creepy. Wonder if she’ll scare the other kids?? Hmmm. This may not be my most brilliant of ideas…

Scary or Sweet Substitute for Easter Bunny?

## Fia Friday: Too Cool For School

Friday, February 10th, 2012

I snapped this before she went to preschool today. Hilarious.

She Rocks It...