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Apr 9, 2010

Steps forward, steps backward: potty training, pacifier, abcs & more

I guess this is the normal pattern with kids: a few steps forward, a few step backwards, not a linear progression, but the progress happens eventually nonetheless.
We have experienced a lot of these back-and-forth lately.

First, we had been trying to wean Daniel from his pacifier. This was a long, curvy road, but I think (hope) that for this one, we are at the point of no turning back! Daniel is consistently taking his pacifier off when waking up and not asking for it until night time. When he comes across his pacifier during the day, he usually gives it to me "for the baby"! So far so good. I am hoping that he won't fall back if he sees the baby using the pacifier more often. Crossing my fingers he is past that stage. We will see.

On a different front, we had slowly started potty training for the last 4-6 weeks. The beginning looked very promising. Daniel was very cooperative and trying his best. Things didn't always work out, but he was really open to giving it a try. Then, he managed to use the potty quite consistently, and all of a sudden, his interest for the "new thing" faded away. I also think he realized the drawback of being potty trained: you have to interrupt what you are doing to go to the toilet. Fun when the toilet itself is new, but not fun when you love exploring the rest of the world like he does.
So, we are back to having a child who rarely uses the toilet. We don't want to force him quite yet, but it's clear that just suggesting it doesn't do the trick anymore. He just ignores us and continues playing. Hopefully, this is just one of these short phases, and Daniel will soon be making a step forward again...

In terms of general development, Daniel is continuing to improve in his language (in particular English, where he can now make complex sentences and carry a good conversation). He is also starting to be interested in letters. It looks like he spends quite a lot of time playing with letter games at daycare, and we try to encourage him as much as we can too. We were impressed the other day to notice that he knows at least 10 letters and corresponding words for these letters. The one concern I have now is whether he really understands what the letters are about. For instance, I have had the opportunity to teach Daniel about the letter "V" because the building next to his daycare is building V, and we pass by it every day. For the longest time, Daniel knew that this letter was "V for Velo" (bike in French). So far so good. Except that recently, Daniel started saying "V for bike". I can't blame him: he has learned to associate Velo and Bike and he knows these are the same words. So why not say "V for Bike". I had already mentioned my concerns about teaching letters using words in different languages. This experience demonstrates that my concerns are valid! I need to find words for each letter where the translations in French and German start with the same letters. It should help make things clearer for Daniel. Easier said than done! Anyone has a suggestion for a word fulfilling these criteria that starts with Q?

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