Interpreter

If you know anything about me – you will know how worried I was about V not talking.  Understanding everything – but not talking. 

Until a few months ago, of course…  When he started talking ‘properly’. 

He started talking and now we can’t stop him!

I am one proud mama.  Not only is my child able to express himself and make his needs known, but his understanding amazes me.  Every day.

Of course there are times when I wish I could just point the remote control at him and ‘switch him off’!

He has come such a long way in a relatively short amount of time.

So maybe you’ll understand my dismay when I received his report card last week (yes, another bloody report card)…

Speaks clearly – Just beginning

Can use recognisable words – Sometimes

Carries on simple conversation – Not yet

Hmmm…

Not everything he says is clear, that’s true.  But most of his words are recognisable.  Aren’t they?  And of course he can carry on a simple conversation. 

To be honest, I kind of dismissed the report.  Obviously his teachers don’t know him as well as I do.  (Bloody hell… I’m turning into one of *those* parents faster than I thought!!)

We arrived in Dubai two days ago. 

And everytime V says something, one or both of my parents say, ‘What did he say?’  And I have to translate.

My mum is always looking for something to be wrong.  Last year she thought he may be autistic.  This year she suggested we go to a speech therapist.  *eye roll*

What the hell is wrong with people?  Can’t they understand him?  He’s not speaking another language, for God’s sake.

Am I going to have to interpret everything for everyone for the next two weeks? 

Or longer?

 

Mid-Term Progress Report

Vinay’s progress in recent months has been startling!  Who knew a toddler could change so much in such a short time?

He is seventeen months now and is not only walking everywhere, he is running.  All the time.  He seems to disappear from any room in a split-second!  Please make sure the upstairs gate is locked at all times!

He has learnt how to crawl up stairs.  A little late, perhaps – but this is mostly because ‘people’ were too scared to let him loose on the uneven marble stairs at home.  He must continue to practice going up and down.

His understanding has continued to grow and he now understands more complicated instructions.  However, whether he chooses to follow them or not is an entirely different matter.

Making himself understood has become a little easier.  He is now able to say three words.  Mama, Papa and Yaya (nanny).  Hearing those words (whichever ones they are) would make anyone’s heart melt.  He also says ‘nyum nyum’ when he sees something he thinks is yummy.

He has learnt to say (in sign language) – please, thank you, more, chupa (pacifier), milk and water.  Oh – and he can also say ‘I love you’ in sign.  This is enough to bring a tear to anyone’s eye.

He enjoys counting objects and will often show you how many objects there are by showing a corresponding number of fingers.  Usually this is just one or five fingers, regardless of the number of objects.  But he tries and is proud of himself.  

He has discovered crayons and the joys of scribbling.  His fine motor control is still not very developed (obviously), so he can’t really scribble properly.  But he enjoys it – please remember to let him hold the crayons however he wants and do not try to correct his grip at this point.

He can finally show the difference between eyes and ears and now also knows where his cheeks and chin are.  

His love for animals has continued to grow; and he is also showing an interest in other things too.  He loves tankers, vans, trucks, trains and buses.  And often points and babbles something incoherent when he sees one of these modes of transport.  

He continues to love nursery rhymes.  He watches the same video over and over again.  His current (for the last few months) favourite is ‘The Wheels on the Bus’.  He first started showing that he wanted to watch this by twisting his whole body and arms back and forth.  He didn’t know how to do the ‘wheels’ motion.  He has become better at this.

His progress in playgroup is unbelievable.  He has no problems leaving mama and going off to play on his own.  His interests have expanded to include ride-on cars, playing in the kitchen, making tea, filling the shopping trolley and playing with the trains.

Although he has come far over the last few months, he needs to continue to work on something important.  We must all work on Vinay’s listening skills together.  He must remember that he cannot always get his own way with everything – he can scream and stamp his feet as much as he likes, but it doesn’t mean he’ll get what he wants.

Well done, Vinay!  You have had a wonderful few months and everybody loves you!

Report Card

It’s that time of year again…  Report card writing time.  

While I don’t miss teaching *or* writing reports (I’m so glad I don’t have to write phrases such as, ‘must endeavour to do her best’ and ‘has made sound progress in…’ anymore) many of my teacher friends are pre-occupied and completely absorbed by theirs.  I don’t blame them – it’s a stressful, all-consuming task!

Anyway, I started thinking about what Vinay’s report card might be like when he starts school.  Will he get comments such as, ‘not reaching his full-potential’ or ‘is making wonderful progress’?

So I decided to write my own progress report for him (once a teacher, always a teacher?):

Vinay has made a lot of progress in recent months.  Most notably, he is now walking confidently and hardly ever crawls.  This does, however, mean that he needs to be watched all the time.  He likes to wander from room to room, touching things and pulling items off tables and shelves.

Vinay can understand and follow simple directions.  For example, ‘put this block where it belongs’, ‘bring me the other shoe’, ‘give me kisses’, ‘come here’ and ‘please put this in the bin’.  While this is all very good, he must remember to listen when he is told, ‘no’.  I am sure that he understands it.  

He has become excellent at making himself understood and his needs known, especially since he can only say ‘mama’.  He makes sure it is known that he does not want to watch the programme on television by throwing the remote control at whoever is in charge of changing channels.  He shows when he wants to go downstairs by pointing, and he shows that he’s hungry by ‘smacking his lips’.

He can show where his hair is, where his nose is and, by blowing raspberries, where his tongue is.  He can also show where his feet and hands are and, if he’s not wearing a nappy, will happily show you where his nooni is.  He is still confusing eyes and ears, though.  Perhaps a body parts book will help?

He is able to identify (by pointing) many animals in books, on television and on his clothes.  Some of these include, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, monkeys, lions, tigers, giraffes, penguins, birds, bears and butterflies.  Perhaps it is time to move on from animals and onto other objects?  Maybe body parts?

He has learnt how to show his muscles.  He does this by stretching his arms up over his head.  He has also learnt how to do ‘suuuuuper baby!’.  This is done in the same way as showing his muscles.  He is working on ‘shake your bum bum!’, but so far will only wave his arms above his head.  Perhaps he doesn’t know *where* his ‘bum bum’ is?

Vinay loves (some) nursery rhymes.  These include, ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’, ‘London Bridge’ and ‘Ring O’ Roses’.  He can do some of the actions to these rhymes, but mostly does his own version of them.

Vinay likes approval, rewards and praise.  Very often, when he’s done something right (such as identifying an object correctly), he claps for himself and looks around to make sure other people have noticed.  He likes to make eye contact with other adults so that they smile at him.

His confidence has grown and he is now comfortable walking away from his mother during playgroup, experimenting and playing with different toys.  In fact, he finally sat on the rocking horse he’s been eyeing up for the last month!

Although he has made a lot of progress in recent months, there are things on which he needs to work.  Vinay must remember that pulling the dog’s tail is not the way to touch him and that he must be gentle.  He should continue to work on learning the different parts of the body.  He must work on putting the shapes in the correct place in his shape sorter and maybe even work on the names and colours of the shapes. 

Most importantly, he should try to not wake up twice every night for a feed.

Overall, Vinay is a delightful, loving and affectionate child and an absolute pleasure to have in everyone’s lives.

*Please note that this might be completely biased