TJ, 3, is a comedian. He loves making people laugh, has perfect timing, and has a wider vocabulary than most kids his age.
HP, 1, doesn’t talk… yet. He coasts on the understanding that his chatty, doting big brother will translate for him. And he does.
It amazes me to see the different worlds in which they live. HP’s whole world consists of a few rooms and a half-dozen people. TJ’s world is expanding-Grammy’s house, the park, a variety of stores (and the occasional restaurant). So, two kids, two worlds, two resolutions for 2013.
HP is easy – I resolve to learn who he is. Okay, maybe it’s not so easy. Chances are that he doesn’t know who he is yet. But he should be talking soon (by 18 months he should say “several single words,” according to the CDC), and once he figures out that certain sounds in a certain order will cause people around him to respond in specific ways, the floodgates will open.
So, more clearly, I resolve to learn who he is by helping him learn who he is and expanding his world to include real communication. I anticipate by year’s end I’ll be reading books to HP and learning what colors, animals, and shapes he likes (and dislikes). Exciting times!
TJ is a bit harder. Toward the end of this year he will go to school for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. He already has separation anxiety, and it’s heartbreaking to see this bright, humorous little boy turn to a tear-filled, sad and anxious child. Being left at school is going to be a difficult experience for him.
My resolution is to actively address his concerns. My wife and I talk to him all the time. Before he was born we resolved never to lie to him and always to explain things happening around him.
With that in mind, I will take time – every day if necessary – to remind him where he’s going, why he’s going, and for how long he’ll be there. I’ll tell him that we will come back to get him – we will always come back for him. I will also be careful with the words I choose and promises I make, as even a minor broken promise can create doubt as to the veracity of future promises.
I think I’m on the right track with this (at least I am in good company with KidsHealth, BabyCenter, and Parenting magazine all echoing the same general sentiments). His world will expand to include school, teachers, classmates, and new friends. He will learn new things and discover things that we all take for granted, He’ll play, and laugh, and love, and by 2014, I suspect leaving for school will become enjoyable. It will be his chance to get away and explore!
Okay, I can’t leave it there. I have a third resolution. I resolve to show my kids I love them every day and tell them every night. That one’s for me.