1. Alphabet. He can sing the alphabet and remember the letters in sequence, but I don't think he can recognize individual letters. We are watching the Signing Time ABC Songs DVD. Curt picket up the Leap Frog Word Whammer Fridge Phonics Set. There is one that just has a spot for one letter, not words, but he could only find that in the Spanish version. This one will last longer anyway. That will be a birthday present. (He isn't having his party until the 27th).
2. Names. Today, he finally answered me when I asked,"What is your name?" He will point to his picture and say his name, but he isn't answering. He will answer when I ask,"What is Daddy's name?" For some reason, Curt's name sticks in his head. He will also answer when I ask,"What is the dog's name?" I want him to be able to say his full name, Curt's full name and my full name.
3. Putting on and taking off clothes. Since he is going back to Montessori, I know they will want him to be able to do these things. I don't really give him the chance, so we are going to start trying a bit.
4. Counting Objects. He can recite counting to ten but I don't think he understands what it means, yet. I do think he knows the differences between one, two and maybe three objects. I tell him that he can take two cars with him whenever we leave the house. He knows when he only has one. He had three cars one time and I asked him how many he had. He said,"Three" until I asked how many he was supposed to have and he said,"Two" and then tried to say he had two cars.
5. Riding his balance bike. His bike is a birthday gift but I ordered it early because I wanted to have it on time. It came within a week and so we gave it to him early. Unfortunately, that was during the height of summer and my nausea so he hasn't been outside with it a lot. He does ride it a bit inside, but he needs to practice outside in order to really learn to glide on it. One great thing about our American neighbors is that they are mostly military and the base requires helmets on the kids so all the military kids around here wear helmets. Ian likes his helmet as a result and will put it on around the house when he rides his bike because he has seen the other kids doing it.
I think that this will be a task will be a great opportunity for father-son bonding for Curt. If they can get outside after work for a little bit each day, I think he will get the hang of it quickly.
I did not add potty training to this list, though I may try to ask him if he wants to sit on the potty more often, but it seems like people who start earlier have to work at it longer and in the end, the may go through fewer diapers and fully potty train a little earlier than those who wait, but the work involved is too much of a pain for such a little reward, especially when you hear of potty training in a day programs for kids over 2.5 years old. If you can get to the same point in a day at 2.5 that you would get to in a year if you start at 18 months, that sounds good to me. The theory is that by 2.5, kids have the physical ability to tell when they have to go and hold it until they get to the potty and they have enough verbal skills to understand that they need to communicate about the potty.
I have a friend who started at 18 months. Her son is now almost 2.5 and still has accidents, though he is out of diapers. He wears pull ups and she is trying to transition him to underwear. I think he will be fully potty trained in a few months and he is mostly potty trained and was potty trained well before Ian will be, but she really puts a lot of effort into it. I am not criticizing her, but for me it is not worth it.
The pediatrician told me I should try to potty train Ian before the baby comes, but he will only be 2.5 when the baby comes. I am just not going to worry about it or push too hard because we can't be consistent with all the traveling we are going to have to do and after I have the baby, I do not want to be concentrating on potty training. I figure that after we get back to Korea, we can start working on it more.
Of course, if he displays interest, we will go with it. Yesterday, when he was in the tub, he asked to pee on the potty. He probably peed in the tub before he said that, but I put him on the potty anyway. Also, at the Montessori, many of the other kids will be going to the potty and the teacher said that kids often potty train themselves by watching other kids. Of course, if that happens, I will be thrilled, but again, I am not going to desperately try to get this done before the baby.