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Beyond Baby Talk: A giveaway and a call for your questions!

You can’t be a parent and not be fascinated with development. A child’s growth – from newborn to toddler and into childhood – it’s such an incredible transformation. It’s quite a privilege to witness it, and from the front row, too.

During the first year, I was most interested in Cee’s gross motor development. I loved watching her move her body in deliberate ways, from the way she turned her head away from something too stimulating as a newborn to sitting up for the first time, to pulling up, cruising, crawling, and then boldly to walking, climbing, and running.

Now, nearing her second birthday, the most fascinating development frontier for me is Cee’s language. She surprises me with new words everyday. It’s exploding.

It was perfect timing, then, that I received a copy of the newly revised book, “Beyond Baby Talk” by Drs. Kenn Apel and Julie Masterson, professors of Communication Sciences and Disorders at University of South Carolina, Columbia, and Missouri State University, respectively. (The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association sponsored the book, and they sent me a review copy. As always, I only review books that I’d recommend to my friends, and I receive no compensation for doing so.)

I’m super excited that Drs. Apel and Masterson have agreed to do an author interview with Science of Mom readers, answering your questions about language development. Just leave your question in the comments below, and the Beyond Baby Talk authors will answer several of them in a follow-up post in a couple of weeks. Plus, we’ll also be giving away a copy of the book!

Now, let me tell you a little about Beyond Baby Talk (but let’s call it BBB). Read more

Almost Two, Strong-willed, and Sweet Through and Through

If you’ve followed my spotty blog posts this fall, you may have gotten the feeling that parenting has been a struggle for me lately.  You would be right.

We had a super-smooth transition to part-time daycare. That continues to go well, and I’m completely happy with and confident in our care provider and her assistants. I am SO thankful for this.

But last week, I posted on Facebook that I felt like I was bringing out the worst in my daughter. I know, that’s a horrible sentiment. It’s just that her other caregivers – her daycare providers and her dad – just raved about how much fun they were having with her and how easy-going she was. But when we spent time together, I felt like I was trudging (blindly) through an endless storm of tantrums and tears. I have tried not to take it personally and tried to remain patient with her. And I’ve tried to stay positive, because we’ve had some good times together, too.

But yesterday, we had a near perfect day together. I saw in my daughter what everyone else has been saying about her. She was independent and creative, silly and serious. She marched around the house busying herself with projects. She brought things to show me, and we explored them together. She put together her train set. She choo-chooed! She sang songs quietly to herself and then loudly with me. Best of all, she read books – lots of them. I’m guessing she spent an hour reading on her own yesterday. No, I cannot be happier or more proud about this.

While I showered, Cee brought books into the bathroom, one at a time. She sat on her stool and flipped through the pages, giving her toddler-condensed version of the story. I heard from the shower:

“Mama. Yama. Mama. Yama. Mama? Yama Mama? Yama!”

(Surely you recognize this story! It’s one of my favorites: Is Your Mama a Llama by Deborah Guarino.)

Closing the book, she pronounced, “Tee En!” Then she marched back to her room for the 17th book she would read during the course of my shower.

Reading another of our favorites: Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert. Fabulous book celebrating the beauty and colors of fresh produce. Here, Cee is excited to identify “CORN!”

Thank you, Cee, for letting me see the very best of you this week.

Cee will be two a week from today. I know that the next year will bring lots more rough patches. I know. But I’m feeling confident and ready for the coming year. We’ll weather the rough patches, and we’ll celebrate all the sweetness of life, together.