I've been driving by that all week and it makes me chuckle every time.
Okay....moving on......Let me state emphatically that I am not a child development person. I am a former accountant, a licensed CPA with loads of experience in software development, business analysis, data security administration and way more experience in QA/Software Testing than I EVER wanted. I do have some great resources for child development, though. I own:
- Your Baby's First Year: Week by Week - This is a useful book but is very detailed and a bit cumbersome. Particularly, for a new mother it can be overwhelming to be presented with so much information at once - not even taking into fact that a new mother really should be reading US Weekly in her free time because her brain needs a BREAK. Furthermore, a "month by month" version would have been more useful. A paranoid mother does NOT need this book lest she find herself saying "OMIGOD, it's Week 15 and he's not waving bye-bye??"
- Toddler 411 and Baby 411 - Hands down, these two books are the ones I would own if I could only have two. They have absolutely everything you need for your child up to about kindergarten in 2 concise volumes that are easy to read, entertaining (you'll laugh out loud) and most importantly, are conveniently organized as a reference tool. The overall tone of these two books is that of a "Hey, you'll be okay Grasshopper." one that is comforting and reassuring.
- The Science of Parenting - I enjoy this book because I am fascinated by the biology of what's going on with babies and toddlers. There are often valid reasons for what they do simply because their little brains and nervous systems are still developing, yet we desperately want them to act like little, logical adults. This book goes a long way in explaining why parents need to manage their expectations regarding what their Precious Progeny is actually capable of doing at their particular developmental stages.
Let me also state emphatically that I LOVE my Parents As Teachers lady (I call her the PAT Lady). Our original PAT Lady moved this year, so this gal is a new one. I love this new gal's approach and she has great bits of advice. The bad part of the PAT Lady's visits is that I always feel as if I am fervently trying to demonstrate to her Arun's brilliance. Because OF COURSE, that's EXACTLY what I am trying to do, right? And during this last visit, I felt pretty silly. We went through his 12 Month Developmental Checklist and except for a few things, like clapping and throwing a ball overhand, he's right on track. Although, I would love to secretly think he is a genius, logically, I know he is a normal kid. Anyway, I mentioned that Arun is only picking out the circles in his puzzle and shape sorter and was I approaching it right way - like, should I take all the other shapes away and just keep the circles out or should I "phase the shapes in?" like, introduce squares next, since they are the next easiest shape. The PAT Lady was really nice about it, but did gently suggest that while it was great he has learned the circles, he might still be a little young for puzzles and the shape sorter. Furthermore, apparently, he isn't ready for colors, either (which of course, I had been working on). Seriously, I felt a little silly. How am I supposed to know that a 12 month old isn't ready for shapes or colors? Don't get me wrong, it's not like I am on the floor drilling him ("Blue, Blue, BLUE dammit!") and I certainly haven't gotten out the flashcards yet ("2+2=4.....What, you got jello for brains?"). Mostly, Arun just hangs out playing with his gazillion toys, books and cars. Let me repeat, the PAT Lady is AWESOME and is very encouraging and gives great ideas for age appropriate activities. So, while I have some great resources for child development, I guess I need to look into something that will give me ideas for what is useful in edumacating a 12 month old. So much for starting on our Canasta Strategy.
Also, I should point out that I ALREADY messed up in this NaBloPoMo thingie. ALREADY. I usually compose a draft the night before, then post the next day. The FIRST day outta the gate, I forget to change the "draft" date to the "publish" date, so it looked like my 11/1 post went out on 10/31. I'm an idiot, but an anal-retentive one so I had to change the date - I DID post on 11/1. It's not like I'm out to win prizes here, but I am a bit compulsive (i.e. I would have changed the post regardless of NaBloPoMo). Fortunately, I have witnesses. You've got my back on this, right?