I typically end the year with a “Year in Review” post, and re-post links to the most popular blog posts of 2012 by month, but this year, not so much…I shamefully only wrote 19 posts all year. I am going down a blog shame spiral.
But in my defense, I did spend most of the year raising a small human, teaching her to do basically everything and helping to set the blueprint for all her future relationships. It’s no small task, raising a small one! So most of my highlights of 2012 were not professional, but personal. Seeing Baby B cross mid-line and visually track an object for the first time, her first signs (shockingly, not “more” or “milk,” or “all finished,” but the very useful “gorilla” and “hat”–for all those times you want to say, “Hey mama! Look at that gorilla wearing a hat!” but you are pre-verbal and have to use sign), her first “real words,” first steps, and first text-to-self connection (not text like I’m texting you, but like text as in literature-text connections. Yes, I count My First Shapes and Colors as literature). So many wonderful “firsts” came from Toddler B. Yes, she is no longer my Baby B. The official transition from baby to toddler was marked by the time she melted flat as a pancake in puddle of tears in the middle of the sidewalk because she wanted to walk in the street and I wouldn’t let her. Mean mommy.
Professionally, I grew as a school psychologist, not by any workshop or event at my job, but because I now have some first hand experience with how nuanced parenting is. There are “easy” suggestions from others that you apply to your own kid and they just don’t work without a lot of tweaking to the situation. For example…”Just let them cry it out!” Riiiiiiight. Well what do you do when they cry so hard they throw up? Hmmm? What about when they fall asleep standing up, cheek pressed on the edge of their crib? Nuance. Very important. I have become a better listener to what parents have tried already and under what circumstances they experience success.
Finally, I know that 2012 is also a year marked by the tragedy in Newtown. I know that America’s attention span is like that of a gnat, but I hope that people don’t lose momentum on pushing for sensible reforms to make our kids and educators more safe.
So with that, I say goodbye to 2012–the good and the bad. Or as my daughter would say (as she did the second she sat on Santa’s lap via sign language) ALL FINISHED! I wish everyone a wonderful new year…and as always, thanks for reading.