Last week was a pretty exciting week, for quite a few reasons! I was so busy (and tired) that I wasn’t able to write anything out until now. But it’s still just as exciting!
1. First and foremost, we had our 20-week anatomy scan! I wasn’t as nervous for this ultrasound as I was for our 16-week one, because we had just seen Leon a few weeks prior and his kicks have become progressively stronger lately. Just as we had hoped, Leon looked great. We had a different ultrasound technician than the previous three ultrasounds, so it gave us extra reassurance since another set of eyes had given him a clean bill of health. She even showed us the ventricle in his brain that would be enlarged if he had hydrocephalus. At the time of our ultrasound, he was a whopping 15 ounces and measuring exactly a week ahead of schedule! The doctor also said my weight gain so far is exactly on target for the halfway point. We weren’t able to check his lower spine or kidneys because of his position so we’ll get another ultrasound next month, but at least his heart and brain look good.
2. Last week I reached out to a number of local Montessori schools and learning centers and narrowed my list down to a handful of my favorites. From there I shrunk the list down based on recommendations and ratings, and we decided to tour the two we felt were the best out of those. Our Option 1 school wasn’t bad, but we weren’t impressed. The teachers were all young, and on our tour we weren’t given much more information than we could have found online — we left after 15 minutes, still not knowing much about the lesson plans, sanitary processes, meal programs, or special events that the school had to offer.
Our tour for Option 2 was scheduled with the school’s owner, who immediately described the school’s emphasis on play-based learning. The lesson plans are posted outside the door of each classroom; infants will be exposed to sign language and gross motor skill activities immediately. She pointed out the various toys in the infant room and described how those toys stimulate the babies’ brains, as well as how they’re sanitized multiple times a day. She explained how important it was that we begin having open-ended conversations with Leon immediately; once he learns to babble, he’ll have grasped the concept of “When I talk, they talk back to me!”
My favorite thing about the school is that we’ll be given access to an app that notifies us of what Leon’s learning that day, how much and when he ate, when he peed/pooped, etc. — then in the evening we’ll be emailed a summary with pictures of him throughout the day. One thing Minh said he liked was the fact everyone entering the infant room must wear medical shoe covers to decrease exposure to germs. The school also has fundraisers (such as bringing in school supplies in the late summer) so the kids can grow up learning the importance of giving back to the community. I left feeling really excited — not only was Leon going to have so much fun, I hoped he would be part of the 95% of the school’s children who enter kindergarten testing at or above a kindergarten level.
The next morning I brought in our registration fee to reserve Leon’s spot for April. (The infant classroom was already booked up through March; they only enroll eight babies at one time because the children don’t share cribs.) I was given the parents’ handbook and a binder that will hold Leon’s records and assessments, and they invited us to decorate it. So I did.
3. I’m currently reading a book called Bringing Up Bébé. Minh’s already listened to the audiobook and has been eager to discuss it with me. It’s essentially an American woman’s observations of French parenting after moving to Paris. French children — in general — play patiently by themselves, sleep through the night around two or three months, and eat the same foods as adults (with only one snack between meals). Granted, it’s not be-all-end-all advice; some things the French do better, and some things the Americans do better. But I’m willing to do my due diligence to ensure that we don’t end up raising a terror-child who throws tantrums every time we walk through the candy aisle of the grocery store or who chucks toys at us because we tell him it’s time for dinner. Or who grows up to wear pinky rings unironically.