Toddlerhood in all its glory

We had a fun trip to Luxembourg this weekend. Luxembourg’s downtown is eminently walkable, filled with nice architecture and interesting shops. Luxembourg is the only remaining Grand Duchy, and is functionally trilingual (German, French, and Luxembourgish–a branch of German with lots of French influence). Plus, most speak English as well. As it is in Europe and India, we are shamed by our uniglot existence.

However, we are seeking to remedy that, with Ruben in German day care, and his parents starting the third level German class, online, this week. As I was director of our online program for several years, it’s about time I take one of our classes. Viel gluck fuer uns (wish us luck…or I am a donut).

We also learned why families with children around this age don’t travel so much…the terrible twos have begun! All of a sudden, Ruben’s life is filled with a series of things “not going his way”, and he wants to be absolutely sure his parents–and every other sentient being in a 100 meter radius–are aware of his displeasure.

You know, you can read all about it, and pay passing sympathy when encountering other parents in the midst of these public meltdowns, but nothing quite prepares you for dealing with it when it’s your own.

Anyway, hopefully I learned something in graduate school. Oversimplified– postive reinforcement good; punishment bad. The problem, of course, is you can’t always provide a toddler a reinforcable option or eliminate unwanted temptations…and candidly, sometimes punishment would be so satisfying. But, such is the challenge of parenting, and we knew what we were getting into. Again, wish us luck.

Continuing on the masochism tip, I watched my first Mets game of the year last night. Surprisingly, they won. For those who don’t know, we had an historic collapse in September of last year, and I’ve taken a decidely removed approach to following them this year, lest I get too attached and hurt again. But, it’s September, and my daily furtive glances at the box scores and highlights are fooling no one, least of all, the baseball gods…who wouldn’t do it to us two years in a row…would they?

On the word front, Ruben now reliably says “mama”. For whatever reason, it’s so adorable when he says it I can barely take it. Surprising to me, given my generally unsentimental tendencies. He doesn’t say dada yet (usually calls me mama, or looks away as he knows he can’t produce the answer), but that’s ok– all good things to those who wait.


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