I’m going to keep up with all of these traditions but I’m also going to add a fun twist to the mix by asking The Kids a list of simple questions and then seeing how they respond to the same questions next year. For the sake of a post that’s a manageable length, I’ve posted the Annual Questions in another post.
Nipissing District Developmental Screen Checklist
Each year, at The Kids annual checkup, their doctor has me complete a questionnaire. It’s intended as a guide to ensure that The Kids are where they should be for their age and that their development is progressing. Fortunately, I was able to answer “Yes” to all 22 questions. I might have delayed slightly at #18 for Max.
#4 Tell long stories about own past experiences. One thing that people have always said about The Kids is that they
never shut up are eager to engage and share their experiences with adults and children.
#11 Hold a pencil or crayon correctly. Artemis never stops writing and drawing and has been comfortable holding a pencil since she was three. Max not so much. He showed very little interest in writing (although he can) until starting school in December 2014. I think part of it is because we believe he’s left handed. I would say for sure if I didn’t think that he was ambidextrous. Examples of his (legible but not great) handwriting look exactly the same with both hands. There are other reasons that lead us to believe this but it’s really not important either way. Time will tell.
#22 Respond verbally to “hi” and “How are you”? This year, Nanna and Poppa noticed a major improvement in phone conversations (say from when they were three). First of all, they could understand The Kids clearly and also that The Kids talk a lot more so that others don’t have to completely carry the conversation.
One thing that I really like about the checklist is that the second page gives you some activities to do with your child and explains what each activity is meant to teach.
Have you ever used the checklist as a guide?
Our Year in Review
Here I’m going to capture some high level areas where The Kids have shown development as well as provide you with some information on what we did that may not have been captured on this blog.
Birthday Gift: Every year, The Kids get to pick one gift that they’d like for their birthday. This year, Artemis chose makeup (surprise, surprise, more on that below) and Max chose a Tonka Chuck & Friends Flip The Bounce Back racer Vehicle (Blue and Green). He first set eyes on this toy at his cousin Ethan’s in the Spring and didn’t stop talking about it until December came around. He loves it and goes through a set of (8!) batteries a DAY. Time to buy rechargeables.
Make-up: Before I was a parent, if you’d told me that I would be giving my daughter (child friendly) makeup for her fifth birthday, I would have thought you were crazy. Make that totally crazy. Just a reminder that I was the Perfect Mother until I became one. For the past three years, she has been asking for some so we thought that it was time. Given her interest regarding the different make-ups, brushes and applications, we’ve decided to enroll her in a course in the Spring.
School: From January to March, Artemis went to school in Mexico and loved it. Even though she should have been in Junior Kindergarden, she was put into Grade 1. She made friends, learned a lot and gained tons of spoken Spanish. Max went for three days and decided it wasn’t his thing. To his credit, he wasn’t in the same class as Artemis and missed her dearly and his teacher wasn’t a good fit for him. We supported him in his decision to not go to school.
Mexico: For the fourth year in a row (since The Kids were born), we spent almost 4 months in Mexico. They don’t seem to notice or be affected by the differences in culture like Ed and I. They love going to parties all the time, eating candies every day and always heading out on an adventure. When we’re in Mexico, they never want to leave except to quickly get a toy or two that they left in Canada.
Spanish Language: The Kids Spanish comprehension is excellent and probably equal to that of English. Max’s spoken is weak and so was Artemis’ until she started going to school.Since that time it’s improved dramatically.
Stitches: In March 2014, Max hit his forehead on the back of the van in Mexico (the night before we were scheduled to leave for Canada!?) and needed three stitches. Max fought a good fight at the hospital and it took four orderlys and Ed to hold him down. Given how much he fought, the doctor did a great job. Immediately after all was said and done, he walked out of the room with a smile on his face and was none the worse for wear. Note that I’ll unfortunately have another entry for this section come December. These kids are going to be the death of my nerves.
Toronto: This year, we spent a week in July in Toronto before heading to The Farm. We filled our time by seeing five attractions in five days. We were a bit too busy so we’ll probably only do 4 events in 5 days next time. Hoping to visit the Ontario Science Centre again.
The Farm: As usual, we spent two weeks up at The Farm. The Kids spent their time sitting on hay bales, jumping on the trampoline, flying kites, feeding the chickens and tipping cows. Okay, maybe not the last one but The Farm is something that they talk about fondly all year and ask when they’re going back again. We made our annual day trip to Canada’s Wonderland and have been invited to the Scenic Caves at Blue Mountain this year.
Camp: For the fifth summer in a row, The Kids got to spend 5-days on the beautiful Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park. Like The Farm (and all the travelling that we do), they look forward to it every year. Especially because this year, they made a friend Hayden (and we friended his Mother) so they’ll be seeing each other again in 2015. Their days were spent playing in the sand, swimming in the water, paddling with their very-own-new-and-real paddles. They took a week of private lessons in late June (the only week we had off) and were much more comfortable around the water. Regardless, they still wore lifejackets at all times.
And that’s about it. Or all that I can remember. If I don’t post this now, it will be December 2015 and I’ll be ready to post the Year in Review for 2015. Oh well, just the way we roll around here.
Do You Use the
Nipissing District Developmental Screen Checklist?
— Journeys of The Zoo (@zoojourneys) March 19, 2015
** All our Nipissing District Development Checklist posts can be found here.