If you follow my twitter feed, you’ll know that in this past week we’ve seen a lot of indications that Elanor might be ready to potty train. She’s showing a lot of initiative and interest. So I think we’re about to try something I would never have considered doing in our old Boston apartment. We’re going to have a talk with Ellie, pull out the big girl underwear as incentive (thanks to Nora, who found Kai Lan underwear at Target–if that doesn’t work, nothing will!) and just work intensively on potty training starting tomorrow through Monday. A 4 day try-out as it were.
Why would I never have tried it in Boston? Well, in Boston we had wall to wall carpeting as opposed to our Singaporean wood/marble flooring, which would have made it a much riskier/messier/harder-to-clean prospect.
It’s a big step, and I’m completely okay with a return to diapers on Tuesday, if that’s how it plays out.
But between contemplating potty training, and next week being Elanor’s last week of “gifted tots” before she officially becomes an “N1” (Nursery 1) student, and last night’s discussion of New Year’s Eve leading to the realization that I will have an almost 2 month old on my other arm that night….coupled with a strong dose of pregnancy hormones…has me feeling very sentimental.
Tiny Island wondered aloud in a comment yesterday how much or little Elanor will remember about her time here in Singapore. I replied that it will have a lot to do with how long we’re here.
But the things is that her toddlerhood/pre-school years will always belong to Singapore in my memories.
I can only hope that before we move, she can remember such Singaporean memories as feeding swans/fish/turtles at the Botanic Gardens, running fearlessly towards the giant bucket of water about to dump on children at various water play areas, building sandcastles (and destroying them) on Palawan Beach, riding rides at Universal, leaves bigger than her whole body growing verdantly next to the sidewalk. I want her to remember the special feeling of an American 4th of July in Singapore, and the wonderful sense of community it brings. I hope she remembers her pre-school with the same fondness she currently wants to tell everyone about her “balcano” (volcano) project (we did a baking soda/vinegar “volcano”) and how “it goes BOOM.” I want her to remember how much fun she has chatting with taxi uncles. Her love of chicken rice.
I want her to remember watching people flying light up kites (airplanes?) by Clarke Quay at nighttime. The sounds of the nocturnal animals at Night Safari, and the fastest path to the waterpark at the zoo.
I want her to remember introducing her younger sibling to all these joys in life, too.
Boston and the US hold my memories of her babyhood.
She was born at a hospital across the street from where I attended my undergraduate years (Simmons College in Boston-I missed my 10 year reunion this past weekend), just up the road from Fenway Park, where the Boston Red Sox play. We brought her home to a two floor townhouse, where she first rolled over. Where my cat Lady decided that Ellie was her kitten, too, and would anxiously fetch me if I didn’t respond to Elanor’s cries fast enough. She spent Sunday’s at her Dadi and Dada’s house, resting in the pack n play next to us while we played bridge. My aunt and mom came and helped me a lot through my early days as a mom, and was so bleary from lack of sleep that I couldn’t remember to feed myself.
We moved to another apartment, on a busy downtown street. The fall and winter that she turned one were spent first crawling, and then walking up and down the long carpeted hallways behind her lion, and then gingerly on her own two feet without support. I remember the elderly people on our floor who would step outside to visit with us as we walked by, happy to see a little one enjoying herself. I remember what the apartment looked like on her first birthday, and the duck shaped cake my mom made for her.
I remember fondly all the mommy and baby classes we took at Isis Parenting. How the support of other new moms and the instructors helped me gain confidence as a new mom. We began them for me, but continued because as Ellie grew, she loved them so much. How some of the instructors and employees became friends, several of whom I’m still in contact with today!
I remember playdates with Aimee and CJ, from the first trip with several month olds to the deCordova to our goodbye party at Lily and Jason’s home with so many of her little friends in attendance. The occasional outing with Zach and Zane (and sometimes Zane’s mom, Deb).
Elanor spent her very first 4th of July (her only 4th of July in the US) on the National Mall in Washington DC (part of our Boston-North Carolina road trip extravaganza), more entranced with a silly light up ball we’d found at a Smithsonian gift shop than with the fireworks spectacle going on with the Washington Monument in the background. She met her cousins for the first time on that trip, and saw them again at a big family Thanksgiving.
There are so many wonderful memories of home that she won’t remember…but that Ravi and I (and our friends) hold in our hearts.