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I have created new life! ... Oh shit, I'm a parent now

Preschool could mean around 2-4 in the states at the time (about 20 years ago, I guess. We didn’t have to do it for our younger guy, we had then-unemployed-me, and a flowing cache of stored mommy milk when he was a baby, and then the Montessori school his mom was working at when he was older).

Still feeding? And you left your child there? You monster! :sweat_smile: JK, adults have to work, and it sucks.

I had to do that, too. You’d think leaving him with relatives rather than a stranger would be better, but I know my relatives, quite well, and it was often a toss-up.

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I’m currently in parental leave, but my job is working in a daycare (which around here is 3 month to 3 year old). I swear, swear that for the most part, the kid is crying for as long as he can see you, and then he goes right into playing, or comes get a hug.
At the same time, it feels horrible to have to pry away (because I can’t think of any other word!) a child from his parent’s arm, because they have to go work. And then holding then when they want to rush to the door to scream. Happy time! And of course, you have to welcome every child, but everyone is coming more or less at the same time, so sometime that means talking with a parent when three other kids are screaming.
But it is not the norm, usually, it is a pretty sweet job. The only think is after they go to school, you’re dead to them! When I meet one on the street, they usually shy away behind their parents. Dammit, Wendy i changed your diapers and we played together for three year, I assure you, you know me !


My wife has run a day care for 12+ years and I concur, parents making a big when dropping of the child just re-enforces with the kid that making a fuss works. I’ve also seen parents almost purposely trying to get a response out of the kid just so they can feel better?

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That certainly sounds extremely likely. My “daycare” is provided by a friend of ours on some days and the other days, by my in-laws; as a result, my intention is to leave in whatever way makes for a happy daughter, regardless of how difficult it is for me. It’s a shame that not everybody would naturally do that for their own children :disappointed_relieved:

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Same at schools. I can confirm that as soon as the parents are gone, the children are fine.


Toddlers are fickle. My daughter has recently completely flipped her affections completely in favour of me rather than her Mummy. Which is quite nice, if sometimes exhausting. I fully expect a further reversal in due course.

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Well I feel like I have to say that, no matter what the parents do, sometime it will just be hard for the kid. I have in my head one mom who did everthing she could to get her toddler to stop crying when coming (and staying) at the daycare. She wanted to get a job back. But the kid would cry and scream for the entire time he was with us. Like,hours of screaming until he puked or had no voice. It was heartbreaking. And the worse was to say to the mom how it went. Of we could get him to be quiet or interested for a few linutes, it was a big win ! I’m sure we could have gone somewhere, but one time it was the dad who came to pick him up. And he was so upset to see his son like this that he decided that his wife will stay home(well maybe it was mutual I don’t know)


Our son screamed like anything when being dropped off. It was horrible.

We changed the narrative - everytime we went, we said ‘Ill go to preschool then, you go back home’. Amazingly changed his attitude overnight


I learnt early on never to bluff about anything with our oldest - she’d call us on it a lot of the time. Every threat I use is proportional and guaranteed to be carried out if it’s clear she understands and continues doing or not doing whatever caused me to make the threat.

Reading that back, I sound a bit pompous. It’s actually really hard. Trying to come up with something that she’ll care about, that I can carry out, and that is reasonable and proportional, when she absolutely has to do the thing and doesn’t want to… it’s not easy. Especially when all the advice says carrot and stick approaches are bad, and that you should teach intrinsic motivation instead of extrinsic, but you really need to get the thing done…


(Daughter’s half is translated from the Japanese, but odd words in quotes and my half is in English)

“After I go to daycare, after I take a bath, after I wake up…”
“You mean tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow’. After I go to daycare, after I take a bath, after I wake up… it’s a ‘holiday’ and not daycare?”
“That’s right”
“Let’s buy a snack and buy a pizza and eat the pizza and play a game”
“Yay. I told mama that we’d buy a snack and buy a pizza and eat the pizza but I didn’t tell her about the game, so you have to tell mama about the game, OK?”
“Now put your clothes on”

On the one hand, she sets her sights so low! On the other hand, she’s actively looking forward to spending 20 minutes playing a board game, days in advance!


I overheard the following recently, which made me happy. This is about as much English I’ve ever heard her come up with at one time:

“Can I eat papa?”
“Why not”
“Because papa is not food. Papa is human. You can’t eat people. You can eat… vegetables.”

At what age would you say your kid(s) became fluent? How complex were the conversations you had at around 4.5 years old?

I’m concerned because of the bilingual thing, and because of her slow and grudging uptake of English, but I don’t really have any frame of reference. I can’t remember how fluent kids are in English in English-speaking countries at what ages.


My oldest could speak somewhat passable Spanish in grade school around 7 (he just turned 22). My youngest is 8 1/2, and they both speak fluent Minecraft. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Speaking for myself, I sucked at non-English languages, not for the lack of trying. I could barely handle Spanish, French, German, or Italian, even until I was the age of 46 (which was about two weeks ago). Machine languages were a lot easier. Don’t even get me started on my incompetence with Japanese or Vietnamese (which my kids are way better at than I am).

Kids have their talents and abilities that are totally different from each other’s, as well as your own. I don’t think there’s a “finish-line” for some skills. My little guy just switched schools, and went from being the math-dude, to being a language-dude, in just a few months with the change in stimulation from Montessori to public education.

It didn’t hurt that he made a new best-friend, 2 years older than him, but with developmental issues that puts him awkwardly in the same range as my son. In some ways, this kid’s smarter and stronger, but in others, my son outclasses him, hard. In a lot of ways, they balance each other.

They fight constantly, and annoy the heck out of my household, but are inseparable. Kind of like brothers.

I think the most important thing is the relationships kids make, with their family, friends, and teachers. Developmental guidelines are for councilors (often underappreciated) and school bureaucrats (often overvalued).

The most important opinion about your kids are yours. Parents trump pretty much everyone else in the world.

Edited for clarity, I’m asking about English, not second/third/fourth/nth languages.

She speaks Japanese? And some English? And you both can understand each other? Dad is good.

Dad did good job, mom did good job.

Japanese and English are two languages, so that’s a second language either way. I hate to tell you if you haven’t already figured that out :sweat_smile:

Also, my family mostly stinks at all of those languages, if I didn’t make that clear before. We really suck equally at more than one language.

You guys are doing fine. Relax. I barely speak English coherently, but I somehow manage to feed myself and the kids.

You are my friend, man, I don’t like seeing you stress. It causes me nearly-physical discomfort. I type things like this in hope that it can help you relax, to let you know that all of us have been in scary situations with the development of our kids, but we’ve all come out OK.

We’re all parents here, and we’ve been through the wringer at some time or another, and you’re doing fine.

EDIT: Anyway, cadence and ordinal progression of noun/verb, we have crappy loose structure of adverbs and pronouns, as long as you put the modifier in front of the word it modifies.
English has very few gendered nouns for inanimate objects or generic proper nouns. I actually don’t think you have to worry about that, I don’t know why I brought it up.
You can put some words together like Legos (thank you, Germany, and also in the 80s English speakers stopped giving a shit).
The letters R and L are a huge pain in the butt, but a speech therapist can be a simple and easy solution (I used to stutter when I was a teen, badly, like, really bad, but my therapist cleared it up, mostly through having me practice things like “R” and “L”. I don’t know why this worked for stuttering, but it did, and it was free).
Singing. You don’t ever want to hear me sing, I’m awful, but it was fun, and helped me with my speech issues.

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Languages? Oh, hell. In less than a week, I’ll be packing up the family for a trip to Bavaria, where I’ll be the only member of our crew wer spricht Deutsch. Und nur ein bißchen. Ich bin… what’s German for neck-deep in it? (It’s gonna be fun. Viel Spaß.)

The 2-year-old can mimic the sounds I make, as best a toddler can. It’s hilarious but unintelligible if you’re not his parent. The just-post-Kindergartner can, on a good day, remember Guten Tag, but struggles with Grüß Gott, which is fine, I guess. Danke about half the time. And can, at any given moment, damn near count from eins bis zehn. (Should I have capitalized those? I habe Deutsch seid zweiundzwanzig Jahre nicht studiert, and I’m actively not looking this stuff up.) Kid can also remember Milch and Kuchen pretty well. Guess we’re ahead of the curve?

Wait, where were we?

Oh, right. Total spectrum there. Kids are all over the place at that age, and they really don’t think like adults. At all. It’s like the wiring’s different, and logical thinking doesn’t apply. I’ve seen an immense change in my kiddo through kindergarten, from 5 to almost-6. Still, there are misfires that I can’t always tell their source, if it’s language, idea complexity, or something else.

I can’t find the reference now, but there’s a well-known child developmental psychologist (or something like that?) who’s basically likened little kids’ brains to adults on psychedelic drugs, where they’re overwhelmed by stimuli and can’t filter it like we can. (Pretty sure I read it in Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind.) Been a long time since I’ve been in that state, but once I started imagining my kids on magic mushrooms 24/7, a lot more of their behavior started making sense.


As far as I know (and also in my experience), kids whose development is ‘slow’ in one aspect are likely to be fast learners in other areas. It’s like their resources are spent very differently, depending on personal preference/interests and other factors.
My five year-old, for example, learnt to walk as late as 17months old, but at that point she already spoke intelligibly. Our little one who just turned one will start to walk pretty soon, but her linguistic development is way behind her sister at that age.

Edit: To add to @Benkyo’s concern: similarly to the above, learning two languages at once will generally mean that both are learned at a slower rate than normal.


I remember going over that in the plethora of PSY classes I took. That first languages learned at the same time are slower, don’t stress.

Tho in my group we also have a saying if concerned have it checked out. Often screening appointments (based in US I don’t know about other countries) are scheduled pretty far out, (I was quoted 18 months for one before) so by the time the appointment gets near, if its no longer a concern, cancel it, no harm.

In the US its part of the right to free and appropriate education is the early intervention program, where they will do screening if concerns.

I only mention that because at those they do ask if there are more then one languages spoken in the home because it could be a cause of late language. As are vision or hearing issues, or having a older sibling with language issues (like they learned it from them.


I really love my two girls, but coming home after work on a hot day into a cool and empty flat (cause they are at the public swimming pool with their mom/my partner), being able to do some chores uninterrupted and just sit down and read through this forum feels sooo good.


My step-daughter graduated from high school yesterday (technically they call it a ‘Leaving’ ceremony) and I’m a bit melancholy today. When my wife and I first started dating, my step-daughter was just starting kindergarten so I’ve been with her the entirety of her grade school years. Now with my daughter finishing up 1st grade I’m getting very “CHERISH THESE PRECIOUS MOMENTS” feelings.


I have a 16 y/o stepdaughter who just finished her sophomore year and will be getting her license shortly. I’ve been with her mom for 12 years, so while my step-daughter was still in pre-school. And I have a 19 month daughter now, so, yeah, right there with you on those “cherish these moments” feelings.

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