Saturday, 2 September 2017

My Toddler At 19 Months

Which animal describes my youngest daughter best? If you asked me when we got off the aeroplane last week I would definitely have said an octopus, but I think the most similar animal is still a monkey. Admittedly she doesn’t fling her poo, but she has been found with it on her hands a few times. Add in her mischievous ways and how she loves to entertain people and there are definitely monkey tendencies. It has been a great month playing in the sun, spending plenty of time with Big Sister and a whole load of chatting, but what else has Little been up to this month?

A collage of 9 photographs of my toddler including: wearing my flip flops, asleep in a pushchair, eating a baguette, sitting in the garden, in a water tray, hugging her sister, wearing a bucket on her head, smiling with her mummy and running around in a swimming nappy


Activities

Little has been perfecting her adventurer skills. Her climbing and balance is excellent and she is managing to get to new heights every day. This means there are pretty much no safe surfaces for fragile items. She has also become a pro at unzipping bags and opening drawers so the contents of those aren’t safe either. As you can imagine my house has piles of precariously balanced items on all of our highest shelves and a lot of stuff all over the floor. I am frequently finding things in strange places, but some objects appear to be gone for good: our back door key has been missing for a couple of weeks now.

We have spent a lot of time outside so Little has enjoyed running around, but she will also sit quietly investigating playing. I think it’s all going well only to look over a minute later to find her covered in mud (including all over her face, but mud’s great for skin I hear) or having discovered something I would rather she hadn’t. 

There has started to be a shift in her play this month with the development of creative play. I have seen her pretending toys are characters and showing imagination instead of a literal interpretation of using the item. I am excited for the toddler groups to start again to see how her interaction with others has changed.

Little and Big Sister have been playing together lots this month. Their bond continues to grow, although they both want their own space at times too. This causes friction when they have opposite plans. It’s heart warming to see their faces when they are reunited after time apart, but also painful that Big Sister spends so much time away at her Dad’s.

There has been less time this month for independent play and more TV with Big Sister around. It feels like Little has had hardly any quiet time to read etc. We have successfully kept most pens away from her so at least there has been no unsolicited artwork, phew.

Little has a good understanding of how the world around her works; without me saying anything she will put her dirty clothes in the washing pile before her bath, she has put clothes from the laundry basket in the washing machine, she will put rubbish she finds in the bin and she will get a sachet of cat food to try and feed the cat when she miaows. If asked she will also tidy up, turn the washing machine on and lie on the changing mat. Don’t think that she is always so helpful though…

Little reaching out to Big Sister's face

Communication

If the word of the month last time was “no”, this month it has been “yes”. It has been her most used word after “Mummy” and “Daddy”. Sometimes I think Little understands everything I say to her. When she wants to she is really good at following instructions, but she has also started to intentionally ignore what I say. She will hide items behind her back and recently completely ignored me asking her to say sorry to her sister (with a hug) until I started to walk over. 

Little is getting better at mimicking words and Big Sister has picked up on this. There have been several times where Big Sister has intentionally made a series of sound for Little Sister to copy. There was also a great five minutes when they alternately said “Mummy” for no reason other than they found it funny.

I have made an effort this month to try and record all the words and phrases Little uses correctly and when not mimicking, current count is about 45. New words are appearing all the time, but sadly she still can’t say her sister’s name (people should really ensure their first born has an easy to pronounce name).

There has been an increase in hitting, pinching and biting this month so we are trying to encourage her to be gentle and nice to others, although I don’t think she is doing any of these things to intentionally hurt anyone.

Growth

This month Little appears to have spent too much time in the swimming pool as she has shrunk and lost weight. Well perhaps not, but she does weigh slightly less than last month (12kg) which I put down to her eating healthier food and running around more. I also decided that I would try marking Little’s height on a door frame and she appears shorter than the last two months when I had her lying down. Clearly she doesn’t stand as straight as she lies so I’m going to accept the revised height of 82.5cm and try and measure her standing from now on. She has 14 teeth now and she likes to use them to bite me, thanks honey.

Little in a long sleeve tee from the Fearne collection with the slogan "Be happy and Amazing"

Feeding

I’ve managed to feed Little a bit better this month with more fruit, veg and protein, yay.  The amount she eats varies at each meal, but she normally has a bowl of porridge in the evening to fill her up so I don’t worry if she just picks at a meal. 

Little still breastfeeds frequently, but I try and distract her as much as possible. I feed her to sleep, but during the day I first offer her food, water or almond milk if she wants mummy milk, this doesn’t always work though. While I have no intention of making her stop breastfeeding I would like her to cut down on clawing at my top all day (hence the attempted distraction).

Sleep

Apart from a few bad nights (mostly while we were on holiday) Little has slept well both at nap times and at night. Unfortunately she is an early waker and she often seems to be ready to start the day 5 o’clock *yawn*. She normally has a 2 hour nap around 11.30 (or earlier after a 5am starts) and goes to sleep by 8pm so she has about 12 hours sleep a day in total.

I’m expecting many more words and more mischief over the next month. I wonder if I’ll be right?

I've just had a read of what Little was up to a year ago and while she doesn't really look that much younger it's fascinating to see how my daughter was at 9 months.
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