Tuesday, 28 November 2017

My Toddler At 22 Months

When Little’s Grandparents visited last month they said she had a lot more “character” since they last saw her. I have also been told that I breed “independent” children. In case you can’t pick up on the parenting euphemisms Little has become rather more challenging in her behaviour recently. It may be a natural part of growing up as she approaches the “terrible two’s”, but I am finding the demands and refusals hard work.

A collage of 9 photo's of Little in the last month including sitting on duplo, on a see saw, on grass, hugging me, with shaker instruments, watching TV while teething and with a baseball cap and magnifying glass

Communication


Little continues to talk lots and is easily learning a new word a day. She also understands so much of what is said to her that it feels like she is constantly taking everything in. She joins in with lots of songs with words and actions, but still spends a lot of time watching others sing and dance if at playgroup.

The most important language development this month is that Little can finally, almost, say her Big Sister’s name. This is very good news, but I suspect it will be a month before it’s clearly recognisable.

Activities


It took a while, but Little has finally realised that she can move around steps and chairs to allow her to climb up to a whole lot of new surfaces. Needless to say this has been an interesting time for us. I have had to move a bowl of “stuff” which was used to keep choking hazards away from her, it’s now on top of the fridge and far less convenient. The number of places where anything can be kept safe from her is shrinking rapidly. Part of the problem is that if she picks up something she isn’t meant to have she often gets rather attached to it and howls if it is taken off her.

There has been a lot of howling for other reasons too. Little might be happy enough to have her nappy taken off, she’ll even let us know it needs doing at times and brings over the changing mat. She is much less keen on having a nappy put back on again. Or clothes. I find I am wishing for the summer so I could just take her out in a nappy or a dress as at least that’s only one item of clothing to get on her.

Taking her out, that’s another challenge! She can usually be persuaded in the pushchair and we now have the buggy board attached so if it’s only a short journey going on foot is the easiest option, but the car, ARGHHHHH. Roughly 1 in 3 times I try and put her in the car seat she fights it. There have been several mornings where I have still been at school 20 minutes after drop off because Little has been climbing around the car. I don’t have the energy to force her screaming into the seat if we don’t have an urgency to get somewhere. Her sister used to be like this, but much worse so it’s bringing back some bad memories.

I understand that part of the reason for the refusals is her need to show her independence so I’m trying to give her choices e.g. do you want to wear the red trousers or the black ones? and it works at times, but obviously she is only one and her reasoning ability isn’t exactly fully formed.

I’m guessing that part of the reason she insists on climbing up and going through piles of “stuff” is boredom so I’m trying to set up more games for her to explore. I also want to take her out more, but the regular car seat challenge puts me off.

Little with ear defenders on leaning on her Daddy's head while sitting on his shoulders

Growth


I’m not really sure what section this should be in, but there has been progress on the toilet training front this month (not that we have been trying): Little often lets us know when she needs a nappy change and this month she did her first wee on the toilet! She likes to sit on the toilet before going in the bath and at other times, like when I am desperate to go. Nothing normally comes of it, but then this week she did a wee! The lovely thing was that both her Dad and I were there. It’s funny the things you get excited about as parents!

Little is now wearing more and more 2 to 3 year old clothes, as I said last month this is as much about me being bored of her older clothes as a need for a larger size. She is in size 5 nappies, she still weighs 12.6kg, but she has grown another cm to 86cm tall. No more teeth have cut through yet so she still needs all her back molars.

Little dressed in a pumpkin suit sat next to a little pumpkin

Feeding


This month I have got totally fed up with breastfeeding. Little does it too often for me, especially in the early hours of the morning when she can’t get back to sleep and to make it worse she tweaks my other nipple. I reached the point where every time she fed it was winding me up so I decided we needed to night wean her again and totally cut out the long morning feed. We have been doing it for a few days so far and the cold turkey approach isn’t very easy for her, but it’s making me feel a lot better about things and I can almost enjoy the feeds she does have. I have no wish for her to wean completely, but I need to feel there isn’t someone constantly clawing at my top.

Food wise she continues much the same as before, she eats well and a variety of food when she is in the mood and other times barely has any interest. I think the biggest change might be her growing addiction to chocolate and bourbon biscuits. I occasionally give her dark chocolate chips (a couple at a time) which she loves, but her grandparents have given her a whole packet of dairy free chocolate buttons and her Dad has given her chocolate spread, a whole jar based on the aftermath. Oh the emoji’s I could insert here to share how I feel!

I think her favourite food after chocolate is those little oranges (easy peelers, clementines, whatever).

Oh she’s also started to ask for juice after various family members giving her squash. I got away with giving her water in an orange cup for a week, but I think that’s over now.

It appears my ability to avoid the world of sugary goodness for my youngest is over.

Me, Little and Big Sister sitting on a miniature train pulling cheesy grins for the camera

Sleep


Yes well sleep isn’t so great at the moment. We’ve had a lot of wake ups between 4 and 5 which she never really goes back to sleep from, she’s tired, but will only sleep attached to my boob. This is the main reason for the current night weaning. For the last week she hasn’t been able to nap in her cot either (but manages ok if in the car or out in the pushchair). She clearly needs the sleep, but something is stopping her settling. I'm really hoping that after another few days she will start learning how to fall asleep again. Fingers crossed things have improved by next month.
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