Monday, 17 August 2009

Here I am now, entertain me!

Last Monday it was like a switch had been flipped inside Baby D and she's been in "hyper" mode ever since! Read this book to me again and again, I don't want to sit still, I fancy spinning around in circles and dancing till I fall over, I've discovered how to open the lounge door and so I want to escape and run around the house, ENTERTAIN ME DADDY!!! You get the picture. I'm showing my age here but it reminds me a bit of Johnny 5 in Short Circuit - "Input, input!".

So yes, I think it's safe to say that now we're dealing with a fully-fledged toddler, gone are the days of having a quiet breakfast or updating my blog while she amuses herself. For me, it's been like every time I've got used to her routine and requirements she moves on to the next stage, leaving me playing catch up again!

I take my hat off to people that manage to run a business from home whilst looking after small children, I don't know how they do it. When I left work to look after Baby D just over a year ago I'd always intended to sell a few bits and pieces on Ebay on a regular basis to generate a bit of extra cash but I just haven't found enough hours in the day to do it. Consequently my cellar is still full of the junk (sorry, no, that should read "quality used items") that I was intending to sell.

Getting out of the house has helped, her playgroup is closed for the summer but we go over to see my family at least once a week and try to meet up with the mums & kids from Mrs D's antenatal group as often as we can. A change of surroundings definitely helps quash the boredom factor for her.

It's been fun thinking up games and ideas for keeping her occupied, a lot of her toys get overlooked if I don't play them with her. For example, she loves her Fisher Price Little People farm but only if I'm sitting next to her making the animal noises and getting involved too. We love drawing pictures, she realised pretty early on that crayons don't taste nice so we've passed that particular hurdle and can concentrate on the drawing. I've even managed to bring chores into it - helping daddy load the washing machine, get the mail, tidy your room, etc.. and she's been pretty receptive (so far!).

TV doesn't play a big part of things and nor should it as far as I'm concerned. She's got a couple of favourite shows which we'll watch together but generally I'll leave it turned off or just put on a music channel, she loves dancing!

I spent the whole of yesterday clearing up our garden but this has already had its reward, we spent half an hour running about outside, I gave Baby D some lunch, put her up for a nap and she was out like a light. Excellent!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

The 18 month milestone.

Baby D turned 18 months old on Tuesday, perhaps I should really be calling her Toddler D at this point! She is definitely starting to know her own mind now, I can even have conversations with her. Don't get me wrong, half the time neither of us really know what the other person is saying but there's definitely points when we connect and that's really cool. After spending a year with a little person that at first, I could not really communicate with, it's great to see her develop. She'll bring a book over to me if she wants a story, say "juice" if she's thirsty, call for "Dumbo" if she's tired and wants to cuddle her favourite soft toy, and she'll help me tidy up her toys before we put her to bed.

One side of Baby D getting to know her own mind is the inevitable battle of wills that develops - I don't want to eat that, I don't want to sit still, I don't want to have a nap, etc... I try to approach each refusal calmly and bite my lip/count to ten when necessary! The afternoon nap is a good example, at the moment she's finding it difficult to settle and will sit in her cot playing with her toys for a while before things finally quieten down. I'm standing my ground though, even if she doesn't sleep she needs some "quiet time". If we're out and about and the afternoon nap gets missed then by the end of the day she's over-tired, grumpy and generally non-cooperative - not a nice mood for her to be in when Mummy D gets home.

We've all heard of the "terrible twos" and I can see signs of this legendary phenomenon in her, but at the same time Baby D is getting the idea of boundaries and learning what she can and can't do (we don't hit, we don't pull hair, we don't throw food on the floor, etc..) so to me, as long as we carry on this education then I think we'll be fine. I Hope. Fingers crossed. Touch wood.