Watching your baby become a toddler is one of the most precious milestones. Those first wobbly steps are so exciting to watch! As a parent I am always keen to look after my children’s feet and keep them healthy. I’ve always encouraged my children to be barefoot wherever possible. But, there are times when being barefoot isn’t a safe option.
Ok so I missed the 12month update, I don’t have beautifully staged photos of my daughter’s first birthday and infact I’m not sure we took a photo of her at all..Oh, yes we did take her photo, she was scowling as it was raining and I was attempting to hold her while we peered at a retro fairground ride in the Dordogne, she was less than impressed. I had a mild case of guilt that I hadn’t staged photos, or a cake smash (actually, I didn’t even make a cake – it’s hard to bake a cake when you’re on holiday in a tent) or hosted multiple parties aimed at a) baby friends b) family c) My friends (damn! i should have had this one!). But then I realised that I have lots of precious memories of her 1st birthday, and while the bells and whistles approach is lovely, no parent should feel guilty for not living up to the expectations of what parents “should” do which I think sometimes social media creates. I digress.
It’s 1.30am and I am sat in the company of E who is reluctant to sleep. I’ve not been this tired for a while, but I’m sat keeping him company on the sofa, and he is doing what 2 year olds do best, finding mundane things highly entertaining, so my quest to get him calm enough to sleep by sitting in silence is clearly failing. He is sat chuckling as a fly buzzes around the room and I am sat wondering where I put the fly spray (do we even own any?!). I had tried pretending to be asleep, but that just resulted in him climbing on top of me and talking very loudly in my ear…”are you awake Mummy? I am..” and when I failed to respond (I may have been actually dozing at this point…) he kindly decided to perform some form of non-surgical anti-ageing treatment on me by pulling my eye lids up until they virtually met my forehead.
I’ve tried reading him a story, but that just made things worse as he then wanted it read again, and again, Julia Donaldson your books are just too much fun and I am unable to read them in a soothing go to sleep sort of way. I have now resorted to “camping” in the sitting room, I am intent on getting at least a little sleep tonight, even if it is underneath the canopy of a sheet hung over two dining chairs..
Elvis is now 2, and he’s doing all the things I would expect my two year old to be doing – hooray. He’s having giant tantrums, talking constantly, singing (badly), climbing up and over anything and everything and running after his big brother shouting “waiiiiiit!”.
However, I do have worries where he’s concerned. The main worry is his lack of interest in food, he just doesn’t seem interested at all. He’s always been slim even as a baby, and now he’s a slight toddler, I look on enviously as all the other toddlers we know are considerably heavy than him wishing he’d fill out. I suppose the continual colds and coughs haven’t helped him at all, but now I’m at the point where I think I’m making matters worse by watching him constantly when we’re eating and also more or less trying to force food into him. There, I’ve said it! I get worried he’s not eating enough and try to force or trick him into eating extra, and he knows! The worst part, when he wants to eat he will eat everything and anything, but the urge to eat doesn’t come very often.
We’ve got our 2year health check this week, and I’m stressed. While we had a trip to the hospital in October and they agreed he was light but within a healthy range and were positive about the fact he did eat, I know the health visitor will not be quite so kind. No doubt I will end up crying, and feeling like I am not feeding him enough so I am to blame, even though the truth is quite the opposite. I’m trying to stay positive and not make a big deal about food, as I know the more fuss I make, the worse it is. I’ve started a food diary for him, so I can track what he does eat and when, and I’m going to start offering less food but more often to see if that helps.
Have you experienced this with your toddler? How did you deal with it?
Boo turned 3 at the end of June, and I rather naively thought that milestone might mean a step away from tantrums. Oh how wrong I seem to have been. Far from stepping away from them, they seem to have got worse!! To any one who knows me, this blog post may come as a surprise, as I like to live under the impression that my children fell out of a children’s book, they are perfect, never cry, never scream…and I choose to walk about in a state of ‘dragged through the hedge backwards’ it is called style not ‘slummy Mummy’ honest..
Boo’s tantrums have peaked, they are at the stage where he takes delight in screeching at the top of his voice ‘I don’t care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ when Mr G says anything to him in an attempt to calm him..Mr G doesn’t see the funny side and I can see him visibly turning a strange shade of beetroot as he approaches our little Tasmanian devil (who by this stage is usually spinning around waving his arms like rotor blades by this point) for a second attempt at negotiation.My attitude is to just ignore these moments and carry on as normal even though I’m being followed by my little devil and deluged with such articulate language as ‘I don’t like you, you’re horrid, yukky Mummy yukky!’ Of course this is harder to ignore when combined with the rotor blade arm moments which hit my arms and legs surprisingly hard, and often try to take out jars of pickled beetroot or whatever is nearest us in the shop/house/(insert name of any public venue..).
I have concluded that I’m not sure there is a ‘right’ way to handle these tantrums, surely it is more about survival, and proving to my little devil that actually his behaviour is not very nice and certainly won’t get him rewarded with the ice cream/comic/attention he is craving. I’ll be honest, I find these tantrums quite distressing, I want to curl up on the floor and well..transport myself to another world where I live in an immaculate house and the children are dressed in white linen (perfectly pressed of course). Funnily enough, it is that image which retains my calm even when we have started to grow a huge audience to one of these tantrums, I think to myself…’ahhhh white linen suits, a white sofa and fresh white walls…in my idyllic beach house’ take a deep breath and try to detach myself from the situation. This certainly works better than my initial reaction which is to shriek at the top of my voice ‘Oh god stop you’re humiliating me! This is worse than when my Mum came and collected me from the disco at 8pm when everyone else was allowed to stay til 11pm!’
As soon as the rampage of shrieking stops, I’m greeted with floods of tears hugs and ‘I’m sorry Mummy, I’m sorry for screaming and being naughty’. Which make me feel terrible, as I’m often still none the wiser what caused the upset to begin with, was he tired? did i not offer him enough attention? was I making to much fuss of baby? Yesterday I asked him what had caused him to get so cross, he replied ‘I felt angry Mummy’ so i asked why he felt angry and he replied ‘Because Mummy is very naughty and didn’t let me have an ice lolly’ I sighed and explained why I’d said No and he nodded (sticking his bottom lip right out as though he were about to bawl again). Is this what all his temper tantrums are about right now I wonder? Learning that he can’t have everything? Does this mean I’ve been spoiling him so far? When Baby arrived Boo did get showered in presents from everyone, as I didn’t want presents for the baby so they gave him a present instead? Is this my fault?! Yikes..what to do..
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