It goes without saying that the past year has absolutely flown by and I’m now going to be completely predictable and say the old saying of; ‘it feels like yesterday’ that T was a baby and just turning one. But it really does. I can’t believe he’s now two years old.
With T starting nursery and me returning to work full time I’m not surprised that the weeks have flown by. We’re set in such a busy routine of work, swimming, weekends that there’s often zero time to just stop and observe. As soon as T turned one it felt like all the milestones were suddenly being reached. Walking and talking to name but a few.
The past 12 months
So where do we start?
As a two year old T is a fully fledged ‘Toddler’ (and probably has been since around 18 months) but for T that doesn’t really sum him up at all. He is confident with a hint of bossy, but at the same time he can be reserved; often watching from a far – trying to work out how something or someone works.
He is kind, gentle and ever so loving; dishing out kisses like they’re going out of fashion, and if things get too much his first option is always a cuddle. T also enjoys books and being read to, but also enjoys a snuggle on the sofa in the mornings watching his hour of TV.
Things aren’t always sunny…
We knew straight away when T hit toddler-hood. His moods changed almost overnight, not to mention his volume control! Things got tough very quickly. We were faced with tantrums and a lot of emotion and at times I had no idea how to deal with it apart from offer him a cuddle – although this often worked.
As soon as T started walking, he wanted to run. As soon as he learnt to climb, he wanted to jump. But he couldn’t (at first). But there’s no telling a toddler to ‘be patient’ – it’s like telling a parent they’re out of tea! There’s frustration and a lot of it, and because T’s communication is also just coming it makes things very difficult. But we’re getting there.
I guess you could say that T is now fully weaned! He eats three meals a day with snacks and has a cup of milk before bed. I can’t think of anything that he doesn’t like, and he’ll give anything a go. I lied, he isn’t keen on sushi!
His favourite meal is anything to do with pasta, so lasagne is up there in the Top 3. Next comes shepherds pie and then chilli con carne.
When it comes to weaning I’m over the moon with how it went. Baby led weaning certainly worked for us a family and was one of the best decisions we made. T eats well and deals with obstacles such as spaghetti or chewy bread like a pro, and I trust him when it comes to the amount he eats. I still struggle with how much to dish up but I know that if I have given him too much he’ll just stop eating.
As mentioned recently, T stopped breastfeeding around 20/21 months. It was gentle and painless and my boobs didn’t even seem have feel the effects of T stopping. I’m pretty sure this was also a sign that things were coming to an end.
When I look back it feels like a lifetime away and on some days I miss having those blue eyes looking back at whilst I was feeding him, but other days I’m grateful that I can rely on solids to keep him occupied. I do miss the minimum 500 calorie loss every day though!
Apart from when T is sick we’re now in the blissful period of T sleeping through. He moved his bedtime from 7pm to 8pm shortly after he stopped breastfeeding, for some unknown reason, and since then he now sleeps through until 7am/8am. I honestly don’t know what made him change his bedtime, but we just went with it when we noticed one night that he wasn’t going to sleep as quickly as he normally did.
T still also has a nap during the day but, again, this changed shortly after his bedtime changed. I found trying to get T down for a nap before nursery was getting too stressful so I experimented by giving nap time duties to them and lo and behold it worked. If I’m honest a little too well, as he now finishes his lunch at nursery and then takes himself off to the beds they have set up!
Nap time is anytime between 11am and 12pm and usually lasts anything from an hour to two hours! The only annoying thing about this is that it’s now right over lunch but I’ve just adapted this so T has half his lunch around 11am and then the rest of it when he wakes. It can make outings a little challenging though if we don’t have the buggy.
One of the things I wish I’d done early on was take a daily picture of T in his cot every night when we checked on him. Not only would it have shown how tall he is getting, but it would have shown the hilarity of the positions that he gets himself into every night.
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My god, the walking! T flies everywhere and constantly on the move (until I’m in a hurry or if I need him to go somewhere quickly). I love it. We still have moments when he just won’t move, wants to be carried, or he wants to go in the opposite direction to where we’re going, but most of the time he’s the perfect companion – especially when there’s a hint of a babychino at the end of the walk.
When he’s not walking he’s also a pretty good swimmer. We had a few bad weeks after a long break from swimming that broke him thanks to a broken foot (mine, not his) but after a few refresher lessons we soon got back into the swing of things and back to his normal self. He adores swimming (and his instructor) and every week I see his water confidence grow. He’ll happily jump into the water, swim under water unassisted, as well as confidently climb along the railings in the pool. I couldn’t be prouder. Within the next few months we should see him go up to the next class!
Probably my favourite part of T growing up is teaching him how to communicate with us, as well as us learning how to communicate with him! It’s hard, don’t get me wrong. Some days I literally have no idea what he’s saying and he’s so close to tears because I don’t understand what he’s saying and he’s refusing to show me what he wants. But other days, oh the other days, it’s wonderful. I can be sat in traffic and almost have a full conversation with him. Sure, the conversation is full of yes and no’s, or he’s pointing something out and I’m asking him about it (again, a lot of yes and no’s appear) but the fact that he’s answering (and listening) means so much. Words usually come in pairs but we have had the occasional “no more mummy“!
Whenever I pick him up from nursery I’ve always asked how his day was and where he used to say nothing he now thinks about it using his little “ummm” and tries to tell me about the songs he sang or the toys he played with. It really is wonderful.
His most used words are;
Vehicles: Train/Choo choo, Car, Bus, Bike.
Animals: Cat/Kitty, Dog, Snake, Cow/Moo, Sheep/Baa, Duck/Ducky (which is also what he calls ALL birds).
Food: Cheese, Toast, Berries, Nana (Banana), Kiwi, Water/Bottle, Snack Snack.
Body: Hair, Head, Knees, Toes, Feet, Ears (he also knows, but doesn’t say, Eyes, Mouth, Tongue, Chin, Bum, Belly, and Neck).
Other: Spoon, Plate, Fork, Hot, Cold, Bath, Shower, Ow, Boom, Twirlywoos, Bing, Door, Bounce, Keys, Wee Wee, Shoes, Carry/Up Up, Down, Floor.
He’s also really good at names and happily repeats (or tires to in his own way) what I’m saying. ‘Please’ is still in sign, but ‘Ta’ is still a firm favourite as apposed to ‘Thank you’. He also requests certain songs and is more than happy to have a little dance (but no singing yet!)
Can you tell I’m proud?
I’m really enjoying this stage of T’s life. I didn’t think I would as much as I do – I thought I’d constantly miss the newborn stage, but I’m honestly having the time of my life. The tantrums make things hard sometimes but as long as I remind myself that they’re normal and that ‘it will pass’ I just get on with them. They’re just T’s way of learning and venting his frustration. Imagine being in a different country all of a sudden and not knowing what to say or how to behave.
He’s not a bad kid, far from it. He’s funny and smart, and oh so kind. I know I’m biased, but I genuinely didn’t realise we’d have such a cool kid.