Carol | March 11, 2012
C1 is now eighteen months old. She continues to provide boundless joy and entertainment for the entire family. Oh, my, she is fun to have around. Someone is always saying, “Do you see what she is doing?” “Awwww, look at her!”
I heard the toilet flush the other day with the bathroom door open. Strange. Sure enough, it was C1 coming out of the bathroom. (I quickly washed her hands.)
In addition to the living room furniture, she likes to sit on the kitchen chairs. When she starts to stand up on them, I tell her to, “Sit down”, and she does. I find that her little heart so desires to obey. I was going to make this post just about recording memories of C1, but I am thinking others could benefit from how I see my eighteen-month-old. She is not my enemy. I am here to help her learn and help her develop to her greatest potential. I know all about original sin, but I also know my child. Better than anyone else on earth. There are times (albeit rare at this age) when C1 is doing something that I want her to learn not to do. When I gently correct her with words, she just stops whatever it is and moves on. Sometimes I may be (or she may interpret me to be) overzealous, and she might get sad. Others may see that as being strong-willed or wanting to do her own thing. I believe it is generally because she is disappointed or embarrassed.
One area which I know can cause stress for some parents is changing a diaper on a toddler who has better things to do. I encourage you to realize you are a big person, and you can be patient and change the diaper without resorting to swatting your child or speaking harshly to her. Instead, just say the words she would say if she could. Say things like, “You want to go play? You want to stop diaper change. It’s yucky. It’s almost done. As soon as you’re dressed you can run.” Speaking for a child who cannot speak is a gift to them.
C1 is so centered and attached which makes for an easy child, but I hear about other children struggling with temper tantrums, even under the age of two. Tantrums are like a red flag that something is wrong. It tells you to grow up, as a parent, and be a detective. Get to the bottom of the problem. Temper tantrums in a healthy, attached child will be rare. When any of my children have fits, I try to get to the bottom of the problem. I try to help us learn from them as soon as possible, so the problem won’t continue. There are so many easy fixes to an upset child who is under the age of two. Breastfeeding still works like magic, snacks and water, distraction, babywearing, reinforcing the mother/child connection, cuddle/naptime, going outside, reading aloud, playtime, bathtime, TV! and if these or other things don’t help, then start the path of identifying allergy triggers. There is something wrong. And it’s not because your child is starting to need to be spanked. Discipline: Yes! Punishment: No!! By discipline I mean nurturing, gentle correction, and teaching in the ways the child should go.
I heard somebody doing the dishes at the kitchen sink, and discovered it was C1 who had dragged a chair over and was playing at the sink. If you give her a snack, she climbs on to a kitchen chair and sits at the table herself. She doesn’t want to crawl up the stairs anymore, but insists on standing and walking while hanging on the railing. Not a good idea. It is almost impossible to get her to turn around and slide down the stairs since she thinks she can just march right down, but we manage to protect her from herself. That is key at this age. It is so important to protect a child from logical consequences when her judgement and abilities have not caught up to what she thinks she can do.
I am reminded of the ridiculous spank-them-if-they-run-into-the-street practice. What parent, in their right mind, would trust previous spankings alone in protecting their child from deadly traffic?
C1 likes to fasten any clip buckles she can find – the ones on the highchair, booster seat, and her little bike are always fastened thanks to her. I can never put her in her highchair without having to unfasten the buckle first. She loves to be a helper, especially when emptying or filling the dryer. The floor steamer (seldom used) had made the floor damp, and she had the idea to go to the bathroom closet and bring out two face cloths to wipe up the floor. She takes advantage of little footstools for standing at the bathroom sink or getting on the bed.
She notices when she is wearing something cute and is quite proud of frilly clothes. She likes to match her big sister. She also loves to find everybody’s hats and footwear and wear them around the house.
She has mastered quite a few baby signs, and usually uses the words at the same time as she signs. She is great at making up signs and expecting me to understand her. She chatters and her hands go wild using her fingers to point this way and that. For some time now, she grins and cheers when I understand her attempts at communication. During the past month, she conquered nodding her head “Yes” and shaking her head “No” and then last week, she started saying “No, no, no” and “Yes”. She is getting to be quite the little talker as she puts word together like, “Bye Nana”, “Bye Daddy”, and when she wants out of her high chair, “Mommy, stuck.” She attempts to mimic most anything I say. She can clearly say words like ball, baby, book, Mommy, Daddy, cracker, cookie, Cheerios, c’mon, banana, Nana, Papa, more, mess, truck, keys, and so many more than I just can’t think of right now. We were going out on the weekend, and I let her brush her teeth. A while later, I called out to the others to brush their teeth, and she ran to the bathroom, pointing to the cabinet saying “Teeth, teeth.” I said, “But you already brushed your teeth.” She said, “More.” She points “up” at her oldest brother when she wants him to take her upstairs to play. It is hard to resist her charm.
One game (it’s not like I am a great game organizer HaHa) that we tend to play (usually between nursing sides at bedtime) is when she sits on my lap facing me, and we identify parts of our faces, etc. She knows so many: eyes, nose, ears, hair, head, mouth, teeth, lips, tongue, chin, cheeks, etc. She loves the “Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes” song.
Her nursing habits are almost identical to her siblings’ at this age, and she has only one short nap each afternoon. She stays up too late, and sleeps in too late, both of which will only become worse when the time changes this weekend.
She loves TV and the iPod. I thought it might be good to cut back, so that is why she is giving them up for Lent. LOL Her attention span for television is crazy. She points to the remote and says, “TV”. She would like to be read to more often.
The weather has been great for many days in February/March. She has a fun time playing outside with her brothers and sister, riding in the big Tonka truck and collecting snowballs and sliding.
C1 is getting a great start in life because we try to avoid conflicts, and we reduce or eliminate the effects of previous conflicts. I have even been able to clear an allergy combination myself with acupressure treatments.
I remembered the three little yellow vehicles we had in the basement ever since we got hardwood floor upstairs. C10 and L7 scrubbed them with Mr. Clean and brought them up. The wheels have been rolling ever since. C1 was absolutely thrilled, and her driving skills improve by the minute.
She thinks she is a big kid.
She, C10, L7 had fun at the movies earlier this week. March Break week had twoonie movies and since we hadn’t seen Chipwrecked, we thought it would be fun to catch it on the big screen. I brought C1′s booster seat (with tray), because I knew this would help her with boundaries. She had a great feast of popcorn, lots of water, and we didn’t have to go out of the theatre once. The only time she got a little antsy was when a little girl kept going up and down the stairs. C1 thought it looked fun, but thankfully, I came up with a distraction, and she forgot about the little girl. C1 has been to a lot of theatre movies in her eighteen months.
C1 and Markers