Playing catch up

It’s been a few months since I’ve done this sort of update so I better write all my thoughts down before Oscar moves on from this age. In a little over a week, our little guy will be 20 months old. On that, does anyone else really struggle to remember their kids age? When people ask us, we tend to look at each other thinking way too hard before finally  answering with “Oh he’s like about, oneish, I think one and half..?”. Just now, I had to count on my fingers to see how many months he actually is! And to my shock, he’s going to be two in FOUR months.

Since my last post, Oscar’s tantrums have really calmed down. Not surprisingly this has coincided with his vocabulary absolutely exploding. Every day there are more and more words coming out of his mouth, it blows us away. He’s not exactly having conversations with us yet but chatty enough that we can understand most of his needs and wants.

Sleep. It’s still a struggle but I suppose it’s gotten a little better. He sleeps around 7pm to 6am, waking around 4 times through the night. For about a month now we’ve been in the bad habit of giving in and taking him for a short drive in the car to get him to sleep. We started doing it because it was just taking way too long to get him to sleep and he’s now too big and heavy to rock to sleep. He would thrash about on the bed, he would cry, he wouldn’t let us touch him. We would stay with him in the room for hours some days before he finally fell asleep. It was just so hard. We don’t like having to depend on driving him to sleep though and it’s quite ridiculous that we started doing it but you know, you do what you need to do sometimes. We have made the decision to stop doing it but we really don’t want to go back to the way it was before either. We don’t want him to cry and be upset as it’s not fun for him or for us. We actually aren’t 100% sure on where to go from here but I’m thinking we’ll keep the first part of his sleep routine which is reading him 2-3 books in bed while he drinks his bottle, post bath. After that if he doesn’t want to sleep and is happy to play quietly, we will allow him to stay up until he starts showing signs that he is tired. Basically, we want to avoid tears. As soon as we see any tired cues, we will take him back to the bedroom and lay with him until he falls asleep. The last thing we want is for him to associate bedtime with crying, being upset and having his control taken away. Sleep is amazing and should be a pleasant time and I want him to learn that! I think it’s taken this long to relax about his bedtime because I’ve always felt pressure to have him in a strict bedtime routine, forcing him to sleep when he may not be ready. The length of his naps at daycare differ daily yet we have still been expecting him to be tired at the exact same time of day. Maybe because I’m a shift worker, I can sympathise with him as I know just how hard it is to force your body to sleep when it isn’t ready. Hopefully our new plan will be successful and bedtime will be a happier time and a lot less stressful for him (and us).

At daycare he has moved up to the Toddler 1 room and after a month of settling in, he has finally found his feet. His confidence is soaring and I’m happy to report that he is absolutely thriving in his new environment. Candice and I don’t feel as connected to the carers in his new room though and we don’t think Oscar does either. The bond he had with his nursery carers was amazing! I can’t quite put my finger on it as it’s not that his new carers aren’t attentive or anything, it’s just different. I think it may be the lack of confidence coming from the room leader. She’s sort of mousey and soft spoken and doesn’t seem to have as much control or presence in the room as the leader in the nursery. Whenever I have questions for her, she seems unsure of herself. I think what is also lacking is the connection between his home life and his daycare life. No longer does it feel that they want to know what Oscar did on the weekend in order to incorporate it into an activity to share with the other kids, which happened a lot in the nursery. Maybe I’m being fussy. After all, it was an amazing nursery room. Plus it’s only been a month and I imagine the toddler room would be a lot more hectic with kids throwing epic tantrums left, right and centre. I’ll give it some more time before I mention anything to them.

Play time is more fun than it’s ever been. He loves playgrounds and sandpits. He loves pushing trucks around and riding his car every where. He can’t get enough of nursery rhymes. It feels like just last week that he would climb so cautiously onto his ride-on car and unsuccessfully try to push himself around. Now he runs up, throws his leg over and zooms all around the place, cutting corners and doing wheelies. He runs everywhere. He loves books and painting. He is in his element when he’s outside and playing in the dirt and basically just getting as dirty as he can. We are in the process of painting an outdoor mud kitchen bench that Candice’s dad made for Oscar so that he can play in the dirt and mud to his heart’s content.

At the moment he is really into the stars and moon. Every night after his bath he says, “Staaarrrrs… Moooooon… Staaaarrs” and we take him outside and look up at the sky. Candice points out the southern cross and he looks with such wonder. I can hardly believe how interested he is. I’m a big star gazer myself so I absolutely adore that he is showing curiosity towards the night sky. I can’t wait to take him camping in summer when he’s a bit older.

To wrap this up, I just want to say how much I am loving hanging out with him lately. I miss him so much when I’m at work and weekends go too quickly. But it is what is it so we’ll make the most of it and squeeze in play time whenever we can.

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