Toddler logic

I’m learning things at a rapid rate when it comes to the logic of a two-year old. Or shall I say, the lack of logic.

Oscar has taught me that there is simply a right way and a wrong way to do things and that if I am to survive these years with my sanity in tact, I must adapt quickly.

This all started happening just a few weeks before his second birthday. Suddenly if felt like I couldn’t do anything right. I was foolishly offering the green cup instead of the red cup. He would throw a tantrum when I told him it was time to have a bath but then he would throw an even bigger one when I told him that bath time was over. He got upset when he tipped water on his shirt, soaking the front but then lost it when I suggested we take it off to put a dry one on. I gave up and left him in the wet shirt.

Just this week I’ve learnt the correct way to prepare Oscar a banana. That’s right folks, who knew there was a right and wrong way. When he very politely requested one, I picked a banana up out of the fruit bowl and sliced it up onto a plate like I always do. Well, that was a BIG MISTAKE. He took one look at it and started running on the spot saying, “No, no, noooo”. Quite taken aback, I put the banana to the side and picked up another one. He held his arms up and I understood that he actually wanted the banana whole. Sure, I can do that. So naturally, I peel back the skin and offer him the whole skinless banana. Well. He dropped to his knees, covered his eyes and cried. My face was scrunched up in what can only be described as the ‘what the fuck’ look. My palms were getting sweaty as I desperately tried to work out what he wanted. So, once again I reached for the fruit bowl. This time I knelt down in front of him with the sacred fruit and he watched as I started peeling, before quickly reaching out and stopping me when it had been peeled about an inch. He happily skipped away, munching on the patly peeled banana. Luckily bananas grow on trees. I let out a sigh of relief, I had survived another lesson in toddler logic.

Day in, day out, these events are happening. I get it, he’s learning and finding his way. He’s fighting for a sense of independence. It’s all normal toddler behavior.

Meanwhile, I’m over here scratching my head, nervously trying to decide if I should offer him a spoon or fork with his dinner tonight. Yesterday he liked the spoon but today… who the hell knows.

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Thanks TimeHop

Lately, thanks to TimeHop, I’ve been reminiscing about my photo a day project. I am so pleased that I stuck with it as I really cherish not only the photos themselves but the little blurb about each photo. When I look back on any random day from that year I can actually remember exactly how I felt on that particular day. I can recall each moment quite clearly and I find that so special.

For this reason I’m thinking that for the year of 2017, I’m going to do it again. Same rules as before – Use my DSLR camera (not my iPhone) to take a photo a day, for each day of the year and posting them to Instagram daily. I’ll likely ask Candice to help me out with making sure we remember to snap a photo every day, especially as we will both be working full-time. Last time I was on maternity leave for 9 out of the 12 months which made it easier but this time around we’ll have to try a lot harder.

Below are some of the 2015 photos. I’m actually feeling excited to start it!

The big two

It’s been  almost a month since Oscar turned 2!

As I mentioned previously, we decided to throw him a party again this year with just our families invited. It made the whole day so much more relaxing and easy! We didn’t feel that stress of having to be constantly moving throughout the party, making sure that we were finding the time to chat to each guest. Not having to check if anyone needed their drink refilled or had enough food. Not having to introduce different groups of people and encourage mingling. Both my family and Candice’s family are comfortable here and we knew they could just help themselves, chat with ease and best of all Candice and I could relax and watch Oscar enjoy his day.

His party was pirate themed and Candice requested that everyone (even the adults) dress up a little. Almost everyone did and it just made the day a little bit more silly and fun. It was a great day and at the end Candice was able to put together some footage and make this little video.

Oscar’s 2nd birthday video

We had his party the day before his actual birthday so that we could have a quiet day with just the 3 of us to celebrate. He has become obsessed with trains so we decided to visit the train museum where he could run wild and explore. I know a museum sounds like a weird place to take a 2-year-old but it’s actually a great area for kids. A few times a year, a giant Thomas the Tank Engine comes to visit and the kids apparently go nuts for it. For that reason we bought a family annual pass so we can take him back when Thomas is next in town. Plus it’ll be great for those rainy days as it’s all indoors, including the playground.

Here are some photos from inside the museum. He loved the bikes!

 

I feel like I have a lot to catch up on as it’s been a while since I have posted on here. I was having some issues with my laptop and for some reason, I really don’t enjoy writing from inside the study. So many times I sat down at the desk but gave up. But my laptop is now fixed so here I am sitting outside on the deck, tapping away. I have several more posts that I will try to get out this week before they get lost inside my head.

22 month old chatterbox

There is a lot of chatter going on in our house lately and it’s mostly just Oscar doing the story telling. He wakes up and without skipping a beat, he will start pointing around the room and naming things. His eyes still squinty, his hair all messed up, you’ll hear him announce with such purpose, “door, light, water, pillow, phone” and my personal favourite, “wet”. The word ‘wet’ is his way of telling us that his nappy is full.

I can’t remember if I already mentioned it we have put a pause on potty training. He is able to tell us once he has already done a wee but not before so we’re not sure he’s ready. On top of that it’s winter here so it’s been far too cold to have him running around in underwear and getting off layers of clothing in a rush isn’t very fun for anyone. He seems to be able to preempt a number two, however we need to be super quick. He has managed to use the potty successfully for both a pee and a poo but in all honesty I don’t think Candice and I were quite up to the challenge during these cold months. So the new plan is to start it up again in Summer. We still ask him every evening if he wants to go on the potty before his bath and he does so willingly but 9 out of 10 times he doesn’t do anything. We figure it’s just good to keep him familiar with the idea.

In what feels like overnight, Oscar has learnt to name colours. Pink, yellow, blue, green, purple are the ones he has down perfectly. So now not only is he naming objects but also naming their colour. All of that makes for a lot of chatter, all of the time. I love it though, I really do. He attempts to repeat every word, no matter how difficult. I think my favourite word that he says right now is ‘Astronaut’ or as he says it ‘Asshnauuut’. It totally kills me. I also love how he says ‘owwie’ when he bumps himself and ‘yummy’ while rubbing his belly when eating. In addition to all those cute words, we’re hearing the word ‘no’ a lot lately, even when he doesn’t mean it.

Me: “Would you like a sandwich?”

Oscar: “No!”

Me: “Would you like a yoghurt?”

Oscar: “No!”

Me: “What about cheese?”

Oscar: “No!”

Me: “Come on kid, what about a banana?”

Oscar: “No!”

Of course, I place each one down in front of him and he gobbles up a bit of everything.

Physically, Oscar has made big leaps. Quite literally. He jumps and actually gets air, he climbs on everything like monkey and runs without fear of falling. He’s no stranger to a paintbrush and will pick one up with confidence. He will easily cover his entire blackboard with chalk if he’s drawing, making sure there isn’t a blank space left.

He has also become a lot more assertive with our two dogs which is great. He points and tells them to ‘sit’, or how it sounds when he says it – “shiiit”. Or when they get up in his face and he doesn’t like it, he says, “NO!” very loudly and they back off. It’s so important that our dogs know that Oscar won’t be pushed around.

So it’s his birthday soon and we said we wouldn’t have a party but now we probably will. Not a big party like last year, just a small one with a handful of people (mostly family), party food and a few balloons at home. It should be nice and relaxed!

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The House of Sleep

It has now been exactly 3 weeks since we began our mission to get Oscar to sleep through the night. We’ve had so much success that I can still hardly believe it.

If you follow us on Instagram then you may have already read our update explaining how we were going about it. We researched gentle methods and tried to make it a simple enough plan so that we could easily follow through with it. The basic rules were to no longer give in to his night-time bottles (he has become quite dependent on several through the night) and to support him by being there in the room with him any time that he woke (patting, cuddling, reassuring him that we were there, etc). The change we’ve seen in such a short time has been amazing. He hasn’t had a bottle through the night in 3 weeks and is resettling himself quickly when he starts making stirring sounds.

We know at any point that teething or sickness could interrupt this new found sleep success but that okay. Of course he’s going to sleep badly when he’s feeling like rubbish, I know I do.

In addition to him sleeping through, Oscar is now eating a whole lot more during the day. He wakes up asking for breakfast before he’s even out of bed some days, which is unheard of around here. Meal time was always a struggle but now he’s eating a 3 course breakfast, lots of snacks through the day, a decent lunch and an okay dinner. I say an okay dinner because that’s the meal he’s least interested in. Some days he will still demolish a bowl of pasta and ask for more but often he won’t finish what we give him. It could be because it’s late in the day and he’s getting tired and grumpy. Perhaps by that point he’s just ready for his bath, his pre bed bottle and bedtime. Whatever the reason, we’re not worried.

We’re super proud of how far he has come in such a short time.

He’s talking more and more everyday and reading books is probably his favourite thing to do. Last night before his bedtime, he brought me 11 books and we read every single one. Some of them twice.

Candice and I watched a documentary on Netflix the other night called The Beginning of Life. I have such a genuine interest in child developement, especially the formative years and so much of this doco resonated with me. As I watched it, I was nodding along and mentally agreeing with so much. Babies and toddlers are amazing and I don’t believe that anything they do is pointless. They’re learning 24/7 and I find that so interesting.

After watching it, I realised that there are some areas that I would like to work on. The main one is expanding the range of words I use when I speak to and explain things to Oscar. I tend to dumb things down when talking to him. If I point out a boat to him, I call it a boat. If I point out a yacht to him, I call it a boat. If I point out a ship to him, I call it a boat. If I point out a canoe to him, you guessed it. I call it a boat. Often when speaking to him, I refer to the taste of things as ‘yummy’ instead of using words such as spicy, sweet, tangy. Everything is just ‘yummy’. I think it’s because I worry that I might confuse him but I really needn’t have those concerns. I don’t need to dumb things down for him. How is he ever going to learn these words if he never hears us speak them to him? Kids are so clever and over the next few years Oscar is going to be absorbing everything and 22 motnhs isn’t too young  to be hearing so many new words, its actually the perfect age.

In other news, we’ve decided to hold off on baby number two for about 6 months. One part of me feels disappointed but the overwhelming part of me feels more relaxed. Everything just clicks in and makes more sense to wait a little bit longer so that’s what we’re going to do!

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Babysitting

We feel bad anytime that we ask to use a babysitter. And by babysitter, I mean one of Oscar’s grandparents. He knows them, he loves them, he trusts them. We trust them. They’re happy to watch him and have never given us reason to think it’s a chore but still, we always feel bad.

The last time we asked my Mum to babysit was a couple of months ago so that we could see a movie. We literally drove straight to the cinema, watched the film, then drove straight back home. I know she wouldn’t have minded if we stopped for coffee or dinner afterwards but that guilty feeling popped up as usual and we decided to just head straight home.

I think a lot of it comes from the fact that Oscar is in daycare 5 days a week, sometimes up to 10 hours a day depending what work shift I’m on. That’s a LOT. So when the weekends roll around, there’s some hefty guilt floating around if we think about doing anything without him. Something I am aware of is that there is only 260 weekends from the time of Oscar’s birth to when he will turn five. And we’ve already used over 90 of them! There just doesn’t seem like enough time.

The other reasons for our guilt come from the fact that my Mum already does a lot of babysitting. She has 10 grandchildren and if she had a dollar for every time she was asked to babysit one of them, she would be rolling in it! Candice and I always said we wouldn’t abuse the privilege of having such a reliable person to babysit and I think so far we have stuck to that. The other person we completely trust is Candice’s Mum but her health isn’t great at the moment so the guilt is far too great to ask, even though I’m sure she would love to.

Sometimes I entertain the idea about a night away from Oscar. A lavish hotel. Giant king size bed. Gluttonous sleep ins. Eating out at delicious restaurants. And the overwhelming guilt that Oscar wouldn’t be with us. Whoops, that shouldn’t be there. But of course, it would be.

I’m wondering if as Oscar gets older, this guilt will subside. When he is old enough to understand? When we can talk on the phone? Perhaps when he is old enough to see it as a holiday away from his boring old parents and when he actually realises the super fun time he will have getting spoilt by his grandparents.

I don’t know where all these thought are coming from. Lately, I just seem to feel a bit weird and almost sad after visiting friends that don’t have children. Seeing the freedom they have, I guess. It reminds me of all the stuff Candice and I don’t talk about and all the stuff we don’t do. I remember when that was us and we could make last-minute plans to go out or organise big holidays. But I also vividly remember the sadness and utter devastation I felt back then at the idea that I may never be able to have children.

This isn’t a case of not wanting what I have now. I think it’s painfully clear that I live and breathe for Oscar and love being his parent. I love my life almost 100% of the time. I think I’m just lacking balance in a way. When you become a parent, you gain a lot but I think you also lose a part of you, temporarily. I suppose it’s strange to then be reminded of that part of you when your out visiting friends and watching your old life before your eyes.

At the moment we are working on getting Oscar to sleep through the night.* Once that is achieved, we may actually ask to have him babysat over night for the first time. It’s an exciting thought to have a child that sleeps. This post has been a bit confusing as I’m not sure what my point is exactly. It would seem that I don’t want to ever part with Oscar but I also want freedom from him as the same time. Surely I’m not alone in these muddled thoughts.

*I’ll post more on how its going on the sleep thing another time as we’re only on day 2 and I want to see how the next week works out before saying anything. We haven’t had any professional help or anything, just a lot of reading on gentle methods. We made a plan with a start date of this coming Friday (as I am on nightshift this week and wont be home) but then Candice surprised me but starting it solo on Monday. Super Mumma, right there. So I’ll be joining in the fun on Friday night, through the weekend. I will post an update sometime next week with how we’re all travelling with it.

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Affectionate boy

Over the past few days, Oscar has been showing me some super sweet affection. He seeks me out and wraps his arms around me in a full embrace, head on my shoulder and everything. After a few seconds, I kiss him on the cheek and thank him for the beautiful hug at which point he returns to what he was doing before. It’s enough to make my heart explode. Like, BOOM.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that when Oscar is having a meltdown, I gently ask him if he is okay and if he would like a hug. I also admitted that he rarely did accept my cuddle offer. I have continued to do that but now I also try to sit with him while he’s having a hard time dealing with his emotions. When he’s upset and in the middle of an epic meltdown at home, I’ve started to get down on his level, do my usual “Are you okay, want a hug?” bit and I just wait. I just be there. I don’t try and distract him with something loud, bright or sparkly, I don’t walk away and ignore him, I don’t force affection on him. And guess what has started happening? He realises I’m there and puts his arms out for a hug. I really think this way of parenting works for our kid. Now I just need to put it into practice all the time. I need to keep calm and not get stressed. Because sometimes I can get really stressed.

I struggle big time when Oscar has tantrums in public. I don’t do any of the things I would do at home. I basically pick him up (at which point he arches his back and screams louder) and try to quickly remove him from the situation. I try to distract him with something. I’m instantly put in a bad mood and feel stressed. Basically it’s not good for either of us. Why, oh why do I care what strangers think? Everybody knows that toddlers aren’t easy. That they throw tantrums and can become unreasonable over the smallest things. As he gets older, we will be able to teach him how to behave when we are out and about but for now, he’s simply too young to understand. It’s really hard and something I need to work on.

With oscar being 20 months old now, he is becoming covers in bumps and scratches. His little legs are polka-dotted with bruises and his need to climb everything is out of control. I now ‘kiss better’ all his bumps and he loves it. It actually seems to help! This morning I was chasing him around the house, trying to convince him that putting on socks was actually a really good idea, when he tripped and fell. He hit his arm on the corner of his bedroom door and started crying. When I reached him, he held up his arm for me to kiss and then went off on his merry way. I clearly have a magical healing kiss.

So that’s where we’re at for the time being. I’m going to soak up all the extra love I’m getting from Oscar because who knows when he’ll decide that he’s too cool for it.

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