Learning to Live with a Toddler

toddler

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Life with a toddler is nothing like life with a newborn.  You spend more time wondering if your child is hitting all their milestones.  You start comparing your child’s development to kids the same age.  Get concerned they are not doing things fast enough, should you be getting help, are they eating enough.

With Ashlyn being small I am always worried about her eating enough.  We decided that after she became a toddler we would still do 4-8 oz of toddler formula every day.  This was to help make sure she was getting all the nutrients she needs.  Ashlyn has always stayed on her growth curve, but still I worry.  Learning how much food is normal for a toddler to eat was hard.  She never ate a lot and so I thought she was not eating enough.  Once I adjusted my expectations to what was realistic I realized she was eating plenty.

Starting to do things

Her first steps were taken a couple days before Christmas, after she turned 1 years old.  Honestly, I was ok with her crawling longer because we knew once she started walking we were going to be in trouble and she was not going to stop … we were right 🙂 She has always been a climber.  While this made me nervous I loved seeing how much fun she had and how creative she got doing it.

During her first year as a toddler, compared to other toddlers her age, she did not start talking or walking as quickly.  I was worried about the talking and did ask her pediatrician about it.  She said that she was not worried because she was “talking” just not that we could understand, and she loved telling stories.  We just needed to be patient and it would happen … yup I will touch more on this later.  I was happy when her first word was “mama” now once she picked up on “dada” she tended to use that more often … lol.

So, I work Monday-Friday part time and my mom watches munchkin until my husband gets off work.  Except for Thursday’s, my husband has this day off, so this is his daddy/daughter day.  Munchkin and I have mommy/daughter day on Saturday’s (Sunday’s my mom takes munchkin for a grandparent/grandchild day and mommy gets self-care time).  I see lots of other mom’s doing activities with their kids and I think to myself I want to try that.  Well that hardly happens, between my depression & ADHD I am either too “tired” and don’t have the energy or my attention span is too short.

Baking with my toddler

One activity I did manage to do with her was make cookies.  We made what I call Confused Chip Cookies.  These cookies came about because one day I wanted to make cookies but could not decide if I wanted chocolate chip or peanut butter chip or white chocolate chip, so I put all 3 chips in there … they were delicious.

I have since added butterscotch chips and during the holidays mint chips to the mix so when you bite into them you don’t know what you will get.  Each cookie has a few different flavors.  So, the night before I prepped all the ingredients in prep bowls so I just had to pull them out to use them.  Found munchkin’s kitchen tools (my mom bought her toddler size tools) and made sure it would be easy for me.  We had so much fun, she helped to dump the ingredients in the bowl (when I make cookies I do it all by hand, no mixers or anything) and do some mixing with her tools.  Of course, she found that the best part of making cookies is nibbling on the cookie dough … lol.

We used a “drop cloth” on the living room floor to do our baking because we don’t have a lot of room in our kitchen.  At the time we had no way to have her reach the counter anyway.  We have since fixed that by buying her a learning tower that also turns into a toddler table for the holiday’s, so she can help in the kitchen.  The learning tower we got is similar to the Montessori kitchen step stool for children/table and chair.  Ben is the cook in our house so he will be teaching her how to cook for the most part, but I will do what I can.

                                    

Swimming

We took her to the pool for the first time.  We thought this would be fun since she loves her baths.  NOPE … lol.  She was not a happy camper in the pool.  While looking for a swim suit and floats we found the Aqua-Leisure 1 piece swim trainer and loved the idea.  It was a suit and floats all in one, also is good till 33 lbs. so will last us some time.  We stayed in the kiddie pool area and she would not let go of me.  Ben tried to get her to allow him to hold her, but she was not having any of it.  She did smile a couple times after we stayed in there a bit.  However, it took letting her splash me with water to get that smile.  We only stayed about 20-30 min because we were not going to try and force her to stay in there.  We are planning on trying again this summer now that she is a bit bigger and has been more active in the bath.

Swimming

Bumps & bruises 

Munchkin has been seeing my chiropractor when needed.  She started before she was walking and as she started walking we took her in periodically to make sure she stays in alignment.  We also take her in if she is having trouble sleeping and usually that either helps or fixes it.  We also make sure to take her in if she has any bad falls.  One day she fell down our stairs outside and scratched up her face a bit.  Scared the crap out of me watching it happen … and when we took her in she only needed a minor adjustment.

Having a toddler in the house means lots of boo-boo’s.  Some we never know where they came from.  She got her first big knot on her head during a play group when another kid ran into her.  The funny thing was that she got the worst of it, but the other kid did most of the crying.  Ashlyn cried for a couple minutes and then was back off to playing.

I believe that part of this is due to how we have always handled falls and stuff.  If she had/has a bad fall, we don’t rush to pick her up.  We wait till she moves (part of this is to make sure she is ok, she would not move if it hurt so if she moves it is most likely safe to pick her up) and then we pick her up.  Kiss any boo-boo’s and comfort as needed.  We try not to make a big deal of it.  Now most of the time she falls and goes uhh-ohhh or okay and gets up.  If she has a minor ouchie she comes and gets a kiss and then off she goes.

Attachment

I know some kids fear mascot type costumes, but not munchkin.  She gets upset when it is time to leave them.  She loves to hug them and hang onto them, she will have a mini meltdown when it is time to go.  Another thing I worried about when she was a baby/new toddler was the fact that she never really had a favorite blanket or stuffed animal that she could not live without.  She did not seem to have that attachment and I worried.  I did a lot of worrying and still do, eventually she did get attached to something.

We were walking through Target one day and she saw this fox (B. toys by Battat B. Happy Yappies – Pipsqueak. B. Toys, one of our favorite brands) on the shelf and reached for it.  Daddy picked it up and we found out that if you press on its belly it repeats what you say in a funny voice.  Yup you guessed it we had a toy she was attached to.  It never had to leave the house, but it did have to be around for nap and bedtimes.

Now we have 2 in the house.  1 is in her crib and we removed the batteries so that it can “sleep” with her.  The other is in the living room/play area that she can play with and take a nap with.  We named our fox Reggie (in the Nook he is known as Reggie the Reading Fox).  Ashlyn loves to play with him, read to him and tuck him in for his own naps.

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